Exploring the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Huntingdon County

A Johnstown trolley car, built in 1925, in the Rockhill Trolley Museum collection.

The Rockhill Trolley Museum is the oldest operating trolley museum in Pennsylvania.

York trolley car #163 pulling into the station at Rockhill in Huntingdon County.
York trolley car 163 pulling into the station at Rockhill in Huntingdon County.

“Operating” being the important distinction here, as this is a museum where you get to ride the exhibits!

Tickets being punched on a trolley ride through the Blacklog Narrows in Huntingdon County.
Tickets being punched on a trolley ride through the Blacklog Narrows in Huntingdon County.

History of the Rockhill Trolley Museum

Started in 1960, the Rockhill Trolley Museum collects, restores, and operates electric streetcars, or trolleys.

Snow sweeper car #3, built in 1911, in the Rockhill Trolley Museum collections.
Snow sweeper car 3, built in 1911.

That collection includes cars from many Pennsylvania cities including Johnstown, York, Scranton, and Philadelphia.

A Philadelphia and Western "bullet car", built in 1931, in the Rockhill Trolley Museum collection.
A Philadelphia and Western “bullet car”, built in 1931.

There are also cars from cities as far away as San Diego.

A San Diego trolley car, built in 1982, in the Rockhill Trolley museum collection.
A San Diego trolley car, built in 1982.

And from countries as far away as Portugal and Brazil!

Inside one of the buildings at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Huntingdon County PA
Car 249 from Portugal, built in 1904.

Riding the Streetcars at the Rockhill Trolley Museum

Riding the electric streetcars at the Rockhill Trolley Museum is like taking a trip back in time to the early 1900s, when this form of transportation enabled individuals to travel for work, shopping, and socializing in an era when few people owned automobiles.

The "motorman" operating the electric trolley on an excursion along the Shade Gap branch of the East Broad Top Railway.
The “motorman” operating the electric trolley on an excursion along the Shade Gap branch of the East Broad Top Railway.

Trolleys departing from Rockhill follow a 3 mile (one-way) ride into the Blacklog Valley, along tracks leased from the neighboring East Broad Top Railroad.

The East Broad Top Railroad hopes to have at least one steam engine back in operation in 2022.
The East Broad Top Railroad in Rockhill Furnace, PA.

One great feature of the Rockhill Trolley Museum is that when you buy a ticket to ride, you are buying an all-day pass, good for as many rides as you care to take!

Leaving the station aboard the York #163 trolley car at the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
Leaving the station aboard the York 163 trolley car.

Along the route you’ll pass the ruins of the Rockhill Iron Furnace, which last operated in 1907.

Remnants of Rockhill Furnace along the Shade Gap branch of the East Broad Top Railroad.
Remnants of Rockhill Furnace along the Shade Gap branch of the East Broad Top Railroad.

After a brief pause at the end of the line, the trolley reverses course and returns to the station.

Trolley 163 at the Rockhill Trolley Museum originally operated in York, PA.
Trolley 163 originally operated in York, PA.

Exhibits at the Rockhill Trolley Museum

The Rockhill Trolley Museum started trolley operation in 1962.
The Museum started trolley excursions in 1962.

While the streetcars are the big draw at the Rockhill Trolley Museum, there are more traditional exhibits inside the Museum Store.

A display inside the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
A display of trolley-related memorabilia.

A poster signed by trolley aficionado and Pennsylvania legend Mister Rogers caught my eye.

Signed poster from trolley fan Mister Rogers at the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
Signed poster from trolley fan and legendary Pennsylvanian Mister Rogers.

And what museum would be complete without a gift shop?!

Gift shop at the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
The all-important gift shop!

The car barns near the museum store are where the streetcars are refurbished, serviced, and stored when not in use.

Inside the Rockhill Trolly Museum in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania.
Car 1875 from Brazil, built in 1912.

How to Find the Rockhill Trolley Museum

The Rockhill Trolley Museum is located at 430 Meadow Street, Rockhill Furnace, PA 17249.

How to find the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.
Map to find the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

For the latest on hours, admission prices, and special events, visit the Rockhill Trolley Museum’s official website.

Rockhill Trolley Museum sign along Meadow Street in Rockhill, Huntingdon County.
Museum sign along Meadow Street in Rockhill, Huntingdon County.

Nearby Attractions

As mentioned earlier, the East Broad Top Railroad is literally right across the street from the Rockhill Trolley Museum.

The East Broad Top Railroad in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.
The East Broad Top Railroad in Huntingdon County.

And as with the Rockhill Trolley Museum, the East Broad Top Railroad offers train rides, shop tours, and a wealth of historical exhibits.

View from a passenger car on the East Broad Top Railroad.
View from a passenger car on the East Broad Top Railroad.

Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County is home to many beautiful natural attractions, including waterfalls, unusual rock formations, and scenic overlooks.

The Ledges Trail Overlook in Huntingdon County at Trough Creek State Park.
The Ledges Trail Overlook at Trough Creek State Park.

The 1000 Steps in Huntingdon County is one of the most famous (and challenging) hikes in central Pennsylvania!

A section of the 1000 Steps in Huntingdon County.
A section of the 1000 Steps in Huntingdon County.

Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in Huntingdon County.

Saint Mary's Covered Bridge in Huntingdon County, PA
Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge in Huntingdon County, PA

Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County is home to four magnificent scenic overlooks.

Observation area at Hawn's Overlook above Raystown Lake.
Hawn’s Overlook at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County.

Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County is perched high above the former Colerain State Park, now part of the Rothrock State Forest.

Exploring Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest.
Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County.

Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County features a six-acre lake, miles of hiking trails, and the remnants of a ghost town and iron furnaces.

Fishermen on a crisp October morning at Greenwood Furnace State Park.
Fishermen at Greenwood Furnace State Park.

The Allegheny Tunnel (known originally as the Summit Tunnel) in Gallitzin (Cambria County) was the longest railroad tunnel in the world at the time of its completion, at 3,612 feet.

A westbound Norfolk-Southern train exiting the western portal of the Allegheny Tunnel in Gallitzin.
A westbound Norfolk Southern train exiting the western portal of the Allegheny Tunnel in Gallitzin.

Completed in 1854, the Allegheny Tunnel is still in use to this day, and the Gallitzin Tunnels Park next to it is a popular spot for railfans to congregate and watch trains enter and exit this historic tunnel.

Tunnels Park and Museum in Gallitzin, PA.
Tunnels Park and Museum in Gallitzin, PA.

The World-Famous Horseshoe Curve was considered one of the “engineering wonders of the world” at the time of its completion in 1854.

Westbound train passing through the viewing area at the Horseshoe Curve.
Westbound train passing through the viewing area park at the Horseshoe Curve.

In conjunction with the Allegheny Tunnel mentioned above, the Horseshoe Curve allowed trains to cross back and forth over the steep Allegheny Mountains, something that had been impossible before 1854.

One of the many exhibits inside the Horseshoe Curve Museum and Visitor Center.
One of the many exhibits inside the Horseshoe Curve Museum and Visitor Center.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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