Important Note: As of November 2023, the Windber Trolley Graveyard is no more! All the cars have either been sold to museums, trolley car collectors, or scrapped. This article will remain up in tribute to what was an amazing abandoned attraction in Pennsylvania.
If you’re looking for information about the Windber Trolley Graveyard, you’re in the right place!
The Windber Trolley Graveyard was a privately-owned collection of more than 50 trolley cars, train cars, and busses, housed on the grounds of a former coal company rail car shop.
But as reported by multiple media outlets, including railfan.com, the Windber Trolley Graveyard was sold to a scrapping company in early 2023, meaning this destination especially popular with “urban explorers” will soon cease to exist!
The scrapping company has reportedly agreed to hold off dismantling the cars until the end of 2023, to provide museums and collectors one last chance to purchase parts or entire cars from the eclectic collection.
Known officially as the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company, the company was owned by Ed Metka, a gentleman with a passion for collecting old streetcars, with hopes of restoring and preserving them.
He began storing his collection of vintage trolleys at this former site of the Berwind Coal Company Railroad Shop in 1992, and amassed a collection of nearly 50 trolley cars in various states of repair.
Unfortunately, time, the elements, finances, and vandalism appear to have conspired to prevent the restoration of most of the trolley cars in the collection.
Hopefully some of the more well-preserved cars stored indoors will be purchased by individuals or museums with the money and expertise needed to restore them.
But for most of the trolley cars in the collection, photos will be all that remains of them after 2023.
For the sake of posterity and as a tribute to Ed Metka’s vision, I’ll leave this article and photo gallery intact on my website.
All the photos were taken during a personal tour of the property with Mr. Metka several years ago, and I’m grateful I had the chance to experience his passion for history with him.
Touring the Windber Trolley Graveyard
Some of the oldest and potentially most valuable trolley cars were stored inside the repair shop, protected from the elements.
The majority of the trolley cars belonging to the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company were housed on 3 parallel lines of railroad track (nearly a mile in total length) that ran east from the back of the repair shop.
Walking through the cars was the easiest way to navigate the property, on account of the high grass and weeds.
Once you got towards the back of the property, things opened up a bit and you could wander around on the outside of the cars more easily.
Being a fan of sci-fi and post-apocalyptic movies, I found the entire setting and experience fascinating.
And while the owner of the property certainly didn’t intend for it to become a graveyard, it seems most of the trolley cars here will indeed meet the scrapper’s torch in 2024.
For those who wish to make serious inquiries into obtaining entire cars or parts before that happens, the contact person is Bill Pollman at (617) 828-7309.
If abandoned transportation history is your thing, then you ABSOLUTELY MUST check out the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike located in neighboring Bedford County.
This 13 mile stretch of abandoned superhighway features two unlit but intact tunnels, each around a mile long!
The Abandoned PA Turnpike can be legally accessed for recreational purposes 365 days a year!
Concrete City in Luzerne County is an abandoned early-1900s industrial housing complex.
Now owned by the city of Nanticoke, Concrete City is equally fascinating and forlorn.
The abandoned Alvira munitions bunkers are a series of 149 concrete, dome-shaped structures built to house TNT manufactured for the war effort during WWII.
Residing on what is now State Game Lands 252 in Union County, the Alvira bunkers can legally be visited 365 days a year!
The abandoned nuclear jet engine testing bunkers in the Quehanna Wild Area are all that is left of a secretive Cold War-era facility built to test jet engines, including the possibility of nuclear jet engines that would never need to be refueled.
The base was abandoned by 1960 and now sits in dormant in the Quehanna Wild Area.
33 Abandoned Places in PA You Can Legally Visit will give you directions to even more of the Keystone State’s best abandoned sites to explore!
If you want to ride on functional, restored trolley cars, plan a visit to the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Huntingdon County, the oldest operating trolley museum in Pennsylvania.
Did you enjoy this article?
If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups about the best things to see and do in Pennsylvania!
Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media.