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Steelers-themed ‘Terrible Trolley’ makes new home at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum has welcomed a vintage Steelers-themed black and yellow “Terrible Trolley” to its extensive collection.

The trolley functioned in the region from 1949 until 1998, running routes from Pittsburgh to Washington, Pa., and out to Charleroi, Pa. Now, the trolley will have a second chance to operate at the museum, according to Pennsylvania Trolley Museum executive director and CEO Scott Becker. The Washington-based museum is planning to have PPG Paints supply them with paint for the renovation, while local company Prime Collision Center is donating their services to do the actual painting.

“We have a four-mile round trip trolley ride, and we want to be able to feature this car as part of our living history experience,” Becker said.

 A handwritten letter.
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
A letter from nine-year-old Kim Sever to former Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri requesting a Steelers-themed trolley.

The trolley ran for years without its signature look until 1980, when a young girl named Kim Sever wrote to then-Mayor Richard Caliguiri. In said letter, she kindly asked for the city to have a trolley painted black and gold to represent the Steelers. Sever was never recognized for the idea, but Becker said the museum plans to invite her to view the car when it’s finished.

“I think it’s great that a nine year old had started this whole thing rolling and interestingly enough,” Becker said. “So, we did some research and we actually found her and we talked to her and she was very happy to talk to us about it and she was very excited that we were actually preserving the trolley.”

Even the Steelers are thrilled about the trolley.

“The Steelers have been really, really supportive of this,” Becker said. “They’ve been wonderful.”

In addition to the new car, the museum has started its summer hours and is open on Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Isabella is a rising senior at Duquesne University majoring in multiplatform journalism and communications and is a division one rower on their women's rowing team. She's had many articles published as the Features Editor for Duquesne's student-run newspaper, The Duquesne Duke. In her free time, she enjoys running, watching new shows and reading.