News & Blogs Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA (1 Viewer)


Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Staff member
Jul 28, 2011
Current Location
Rochester, NY
Found this - I looked for previous entries but didn't find any - anyway - looks like fun.

See Inside the Abandoned Trolley Graveyard Near Johnstown, Pennsylvania

February 8, 2019 December 2, 2016 by Jim Cheney

1550991518790-png.49152_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Located a few miles south of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is one of the oddest destinations in the state: the Abandoned Trolley Graveyard. Officially known as the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company, this site is home to approximately 40 vintage trolleys waiting patiently for restoration or to be used as parts in the restoration of other vintage streetcars.

1550991540839-png.49153_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Unfortunately, at the moment, these streetcars are rotting away in the woods. Hence, why they are known as the Abandoned Trolley Graveyard. It’s worth noting, however, that they aren’t abandoned and the site will hopefully not be their final resting place.

1550991560831-png.49154_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

The street cars came to this corner of Pennsylvania thanks to Ed Metka. Metka worked for the Army Corps of Engineers and lived in Maryland when he acquired his first streetcar in 1986. When his unusual hobby began, he stored his collection on a track that he rented from the Maryland Midland Railroad in Union Bridge, Maryland.

1550991578595-png.49155_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Trolleys await restoration.

Soon, however, Metka’s collection of streetcars was outgrowing his space in Maryland, and he moved them to the former Berwind Coal Company Railroad Shop in 1992. The mile of track on the site has allowed his collection to grow, and there’s even room for more streetcars should they become available.

1550991594104-png.49156_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

There is still plenty of track should Metka decide to acquire more trolleys

Metka’s reason for collecting them is simple: he wants to preserve them. As they become available from cities around the country, many are being lost to those looking to scrap them. By taking them to his storage facility, the streetcars have the chance of a future life.

1550991611293-png.49157_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

While many of the streetcars look beyond repair, Metka assures me that each could be refurbished or provide parts for other streetcar restorations. Most of the cars on the site were manufactured in the 1940s and come from destinations such as Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

The grounds of the site consist of an open front area where tours start, a large building which houses some of the nicer streetcars, and a set of three tracks in the woods behind the building.

1550991630447-png.49158_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

In front of the large building on the property, several streetcars lie on their side, and one even lies on its roof. These cars have had their wheels removed and have been used to restore streetcars currently running as far away as Aruba and the Middle East.

1550991652347-png.49159_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Some of the cars that were once part of the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company’s collection are now running a heritage trolley route in Kenosha, Wisconsin. These cars, which once ran in Toronto, Canada, showcase Metka’s hope for the remainder of the cars in his collection.

1550991670488-png.49160_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Another example is a vintage Johnstown streetcar from the 1920s. Housed safely inside the on-site building, this car is in rough shape, but there are plans to one day run the trolley again on the streets of Johnstown. I found this streetcar especially neat, as I had ridden the exact same model streetcar at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in nearby Huntingdon County.

1550991688426-png.49161_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Unfortunately, while some of the streetcars are protected inside the building, the majority are rotting away in the woods. Some, like a series of trolleys that were once used in Philadelphia, remain in relatively good condition, minus the many broken windows. In fact, it’s by walking through these connected cars that you can access the backend of the site and see the roughly two dozen street cars at the rear of the property.

1550991703249-png.49162_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Comparing photos of these trolleys to those from a few years ago shows how much damage has been done to them in recent years. Given the history of these trolleys and the hope to restore them, it’s a shame that this damage has been done and hastened the damage done by nature.

Nevertheless, walking amongst these trolleys is a very cool experience, that I feel very privileged to have been invited to see.

1550991753311-png.49164_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Access to the site is by appointment only. Tours were once handled by an outside company, but in 2017 will be primarily handled locally. Tours will cost $30 in 2017 and will be offered a few times during the year, with the first in the spring. Tours last from 10am to 3pm and began with a brief history and safety talk before visitors are allowed to explore the site.

1550991769880-png.49165_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

Because access is by appointment only, and because I don’t want to contribute in any way to the continued deterioration of the site, I won’t be saying the exact location of this site, other than noting that it is south of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. So, please don’t ask me below, “Where is the Abandoned Trolley Graveyard located?

If you think of trying to sneak into the site, please don’t. This is an amazing area that should be respected, and the price of tours is quite reasonable. There is an on-site guardian that looks over the property, and I’ve been told that they don’t take kindly to trespassers on the site due to the amount of damage that has occurred recently.

1550991785925-png.49166_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

1550991812944-png.49167_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM

If you do visit on a tour, I can’t emphasize enough the caution that you need to take. This area is filled with sharp rusty metal and many of the floors might not be sturdy enough to support weight. This is not a site to take casually. I can also imagine that this would be a prime area for snakes, ticks, and poison ivy during the warmer months of the year. Parts of the Vintage Electric Streetcar Company have three tracks filled with trolleys.

1550991831842-png.49168_Abandoned Trolley Graveyard - PA_Urban Exploration_Squat the Planet_10:50 PM


Last edited:
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $35.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $35.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $35.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $35.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

croc wrote on bowldog's profile.
Love ur profile pic. She looks so sultry peeking thru the trees
dumpsternavel wrote on Rhubarb Dwyer's profile.
So clevar
The only good part about the ER is the BE that comes before-hand! :p
forgot how fast people'll throw the first blow in the street
got complacent having only sparred with friends recently.
was socked in the head,
only managed to block the second blow or so
before being knocked to the ground

(to be fair, knocking us off our feet isn't hard when we require a cane or smth to support ourselves most days)
Currently in Louisiana , I'm off the road. Had Hep C an liver cancer. Don't ever forget to be free from the man you have to leave it all behind, each an every time. Jax if any kids about
Stuck on paper in idaho, missing the woods and my DK fam
I've made some layout adjustments to featured content threads. They should look much prettier on mobile devices, although I'm still working on how the main featured page displays on those devices...
Due to a software bug, I've had to disable the ability for users to delete their accounts until a fix is released (hopefully no more than a few days).
You ever look back and kind of wonder even if you wanted to try to fix things... How you even begin to apologise for Fucking up someone's life??

Members online