The Electric Interurban Railways in America

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Author: George Woodman Hilton,John Fitzgerald Due

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804740142

Category: Transportation

Page: 463

View: 6873

One of the most colorful yet neglected eras in American transportation history is re-created in this definitive history of the electric interurbans. Built with the idea of attracting short-distance passenger traffic and light freight, the interurbans were largely constructed in the early 1900s. The rise of the automobile and motor transport caused the industry to decline after World War I, and the depression virtually annihilated the industry by the middle 1930s. Part I describes interurban construction, technology, passenger and freight traffic, financial history, and final decline and abandonment. Part II presents individual histories (with route maps) of the more than 300 companies of the interurban industry. Reviews "A first-rate work of such detail and discernment that it might well serve as a model for all corporate biographies. . . . A wonderfully capable job of distillation." —Trains "Few economic, social, and business historians can afford to miss this definitive study." —Mississippi Valley Historical Review "All seekers after nostalgia will be interested in this encyclopedic volume on the days when the clang, clang of the trolley was the most exciting travel sound the suburbs knew." —Harper's Magazine "A fascinating and instructive chapter in the history of American transportation." —Journal of Economic History "The hint that behind the grand facade of scholarship lies an expanse of boyish enthusiasm is strengthened by a lovingly amassed and beautifully reproduced collection of 37 photographs." —The Nation

Electric Interurbans and the American People

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Author: H. Roger Grant

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253023203

Category: Transportation

Page: 192

View: 9511

One of the most intriguing yet neglected pieces of American transportation history, electric interurban railroads were designed to assist shoppers, salesmen, farmers, commuters, and pleasure-seekers alike with short distance travel. At a time when most roads were unpaved and horse and buggy travel were costly and difficult, these streetcar-like electric cars were essential to economic growth. But why did interurban fever strike so suddenly and extensively in the Midwest and other areas? Why did thousands of people withdraw their savings to get onto what they believed to be a "gravy train?" How did officials of competing steam railroads respond to these challenges to their operations? H. Roger Grant explores the rise and fall of this fleeting form of transportation that started in the early 1900s and was defunct just 30 years later. Perfect for railfans, Electric Interurbans and the American People is a comprehensive contribution for those who love the flanged wheel.

"Follow the Flag"

A History of the Wabash Railroad Company

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Author: H. Roger Grant

Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press

ISBN: 1501747797

Category: Transportation

Page: 304

View: 2631

"Follow the Flag" offers the first authoritative history of the Wabash Railroad Company, a once vital interregional carrier. The corporate saga of the Wabash involved the efforts of strong-willed and creative leaders, but this book provides more than traditional business history. Noted transportation historian H. Roger Grant captures the human side of the Wabash, ranging from the medical doctors who created an effective hospital department to the worker-sponsored social events. And Grant has not ignored the impact the Wabash had on businesses and communities in the "Heart of America." Like most major American carriers, the Wabash grew out of an assortment of small firms, including the first railroad to operate in Illinois, the Northern Cross. Thanks in part to the genius of financier Jay Gould, by the early 1880s what was then known as the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway reached the principal gateways of Chicago, Des Moines, Detroit, Kansas City, and St. Louis. In the 1890s, the Wabash gained access to Buffalo and direct connections to Boston and New York City. One extension, spearheaded by Gould's eldest son, George, fizzled. In 1904 entry into Pittsburgh caused financial turmoil, ultimately throwing the Wabash into receivership. A subsequent reorganization allowed the Wabash to become an important carrier during the go-go years of the 1920s and permitted the company to take control of a strategic "bridge" property, the Ann Arbor Railroad. The Great Depression forced the company into another receivership, but an effective reorganization during the early days of World War II gave rise to a generally robust road. Its famed Blue Bird streamliner, introduced in 1950 between Chicago and St. Louis, became a widely recognized symbol of the "New Wabash." When "merger madness" swept the railroad industry in the 1960s, the Wabash, along with the Nickel Plate Road, joined the prosperous Norfolk & Western Railway, a merger that worked well for all three carriers. Immortalized in the popular folk song "Wabash Cannonball," the midwestern railroad has left important legacies. Today, forty years after becoming a "fallen flag" carrier, key components of the former Wabash remain busy rail arteries and terminals, attesting to its historic value to American transportation.

Trolleys

Riding and Remembering the Electric Interurban Railways

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Author: Ruth Cavin

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Electric railroads

Page: 223

View: 1399

Encyclopedia of North American Railroads

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Author: William D. Middleton,RICK MORGAN,Roberta L. Diehl

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253027993

Category: Transportation

Page: 1296

View: 2426

Lavishly illustrated and a joy to read, this authoritative reference work on the North American continent’s railroads covers the U.S., Canadian, Mexican, Central American, and Cuban systems. The encyclopedia’s over-arching theme is the evolution of the railroad industry and the historical impact of its progress on the North American continent. This thoroughly researched work examines the various aspects of the industry’s development: technology, operations, cultural impact, the evolution of public policy regarding the industry, and the structural functioning of modern railroads. More than 500 alphabetical entries cover a myriad of subjects, including numerous entries profiling the principal companies, suppliers, manufacturers, and individuals influencing the history of the rails. Extensive appendices provide data regarding weight, fuel, statistical trends, and more, as well as a list of 130 vital railroad books. Railfans will treasure this indispensable work.

Nashville's Streetcars and Interurban Railways

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Author: Ralcon Wagner

Publisher: Arcadia Publishing

ISBN: 1467116866

Category: History

Page: 128

View: 5074

Nashville's 150-year public transportation heritage is a rich and colorful one that began in 1866 when two private companies, the McGavock and Mount Vernon Horse Railroad Company and the South Nashville Street Railroad Company, commenced operation. The first cars were mule powered. During the 1880s, as streetcar routes became longer and too strenuous for animal power, steam dummy lines were introduced. On April 30, 1889, Nashville became one of the earliest cities served by electric street railways, developing a 70-mile system by 1915. In addition to its advanced streetcar system, Nashville was also served by two interurban railway systems. Over time, improved roads and affordable cars caused ridership on public transportation to drop rapidly. By February 1941, buses had replaced the last of the city's aging streetcars. The traction era had come to an end.

The Progressive Era, 1893-1914

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Author: John D. Buenker

Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society

ISBN: 0870206311

Category: History

Page: 756

View: 3625

Published in Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial year, this fourth volume in The History of Wisconsin series covers the twenty tumultuous years between the World's Columbian Exposition and the First World War when Wisconsin essentially reinvented itself, becoming the nation's "laboratory of democracy." The period known as the Progressive Era began to emerge in the mid-1890s. A sense of crisis and a widespread clamor for reform arose in reaction to rapid changes in population, technology, work, and society. Wisconsinites responded with action: their advocacy of women's suffrage, labor rights and protections, educational reform, increased social services, and more responsive government led to a veritable flood of reform legislation that established Wisconsin as the most progressive state in the union. As governor and U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., was the most celebrated of the Progressives, but he was surrounded by a host of pragmatic idealists from politics, government, and the state university. Although the Progressives frequently disagreed over priorities and tactics, their values and core beliefs coalesced around broad-based participatory democracy, the application of scientific expertise to governance, and an active concern for the welfare of all members of society-what came to be known as "the Wisconsin Idea."

Ohio's Railway Age in Postcards

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Author: H. Roger Grant

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 203

View: 7576

When America's love affair with trains met its craze for the picture postcard, a new version of commercial illustration was born. And nowhere was this more true than in the heartland of the country, in a state where corridors of steel rails brought together large urban centers, small towns, and farms that fed the nation. From unpublished collections of quality railroad picture postcards, including rare "real-photo" cards, H. Roger Grant has selected more than 150 black-and-white views of the railway age in Ohio. These scenes of steam trains and electric interurban lines, of railroad workers and depots and travelers, focus on the period 1900 to 1915, when Ohio railroading was in its heyday and the great American postcard passion was at its height. In his informative and fascinating introduction, H. Roger Grant tells the story of Ohio's relations with the railroad from the 1830s to the present and traces the popularity of the picture postcard, particularly those that still charmingly evoke the images of an era long past.

Plano and the Interurban Railway

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Author: N.A

Publisher: Arcadia Publishing

ISBN: 9780738571362

Category: History

Page: 127

View: 2773

Over a century ago, an industrial America was awakening, and a new transportation technology arrived on the north Texas prairie: electric interurbans. Planos Interurban Railway depot was dedicated in July 1908, and electric interurban rail travel began with the creation of the Texas Traction Company. In 1917, three separate systems were connected by a single entrepreneur, J. F. Strickland. Throughout the 1920s, the Texas Electric Railway traveled in and out of Plano carrying riders, mail, and freight. The system was built to travel on existing streetcar tracks and often ran over private rights-of-way between cities. To promote interurban travel, the company created unique cars and special classes of service to appeal to every need. In the postWorld War II era, however, the popularity of automobiles ended the important era of electric interurban travel.