THE TROLLEY STOP
High Speed Interurban or Inter-city Trolleys Connect Many Major U.S. and Canadian Cities
Interurban Trolley Lines Spread Across North AmericaIt wasn't long after the city or urban street railways were electrified, that companies were formed to provide frequent, inexpensive, high speed trolley service between cities, all over the United States and many parts of Canada. These larger, and much faster inter-city trolleys, were called interurbans.
IMAGE-CLICK HERE >>>Early 20th century interurban train which was operated by the Coeur D'Alene & Spokane Railway in the State of Washington. (Postcard from the collection of Rick Russell)
Interurban Trolleys Have Many Advantages Over Steam Railroads
In the late 1800's and early 1900's, the interurban trolley lines spread very rapidly, competing against the steam railroads for inter-city passengers in many areas of North America. The interurbans had several advantages over the steam railroads.
IMAGE-CLICK HERE >>>Interurban trolleys of the Ohio Electric Railway, meet at the interurban station, on West Market Street, in downtown Lima, Ohio. (Postcard from the collection of Rick Russell)
At one time, Indianapolis, Indiana had the world's largest interurban terminal. It was located right in the downtown area.
IMAGE-CLICK HERE >>>Opened in 1904, the great "Traction Terminal" in Indianapolis, Indiana, grew to become the largest interurban railway terminal in the world. In its heyday, this terminal hosted some 7 million passengers a year, and 500 interurban trains a day, from all over the state of Indiana, and as far away as, Louisville, Kentucky. (Postcard from the collection of Rick Russell).
Interurban Trolley Lines Also Provided Freight Service
Many interurban trolley lines supplemented their income from passenger service, by providing car load (CL), and less than car load (LCL) freight and package delivery services. Many merchants and manufacturing companies, depended on the fast, frequent service provided by the interurban trolley lines, to deliver their goods to customers in the cities, towns and rural areas, they served.
IMAGE-CLICK HERE >>>Indiana Railroad trolley freight motor (used to carry LCL freight and packages), hauling a box car (for car load freight) into the freight station in Muncie, Indiana. (Photo from the collection of Rick Russell)
In the 1930's Some Interurbans Upgraded Equipment to Attract Passengers
In order to compete against the automobile and buses, some interurban trolley lines made an attempt to stay in business, by purchasing modern, lightweight, more economical, high speed equipment.
IMAGE-CLICK HERE >>>Lehigh Valley Transit Company #1030, formerly Indiana Railroad Company #55, shown arriving at "Arundel Station" at the Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, Maine. (Photo by Rick Russell)
Click on "RAPID TRANSIT RD." here to Continue your ride through the history of the trolley era.
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Last modified: December 19, 1998