The Electric Interurban Railways in America

The Electric Interurban Railways in America

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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 qA 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.q a€”Trains qFew economic, social, and business historians can afford to miss this definitive study.q a€”Mississippi Valley Historical Review qAll 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.q a€”Harper's Magazine qA fascinating and instructive chapter in the history of American transportation.q a€”Journal of Economic History qThe 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.q a€”The NationIn sleet storms arcing was so severe that circuit breakers frequently kicked out. ... On the West Penn, signaling was done with ordinary 40-watt frosted light bulbs attached to the line poles on either side of ... Interurban lines could install contact signals on single track for about $550 per mile, about half the cost of railroad- styleanbsp;...

Title:The Electric Interurban Railways in America
Author: George W. Hilton, John Fitzgerald Due
Publisher:Stanford University Press - 2000-01-01

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