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" Walla Walla Valley Railway: Handling Agriculture Near Walla Walla, Washington Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern Railway Service Across East-Central Iowa Yakima Valley Transportation: Serving Central-Washington's Agriculture Industry Barney & Smith Car Company Cincinnati Car Company G. Short conceived another important development, the contact "shoe." By the time main line electrified systems were introduced in 1895, when the Baltimore & Ohio energized 4 miles of its Baltimore trackage (including the 1.4-mile Howard Street Tunnel), the technology was quite advanced (according to the railroad's "Official List No.29" issued January 1, 1948 the entire Belt Line ran from Milepost 90.7 at Bay View, Maryland to Milepost 97.9 at Hamburg Street, Baltimore).These numbers slowly receded into the 1920's as abandonment hastened through the 1930's.By 1950 just 1,519 miles remained and the number dropped to 209 miles by 1959.I'm not one to sit around much, I enjoy spending time with my friends, I absolutely love my job as an office manager for a physical/occupational therapy group.Interurbans, and their suburban counterparts (the streetcar), were once common throughout the country. The mania began during the late 19th century and spilled over into the early 1900's as thousands of miles were laid down from New England to California.
It opened on February 2, 1888 and proved successful. Louis Car Company Birneys Electroliners Presidents’ Conference Committee Streetcars, PCCs Another important developer was Sidney Howe Short who invented a double-reduction, gearless motor and also learned that overhead catenary was the best means for electrical pickup.As interubans expanded they did indeed initially prove popular offering quick service, multiple schedules daily (the large Illinois Traction system, for instance, was dispatching 106 trains out of Springfield, Illinois everyday by 1906), and with fares only a few cents each way.Depending upon cost an interurban's route either followed its own dedicated right-of-way or, with permission from the state/county, could be laid right next to a rural road.Most were out of the business by World War II and only one still operates today, the Iowa Traction Railway (others have shed their "interurban" status and now operate as short line freight carriers).
Ironically, the commuter services inteurbans provided are actually making a comeback as LRT (light rail transit) systems as cities look for alternatives to increasingly crowded highways.
In retrospect, the financial interests behind these traction railroads were largely misplaced.