Title

INTERURBAN ELECTRIC RAILWAY: A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

planning - history, place - urban, mode - rail

Keywords

Rail transit, Intercity travel, History, Future, Electric railroads, Abandonment

Abstract

The interurban electric railway played an important role in linking communities in the early 20th century. A long-term decline in the following years reflected the growing number of motor vehicles operating over improved intercity highways. Despite a brief respite during World War II, the decline continued. By about 1965, the interurban electric railway had virtually vanished from the American scene. But then in the last quarter of the century, new rail transit lines emerged that often embodied many aspects of the interurban. The rise, fall, and rebirth of the interurban electric railway are traced from the perspectives of 1925, 1950, 1975, and 2000.