Interurban Railroads

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Interurban Car for Rural Children Attending Elyria Schools.jpg
A group of boys and girls from Lorain County, Ohio posed outside the Cleveland & Southwestern inter-urban car that they road to school in Elyria, Ohio, ca. 1907.

Interurban railroads were electrically-powered trains that connected communities together.

During the late nineteenth century, some Ohio business owners and communities began to build interurban railroads. The lines usually extended only a few miles between nearby towns. The interurbans provided a quick and cheap alternative to regular railroads, canals, or horses. While the interurban railroads primarily transported people from one location to another, they also carried farmers' crops and business owners' products.

The first interurban line in the United States connected Newark and Granville, Ohio. The most profitable and heavily utilized line in Ohio was the ABC (Akron, Bedford, and Cleveland) Line. Construction was completed on this interurban in 1895. By World War I, 2,798 miles of track existed within Ohio. Ohio's mileage exceeded the next closest state by approximately one thousand miles. Unfortunately for interurban companies, the advent of the automobile quickly caused these types of railroads to become unpopular among travelers. By the early 1930s, most interurban lines in Ohio had ceased operation.

See Also