The story of electric railroads in Indiana is an extraordinarily complicated story to tell. In Electric Railroads of Indiana, Marlette says,
- The first recorded attempt at electrification in Indiana was that of the South Bend Street Railway in 1882.
- In the fall of 1885, Van Depoele built his first road operating several independent cars at South Bend. The two and a half mile line, using four small cars each with a five horsepower motor and one large car with a ten horsepower motor, began operation November 14 1885, and was a distinct success." He goes on to say that management soon reverted back to mule power, and names the next operation as that of Lafayette in August 1888.
- The Marion Electric Street Railway Company was the first interurban (defined by E.D. Durand as "a railway having less than half its track within municipal limits") and came about in 1889.
Marlette's book continues for 213 pages. Including nearly 100 pages of snapshot chronologies of all the street railway, interurban, and other electric railroad operation in the state of Indiana. It is a very complicated story, so I apologize in advance for getting captions out of kilter.
The Indiana Railroad was in effect the last great hope of electric railroads in Indiana. In 1930, it began to combine the still running operations from Union Traction,Indiana Service Corporation, Northern Indiana Power Co, Public Service Company of Indiana (running the previous Interstate Public Service Company), the Terre Haute Indianapolis and Eastern, a short stint running the former Dayton and Western in Ohio, and continued passenger service until the last line stopped in 1941. Freight service in a couple locations continued, and one short segment survived until 1952.
The photos on this page are of the service between 1930 and 1941. Other photos of the predecessor lines to the IRR, and other Indiana interurbans and streetcars are found on the NewDavesRailpix State of Indiana page.
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