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For power, most interurbans used overhead catenary (energized electric lines attached to line-side poles), usually rated at around 600 volts.
What became the classic interurban all began in the 1870's with two key developments; in 1870 Zenobe Gramme unveiled a generator for commercial use while Werner von Siemens showcased the world's first electric locomotive at an exhibition in Berlin, Germany during 1879.
Much of the trackage was situated east of the Mississippi River as the interurban offered flexibility and affordability for the everyday commuter.
It is rather amazing so much capital was expended on these operations, which struggled to make a profit right from the start.
In 1889 there were just 7 miles of interurbans in service, a number which jumped to 3,122 by 1901, and finally peaked at 15,580 in 1916.
These numbers slowly receded into the 1920's as abandonment hastened through the 1930's.
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Add Yeah Jam Fury: U, Me, Everybody to your Steam wishlist and send a screenshot to yeahjamfury [email protected] a chance to win a copy of the game! As these technologies found their way to the United States the first examples appeared in the 1880's; in 1880 Thomas Edison tested an experimental electric locomotive, powered by a dynamo, which was operated on a stretch of track in Menlo Park, New Jersey. George Hilton and John Due's authoritative piece, "," points out the birth of the true American interurban began when Frank Sprague developed an electric motorcar in 1886 for the New York Elevated Railway whereby the motor(s) were situated between the axle, along with a trolley pole and multiple-unit control stand.This gave way to the typical streetcar which became such a common sight throughout America.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).There were three great periods of interurban development; the first occurred during the 1890's and then reached a great flurry of construction between 19 when more than 5,000 miles were laid down.By 1950 just 1,519 miles remained and the number dropped to 209 miles by 1959.