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The Illinois Terminal Railroad: The Road of Personalized Services

Dale Jenkins

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ISBN 10: 1932804005 / ISBN 13: 9781932804003
Published by White River Productions, 2005
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Arizona Hobbies (Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.)

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The Illinois Terminal Railroad that vanished into the Norfolk & Western in 1982 was a markedly different creature than it was as an infant some 75 years earlier. With its arch-windowed electric cars flashing through the fertile central Illinois countryside or trundling through city streets past humming substations, the Illinois Traction System was the epitome of classic interurban carriers in a short-lived epoch of American transportation. Electric interurban and streetcar railways helped civilize the nation's cities while bridging the gap between the horse-and-buggy era and the automobile age. A number of small upstart railway companies eventually grew into the far-flung Illinois Traction System. In the early days Midwesterners were served by ITS passenger and freight operations at a time when interurbans were simply a way of life that most people assumed would never end. Interurbans came and went with alarming frequency in the early part of the 20th Century. Insufficient capital, competition from parallel steam railroads, the coming of the automobile age, and the Great Depression together or separately proved to be formidable foes for most interurban lines. But the strong survived. Radical change beginning at the end of the 'Roaring Twenties' propelled the largest of all interurbans, 'The Traction,' into the ranks of big-time railroading. World War II and the years immediately after were merciless on American railroads, especially with changes in U.S. transportation policies. Cast aside by America's new focus on highway and air transport, the railroads were forced to make radical transformations-or succumb to 'progress.' The IT entered this period still very much an interurban, relying largely on electric power to transport freight and passengers, but it left as an all-diesel, freight-only company. Beginning in 1956, the railroad found itself in a completely new venue-a unique one, in some respects, compared to other rail carriers, since the IT was now a ward of a contingent of 'steam' railroads. The end of the story revolves around the tenacity of the railroad and its leaders, and it holds still more lessons in how a company adapted-and did so quickly-to survive in an increasingly ruthless, obstacle-ridden corporate world. Yet the Illinois Terminal remained an immensely fascinating operation, right up to the end. This book is a complete history of the Illinois Terminal, from the turn of the 20th Century to the railroad's demise in 1981. Electric, Steam, and Diesel eras are all covered, complete with rosters, maps, and drawings. Contents: Section 1: The Interurban Era The McKinley Years, pp. 9-30; The Building of an Empire, pp. 31-54; Passengers, 1901-1927, pp. 55-76; Freight, 1901-1927, pp. 77-89; Section 2: The Expansion Era The Steam Lines, pp. 90-100; The St. Louis & Alton, pp. 101-108; Passengers 1928-1945, pp. 109-120; Freight, 1928-1945, pp. 121-139; Section 3: The Transition Era: From Interurban to Freight Only The Diesels Arrive, pp. 141-184; The Streamlined Era, pp. 185-216; Radical Transformation, pp. 217-251; Section 4: The Diesel Era New Direction, pp. 252-268; The Wilson Years, pp. 269-284; Countdown to Norfolk & Western, pp. 285-311; Appendix: Equipment Rosters, pp. 312-324; Index, pp. 325-327; Maps Index, pg. 328. White River Productions, hardcover with jacket, 328 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 2 in., B&W and Color photographs (140 in full color), maps, rosters, track diagrams, advertising reproductions, printed on heavy enameled paper. Bookseller Inventory # wrp003

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Illinois Terminal Railroad: The Road of ...

Publisher: White River Productions

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title


Cloth with dust jacket. 330 pages of electric and diesel locomotives, route pictures, maps, history."

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