Arkansas Valley Interurban Interurbans Special 19 By MD Doc Isley Soft cover
Arkansas Valley Interurban Interurbans Special 19 By MD Doc Isley Soft cover

Arkansas Valley Interurban Interurbans Special 19 By MD Doc Isley Soft cover

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Arkansas Valley Interurban Interurbans Special 19 By MD Doc Isley Soft cover
Arkansas Valley Interurban Interurbans Special 19 By M D Isely Soft Cover  Revised edition 1977   67 Pages
A train and an interurban raced, on parallel tracks, across the Illinois countryside. The train maintained a steady pace, while the car feel behind at each passenger stop. But, as the train passenger, looking out the window, was about to dismiss the car from his mind, the relentless torque of trolley fed, series wound motors, applied to a sure-footed all wheel drive, would send the car charging ahead, only to be overtaken again at the next crossroads.
The city fell behind; hamlets were less frequent. The train increased its pace --but not enough. Freed of numerous stops, the interurban pulled ahead; and disappeared in the distance.
This display of speed and acceleration was not lost upon Warren G. Brown, a young Kansas banker aboard the train. It was 1910 and steel rails were vital to the nation; but rail service was not without fault. A great need was for a better local train. The steam-powered local usually left the city in the morning and returned in the afternoon. The traveler took part of the first day to go to town, the second day to transact his business, and much of the third to return home. Two hotel bills were an extravagance, his clothes were filthy with coal soot, the neighbors had to milk the cows and it was darned inconvenient!
Contrary to a widely-held belief, the railroads were not running their trains that way to offend the public. At the end of its run a locomotive needs the services of a roundhouse staff. Before it can start steam must be raised. It can only operate out of central division points and, with four or more men to a crew, it takes a long, infrequent train, well-filled with passengers, to pay its way.
The interurban car could spend the night, unattended, anywhere on the line and, next morning, after ninety seconds to pump up air, it was off and away; powered by clean, unobtrusive electricity. Mr. Brown had seen an interurban which made its local stops and exceeded the speed of a mainline train had been approached to invest in a line to serve the Wichita, Kansas, area and it looked like a very sound investment.
Forty-four years later he said, "The Arkansas Valley Interurban was the saddest chapter in my life."
The interurban, which once held such promise, was a sad chapter in many lives. Fortunes were lost, employment was terminated and a way of life withered away.

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