Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central
Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central
Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central
Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central
Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central

Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central

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Ride the Red Devils along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western Central
Ohio Trolley Trails Through Western and Central Ohio By Henry Christiansen   
420 pictures  19 maps    Timetables  Volume 1 in the Ohio Series   
152 Pages
Soft Cover
Copyright 1971

Ride the Red Devils Along Nostalgic Ohio Trolley Trains Through Western and Central Ohio Vol 1 In The Ohio Series by Harry Christiansen
70,000 words! 420 Pictures! 19 Maps! Timetables Too!
Motorman's Cab 2
1: What Was An Interurban? 3
2: Columbus, Newark & Zanesville6
3: Along The Cn&Z Route 12
4: Cincinnati, Dayton & Toledo 13
5: Dayton & Western Traction 15
6: Fortwayne,Vanwert&Lima20
7: Indiana, Columbus & Eastern23
8: Ic&E Reborn27
9: Ic&E Paths31
10: Great Traction Syndicates 32
11: Ohio Electric Railway34
12: Ohio Electric By Years 38
13: Ohio Electric Family Cars40
14: Columbus, London & Springfield49
15: Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad 52
16: Connections To Oblivion60
17: C&Le Rail Trail62
18: Cars Of The C&Le 66
19: C&Le Equipment Highlights 71
20: Zanesville Trolleys 95
21: Lima Trolleys 101
22: Ohio Traction Company103
23: Southeastern Ohio Railway104
24: Springfield Railway106
25: Defiance Street Railway110
26: Middletown's Mule Transit111
27: The Lima Route 113
28: Western Ohio Railway114
29: Dayton & Troy Electric 121
30: Toledo, Bowling Green & Southern126
31: Toledo, Fostoria & Findlay 132
32: Path Of The Lima Route 137
33: Dayton, Covington & Piqua 140
34: Cincinnati's Ghost Subway 144
35: Miami & Erie Canal Company144
36: Interurban Landmarks 148
Conductor's Platform 148

This book is a sentimental journey along long gone interurban electric rail trails that once wandered across Western Ohio, and rambled into Central Buckeyeland.  It is also a glance at city trolley lines that plodded along the urban streets of early Twentieth Century Ohio.   In beginning this work, the complete lack of information was appalling.
The interurban industry engraved a strange and brief chapter in history. The Trolley Age burst upon the landscape like a fantastic flowering fireworks shower, only to languish and die in a few too brief years.
Huge and gaudy interurban cars whistling their commanding wail along a high speed rural trail, and the familiar workhorse city trolley that stopped at everybody's corner were regarded as an eternal, indestructible element of the contemporary scene.
Historians seldom recorded their trials and tribulations, as they were considered as endurable as the rock of Gibraltar. Nothing seemed more God-endowed with permanence than 40-ton traction cars, deeply embedded in the daily lives of all who saw and used them.
Ohio's 2815 miles of interurban lines was the largest of any state in the union - but the colorful industry was spawned under a dark star. For as the interurban was born, likewise was the gas buggy in tinkerer's back yard garages across the land.
The trolleys broke away in a fast sprint because their steel paths were readily imbedded in the soft earth.   When level roads were scraped hard and carved from primitive rutted mud lanes, the Ford flivvers routed the plodding and slow-trodding horse to well deserved pastures, and drained the interurban and city cars of its vital human need - riders.
And in the sunset of the traction car, less costly and flexible buses moved in to carry an ever-dwindling passenger market along the paved highways.   Many brave trolley tycoons strove to save the trolley. The Cincinnati & Lake Erie, a remnant of a once far-flung traction empire, made a heroic and dramatic last challenge to the Auto Age along the Miami and Maumee Rivers. Here the 85 mile-per-hour Red Devils roared through the Ohio countryside, already surrendered to macadam highways, filling stations, and Burma-Shave signs.
The noble experiment of updating an interurban is the topic of this book, and the valiant efforts of Dr. Thomas Conway Jr. and his ill-fated dream are hereby documented.
He found that no power in the late '30's could stay or soften the human love affair with the automobile. And the C&LE joined the long-gone traction systems where fortunes have evaporated and disintegrated like a puff of exhaust smoke.
I have roamed the interurban trails of Ohio when the lines were falling into disuse with the mortality rate of ten pins in the path of a strike-bound ball.  I recall well the last-day sufferings of seedy stations, shabby seats, and sagging swayback speedsters on snaky, shaky straightaways.
The motormen and conductors cursed the ever-mushrooming auto traffic and counted their years and lifetimes of seniority facing a premature end. Many old experienced trainmen never mastered the art of auto driving, and the vanishing skill of notching and twirling trolley controllers was surely expiring.
All dreaded taking their car back to the barn at run's end, for fear that the inevitable typewritten abandonment notice would be posted conspicuously in crew quarters.
My two previous books, "Lake Shore Electric" and "Northern Ohio's Interurbans and Rapid Transit Lines," convinced me that many persons want to see again and know more about the trolleys that were so vibrant a part of life in another - but still remembered - age.
Many others have seen the telltale interurban mounds along highways, puzzled over old bridge abutments that dot the Ohio countryside, and have yearned to know more about this bygone transit mode.
This book, No. 3 in a series, (the first two are sold out) represents a lifetime study of transportation, and an unending search for lost knowledge that should be preserved as Ohio lore.
Through many years, there have been auto forages and field hikes along yesteryear's traction trails. Countless county histories have been scanned, and public utilities and financial records searched. Newspapers throughout Ohioland have been scanned and queried. Old trainmen with dimming memories have been interviewed and rusting old car bodies languishing in barn yards have given telltale clues as to their origin.
Along the span of years many old photographs have been purchased from countless sources. Others have been borrowed. You will scan old post card views here, and in numerous instances they represent the only record of the scene as it existed in its native panorama in the long ago and far away easy-going Main Street of yesteryear.
I am writing this volume - first of a series that will eventually cover all of Ohio. Next will be an exhaustive work on Ohio.  The author is not trying to publish high priced or artistic books. I am trying to cover a romantic and fascinating period in Ohio history, and to include as much data as possible -rather than condense or eliminate for the sake of fancy layouts and large blowups.
You'll find that this book strives to include the important and distinct car types that rattled along the various lines, contemporary and rare scenes in Buckeye Country, and accurate maps and diagrams. We are trying to portray the times of the trolleys accurately and clearly. The all-out compilation of exacting Ohio trolley history, facts, and photo records is a job never before attempted.
End of this page means that it is time to push the controller ahead a notch. So please turn the page, and let's roll onto the main line along the Buckeye State's long erased trolley trails.
All pictures are of the actual item.  There may be reflection from the lights in some photos.   We try to take photos of any damage.    If this is a railroad item, this material is obsolete and no longer in use by the railroad.  Please email with questions. Publishers of Train Shed Cyclopedias and Stephans Railroad Directories. Large inventory of railroad books and magazines. Thank you for buying from us.

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