Lake, try Dayton and the electric trolley bus system...
I stopped there too. Coming soon to an elements of urbanism thread near you.....
It will be interesting to compare the ridership data on the trolley lines as opposed to diesel routes. My money is on the trolley system. I'm looking forward to this article Lake, Thanks!
Now About Columbus, Cincinnati, Ohio and Indiana in general...
In case any of the Jurassic minded planners in Jacksonville wonder why our downtown doesn't look like some of these midwest cities, take a look at their Interurban map. Those that don't know what an interurban is/was think streetcar line that out grew it's city and spread across a region. Often with high speed (90+ mph) 'trains' which doubled as school bus, milk truck, mail delivery and news paper service as well as a deluxe passenger accommodation. Jacksonville was in the center of no less then a half dozen 'Interurban' plans, none of which ever happened... Maybe THAT is what they designed those streets in Avondale for??
Depot's day, 80 years later
Siblings recall Canal Winchester rail stop as it gets historical marker
By Elizabeth Gibson
The Columbus Dispatch Saturday May 22, 2010 8:14 AM
Bill Boving, 87, and his sister, Dorothy Boving Hockman, 89, were among the last passengers on Scioto Valley Traction Line, which they rode from the Canal Winchester depot to Lancaster. They stand outside the restored depot beside a photo taken that day in 1930 in Lancaster.
Eighty years ago, George and Dorothy Boving came home from school and were told by their father to go straight to the depot.
"We didn't hesitate to do what our dad told us to do," Mr. Boving said yesterday. "We really just sat there on the train, but I think our dad kind of realized it was historic."
What their father realized - and they didn't - was that it was the last ride on the Scioto Valley Traction Line for the interurban, an electric passenger railroad that was the light-rail system of its time.
The seats were comfortable and the carriage wasn't noisy, Mr. Boving said.
Waiting at the end of the line in Lancaster was their mother and baby brother, and several hundred people who then saw off the car as it headed back toward Columbus.
They stepped off the train and posed with other passengers for a photo.
Yesterday, an enlarged copy of that picture was on display at the dedication of a historic marker at the Canal Winchester Interurban Depot.
In it, Dorothy, 10, is looking off to the side, holding 8-year-old George's hand.
Mr. Boving, now 87, and his sister, Dorothy Boving Hockman, 89, attended the ceremony at the depot in Canal Winchester.
Mr. Boving even donned a white cap, shorts and high socks similar to those he's wearing in the photo as a child.
The station opened in 1904, but the rise of the automobile eventually drove the interurban into obsolescence, rail historian Alex Campbell said.
When the last car traveled in 1930, Columbus' population, now more than 1 million people in the metropolitan area, had grown to a whopping 290,564 people.
The interurban, with cars that could top 60 mph, brought Columbus closer to outlying farm towns, Campbell said.
The Scioto track started Downtown, wound through German Village and out to Obetz. There, it spilt into two lines, with one bound for Lancaster and the other for Chillicothe.
Hockman said she remembers riding it to a little red schoolhouse every day in the first grade.
One rainy morning, she showed up at the station and the tall girl who normally pulled the handle to signal the car to stop for them wasn't there. She couldn't reach high enough, and the interurban passed by. Just as she began to cry, the train stopped and backed up.
Another girl had told the conductor that he had to go back for Dorothy.
When the interurban stopped running, the old Canal Winchester depot, behind 20 S. High St., was transformed into offices for a power company.
But the village bought the building in 2002, deciding to restore the depot to its original gray brick with a red tile roof and bright-white trim. Canal Winchester has spent $123,000 on the project, although some of that has come from donations and grants, Mayor Michael Ebert said.
"It's our intention to bring back some of the feel of a day gone by," he said.
Columbus Interurban Electric Railway Terminal, with streetcar tracks in the foreground, circa 1906. In spite of my Great Uncle Goodrich toying with vulcanization of rubber for automobiles, it's apparent that the curvilinear streets of Columbus weren't designed for the automobile either!
Columbus Interurbans - 1895-1939
Columbus was a hub of interurban travel in the early twentieth century. A line to Westerville, built in 1895 was the first Columbus interurban. Eight others soon followed. Most of the lines were gone by the early 1930's with only the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad lasting until 1939. The various companies were constantly going through reorganization, purchase, merger and name change. The list of the nine original companies, that served Columbus, is found here with the barest of histories to get a start in the Columbus' interurban story.
Ohio had more interurban mileage than any other state in the union except perhaps California.
The Big Players
Columbus London & Springfield Railway- 1902-1939, Standard Gauge, 44 miles from Columbus to London, West Jefferson, and Springfield. This line would be purchased several times evolving into the Indiana Columbus and Eastern Traction Company (1906), the Ohio Electric (1907), the IC&ET again (1918) and finally the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad 1929-1939.
Columbus Buckeye Lake and Newark Traction Co.- 1902-1929, Standard Gauge, 34 miles from Columbus to Reynoldsburg, Kirkersville, Hebron and Newark with a branch from Hebron to Buckeye Lake. In 1904 the Columbus, Newark & Zanesville was built from Newark-Zanesville, 30 miles. It acquired the CBL&N in 1906. It became part of the Ohio Electric in 1907 and back to CN&Z ownership in 1918.
Columbus Delaware & Marion Railway- 1903-1933, Standard Gauge, 50 miles long from Columbus to Worthington, Flint, Lewis Center, Stratford, Delaware, Radnor, Prospect, Owens, Marion and through its subsidiary Bucyrus.
Scioto Valley Traction Company- 1904-1930, Standard Gauge - third rail, 47 miles long from Columbus to Valley Crossing, Obetz Junction, Lockbourne, Circleville, and Chillicothe with a 24 mile branch from Obetz Junction to Groveport, Canal Winchester, and Lancaster.
The Small Players:
Columbus Grove City and Southwestern- 1898-1922, Standard Gauge, 15 miles from Columbus to Grove City and Orient. The line would become part of the Indiana Columbus and Eastern Traction Company (1906), the Ohio Electric(1907), the IC&ET again (1918).
Columbus Urbana & Western Railway- 1903-1925, Standard Gauge, 9 miles long from Columbus to Fishinger's Bridge.
Lines Purchased by the Columbus Streetcar Company
Columbus Central Street Railway- 1895-1900 [estimated] when the line was sold to the Columbus Railway & Light Co. Wide gauge (5' 2"), about 11 miles long from Columbus to Minerva Park and Westerville. Service to Westerville was discontinued in 1929.
Columbus New Albany and Johnstown Traction Company- 1901-1923 when it was sold to the Columbus Railway Power & Light Co. Wide gage (5' 2"), 6 miles long from Columbus to Sheppards, Ralston Steel Car Co. and Gahanna. Service to Gahanna was discontinued 1928.
A Privately Owned Line
Ohio & Southern Traction Company- 1907-1929, Standard Gauge, 6.8 miles from Columbus to the Hartman Stock Farm and Shadeville. Privately owned by Dr. Samuel B. Hartman.