Author Topic: Lafayette Street Car System  (Read 3568 times)

wolfeden

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Lafayette Street Car System
« on: August 30, 2008, 11:16:08 PM »
 ;D  Hi Everybody

 Saw an article today that stated Lafayette was the first city in Indiana to have a fully functional street car system on this date back in 1888.
 
 If I can copy that article , I'll get it on here.


 Fell free to jump in here folks, this is the first I remember learning of that.

 Take Care and happy Labor Day!

 Jim Wolfe
 Medaryville

Polo

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Re: Lafayette Street Car System
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 07:55:01 PM »
Could you define fully functional. Do you mean fully electrified or just mule cars?

wolfeden

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Re: Lafayette Street Car System
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2008, 10:00:51 PM »
 
 Well , I never did get back to finding that article. I think it must have been in the Lafayette paper. Here is the link to more information.

 http://www.centerforhistory.org/indiana_history_main4.html


 Electric Railways
Lafayette was the first city in Indiana to have a completely electrified street railway system that was completed in 1888.
However, South Bend had experimented with an electric street car in 1882, but there was insufficient electric current to move it more than a few feet.  Three years later South Bend engineer, Charles Van Depoele, had a car running a couple of miles, but the line reverted to mule power when electric power and equipment proved too expensive.
By 1893, there were 173 miles of electric cars operating throughout Indiana towns and there were still 92 miles of horse and mule car lines.
Charles L. Henry, owner of the Anderson mule line, invented the name "interurban" for electric railways operating between towns and cities.  Henry's Union Traction Company ran the first interurban, between Anderson and Alexandria, Indiana, on January 1, 1898.  Henry's electric passenger rail car was the first designed strictly for interurban use.  By 1898 many cities through Indiana had electric street railways that replaced their old mule cars--Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago, Madison, Washington, Marion, Anderson, New Albany and Brazil among them.
 

Take Care
Jim Wolfe
Medaryville

Eric G

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Re: Lafayette Street Car System
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 02:07:06 PM »
As I remeber looking at old photos this wasn't a overhead wire system.  There are still remnants of this system around town but only a couple. Along 25 heading towards 65 between the highway itself and the NS main there are two sets of bridge embankments my parents have told me in the past these held the old interurban.

-Eric

jobusch

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Re: Lafayette Street Car System
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 12:23:31 PM »
Might want to find a copy of Electronic Railway Historical Society Bulletin #32 "The Lafayette Street Railway" by David W. Chambers (1958).  The Lafayette Street Railway started out as a mule line in the late 1860's and the first trial run with an electric car was made on 30 August 1888 (following enabling an ordinance by the city of Lafayette on 10 April of that year).  At it's height, service extended past the State Soldiers' Home (through Happy Hollow Park), traffic being encouraged by the street railway's development of an amusement park (Tecumseh Trail Park) on out to Battle Ground.  There was a connection between the street railway on State Street and the spur to deliver coal to the Purdue University power plant (that started on the NKP-NYC tracks).  This interconnection allowed the EE department access to the interurban network for their test car.  The last streetcar operation was on 11 May 1940.