Albion Interactive History / Interurban

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Transportation

Interurban
 
    

The Michigan Electric Railway company’s lines reached Albion in 1899, and forthe next 31 years at least hourly passenger service was provided between thiscity and Jackson and Battle Creek. On November 30, 1928, however, passengerservice was discontinued and on June 1 of the following year freight service wasdiscontinued. Early in 1930 the rails were torn up, removing all possibility ofinterurban service in this area in the future. The interurban lines resulted inthe establishment of a car shop at the western city limits of Albion on theU.S. 12 highway, but since the abandonment of the line the once bus plant hasbeen lying practically idle. A large trestle was erected by the interurban company in 1903, crossing theKalamazoo River, the Michigan Centralrailroad, and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad tracks. The trestle was demolished in February, 1941, ten years after the interurban folded.



The electric interurban came to Albion in 1903 and served the community for nearly three decades until passenger service ended on November 30, 1928, and freight service was discontinued on June 1, 1930. The interurban provided a convenient way to travel to nearby communities before the rise of the use of the automobile. Locally, the tracks ran down the center of E. Erie, S. Superior, and W. Cass Streets and Austin Avenue. The cars were powered by overhead electric lines in the city, and by a dangerous live “third rail” in the country which often electrocuted stray cattle and other animals. Pictured above is a special executive car in front of the interurban depot on E. Erie St. This 1920’s photo shows the Consumers Power Company powerhouse on the left.


Just west of Albion on the northwest corner of Austin avenue and Hall’s Lake (now 27 Mile) or Car Barn Road, stood the interurban repair barns, known as “Taylorville,” named after the superintendent, Robert Taylor. The repair shops employed about 300 men, and specialized in maintaining the interurban cars in such areas as carpentry, electricity, machinery, painting, and upholstery. The building pictured above served as the headquarters for the facility.


A large trestle was erected by the interurban company in 1903, crossing the Kalamazoo River, the Michigan Central railroad, and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad tracks. Pictured above is the view of the trestle looking east from N. Albion St.


Below is a 1903 photograph showing the construction of the trestle, using a steam locomotive. The trestle was demolished in February, 1941, ten years after the interurban folded.

Source: Isaac Kremer, December 2003

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