Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History > Transportation

Interurban
 
    

The Michigan Electric Railway company's lines reached Albion in 1899, and for the next 31 years at least hourly passenger service was provided between this city and Jackson and Battle Creek. On November 30, 1928, however, passenger service was discontinued and on June 1 of the following year freight service was discontinued. Early in 1930 the rails were torn up, removing all possibility of interurban service in this area in the future. The interurban lines resulted in the establishment of a car shop at the western city limits of Albion on the U.S. 12 highway, but since the abandonment of the line the once bus plant has been lying practically idle. 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. 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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