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The Story of the Chicago-New York Electric Air Line Railroad and Its Transformation into Gary Railways
By Dr. Thomas R. Bullard and Mr. William M. Shaptotkin
CERA Bulletin 137
In 1905, a group of railroad promoters unveiled a daring proposal to build an arrow-straight or “air line” railroad between America's two largest cities. The promoters of the Chicago-New York Electric Air Line railroad confidently proclaimed that their trains would be able to cross the 743 miles in only 10 hours, making them Faster Than The Limiteds.
Little more than a decade later the promotion had collapsed, leaving investors with a network of largely unprofitable interurban trolley lines clustered between Gary and LaPorte, Indiana. Was the whole promotion a hoax? Or were the promoters simply too inexperienced or naive? That is left to the reader to decide.
But there was one particularly notable success story: Out of the Air Line's ashes rose one Indiana's largest and most successful street railway systems--Gary Railways. The full story of Gary Railways and the role it played in the growth of its namesake steel-making center are well documented in this extensively illustrated release from CERA. 280 pages, 332 photos