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transportation in the 20's


Guest Randy Berger
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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Springield, Ill. sometime in the 20's. See attach </div></div>

Neat picture, Randy! I would place the time frame at circa 1930-33, however, given the more rounded, smoother lines of the cars.

It's very interesting to see the smaller, single-truck Birney Safety Car streetcars too! I'd have thought Springfield was large enough for their street railway system to have had larger streetcars--the single truck units tending to be popular mostly with smaller cities, such as Lafayette IN, where I live.

Springfield, IIRC, was well-served by intercity transportation as well. By this time, the newly established US-66 was surely bringing automobile and truck traffic into town, both from St. Louis, as well as down from Chicago. The Illinois Central Railroad, and to an even greater extent, the Illinois Traction System (the world's largest and most extensive interurban railway) had to have been feeling both the pinch of the Great Depression, along with the coming of decent paved highways, both drawing freight and passengers from railroads by then.

As a little boy, I was taken to Springfield on a couple of occasions, where my foster sister's husband worked his summers, while studying for his Bachelors and Master's degrees at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana--I still remember the large number of older cars on the streets there. One of those trips was along US-136 (or was it US-36?) from Danville to Champaign, then Monticello, Decatur and on to Springfield, by the Illinois Traction System, rocking along in that big orange interurban car, passing every car on the highway paralleling the tracks, only to see them pass us as the car stopped at rural stop after rural stop after rural stop, then re-passing the same cars once again (this would have been about 1949 or so).

Thanks for the memories!

Art Anderson

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