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" Walla Walla Valley Railway: Handling Agriculture Near Walla Walla, Washington Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern Railway Service Across East-Central Iowa Yakima Valley Transportation: Serving Central-Washington's Agriculture Industry Barney & Smith Car Company Cincinnati Car Company G. Short conceived another important development, the contact "shoe." By the time main line electrified systems were introduced in 1895, when the Baltimore & Ohio energized 4 miles of its Baltimore trackage (including the 1.4-mile Howard Street Tunnel), the technology was quite advanced (according to the railroad's "Official List No.29" issued January 1, 1948 the entire Belt Line ran from Milepost 90.7 at Bay View, Maryland to Milepost 97.9 at Hamburg Street, Baltimore).Most were out of the business by World War II and only one still operates today, the Iowa Traction Railway (others have shed their "interurban" status and now operate as short line freight carriers).Ironically, the commuter services inteurbans provided are actually making a comeback as LRT (light rail transit) systems as cities look for alternatives to increasingly crowded highways.There were three great periods of interurban development; the first occurred during the 1890's and then reached a great flurry of construction between 19 when more than 5,000 miles were laid down.The Panic of 1903 ended this fervor but it reignited again between 19 when another 4,000 miles were built.
To produce the needed power either substations were built or it was purchased directly from energy companies.
The latter alternative was cheaper but the resulting grades and curves were less than ideal, a problem only compounded when freight movements were involved.