Exploring the History of Rails in the US: Roads, Rails, & Rides
In this latest episode of Roads, Rails, & Rides host Jeb Morris sits down with Jessica Woods, Museum Manager of the Interurban Railway Museum. While most of this show’s content is directed towards the newest innovation driving advances in the transportation industry, it is important to understand the history of how we have gotten to where we are now.
The Interurban Railway was a network of several smaller rail passenger companies in the North Texas area. The earliest beginnings date back to 1901, and in 1917 they all came together and formed the Texas Electric Railway. The Texas Electric Railway survived until 1948 before being eliminated by the affordability of the automobile.
Today, the Interurban Railway museum is located in the original downtown Plano, TX station, and operates under the direction of the Plano Conservancy. The mission of the museum is to provide educational opportunities dedicated to teaching and exchanging ideas about the history of the Texas Electric Railway in ways that are factual, fun, and engaging to their audiences. The museum also operates an internship program for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing history and museum studies related degrees.
The first half of the twentieth century was dominated by rail travel throughout the United States and in other industrialized nations. It is important to understand that history, especially as we look toward new efforts like the Texas Central. A high-speed passenger train made possible by new advances in rail travel, with humble beginnings like that of the Interurban Railway.
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