The second group of interurbans consisted of those built primarily after 1910, with improved track and equipment, little side-of-the-road running, and, ultimately, concentration on carload freight traffic.
The interurbans offered several advantages over steam railroads: freedom from cinders; quicker acceleration and, thus, the feasibility of more frequent stops; access to downtown areas; more frequent service (commonly hourly); and less impersonality.
By 1946, only 2,450 miles remained in passenger service (some mileage continued in freight service only - but these were essentially no longer interurbans).
Henry, pioneer developer of Indiana interurbans, was widely quoted: "The fad feature of automobile riding will gradually wear off, and time will soon be here when a very large part of the people will cease to think of automobile rides, and the interurbans will carry their old time allotment of passengers" (Electric Railway Journal, 1916, p.
Basically, the interurbans succeeded for a period because they offered advantages over steam railroad service and provided service to areas not served well by railroads.
Swett, "Los Angeles Railway," Interurbans 11 (1951); 41; and Commercial and Financial Chronicle, Railroad Supplement.
We will join this whole region into one big family." (1) Huntington was able to build interurban lines where and when he wanted, and, in so doing, he determined the spatial layout of the area.
Adding to his largely downtown Los Angeles Railway, Huntington, his syndicate partners, and several other local investors incorporated the interurban Pacific Electric Railway in 1901.
It must anticipate the growth of communities and be there when the builders arrive--or they may very likely never arrive at all, but go to some other section already provided with arteries of traffic." (11) Many of his interurban lines were planned in exactly this manner; they were built ahead of demand.