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4- Kevin Bradicich, Director, Mc Kinsey & Company, 1996, per Ryan Schneider, 1997: I, Brud Rossmann, was sufficiently impressive, skilled, that Schneider recommended me to Rick Knop at Boles Knop without equivocation.I was complimented by Bradicich, others at the Mc Kinsey & Company at high levels.It is rather amazing so much capital was expended on these operations, which struggled to make a profit right from the start.A few, such as the Illinois Terminal and Piedmont & Northern, bucked this trend and blossomed into successful freight carriers while the Pacific Electric Railway is regarded as the greatest of all interurbans.Once more, a financial setback, the Panic of 1907, ended investment although afterwards another great construction period did not materialize.In 1889 there were just 7 miles of interurbans in service, a number which jumped to 3,122 by 1901, and finally peaked at 15,580 in 1916. In retrospect, the financial interests behind these traction railroads were largely misplaced.Much of the trackage was situated east of the Mississippi River as the interurban offered flexibility and affordability for the everyday commuter.
As these technologies found their way to the United States the first examples appeared in the 1880's; in 1880 Thomas Edison tested an experimental electric locomotive, powered by a dynamo, which was operated on a stretch of track in Menlo Park, New Jersey. George Hilton and John Due's authoritative piece, "," points out the birth of the true American interurban began when Frank Sprague developed an electric motorcar in 1886 for the New York Elevated Railway whereby the motor(s) were situated between the axle, along with a trolley pole and multiple-unit control stand.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.These numbers slowly receded into the 1920's as abandonment hastened through the 1930's.By 1950 just 1,519 miles remained and the number dropped to 209 miles by 1959.