The Lake Shore Electric Railway Story

The Lake Shore Electric Railway Story

Jr.Herbert H. Harwood and Robert S. Korach
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/14/2015
Format: Paperback 275 b&w photos, 15 figures, 12 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01766-6
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From 1901 to 1938 the Lake Shore Electric claimed to be—and was considered by many—"The Greatest Electric Railway in the United States." It followed the shore of Lake Erie, connecting Cleveland and Toledo with a high-speed, limited-stop service and pioneered a form of intermodal transportation three decades before the rest of the industry. To millions of people the bright orange electric cars were an economical and comfortable means of escaping the urban mills and shops or the humdrum of rural life. In summers during the glory years there were never enough cars to handle the crowds. After reaching its peak in the early 1920s, however, the Lake Shore Electric suffered the fate of most of its sister lines: it was now competing with automobiles, trucks, and buses and could not rival them in convenience. The Lake Shore Electric Railway Story tells the story of this fascinating chapter in interurban transportation, including the missed opportunities that might have saved this railway.

Author Bio

Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., has carried on concurrent careers as a railroad historian, writer, photographer, and working railroader. He is author of The Railroad That Never Was: Vanderbilt, Morgan, and the South Pennsylvania Railroad (IUP, 2010), The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway: J. P. Morgan's Magnificent Mistake (IUP, 2008), and Invisible Giants: The Empires of Cleveland's Van Sweringen Brothers (IUP, 2003).

Robert S. Korach was elected in 1995 to the American Public Transit Association Hall of Fame. He is past president of the Association of Railway Museums.


“This is the fully illustrated story of "The Greatest Electric Railway in the United States" connecting the Lake Erie cities of Toledo and Cleveland. Before its untimely death in 1938, it left a rich legacy of bold innovation and imaginative marketing practices.”

“The authors have done a masterful job of presenting the complete story of the Lake Shore Electric and its streetcar companies in Lorain, Sandusky, and Norwalk.”
 — Railroad History

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Lake Shore Electric — What It Was and Where It Went
1. Genesis: 1901 - 1903
2. Putting It All Together: 1904 - 1907
3. The Developing Years: 1908 - 1913
4. The Great War: 1914 - 1918
5. Not Quite Normalcy: 1919 - 1922
6. A Snapshot at the Summit: The Lake Shore Electric in 1923
7. Transition: 1923 - 1929
8. The End of the Line: 1930 - 1938
9. Epilogue: The Afterlife
10. The Predecessors : 1883 - 1906
11. Passenger Services
12. City Operations
13. Freight Services
14. The Equipment
Appendix 1: Roster of Equipment
Appendix 2: Carbarns, Shops, Power Houses, Substations

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