Northern Indiana Railway – CERA Bulletin #132 is about a well maintained and partially modernized railroad but keeping much of its past. The streetcar and interurban system were centered at South Bend. Unique in traction, one interurban route paralleled the South Shore interurban side-by-side for miles.
Northern Indiana Railway – CERA Bulletin #132 is about the almost forgotten South Bend, Indiana electric streetcar railway that started in 1885 and died before the next spring. The second company started in 1890 with horsecars. It was electrified in 1895. The new company build an electric rail line joining the cities of South Bend and Mishawaka. Then electric railway bought the streetcar lines in Laporte, St. Joseph and Elkhart and joined them together. Thus, these streetcar lines became part of a larger interurban system. The line then pushed north into Michigan to Niles and St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. In Michigan the trains met with steamers that carried people across Lake Michigan to Chicago and Milwaukee.
The interurban passenger cars, handsome wooden 60-foot railroad-roof combines, equaled anything on better-known systems. Most were replaced in the 1930 modernization, but the new lightweights had only four years here and ended up on the downstate Indiana Railroad.
Northern Indiana Railway – CERA Bulletin #132 explains how, Via Winona Service at Goshen, Northern Indiana, NIR interchanged freight trailers with systems all over Indiana and Ohio. The railroad was able to interchange freight as near to Chicago as interurban box trailers could travel. For a time, the railroad ran through passenger cars to Indianapolis.
The publisher of the bulletin is the Central Electric Railfan’s Association (CERA) was formed 1938. The CERA encourages the study of the history, equipment, and operations of urban, suburban, interurban and main line electric railways. This book is published by the organization. A number of those publications are available on this site. Meetings are also held monthly by the organization in Chicago, IL. More information about the CERA is available at www.cera-chicago.org/.
Historians, rail enthusiasts and the general public alike, will delight in the pictures and information in this volume. The book is full of maps and photographs of the properties and car drawings.