The Shore Line Electric Railway Company is about the Connecticut’s Shore Line Electric Railway. The company known as the Shore Line has the distinction of being one of the United States more unprofitable companies during the otherwise profitable and prosperous 1910-1924 period for traction companies. From its formation in 1910 to its abandonment in 1924, the railway never made a profit.
The Shore Line Electric Railway Company started as a 30-mile interurban from Stony Creek (a New Haven suburb) to Old Saybrook and then north through the Connecticut River Valley to Essex. The railway expanded by adding the New London and East Lyme Street Railway, the Norwich & Westerly Traction Company and the New London Division of the Connecticut Company.
At its height the Shore Line Electric Railway had 230 miles of main line track. This trackage included 17 miles of main line into the adjacent state of Rhode Island. But in the end, the competition from the paralleling steam railroads and the private automobile resulted in the abandonment of various lines beginning in 1920. By 1924 all operations on the Railway had ceased.
The publisher of the The Shore Line Electric Railway Company 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 the 139th “Bulletin” 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 and membership in the organization is available at www.cera-chicago.org/.
The Shore Line Electric Railway Company during its tenure connected all the towns along the Connecticut shoreline. The book covers the planning, construction, operation and abandonment of the railway. Also, shown are its streetcars, rolling stock and interurbans. It is a fascinating story that you will want to add to your collection.