There was an era when Illinois had a method of transportation unlike any before or after it. It was the electric railroad and there's a vintage video showing what this railroad was like in action.

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It was known as the Illinois Terminal Railroad. Wikipedia shows this unique transportation network was in operation from the early 1900's until it's demise in the late 1950's. Thanks to a recent video share, you can see these electric railroad cars in action back in 1952 and 1953.

NOTE: make sure your sound is turned up for the awesome period music.

So what happened to the Illinois Terminal Railroad?

According to Wikipedia, the demise of the electric Illinois railroad network happened in the late 1950's when it was purchased by nine different Class I Railroads. Those electric routes then became diesel-powered short-line railroads. Norfolk and Western purchased all of the other railroad's interest in what was formerly the Illinois Terminal Railroad according to Wikipedia.

What remains of the Illinois Terminal Railroad?

The short answer is not much if anything. The McKinley Bridge in St. Louis which was billed as the longest electric bridge in America still stands showing the link that once brought the electric railroad into St. Louis. No remnants of its electric past are there now though.

It was a different era of transportation that carried much of that part of Illinois through the Great Depression. It's gone now, but vintage videos like the one shared above are another attempt to at least keep the memory alive.

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