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Railroad Symposia Essays

In 2001, 2003 and 2005, the Midwest Railroad Research Center of the Indiana Historical Society hosted a biennial series of symposia on railroad history sponsored by The Indiana Rail Road Co. The following essays were presented by their authors at these events, and have been made available for download.

2001 Railroad Symposium: The Interurbans

The Fight for Survival: The Cincinnati & Lake Erie and the Great Depression by Jack Keenan


Interstate Public Service—Your Neighborhood Interurban by Jerry Marlette

Moonlight in Duneland: Marketing the South Shore Line in the 1920s by Stephen McShane

Reflections On The Interurban Era by William Middleton

The Economic and Social Impact of the Electric Interurban Railways on Indianapolis by George M. Smerk


Interurban Railroaders and Changing Work Conditions on the South Shore Line, 1908–1938 by Martin Tuohy

2003 Railroad Symposium: Union Stations

A Tale of Three Cities: The Union Stations of Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati by Jeffrey T. Darbee

The History of Union Station by James R. Hetherington

On the Wings of the Zephyr: The Rise and Fall of America’s High-Speed Streamliners, 1934–1960 by Mark Reutter

The Future of High-Speed Rail Travel by George M. Smerk

2005 Railroad Symposium: Lincoln and the Railroads

Abraham Lincoln as a Railroad Attorney by James W. Ely Jr.

Lincoln and the Rock Island Bridge Case by James W. Ely Jr.

Abraham Lincoln and the Problem of Progress by Andrew Cayton