Never Quite Made it To Kankakee: The Kankakee & Urbana Traction Company
The Kankakee & Urbana Traction Company Railroad was an interurban electric line that was planned to run between its namesake cities, and further was planned to extend all the way to Chicago, and other points beyond the two cities. Most ambitious were plans to use the Illinois Traction Company to connect all the way to St. Louis.
It never made it north of Paxton. Had it connected to Kankakee, it could have used other interurbans to connect all the way to Chicago, namely the Chicago & Southern, later known as the Chicago & Interurban Traction Line to Harvey, and then the Illinois Central Electric Line north into downtown.
|Image via George Friedman's wonderfully detailed blog on the line.|
Foreman Fritz and his team laying the first track, August 15, 1911. This is the track that was never used. — Urbana Courier 8/15/1911 and 10/31/1912 (Friedman)
|Image: Sharp's Crossing Lavendar, "In 1914 an electric, interurban line, known as the Kankakee-Urbana Traction Company, ran just east of the house to Urbana. Both grain from the elevator and passengers could be transported between the rural towns. This particular intersection with US Route 45 was called Sharp's Crossing."|
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