During the 1890’s and the early 1900’s, several electric lines covered the area of the I and M canal. This first blog will briefly described some of the smaller companies. Any discussion is complicated by the many name changes that occur in the history of the companies.
The Joliet and the Southern Traction was constructed between Six Corners region in Joliet to Aurora. In 1907, the line was purchased by the Joliet and Southern. A second route was constructed between Joliet and Chicago Heights in 1909. The railroad line was then known as the Joliet and Elgin; it was subsequently abandoned in 1923.
There was a small electric line The Fox and Illinois Union Railroad. It traveled between Morris and Yorkville. It ran from 1911–1931.
There was a small electric line the Chicago and Des Plaines Valley Electric Railway between Lemont and the Sag Bridge Cemetery. Not much information is available about this line. There is a mention of the the Chicago and Des Plaines Valley Electric Line as one of many lines consolidated in 1901 to form Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway. This consolidated railroad was sold to Middle West Utilities (Samuel Insull) in 1924 in an attempt save it from failure. However, this was not successful and its lines began shutting down in 1933.
In Ottawa, Illinois there was institution of trolley service in 1889 by the Ottawa Electric Street Railway Co. This was in service until 1899. The Ottawa, Railway, Light and Power Company purchased 8 miles of track from Ottawa Electric Street Railway Co in 1899. This company served Ottawa until 1910.
Finally, there is the electric line in LaSalle. City Electric Network ran in LaSalle from 1891–1902. This became part of the Illinois Traction Company from 1902–1904. Then the Illinois Valley Railway 1904–1909. It was was acquired by the Western Railway and Light as a subsidiary of the Chicago, Ottawa and Peoria Railway Company in 1909-1913. It was subsequently transferred to the Chicago Ottawa and Peoria–Illinois Traction Company1913 to 1923. It was run by Illinois Power and Light from 1923–1926. Service was discontinued in 1927.
Next Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway Company.