The Panic of 1903 ended this fervor but it reignited again between 19 when another 4,000 miles were built.Once more, a financial setback, the Panic of 1907, ended investment although afterwards another great construction period did not materialize.Interurbans, and their suburban counterparts (the streetcar), were once common throughout the country. The mania began during the late 19th century and spilled over into the early 1900's as thousands of miles were laid down from New England to California. In retrospect, the financial interests behind these traction railroads were largely misplaced.
It is rather amazing so much capital was expended on these operations, which struggled to make a profit right from the start.
However, instead of serving a single municipality this new operation would link two or more.
In an era before automobiles, when steel rails handled nearly all interstate and intercity travel, the interurban concept seemed viable, in theory.
Depending upon cost an interurban's route either followed its own dedicated right-of-way or, with permission from the state/county, could be laid right next to a rural road.
The latter alternative was cheaper but the resulting grades and curves were less than ideal, a problem only compounded when freight movements were involved.