CIPS builds an interurban empire
Central Illinois Public Service (CIPS) Company’s first electric interurban line was the 10-mile Central Illinois Traction Company, built in 1904.
Though one of the shortest of Illinois’ interurbans, there were lofty plans that included an extension of tracks some 28 miles to Paris, the seat of Edgar County. Toward this end, CIPS acquired the Paris streetcar system (Paris Traction Company) in 1912.
In Paris, the CIPS interurban would connect with the Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern (THI&E) Railway, an electric interurban that operated 402 route miles at its zenith. Had this occurred, in all likelihood the CIT then would have been pushed west to make a connection with one of the nation’s premier interurbans, the Illinois Traction System.