MILWAUKEE AREA INTERURBAN RAILWAYS AND BUSES

Interurban lines affiliated with The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company. In 1896 the Milwaukee Light, Heat and Traction Company was formed as subsidiary of The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company, to establish electric railways and utilities outside the city of Milwaukee. This subsidiary ceased to exist as a separate entity in 1919. And in 1938, The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company transportation operations were reorganized as The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Transport Company.

In 1938, The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Transport Company began abandoning the interurban railways. And between 1939 and 1946, Henry P. Bruner acquired most of the remaining pieces of The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Transport Company operations outside Milwaukee, forming a company Kenosha Motor Coach Lines to own most of the lines. Nearly all of the operations eventually wound up with Northland Greyhound Lines. Although a company known as "Speedrail" attempted to continue the interurban railway operations. These last interurban railway lines ceased operations in 1951, after a series of accidents and other problems.

All interurban lines originally used streetcar trackage within Milwaukee, until the 1930 completion of the high speed line between downtown Milwaukee and the west suburbs. There was even a proposal to construct a subway in the heart of downtown Milwaukee for the interurban trains, but the Great Depression prevented that. Much of the abandoned high speed right of way was subsequently used for construction of a freeway.

The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Transport Company operated buses through its subsidiary Wisconsin Motor Bus Lines. That system reached its peak in 1930, but the Great Depression resulted in the abandonment of most of the bus service between 1933 and 1937. After 1937, the only remaining bus service was over various routes in the Milwaukee-Oconomowoc-Watertown-Madison corridor. And in 1947, those operations were sold to Northland Greyhound Lines.


INTERURBAN RAILWAY ROUTES

The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company operated interurban railway routes in four directions from Milwaukee.

Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha

Milwaukee-Hales Corners-East Troy/Burlington

Milwaukee-Waukesha-Watertown

Milwaukee-Port Washington-Sheboygan


INTERURBAN BUS ROUTES

The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company owned a subsidiary, Wisconsin Motor Bus Lines, which operated buses supplementing the interurban railway lines. Buses eventually replaced all of the interurban railway lines.

South of Milwaukee

Southwest of Milwaukee

West of Milwaukee

North/Northwest of Milwaukee


INTERURBAN BUS COMPANIES

Many independent bus companies attempted to operated in southeastern Wisconsin. But Wisconsin Motor Bus Lines either acquired the companies, or drove them out of business through competition.


LAKESIDE BELT LINE

Freight only line operated by The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company across Milwaukee's south and southwest sides, providing access to the Lakeside Power Plant. Opened in 1932, final segments abandoned or sold to Chicago and North Western Railroad in 1963.


CHICAGO NORTH SHORE AND MILWAUKEE RAILROAD

The Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad entered Milwaukee from Chicago. Further information can be found at the Chicago Interurbans Page.


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