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History: The Last Passengers

The heyday of passenger service would not last long, however. With the advent of affordable automobiles and a paved highway system, CRANDIC's ridership declined quickly.

In 1952, only 188,317 rode the Interurban, and only nine round trips were scheduled each day.

The last official run of a CRANDIC passenger train occurred on May 30, 1953. With Engine #119 in the lead, the "Rail Fan Passenger Special" marked the end of the CRANDIC Interurban era.

CRANDIC Final Passenger Trip Ticket

Ironically, as passenger service declined, freight revenues increased in the same proportions. The CRANDIC eventually converted to an all-diesel fleet.

Today, CRANDIC operates 60 miles of main line track and nearly 40 miles of industry track and switching gears. Handling more than 90,000 carloads each year, the CRANDIC is nationally recognized as a premier short-line railroad operation.

Photo gallery:

CRANDIC's Final Trip May 30, 1953

Affordable cars and better roads led to the demise of passenger service
on the CRANDIC. On May 30, 1953, rail buffs, including members of the
National Historical Railway Society, recorded the end of the
"interurban" era with box cameras and movie cameras.
(Photo reprinted with permission from The Gazette- Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

CRANDIC's Final Passenger

Before leaving for overseas military duty, 21-year-old
rail fan and Navy Seaman Maurice DeValliere flew
cross-country to attend the last run event in May 1953.
In the years that followed, he graduated from college
and eventually wound up in the railroad business.
"I never had a bad day working for the railroad," he says.
(Photo reprinted with permission from
The Gazette - Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Albert Scales

Albert Scales and Mrs. Glenn E. Norton of Cedar Rapids share
memories of their early days on the CRANDIC.
(Photo reprinted with permission from The Gazette - Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Next: The Next 50 Years >>