Most were out of the business by World War II and only one still operates today, the Iowa Traction Railway (others have shed their "interurban" status and now operate as short line freight carriers).
These numbers slowly receded into the 1920's as abandonment hastened through the 1930's.
By 1950 just 1,519 miles remained and the number dropped to 209 miles by 1959.
The latter alternative was cheaper but the resulting grades and curves were less than ideal, a problem only compounded when freight movements were involved.
Visually, the interurban was classic Americana as a car sped along a grass-covered right-of-way with its trolley pole extended high.
In retrospect, the financial interests behind these traction railroads were largely misplaced.
Much of the trackage was situated east of the Mississippi River as the interurban offered flexibility and affordability for the everyday commuter.
This gave way to the typical streetcar which became such a common sight throughout America.
Sprague failed to interest the New York Elevated but others were impressed.
He eventually secured a contract in May of 1887 with the Richmond Union Passenger Railway in Virginia to provide cars for its operation. Brill Company Jewett Car Company Niles Car & Manufacturing Company St.