High Tension Lines:
Tow Path to Electric Rails

The power lines that run along the trail here mark a series of important changes in Wabash County history. In recent years, this part of the trail has been used as an access road by REMC for servicing these power lines. The lines weren’t originally put in by the power company however. They were put in to service the interurban traction system, a series of privately owned electric trolley cars that once connected nearly every town in Indiana. They later sold some of the power they generated for other purposes. The power lines were put down right over the towpath of the canal. In many cases the steam powered railroad had chosen to build on the towpath first – not so in this section where the railroad built further up the hill, as they didn’t need
to worry about digging everything out like the canal had. If you’re ever curious about where the canal ran, or where the interurban line was from Wabash to Lagro, simply follow these high tension lines all the way to Lagro and you’ll be standing in the tow path and on the trolley tracks – and often on this trail. It’s possible to see remnants of Interurban bridges and canal infrastructure, including the canal bed itself, in many places  along the trail. The Interurban was privately owned and raised money by going door to door and offering shares or subscriptions to the company, promising astronomical rates of return. The interurban wound up not being all that profitable, and during the Great Depression the automobile heavily impacted the interurban leading to their closing in most places.

Interurban.jpg

Interurban near Wabash Street and Market Street intersection, Wabash, Indiana, circa 1931