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Photo of the Month - August 2009

 Unfair Competition!


        Indiana Columbus & Eastern Traction Co. (IC&E) interurban #71 is all painted up to protest the unfairness of tax payers building roads for cars, trucks and busses while the interurban companies and steam railroads built and paid for their own roadways.  To add insult to injury the railroads had to pay taxes on their property as well.

        Besides this message - "Is road wear paid for in proportion to use?"  - other interubans carried the message "Do private automobile taxes help passenger busses?" and "Highway travel cost includes road upkeep -- who pays it?".  Sadly for the interurbans and later the steam railroad passenger trains this protest will be a lost cause.  The interurbans will be mostly gone by the 1930's and the privately operated steam railroad passenger network by the 1960's.  The interstate highways and jet airplanes saw to that.

        The IC&E served Columbus from the west.  It looks like #71 is being towed perhaps to the shop to get its damaged sign repaired.  While it is in the shop they should touch up its bent pilot as well. This photo was probably  been taken in the late 1910's or 20's.  The location is unknown.

Photo from the Donald A. Kaiser Collection