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Cartwright, Carol Lohry; Shaffer, Scott; Waller, Randal / City on the Rock River : chapters in Janesville's history
(1998)

6. Transportation,   pp. 118-128


Page 127

In 1906, the line was purchased by the Rockford & Interurban Railway Company. Investors kept
the largely unprofitable company operating until 1925 when it declared bankruptcy and was
sold. The old Rockford, Beloit & Janesville Railway Company was resurrected to operate the
Illinois and Wisconsin interurban lines, but this new company was not successful either, and in
July 1929, the Beloit-Janesville interurban line was terminated. The following year, he
Rockford-Beloit line also was terminated. The rails were pulled up and junked in 1931-1932,
and the interurban depots were sold or razed. (Keister 1956:15, 20-22)
Most of the Rockford & Interurban Railway Company facilities were built outside of Janesville.
The old Rockford, Beloit & Janesville Railway Company built bridges, a car barn, and a power
station in Beloit. It also erected two substations, one in Illinois and one just south of Janesville.
In Janesville, waiting stations and ticket agents were housed at first in J. P. Baker's drugstore,
then at the Myers Hotel (not extant). In 1907, the company built a waiting room at 123 N. Main
St. next to the Janesville freight house; it was not used until the company terminated the
interurban service. (Keister 1956:13-14,35)
During the mid-twentieth century, interurban bus service replaced the electric railway.
Between the 1940s and 1980s, the Greyhound Bus Company supplied interurban bus service to
Janesville residents. The Greyhound depot was located, for most of its history, in part of an
automobile service station at 69 S. Franklin St. (not extant). (City Directories)
Today, the Van Galder Bus Company, formerly known as the Alco Bus Corporation, provides
charter bus service out of Janesville. One of its most popular routes runs between Madison and
Chicago's O'Hare Airport via Janesville. The Van Galder company has offices at 715 S. Pearl
St. and recently built a new bus terminal at 3120 N. Pontiac Dr. near the Milton Avenue
shopping district These locations are not currently historically significant and they are not
potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Bibliography
Brown, William Fiske. Rock County, Wisconsin. Chicago: C. F. Cooper & Co., 1908.
Canfield, Joseph M. "Beloit-Janesville." Badger Traction 111. Chicago: Central Electric
Railfans' Association, 1969.
City Directories for the City of Janesville, 1857-1994. Hedberg Public Library, Janesville,
Wisconsin.
"Depot Suffers Roundhouse Blow." Newspaper article in transportation history files. Rock
County Historical Society, Janesville, Wisconsin.
"First City Street Cars, Drawn by 'Old Dobbins,' Appeared 43 Years Ago." Janesville Gazette,
18 July 1929, n.p.
Keister, Philip L. "The Rockford and Interurban Railway." Electric Railway Historical
Society Bulletin  22 (1956).
"New Horizons for Bus System." Transportation history files, Rock County Historical Society,
Janesville, Wisconsin.
"Railroads Played Major Role in Building City into Thriving Center." Janesville Gazette Rock
River Valley Centennial Issue, 29 June 1935, sec. 2, 13.
Transportation
127


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