The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company

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This article is about the railway. For the public utility, see Wisconsin Energy Corporation.
The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company
Milwaukee streetcar 846 on East Troy Electric Railroad in 2006.jpg
Preserved 1920-vintage Milwaukee streetcar 846 at the East Troy Electric Railroad
Reporting mark TMER&L
Dates of operation 1905–1958
Predecessor Milwaukee & Muskego Lake Traction Company
Successor Milwaukee Rapid Transit & Speedrail Company
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification 600 vDC
Length 191 miles (307 km)
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Electric Railway
Watertown
Sheboygan
Pipersville
Weedens
Ixonia
Oostburg
Oconomowoc
Cedar Grove
Silver Lake
Belgium
Nashota
Druecker’s
Summit Center
Port Washington
Delafield
Lutzen’s
Buena Vista
Saukville
Waukesha Beach
Grafton
Waukesha
Cedarburg
Gravel pit
Quarry
Springdale
Thiensville
Rocky Knoll
Mequon
Calhoun
Brown Deer
Sunny Slope
Brown Deer Park
County Line
Mill Rd. – Hillside
Silver Spring Rd.
West Junction
Northside
84th Street
MILWAUKEE
Public Service Building
National & 100th
Greenwood Junction
Powerton
Hales Corners
Lakeside Power Plant
St. Martins Junction
Cudahy
South Milwaukee
Muskego
South Junction
Big Bend
Durham Hill
Vernon Center Rd.
Muskego Dam Rd.
Riverside
Wind Lake Rd.
Mukwonago
Waubeesee
Phantom Lake
Waterford
Beulah Lake
Rochester
Army Lake
Bellwood Rd.
East Troy
Burlington
Caledonia Junction
Ives
Racine
Mount Pleasant
Berryville Road
Fairview
Kenosha

The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company is a defunct railroad in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. was the largest electric railway and electric utility system in Wisconsin. It combined several of the earlier horsecar, steam dummy and streetcar lines into one system. Its Milwaukee streetcar lines soon ran on most major streets and served most areas of the city. The interurban lines reached throughout southeastern Wisconsin. TMER&L also operated the streetcar lines in Appleton, Kenosha and Racine, as well as its own switching operations at the Port Washington and Lakeside power plants.

The first electric streetcar in Milwaukee operated on Wells Street on April 3, 1890. The first interurban ran between Milwaukee and Kenosha on June 1, 1897. Other lines soon reached Watertown, Burlington and East Troy. In 1922 TMER&L acquired the Milwaukee Northern Railway and added their Milwaukee to Sheboygan interurban line to the system.

The Oneida Street Station (also known as the East Wells Power Plant) was a revolutionary power plant belonging to TMERLCo. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

During the depression, streetcar and interurban lines were cut back, replaced with buses, abandoned or sold. Abandonments ceased during WWII, when gas and tires were rationed, and defense workers needed transportation. After the war, riders returned to their autos and abandonments resumed. The last streetcar to run in Milwaukee, and the entire state, operated on Wells Street on March 2, 1958. Electric locomotives continued operating at the power plants until the early 1970s.

The last two remaining sections of interurban lines were to Hales Corners and Waukesha. They continued in operation until June 30, 1951 as part of Speedrail's rapid transit service. The outer end of the East Troy branch (beyond Mukwonago) continues to operate as the East Troy Electric Railroad, a 7-mile (11 km) long heritage railroad.

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