Boise Valley Electric Railroad

• Boise Valley first chartered the railroad in 1890; 1905 expansion to connect Boise, Nampa, and Caldwell and other surrounding commercial centers and farming areas • Evolved into the Boise Valley interurban rail service and continued service for two decades; the rapid rise in popularity of cars made the railroad obsolete • After the decline in use, several companies continued to exist (Boise and Interurban) and actually compete in the industry - A route through Caldwell, which ran a valley route through Eagle, Star, and Middleton was proposed in 1906; commencement began in 1907 - Power substations at Pierce Park and Middleton, a large car barn at Pierce Park, depots in Caldwell and Boise, a freight interchange track with the Oregon Short Line Railroad at Caldwell, and small way stations or shelters at one-two mile intervals along the route were all developed along with the railroad - Boise Built a new Depot in 1910 at 7th and Bannock as a hub for Interurban cars; a limited freight service was provided from Boise to Caldwell through this depot, to mostly agriculturally oriented industries • “Belt Line” was created as a city streetcar loop’ ran north on 10th and 15th streets to Dewey, rounding back on 18th • Further development up Fairview Hill to Ustick Road (which curved south to Nampa); this track that was later moved to Meridian - A national financial crisis in 1908 halted construction of this line to Caldwell; local passenger service was added from Fairview to Cole School along this route - Branching off of this route was also a line which ran to Hillcrest and South Boise; car barns located on Rossi one block west of Broadway • A Nampa-Caldwell line was finally completed in 1912 after Interurban was consolidated with power generating facilities at Swan Falls, Salmon Falls and Shoshone Falls becoming the Idaho Traction Company • Idaho families used the loop as a means of bonding, taking Sunday afternoons to ride the entire loop • Boise Valley interurban electric system was merged in the inception of Idaho Power in 1916 • Electric rail service to South Boise and Nampa-Caldwell was discontinued May 26, 1988; replaced with a city bus system • The Boise Train Depot still stands today as a wonderful historical attraction that overlooks the city of Boise

Resources: Hyperlinks included in attached document Idaho Historical Society [""""] Boise Electric Railroad Google Books (Accompanying PDF) [""""] Boise Valley Electric Railroad.docx