Union Traction had its beginnings in one of the pioneer electric railway line of the Midwest, that between Anderson and Alexandria, Indiana. This first central Indiana. line was promoted by a group of Anderson men, but less than two years after the first car bounced over the rural trackage north of Anderson a Philadelphia syndicate, Dolan-Morgan, became interested in the possibilities of a network of inter-city electric lines throughout the “gas belt”. Steam railroads linked these towns, but service was slow and infrequent. Roads were crude and impassable in bad weather, but even on fine days cruising range of horse and buggy restricted farm commerce severely. The handy little traction cars could put the farmer and his produce within a couple of hours of the lucrative city markets.
Small wonder then, that within a few years nearly every steam railroad in this area was paralleled by a Union Traction line. By 1916 the system comprised a total of 410.3 route miles, in addition to trackage rights over 93.5 miles of foreign interurban lines. City lines in Anderson, Marion, Muncie and Elwood totaled something over 44 miles at their greatest extent.