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Railroad Bridges In Bingham

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on August 27, 2017.

(Return to Bingham Canyon page)

(This is a work in progress; research continues.)

Overview

Bridges are always landmarks in any scene, especially in photographs. Being able to determine dates for photographs is helped by knowing the dates that bridges were built, and when the same bridges were removed.

Lower Bingham Bridges

One of the first bridges in lower Bingham canyon was the wooden trestle for the Rio Grande's spur to the Yampa smelter. Built in 1903, the bridge was condemned by Salt Lake County in April 1915 and removed. (Salt Lake Telegram, April 23, 1915)

Upper Bingham Bridges

'E' Line Bridge

The most notable bridge in the upper part of Bingham's main canyon was the E-Line bridge at Copperfield. This wooden trestle bridge was built in 1912, as part of the expansion (completed in 1914) of the Niagara tunnel as U. S. Mining's main haulage tunnel. At its western end, Utah Copper and Denver & Rio Grande provided common carrier rail service and access to the U. S. ore loading bins at the Niagara tunnel opening, and its eastern end the new bridge was connected with a switchback track that connected with Utah Copper's 'A' Level Auxilliary yard.

The 'E' Line bridge was a permanent structure and remained in place after numerous chnages to track work on both ends. It was at the south edge of the open pit mine for many years and became a landmark in many photographs.

Carr Fork Bridges

The Carr Fork branch of Bingham Canyon runs in a general northeast-southwest direction, meeting the main Bingham Canyon at a point about 5-1/2 miles from Copperton at the mouth of Bingham Canyon. The well-known Highland Boy mine was at the top of Carr Fork, close to its highest and most southwestern end.

The first railroad bridge in Carr Fork was completed in 1911 at its east end where the canyon met the main Bingham Canyon. This first bridge was part of the Bingham & Garfield Railway, and was used to move ore trains from the main Bingham yard of Utah Copper, across and over Carr Fork to a new gathering yard for B&G trains before they were moved to the mills at Magna, 16 miles north.

(Read more about Bingham & Garfield Railway)

More bridges were built across Carr Fork as Utah Copper continued the expansion of the Bingham open pit mine. The company needed a place to dump its waste rock, and the mountain slopes to the north were seen as an ideal site. But the expanse of Carr Fork prevented the construction of well-built and permanent railroad lines to access these new dumping grounds. By the mid 1940s, there a total of seven permanent railroad bridges crossing Carr Fork.

(Read more about the mines of Carr Fork)

As Utah Copper continued to mine the copper ore from the original "Hill", the ridge that separated the open pit from Carr Fork began to shrink.

(View a photo of Carr Fork, looking west, with six of the seven bridges visible)

December 19, 1958
"Major repair work on five steel bridges in Carr Fork Canyon above Bingham Canyon was completed early in December." (Bingham Bulletin, December 19, 1958)

The seven railroad bridges that crossed Carr Fork were built by Utah Copper to access new dumping grounds for waste rock from their open pit mine. From lowest to highest, these bridges were:

Carr Fork B&G Bridge

'D' Line

'G' Line

'H' Line

'I' Line

'J' Line

'L' Line

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