D&RGW Utah Branch Lines
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This page was last updated on April 25, 2019.
Ballard & Thompson Branch
D&RGW operated the Ballard & Thompson Railroad from 1912 to 1950, under contract to the owning coal company. After May 1948, D&RGW used the name "Neslen Spur" in its employee timetables.
The branch was abandoned and removed in 1951.
(Google Map; Syracuse Branches)
Also known as the South Syracuse Branch, the Bennett Branch ran due west from Layton, to a sugar beet dump in Syracuse (right where today's Smith's grocery store is). Since the branch is not listed in any D&RGW summary of branches, it was apparently operated by D&RGW but built and owned by Layton Sugar Co. for sugar beet loading.
Rio Grande operated a spur in South Syracuse, straight west of the Layton sugar factory. The spur served Layton Sugar Company's beet dump that was built along 1000 West, just five hundred feet south of 2700 South. The line was called the Bennett Branch and angled southeast from the beet dump across Bennett's field until it was a half mile south of 2700 South and then headed due east to the sugar factory of the Layton Sugar Company.
The Bennett Branch was built and owned by the Layton Sugar Company to serve their beet dump in South Syracuse. Property for the spur was purchased in October 1926, although the spur may already been built.
The Bennett Branch was built due west along the half section line of Section 19 of T4N, R1W and Sections 24 and 23 of T4N, R2W. At the center of Section 23 the line turned northwest towards the northwest corner of section 23, ending at a beet dump on 1000 West, 500 feet south of 2700 South (on the site of today's Smith's grocery store).
The Rio Grande's Bennett Branch was built and owned by the Layton Sugar Company to serve their beet dump in South Syracuse, near present day 2700 South and 1000 West. Property for the spur was purchased in October 1926, although the spur may already been built. (Davis County Book of Deeds 1‑H, pp.181, 183)
The beet dump and spur was removed by 1952. In March 1952 the sugar company sold a parcel of land in section 24, 33 feet wide by 2,651 feet long to Allen A. Adams. James E. Ellison was President and J. B. Cooley was Secretary of the Layton Sugar Company. (Davis County Book of Records 36, p.96)
In January 1955 Layton Sugar Company sold a 1.97 acre (577.5 feet by 149 feet) parcel to George H. Bennett Jr. The parcel was located along 1000 West, 509 feet south of 2700 South and was the typical size for a beet dump. (Davis County Book of Records 178, p.63)
In June 1955 the Layton Sugar Company sold a 2.89 acre (33 feet by 3,809 feet) parcel to the Ellison Ranching Company. The parcel ended at the west line of the Denver and Rio Grande mainline and included a 12 degree curve in the description. (Davis County Book of Records 88, p.435) This is interpreted to be the connection of the Bennett Branch with the D&RG mainline.
From a history that I did for Syracuse:
"Three people have told me about a rail line in South Syracuse that went due west from the Layton sugar factory. Apparently the branch went due west along the half section line of Section 19 of T4N, R1W and Sections 24 and 23 of T4N, R2W. At the center of Section 23 the line turned northwest towards the northwest corner of section 23, ending at a beet dump on 1000 West, 500 feet south of 2700 South.
"The Rio Grande's Bennett Branch was built and owned by the Layton Sugar Company to serve their beet dump in South Syracuse, near present day 2700 South and 1000 West. Property for the spur was purchased in October 1926, although the spur may already been built. (Davis County Book of Deeds 1‑H, pp.181, 183)
"The beet dump and spur may have been removed by 1952. In March 1952 the sugar company sold a parcel of land in section 24, 33 feet wide by 2,651 feet long to Allen A. Adams. James E. Ellison was President and J. B. Cooley was Secretary of the Layton Sugar Company. (Davis County Book of Records 36, p.96)
"In January 1955 Layton Sugar Company sold a 1.97 acre (577.5 feet by 149 feet) parcel to George H. Bennett Jr. The parcel was located along 1000 West, 509 feet south of 2700 South and was the typical size for a beet dump. (Davis County Book of Records 178, p.63)
"In June 1955 the Layton Sugar Company sold a 2.89 acre (33 feet by 3,809 feet) parcel to the Ellison Ranching Company. The parcel ended at the west line of the Denver and Rio Grande mainline and included a 12 degree curve in the description. (Davis County Book of Records 88, p.435) This is interpreted to be the connection of the Bennett Branch with the D&RG mainline."
- Midvale (MP 0.00) (yard)
- S. L. & U. Crossing (MP 2.0)
- West Jordan (MP 2.0) (23 car side track)
- Welby (MP 5.1) (47 car side track)
- Wye track, connection with Garfield Branch
- Locomotive service facility including turntable and roundhouse
- Bagley (MP 6.6)
- Dalton (MP 9.0) (15 car side track, connection with Dalton & Lark Branch)
- Robbe (MP 11.5) (changed to Proler)
- Upper Junction (MP 11.8)
- MP 11.81, changed to Copperton upon becoming end of track in (?).
- Copperton (MP 11.9)
- Bingham (MP 14.1) (yard)
- MP 14.26, End
January 22, 1960
D&RGW, the state road commission, and Midvale City began negotiations for D&RGW to remove its tracks along Midvale's Center Street, which the road commission wanted to use as a major thoroughfare and access point to the new Interstate 15 freeway. The new highway, to be known as state route U-48, was to be four lanes from State Street to Redwood Road. The tracks of D&RGW's Bingham along Center Street were to be removed, and the D&RGW mainline crossing of U-38 was to be by way of an overhead bridge, with the east-west highway passing under the north-south railroad tracks. The highway, U-48, was already in place as a two-lane road, and was to be expanded as a four-lane road with center islands and turn lanes. (Midvale Sentinel, January 22, 1960, "recently")
October 14, 1960
The D&RGW Bingham Branch was to be relocated to accommodate the rebuilding of Midvale's Center Street as a major thoroughfare west of State Street. The existing alignment has the railroad branch paralleling Center Street along its south edge from the D&RGW mainline, westward. The new alignment included a new wye track at Midvale, with new tracks westward across smelter property, connecting with the existing branch near Gardner's mill (very near today's Historic Gardner Station on UTA's Mid-Valley TRAX light rail line). (Midvale Sentinel, October 14, 1960)
October 19, 1962
Plans for the realignment of the D&RGW Bingham Branch were progressing. The state road commission had announced that the Midvale exit for Interstate 15 would be at Sugar Street (7200 South), with the first work to be moving the underground utilities, along with property purchases on both sides of the new interchange site. By late November, the embankments for the new alignment crossing over the widened state route U-48, were half completed. (Midvale Sentinel, October 19, 1962; November 30, 1962) (This is the current bridge used by UTA TRAX to cross 7800 South)
April 19, 1963
D&RGW announced that it planned to begin using the new alignment of its Bingham Branch on or about June 30th. (Midvale Sentinel, April 19, 1963)
June 21, 1963
To reduce the number of overpasses needed after Interstate 15 and its connector roads were completed, D&RGW and Union Pacific reached an agreement to allow UP's trains on its Midvale Spur, to use D&RGW's crossing of Midvale's Main Street (today's 700 West), at about 7300 South. (Midvale Sentinel, June 21, 1963) (The new joint bridge over Main Street wasn't installed until after 1965.) (Union Pacific had its own overhead crossing of 7200 South, west of I-15; later used by UTA 's TRAX Mid-Valley light rail line.)
April 6, 1964
On the evening of Monday April 6, 1964, the first revenue train operated over the new alignment for the D&RGW Bingham Branch, between Midvale and "bottoms" near the branch's crossing of the Jordan river. The same point of connection location is very near today's Historic Gardner Station on UTA's Mid Valley TRAX light rail line. The opening of the new line allowed the line along Midvale's Center Street to be abandoned and removed. The next morning, Tuesday April 7th, crews began removing the old line, beginning at the Jordan river bridge and working eastward. On Thursday April 9th, an informal ceremony was held as officials from the railroad, the state highway department, and Midvale city gathered at the Jordan river bridge for photographs and remarks. The ceremony also marked the beginning of the rebuilding of Center Street from a two-lane road, to a four-lane highway connecting State Street and Redwood Road. (Midvale Sentinel, April 10, 1964)
April 9, 1964
An informal ceremony was held at the Jordan river bridge in Midvale to make the start for the removal of D&RGW tracks along Center Street. The removal would allow the start of improving Center Street westward to Redwood Road. (Deseret News, April 9, 1964)
April 15, 1964
A formal ceremony was held in front of Midvale city hall, with speeches and photographers, marking the removal of the first rail of the D&RGW Bingham Branch in Midvale's Center Street. (Midvale Sentinel, April 17, 1964)
October 14, 1964
The new highway replacing Center Street as a state road was completed. With the completion of Sugar Street (7200 South) as the freeway interchange, state road U-48 was changed from Midvale's Center Street west of State Street to Redwood Road, to be along 7200 South from the freeway interchange to Midvale's Main Street (700 West; Holden Street), to Center Street, then west to Redwood Road. The first layer of pavement was put on U-48 on Wednesday, October 14th, and would remain as the road surface through the winter pending good weather before the final layers was put into place. (Midvale Sentinel, October 16, 1964)
January 28, 2002
Union Pacific and Utah Transit Authority applied to the federal Surface Transportation Board on January 28, 2002, and the STB approved on May 22, 2002, the sale by Union Pacific of the following properties to Utah Transit Authority, for use as part of a commuter rail project, total of 62.77 miles, including
- Bingham Industrial Lead: from milepost 6.60 at Bagley, to milepost 11.81 (former D&RGW Bingham Branch)
- Bingham Industrial Lead: 20 to 35-foot portion of right of way from milepost 0.00 to milepost 6.60 (former D&RGW Bingham Branch)
- Consummation of sale to occur on or about May 30, 2002.
- (STB Finance Docket 34170)
September 20, 2002
A ceremony was held on the steps of the state capital, for the signing of the $185 million check to Union Pacific. In attendance were Utah governor Mike Leavitt, U. S. congressmen Jim Matheson and Chris Cannon, Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO Richard Davidson, and UTA general manager John Inglish. (BYU NewsNet, September 19, 2002; Deseret News, September 19, 2002; Union Pacific press release dated September 20, 2002) The sale was formally closed on September 23, 2002. (UTA press release dated September 23, 2002)
Included in the sale was the part of the former D&RGW Bingham Branch, from Midvale to West Jordan/South Jordan (known as the Bingham Industrial Spur).
December 2, 2002
Union Pacific received approval from the federal Surface Transportation Board to abandon its rail operations along 5.21 miles of the former D&RGW Bingham Branch, which by this time was officially known as the "Bingham Industrial Lead." This section of track runs from MP 6.60 near Bagley (West Jordan Industrial Park) to MP 11.81 near Lead Mine (Copperton). This trackage had been sold to Utah Transit Authority, but UP had retained "perpetual easement and common carrier obligation to conduct freight operations", and this action allowed UP to abandon those rights. (STB Docket AB-33, Sub 194X; notice of intent to abandon published in Salt Lake Tribune, November 8, 2002)
(This 5.21 miles of trackage hadn't seen any regular use since the mid-1990's when Kennecott's precipitation plant closed at Lead Mine. The line extends from West Jordan's Bagley Industrial Park (home of SME Steel and the Interstate Brick Company) west through Dalton Junction (connection to the abandoned Lark Branch) up Bingham Canyon to Lead Mine at Copperton. This track was a regular assignment for Rio Grande's fleet of SD7/SD9's and later GP30's.)
March 29, 2007
Union Pacific sold to Savage Bingham & Garfield Railroad, portions of the former D&RGW Bingham and Garfield branches.
Savage Bingham & Garfield operations started on October 1, 2007.
Cane Creek Branch
- Brendel (MP 0.0)
- Arch ( MP 10.3)
- Lee (MP 18.3)
- Seven Mile (MP 21.3)
- Emkay (MP 28.5)
- Potash (MP 35.8) (end)
- 35.8 miles
- Completed in 1962; in service in 1965 when the potash mine started operations
- Connects with Utah Division at Brendel, Utah
- 7050-foot Bootlegger Tunnel (1.3 miles)
- Two significant summits - one at about mile 12, and the other on both sides of Seven Mile, at about mile 21.
- Ruling grade is 1.2 percent
- One siding at Seven Mile, which also has a separate spur with a truck dump.
Castle Valley Branch
- Salina (MP 0.0)
- Gooseberry (MP 7.0)
- Tunnel No. 7, 329 feet long
- Tunnel No. 8, 586 feet long
- Saw Tooth (MP 12.6)
- Tunnel No. 9, 301 feet long
- Tunnel No. 10, 269 feet long
- Sumner (MP 13.8)
- Crystal (MP 17.7)
- Nioche (MP 18.8) (Nioche to end of track, 2.33 miles, not operated in 1934) (80-feet long turntable at Nioche)
- End of track (MP 20.0, end)
The original Castle Valley Railway was organized in 1901 by D&RG (not RGW) interests to build a line through Salina canyon.
Diamond Quarry Spur
- One mile long.
- Completed in 1887 as narrow gauge.
- Converted to standard gauge in 1890.
- Removed in 1900.
- Diamond Quarry was a stone quarry at the mouth of Diamond Creek, just west of Thistle.
Farnsworth was the site of a beet dump owned by Interstate Sugar Co., and a cannery owned by West Point Canning Co.
Rio Grande had a spur to the West Point Canning Company, at 3200 West and the West Point Road (300 North). The spur was built in 1923 as a private rail line owned by the Interstate Sugar Company, which operated the sugar factory at Hooper.
The spur was built south from the siding that Rio Grande called Kingsville, at about 3000 West and 1800 North, named after James King who sold the land to the railroad in 1917. King also sold property to the Amalgamated Sugar Company, which completed a beet dump at Kingsville in 1918.
The Interstate Sugar Company constructed the line to serve the beet dump that was built at Farnsworth, at the end of the line on the north side of the West Point Road (at about 3200 West). Farnsworth was named after Lou Farnsworth, one of the officers in the Interstate Sugar Company.
The sugar company constructed the line to serve the beet dumps that were built at Farnsworth, at the end of the line on the north side of the West Point Road (300 North at about 3200 West). Farnsworth was named after Lou H. Farnsworth, one of the officers in the Interstate Sugar Company.
Interstate Sugar built its railroad south from Kingsville on the D&RG to Farnsworth in 1923. In June 1923 the sugar company bought 4.25 acres of land (SEQ, Sec 32, T5N, R2W) from William H. Dalton and Oly C. Oelson to be used for a beet dump and a railroad right of way at Farnsworth. The property for the entire rail line was purchased from the adjacent land owners, Julia A. Davis, Hannah S. Stokes, Brigham Hartley, and Oly C. Oelson. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 5, pp. 150, 153)
The Farnsworth Spur was built from where it joined with D&RG's Kingsville Spur just north of Kingsville and headed southwest to about 3200 West then due south to the Interstate's beet dump at Farnsworth, at about 3200 West on the north side of 300 North. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 5, p.175, lines 4 and 26)
The spur to the West Point cannery at Farnsworth began at Station 78+23 of the Interstate Sugar Company's railroad and headed southeast and south one hundred feet east of the sugar company's railroad for a length of 765 feet.
The railroad was 1.6 miles long with a 647 foot spur. Consolidated Assets was a Utah corporation based in Ogden. James E. Ellison was vice president. (Davis County Book of Deeds 1J, p.569) The Ellison family also owned the Layton Sugar Co.
The West Point Canning Company was served by the 765-foot Dalton Spur at Farnsworth.
The West Point Canning Company's cannery was located about a hundred feet east of the beet dump at Farnsworth. The canning company began business in 1925 and Rio Grande built a spur to the cannery in May. The canning company went bankrupt in 1936.
In 1925 the West Point Canning Company built a cannery on the east side of the spur on land purchased from William H. Dalton in February 1925. The canning company sold a right of way to the D&RG for a spur, "as now constructed", in April 1925. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 5, p.175, lines 4 and 26)
In 1930, after the Interstate Sugar Company went bankrupt in 1927, the Rio Grande bought mile and half long spur and called it the Farnsworth Extension. The railroad bought the spur to maintain service to the beet dump which was taken over by the Amalgamated Sugar Company.
October 14, 1930
The "Interstate Sugar Company's Railroad" from Kingsville to Farnsworth was sold by Consolidated Assets to the Denver and Rio Grande Western on October 14, 1930. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 5, p. 176, line 35)
(The cannery building still stood as late as 1991, being used as a horse barn.)
- Welby (MP 0.00) (47 car side track)
- Hunter (MP 6.0) (9 car side track) (later known as Kearns)
- Riter (MP 10.7) (71 car side track)
- East Magna
- Magna (MP 12.8)
- East Junction (MP 13.4)
- Garfield (MP 15.1) (77 car side track)
- Garfield Smelter (MP 17.0, end) (yard)
March 29, 2007
Union Pacific sold to Savage Bingham & Garfield Railroad, portions of the former D&RGW Bingham and Garfield branches.
Savage Bingham & Garfield operations started on October 1, 2007.
Goshen Valley Branch
(View the Google map; as part of all D&RGW Tintic Branches)
"East Tintic to Have a Railroad", article about the Goshen Valley Railroad. To be built by Utah Construction Company to overcome a long haul by auto-trucks from the Tintic Standard mine. Officers were E. J. Raddatz, president, C. E. Loose, of Provo, vice president, and W. I. Snyder, secretary. Raddatz was also the manager of the Tintic Standard. (Salt Lake Mining Review, March 30, 1919)
April 26, 1927
The federal Interstate Commerce Commission approved the purchase, control and lease of the Goshen Valley Railroad by D&RGW.
The following comes from ICC Finance Docket 6205, decided and approved on April 26, 1927 (124 ICC 397-400):
Finance Docket No. 6205. Control Of Goshen Valley R. R. Co. By Denver & Rio Grande Western R. R. Co. Submitted April 19, 1927. Decided April 26, 1927.
(This report also embraces Finance Docket No, 6282, Lease of Goshen Valley Railroad by Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Company.)
Acquisition by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Company of control of the Goshen Valley Railroad Company by purchase of capital stock and by lease of its railroad approved and authorized.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Company, on March 23, 1927, filed an application for an order authorizing it to acquire control of the Goshen Valley Railroad Company, hereafter called the carrier, by purchase of capital stock, and on April 11, 1927, filed an application, Finance Docket No. 6232, for an order authorizing it to acquire control, by lease, of the carrier's railroad.
The carrier owns a railroad extending from a connection with the applicant's Tintic branch at Pearl Junction in a general southerly and westerly direction to Dividend, with a branch line from Flora to Iron King, all in Utah County, Utah. The total main-line mileage is 9.05 miles, with 1.5 miles of side and spur tracks.
The carrier's railroad was built in 1919, pursuant to a contract made December 10, 1918, between E. J. Raddatz, the Director General of Railroads, and the receiver of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company, hereinafter called the Denver, the predecessor of the applicant. The contract provided that the line should be built in accordance with standards of railroad constructiorf to be approved by the chief engineer of the Denver, and granted an option to the receiver of the Denver, to purchase the line within one year after the expiration of Federal control, at a price not in excess of the actual cost of right of way and construction. The option to purchase was not exercised, because of financial limitations. The carrier was incorporated under the laws of Utah on December 27, 1918, and on the same day received from Raddatz an assignment of all of his right, title, and interest in the contract. This assignment was duly approved by the general manager of the Denver under the Director General of Railroads and by the receiver of the Denver.
In Stock of Goshen Valley R. R., decided March 15, 1927 (124 ICC 117-118), we authorized the carrier to issue $50,000 of capital stock, consisting of 500 shares of the par value of $100 each, and to deliver 334 shares of said stock to the Tintic Standard Mining Company and 166 shares to the Iron King Consolidated Mining Company in partial payment of the advances made by said companies for the construction of the carrier's railroad.
On January 24, 1927, the [D&RGW] contracted to purchase from the two mining companies the entire capital stock of the carrier for $488,861.12. The mining companies agree to pay all indebtedness of the carrier, and to indemnify the applicant against all claims. The proposed purchase price equals the actual cost of construction and right of way. The railroad was built under the supervision of the Denver's engineers. The track is laid with 75 and 85 pound rail and has been well maintained. The agreed consideration is to be paid in cash.
The carrier's railroad serves the Tintic mining district. It does not connect with any railroad except that of the [D&RGW]. The carrier does not own any equipment. Operations are conducted by the [D&RGW]. In 1926 the interchange between the two railroads totaled 165,320 tons. The total revenue therefrom was $220,786.31, of which $156,731 accrued to the applicant and $64,055.31 to the carrier. Development work in progress is expected to produce a substantial increase in traffic.
May 20, 1927
D&RGW withdrew its application to the Utah Public Utilities Commission to purchase the Goshen Valley Railroad. The application was made on November 6, 1926. (Utah Public Service Commission case 929)
(Although no reason was given for the withdrawl, the most likely reason was that the federal ICC had already decided in favor of D&RGW's control and lease of the Goshen Valley railroad.)
October 29, 1940
D&RGW received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to close agency station at Goshen. (Utah Public Service Commission case 2425)
April 11, 1947
Property of the D&RGW was sold to the reorganized D&RGW, merging the old D&RGW with the Denver & Salt Lake Railway, the Denver & Salt Lake Western Railroad (the Dotsero Cutoff), the Rio Grande Junction Railroad, and the Goshen Valley Railroad. (Athearn, p. 328; LeMassena, p. 163)
The federal Interstate Commerce Commission approved D&RGW's request to abandon the Eureka Branch from Pearl Junction to Eureka, 13.13 miles, along with the Goshen Valley Branch from Flora to Dividend, 2.70 miles. (Railroad magazine, December 1972, page 66)
(see Provo Canyon Branch)
(Google Map; Syracuse Branches)
D&RGW's Hooper Branch began at the mainline, at about 5700 South in Roy. The curve was a 350 foot radius from the north to the west. The branch proceeded west along 5700 South to about 3900 West where it started a gradual turn to the north. At about 4925 West the branch turned due west again to Hooper, along 5600 South. The Hooper Road is 5500 South.
At about 5500 West the spur to the sugar factory turned north for about a quarter mile. The sugar factory was located at about 5400 South just west of 5500 West. The Hooper cannery was located about a half block south of 5500 South at about 5700 West. Apparently the Cox Extension continued west along 5600 South to a beet dump at about 7000 West. The station at Cox was the off‑loading station for a Conservation Corps camp in the 1930's, used to make improvements to the Howard Slough Bird Refuge. The same camp was used as a POW camp during World War Two.
D&RGW's Hooper Branch ran west, paralleling today's 5600 South (Hooper Road) at about 5650 South, to Hooper, at about 5700 West. The Cox Extension was built further west to about 6700 West where a beet dump for Interstate Sugar Company was located (just south of Thorald Cox's home). The station at Cox was also the off‑loading station for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the 1930s. The CCC were used to construct the Howard Slough Bird Refuge. The same camp was used to house a limited number of Italian POWs during World War Two. The beet dump at Cox was closed in about 1953, at which time the beets were piled at Amalgamated Sugar's Hooper beet dump, on the site of the old Interstate Sugar Company's sugar factory. (part from Garth Moore interview, September 1994)
- Hooper Junction (Roy) (MP 0.00)
- Barton (MP 1.1) (32 car side track)
- Kingsville Junction (MP 1.9)
- Hooper (MP 4.0)
- Cox (MP 5.0, end) (20 cars side track)
Initial construction in 1905 by D&RG.
RGW bought land for a sixty‑six foot right of way through several sections for use as a spur to Hooper in March 1905. (Weber County Book of Deeds G, p.67)
RGW bought land in Hooper in April 1905 for use as a spur to the sugar factory, connecting with the Hooper Spur. (Weber County Book of Deeds G, p.86)
Barton, on Hooper Branch, was at the section line between Sections 21 and 22, T5N, R2W (D&RG Valuation Map)
D&RG bought more land in Hooper from Amalgamated Sugar in January 1918. (Weber County Book of Deeds J, p.108, lines 6, 7, 8)
Iron King Branch
A section of the abandoned track was destroyed when Bureau of Land Management contractors used large chains pulled between bulldozers to remove invasive plant species. The chaining ripped up the rails and track structure in several places. (Information and photos from Pete Maxfield)
- Jennings Junction (later Kyune)
- Jennings Quarry (3 miles)
- Potters Quarry (4.97 miles)
Initial construction 3 miles to Jennings Quarry in 1892; extended to 4.97 miles to Potters Quarry in 1900; removed in 1917
- Kenilworth Junction (MP 0.00) (West Helper)
- Kenilworth (MP 6.2, end)
Replaced Kenilworth & Helper Railway, which connected with D&RGW at Spring Glen, east of Helper.
The following comes from various issues of Railway Age magazine:
DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN. -- This company has applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission for a certificate authorizing the construction of a line of 6.28 miles from Spring Canyon Junction, Utah. (Railway Age, February 6, 1926, page 409)
DENVER & RIO GRADE WESTERN. -- Improvement program for this year calling for an expenditure of more than $9 million, includes "an extension from Helper, Utah, to Kenilworth, a distance of six miles." All of the other projects were in Colorado. (Railway Age, March 13, 1926, page 833)
DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN -- Abandonment. -- The Interstate Commerce Commission has issued a certificate authorizing the Kenilworth & Helper and the Denver & Rio Grande Western, lessee, to abandon the line of the Kenilworth & Helper, which extends from Kenilworth Junction, Utah, to Kenilworth, 3.75 miles. Similarly a certificate has been issued authorizing the Denver & Rio Grande Western to construct a new branch line from Spring Canyon Junction in a general easterly direction, 6.28 miles. The Kenilworth is leased by the Denver from its owners, the Independent Coal & Coke Company, which purposes to open up new coal operations which the present line will not be adequate to serve. (Railway Age, April 10, 1926, page 1039)
DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN. -- A contract has been awarded to the Utah Construction Company, San Francisco, Cal., for the grading of a six-mile extension from Helper, Utah, to Kenilworth, reported in the Railway Age of March 13. (Railway Age, May 22, 1926, page 1415)
D&RGW received federal ICC approval to abandon its Kenilworth Branch, Helper to Kenilworth, 6.23 miles. (Railroad magazine, April 1972, page 65)
See also Utah Coal, Kenilworth Mines.
Kingsville was the site of a beet dump owned by Amalgamated Sugar Co.
D&RG's Kingsville Spur was built in late 1917 and early 1918. The branch started with a 12 degree curve to the south from the Hooper Spur, at a point 458 feet east and 414 feet south of the NW corner of Section 21, T5N, R2W. The land for the entire spur was purchased in December 1917.
The D&RG station at Kingsville was named after the original land owner, Joseph S. King, and was located at about 3000 West on the north side of 1800 North (Clinton Road). King sold a right of way for the D&RG spur, which had already been graded, in December 1917. At the same time King also sold two acres to the Amalgamated Sugar Company for use as a beet dump. The land for the beet dump was 665 feet north to south and 128 feet wide along the east side of the D&RG spur. D&RG purchased additional land from Amalgamated Sugar in January 1918, at which time the spur had been completed. (Davis County Book of Abstracts B, p.19, and Book of Deeds 1‑A, pp.437 and 478)
Amalgamated Sugar bought land for use as a beet dump at Kingsville in November 1917. (Weber County Book of Deeds J, p.79)
Lake Park Branch
- Constructed in 1887 to serve the Lake Park Resort on the shore of Great Salt Lake, west of Farmington.
- Converted to standard gauge in 1889.
- Two miles
- Dalton (MP 0.00) (15 car side track)
- Lark (MP 3.6, end) (yard)
Little Cottonwood Branch
Midvale to Sandy, then eastward to Wasatch.
- Built as narrow gauge
- Converted to standard gauge in 1890
- Operated by RGW and D&RG until 1913
- Operated by Salt Lake & Alta, 1913-1917
- Operated by D&RG and D&RGW, 1917-1933
Wasatch to Alta.
- Built as narrow gauge; remained as narrow gauge
- Operated intermittently as Alta Tramway, 1875-1895, 1900
- Operated Wasatch to Tanners by Little Cottonwood Transportation Co., 1916-1925
April 24, 1960
The D&RGW Little Cottonwood Branch was shown in D&RGW Employee Timetable No. 142, dated April 24, 1960.
October 14, 1960
D&RGW agreed to abandon and remove the tracks of its Little Cottonwood Branch between Midvale and Sandy, along Midvale's Center Street, eastward to the State Street crossing and into Sandy. This was to be done prior to the start of Interstate 15 construction. (Midvale Sentinel, October 14, 1960)
In April 1957 the state road commission had asked that the tracks along Center Street in Midvale be removed to allow widening of Center Street. The request was to the railroad itself, but was not approved. The state then sued in Third District Court in October. Only four customers were being served by the Little Cottonwood Branch at the time. (Deseret News, April 24, 1957; October 12, 1957)
March 1, 1965
The D&RGW Little Cottonwood Branch was officially closed to rail traffic on Monday March 1, 1965. The rails immediately east of the main line were in the way of construction of the Interstate 15 overpass over Center Street, and were to be removed within 30 days. D&RGW had agreed to abandon and remove the tracks leading to Sandy when they became an obstacle to the completion of I-15 through Midvale. (Midvale Sentinel, March 5, 1965)
July 9, 1965
D&RGW removed the tracks of its Little Cottonwood Branch along Center Street in Midvale, east of the D&RGW mainline, "last week." The connection between the mainline and the branch had been cut (in March) with the construction of Interstate 15 between the mainline at Midvale, and the crossing of State Street. The tracks through Midvale were commonly known by residents as the "Shay tracks" because of the type of locomotive once used along them. After the tracks and sub-roadbed of the branch were removed, a new base up to 24 inches deep was put into place, and the area was paved, making Center Street wider. (Midvale Sentinel, July 9, 1965; July 16, 1965)
D&RGW Marysvale Branch -- A Google Map of D&RGW's Marysvale Branch, built in 1891 and abandoned in 1984.
- U. P. Crossing (MP 42.0, Tintic Branch)
- Mammoth (MP 42.6) (yard)
Joint operation with OSL, then with UP, to provide access to the mill of the Mammoth Milling Co.
- Ephraim (MP 34.7, connection with San Pete Valley Branch)
- Marysvale Branch Crossing (MP 41.2)
- Manti (MP 42.0)
- Mile Post 42.2 (end of track after 1918)
- Morrison (MP 42.7, end)
- Removed south of Ephraim in 1925
Former San Pete Valley Railway
See also a History of Railroads in San Pete Valley.
Ogden Sugar Works Branch
- Two miles, constructed by RGW in 1899.
- Owned jointly with OSL, connected with OSL's Evona Branch.
- Served the sugar works of Ogden Sugar Co., later Amalgamated Sugar Co.
- Still in service during 2003, operated under contract for UP by Utah Central Railway.
- Provo Junction (MP 0.00) (yard)
- Curtis (MP 3.8) (23 car side track)
- Lincoln (MP 4.2) (16 car side track)
- Snow (MP 4.8) (yard)
- Orem (MP 6.2) (yard)
- End of track (MP 6.4)
Purchased from the bankrupt Salt Lake & Utah Railroad in 1946.
Park City Branch
See also the railroad portion of History of Transportation in Parley's Canyon.
Pleasant Valley Branch
- Colton (MP 0.00) (yard)
- Wye track
- Scofield (MP 15.2) (yard)
- Wye track, connection with Winter Quarters Spur
- Clear Creek (MP 21.1) (yard)
- End of track (MP 21.6)
- Completed Pleasant Valley Junction to Scofield in December 1882 to replace the original Utah & Pleasant Valley Ry.
- First terminal was the Winter Quarters mine, west of Scofield
- Second terminal was the Utah mine, south of Scofield
- 18 miles to Utah mine converted to standard gauge in 1890
- Pleasant Valley Junction changed to Colton in June 1898
- Final terminal was the Clear Creek mine, further south from Scofield, completed in 1899
- Winter Quarters spur removed in April 1933
- Still in service during 2003
See also Utah Coal, Pleasant Valley Mines.
Provo Canyon Branch
- Provo (MP 0.00) (yard)
- S. L. & U. Crossing (MP 0.2)
- S. L. & U. Crossing (MP 0.6)
- Smoot (MP 1.1) (23 cars side track)
- Caryhurst (MP 5.8) (14 car side track) (later known as Hale)
- Olmstead (MP 6.4) (6 car side track)
- Nunn's (MP 9.3) (2 car side track)
- Upper Falls (MP 10.6)
- Vivian Park (MP 11.8) (17 car side track)
- Wallsburg (MP 17.2) (12 car side track, later extended to 24 car side track)
- Charleston (MP 24.2) (13 car side track)
- Heber (MP 27.9, end) (yard)
- Wye track
- Constructed Provo to Upper Falls, 11 miles, by RGW in 1899
- Constructed Upper Falls to Heber City, 15 miles, by Utah Eastern Ry. in 1899.
James Belmont wrote this summary in April 2001:
From Provo, Utah, 28 miles to Heber City called the "Provo Canyon Branch," was primarily agrarian in nature. D&RGW shipped out hundreds of stock cars of sheep in the 1940s and 50's. At Heber City were an oil/gasoline bulk plant, a grain feed lot, a coal and lumber yard, and several team tracks around the wye that served local customers. In the 50's and 60's, outbound carloads of Gilsonite from northeastern Colorado, pulpwood in gondolas for onion skin paper, and the National Christmas tree on an 85 foot trailer flat in 1968. The line was abandoned in 1968, but a portion survives today as a tourist line.
In the summer of 1966 D&RGW operated one of the very last 'Heber Local' runs up from Provo to Heber on the Provo Canyon Branch. Rail traffic at Wasatch County's largest city had declined with improvements to parallel Highway 189. The depot had been boarded up by then, with weeds lining the right of way. Back in the 1930's, Heber City was the largest shipper of sheep by rail in the United States. There was a weigh scale adjacent to the depot, for documenting the transfer of gilsonite, trucked from Vernal, Utah to the railhead at Heber City. In November of 1968, the mothballed line was reopened by the D&RGW to haul the National Christmas Tree (harvested in nearby Daniel's Canyon) from Heber via a specially equipped trailer flat toward Washington, DC. It was a somewhat glorious ending to service the branch. Of course the line's history took a positive turn when the upper 18 miles were preserved in 1970 for a tourist operation that continues to this day. Unfortunately, the former D&RGW Heber yard area has been stripped of it's trackage. The now 'trackless' D&RGW depot survives to this day, utilized by a private business on 6th West at Center Street. (James Belmont, January 30, 2011)
San Pete Valley Branch
- Nephi (MP 0.00)
- Gypsum (MP 1.9) (14 car side track)
- Water Tank (MP 3.3)
- Nebo Junction (MP 5.9) (13 car side track)
- Divide (MP 10.1) (8 car side track)
- Fountain Green (MP 14.4) (10 car side track)
- Cedar Cliffs (MP 17.1)
- Freedom (MP 19.5)
- Moroni (MP 23.4) (27 car side track)
- Larsen (MP 24.9)
- Chester (MP 26.8) (13 car side track)
- Ephraim (MP 34.7, end, connection with Morrison Branch)
- Former San Pete Valley Railway
- San Pete Valley Branch shown in Salt Lake Division employee timetable No. 130, dated June 8, 1947
- San Pete Valley Branch *not* shown in Salt Lake Division employee timetable No. 131, dated May 30, 1948
December 2, 1947
D&RGW received ICC approval to abandon 23.21 miles of the San Pete Branch, between Moroni and Nephi. (ICC Finance Docket 15476, in 267 ICC 807)
(LeMassena, p. 163, says that the portion of the San Pete Valley Branch from Moroni to Gypsum Mill, 32.8 miles, was removed in 1948.)
(The portion at the western end, from Nephi to Gypsum Mill to Nephi, 1.9 miles, was sold to Union Pacific's LA&SL subsidiary. UP operated the line as its Nephi Plaster Mill Spur until October 1953, when it was retired and removed. The spur ran down the middle of Nephi's main east-west thoroughfare, First North Street, which was also designated as Utah Highway 132. The state highway department wanted the tracks removed to allow improvements along the state highway.)
See also a History of Railroads in San Pete Valley.
Spring Canyon Branch
- Spring Canyon Junction (MP 0.00) (West Helper)
- Wye track
- Spring Canyon Yard (MP 0.4)
- Peerless (MP 3.6)
- Spring Canyon (MP 4.1) (first known as Storrs)
- Standardville (MP 5.0)
- Maple Creek Junction (MP 5.8)
- Latuda (MP 6.2)
- Rains (MP 6.7)
- Mutual (MP 7.2, end)
- Initial construction in July 1912 by Spring Canyon Coal Co. to serve its coal mine at Storrs, later renamed to Spring Canyon. Purchased by D&RG in 1913. First coal shipped from Storrs in May 1913.
- Storrs to Standardville initial construction in July 1913 by Standard Coal Co. to serve its coal mine at Standardville. First coal shipped in February 1914. Purchased by D&RG in 1917.
- Standardville to Rains initial construction in 1914 by Carbon Fuel Co. to serve it coal mine at Rains. First coal shipped in November 1915. Purchased by D&RG in 1919.
- Peerless Coal Co. first shipped coal from its mine at Peerless in 1918.
- Liberty Fuel Co. shipped its first coal from the Liberty mine at Latuda in January 1918.
- Competition by Utah Railway and its Utah Terminal Railway subsidiary beginning in late 1921, serving the mines at Peerless, Spring Canyon, and Standardville, where the branch ended.
- Mutual Coal Co. first shipped coal from its Mutual mine in 1921.
- Storrs renamed to Spring Canyon in 1924.
- MacLean mine (also known as Little Standard) above Mutual first shipped coal from its mine in 1925.
- Maple Creek mine opened in 1927.
- New steel loader at Latuda in 1927.
- Little Standard mine closed in 1945.
- Standard mine at Standardville closed in 1950.
- Peerless mine closed in 1954.
- Spring Canyon mine closed in 1954.
- Carbon Fuel mine at Rains closed in 1958.
- Liberty mine at Latuda closed in 1966.
Spring Canyon Branch shown in D&RGW Salt Lake Division employee timetables as late as No. 139, dated September 22, 1957
D&RGW Spring Canyon Branch possibly abandoned in 1954 in ICC Finance Docket 18361, decided 2/16/54. (282 ICC 810)
See also Utah Coal, Spring Canyon Mines
D&RGW April 1884 passenger timetable, showing distances from Denver via the original narrow gauge
D&RGW Salt Lake Division timetable 117, December 4, 1938 (from Scott Meier's web site)
D&RGW Grand Junction Division timetable 119, June 2, 1940 (from Scott Meier's web site)
Maps in LeMassena's Rio Grande to the Pacific
D&RGW 1934 Condensed Profiles
John B. Charles email to D&RGW group at YahooGroups, July 22, 2003; information taken from Salt Lake Division timetable No 95, June 1, 1924.
Scott Meier email to D&RGW group at YahooGroups, July 23, 2003; information taken from Salt Lake Division timetable No. 102, June 9, 1929.