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Oregon Short Line (1897 to 1915)

Narrow Gauge Locomotives

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This page was last updated on March 24, 2013.

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Overview

(Much of the information presented here is based on research completed by George Pitchard.)

According to three separate listings of Oregon Short Line locomotives (OSL&UN, December 31, 1896; OSL, June 30, 1900 and June 30, 1901), the Oregon Short Line RR officially had two narrow gauge locomotives on its first day, March 16, 1897, which the OSL reports show as being two Mogul engines having 12x18 inches cylinders.

March 16, 1897
"At the Salt Lake narrow gauge shops a number of old friends from the Oregon Short Line locomotives are being repaired and overhauled, to be ready for the summer traffic. They are the 21 and 11 of the Utah & Nevada, and the 91, the last of the Utah & Northern big narrow gauge boys. After they come out of the shops they will be 1, 2 and 3, respectively, and lettered 'Oregon Short Line,' which is the title chosen for cars and engines. One of the best engines lying at the Jordan spur will also be rebuilt for the Garfield run. The old K. C. engines have been sent back East." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 16, 1897)

May 14, 1897
"Preparing for Lake Travel" "Garfield Rolling Stock being Repaired" "When the lake season opens this year the Oregon Short Line will have its narrow gauge equipment in excellent shape. All the excursion cars have been brought in and are being overhauled and repainted, with 'Oregon Short Line' in yellow letters across the upper side board. The coach 125 has come out of the shop as No. 15, and yesterday Oregon Short Line locomotive No. 1 was turned out, having been entirely overhauled and looking like a new engine. The old Utah Western No. 12 tank engine is being completely overhauled, and in a few weeks will be transformed into a service engine to be known as No. 4." "No. 3 and No. 11 were both in service yesterday, the latter having been ordered to the shops to be rebuilt and make its reappearance as No. 2. This makes four engines ready for the Garfield service, all of them being nearly as good as new. No. 1 made a trial run to Garfield yesterday, and behaved splendidly on the trip." (Salt Lake Tribune, May 14, 1897)

June 13, 1897
"The Garfield Opening" "Never before has the equipment on the railroad been in such good condition. The coaches, open cars and engines have all been overhauled, repainted and relettered, and the trains will be the first ones to be marked throughout, 'Oregon Short Line.' Engine No. 4 will be out of the shops July 1st. This will give four almost new engines to the Garfield line." (Salt Lake Tribune, June 13, 1897)

April 17, 1899
"Stories of the Rail" "...a trip of an hour along the local sidetracks..." "...when the Oregon Short Line terminal yards of the narrow gauge line were visited, the first relic located was an old semi-circular tank. It is the last remnant of the Utah Western, the road (John W.) Young organized in 1889 to build from the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas northwest to the lake. The tank is all that is left of Utah Western engine No. 4 (sic), which was a saddle-tank affair, that is, the tank shown in the picture covered the locomotive boiler, and a coal box was back of the cab. The boiler is now a part of the Oregon Short Line narrow gauge No. 2 (sic) running to Garfield, but passengers to that bathing resort four summers ago will perhaps remember the Utah Western saddle-tank, which, with other curiosities, stood on the side-track half-way between here and Garfield. The engine was an old one, and was bought by the Utah Western from a defunct Eastern narrow gauge road." (Salt Lake Tribune, April 17, 1899; included a sketch of a saddle-tank, lying on the ground, and quite clearly lettered 'Utah Western.')

The end of narrow gauge operations on OSL's Garfield Line came in mid-November of 1902, with the last revenue run having been made on November 15, 1902.

The locomotives were set aside after the end of operations, along with the remaining rolling stock, including 30 passenger cars, 152 freight cars and eight outfit cars, according to the annual report of June 30, 1903, all of which was sold in April of 1903 to the Sumpter Valley Railway. The exact sequence of road numbers from OSL to Sumpter Valley is a point of disagreement among researchers.

Former OSL 2, 3, and 4 were dropped from Sumpter Valley's roster by June 30, 1916. The former OSL numbers 2 and 3 were likely scrapped. The former OSL number 4 was part of the June 1912 trade to the Eureka-Nevada Railway, though the engine did not leave Oregon and was sold by the E-N where it sat in May 1915, to an unknown purchaser.

The former OSL number 1 became Sumpter Valley 11. It was donated by Sumpter Valley Railway in 1936 to the Pocatello campus of Idaho State University for display as Sumpter Valley number 11. Examination of photographs show that this engine did, in fact, have builder's plates with the construction number of 4429 on them; the tender, as it weathered, showed a variety of numbers, including 11, 17 and 22, and eventually it weathered to the point of showing portions of the original 'Utah & Northern R. W.' lettering applied at Baldwin when built. This engine was scrapped in late 1942, when the Union Pacific Railroad suggested it be donated to the war-time scrap drive. It also had on it what was apparently the last surviving original Congdon smokestack.

Locomotive Roster

OSL 2-6-0 -- 1 locomotive (narrow gauge)

1897 OSL
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Builder
Date
Date
Vacated
Notes
OSL 1 U&N 7 U&N 11 OSL&UN 11 Baldwin 4429 Sep 1878 May 1902 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 40 inches (later 42 inches)
Cylinders: 12x18 inches

Notes:

1. OSL number 1 was built as Utah & Northern number 7 in 1878; to Utah & Nevada Railway number 11 in May 1888; to OSL&UN 11 in 1889; to OSL number 1 in 1897; sold to Sumpter Valley Railway 11 in 1903; to Sumpter Valley 12 in 1906; retired in June 1916 and stored until donated Idaho State University at Pocatello, Idaho, displayed on campus from 1936 to 1942; scrapped.
   

OSL 2-6-0 -- 1 locomotive (narrow gauge)

1897 OSL
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Third
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Builder
Date
Date
Vacated
Notes
OSL 2 U&N 18 U&N 22 Utah & Nevada 5 OSL&UN 21 Baldwin 4967 Feb 1880 Apr 1903 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 42 inches
Cylinders: 12x18 inches

Notes:

1. OSL number 2 was built as Utah & Northern 18 in 1880; to U&N 22 in 1885; to Utah & Nevada Railway number 5 in April 1889; to OSL&UN number 5 in 1889; to OSL number 2 in 1897; vacated in 1903, scrapped
   

OSL 2-6-0 -- 1 locomotive (narrow gauge)

1897 OSL
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Builder
Date
Date
Vacated
Notes
OSL 3 U&N 34 U&N 91 OSL&UN 91 Brooks 559 Jul 1881 Apr 1903 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 42 inches
Cylinders: 14x18 inches

Notes:

1. OSL number 3 was built as Utah & Northern 34 in 1881; to U&N 91 in 1885; to OSL&UN 91 in 1889; to OSL 3 in March 1897
   

OSL 2-6-0 -- 1 locomotive (ex Cleveland & Canton Railroad)

1897 OSL
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Builder
Date
Date
Vacated
Notes
OSL 4 CV 16 C&C 16 Utah Western 12 Baldwin 5989 Jan 1882 Apr 1903 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 36 inches
Cylinders: 14x18 inches

General Notes:

a. Built as an 0-6-0T; rebuilt by OSL to a 2-6-0 in 1897
b. OSL number 4 as Utah Western number 12, was part of a a security agreement on November 4, 1891 between John W. Young and OSL&UN for Young's indebtedness for the unpaid freight charges for the move of the locomotive from Ohio to Utah in late 1889/early 1890

Notes:

1.

OSL number 4 was built as Connotton Valley Railway number 16 in 1882, named "Wharf Rat"; to Cleveland & Canton Railroad number 16 in 1885 (C&C was converted to standard gauge by November 1888); sold to New York Equipment Company (dealer); sold to John W. Young in August 1889; arrived in Salt Lake City in January 1890 lettered as a Utah Western number 12; turned over to OSL&UN no later than May 1893, account unpaid freight charges

After OSL&UN took ownership in May 1893, the locomotive was stored out-of-service at Jordan spur on the former Utah & Nevada line until March 1897; rebuilt by OSL from its original 0-6-0T configuration, to a 2-6-0 tender locomotive and put in service in July 1897 as OSL number 4 on the former Utah & Nevada line (end of narrow gauge operations came in November 1902); OSL number 4 was sold to Sumpter Valley Railway in April 1903; traded to Eureka-Nevada Railway in 1912 (but did not leave Oregon); sold by E-N in May 1915, purchaser unknown.

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