UtahRails.net

(This page printed from UtahRails.net, Copyright 2000-2016 Don Strack)

Idaho Northern Railway

Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on January 30, 2016.

Idaho Northern Railway

(later OSL's Idaho Northern Branch, Idaho Division)

Nampa to McCall, Idaho, 132.8 miles

The following comes from Smoke Down The Canyons, by Ehernberger and Gschwind:

IDAHO NORTHERN BRANCH
Nampa, Idaho to McCall, Idaho
One of the most spectacularly beautiful branch lines on the Union Pacific System is the Idaho Northern Branch which heads northward from Nampa past rich farmlands and fruit-growing areas into a mountainous region where logging and livestock raising predominate. The first 27 miles to Emmett were constructed in 1900-02 by the Idaho Northern Railway and the line progressed no further until 1911 when steel was again laid northward and by October 29, 1912 had reached Smiths Ferry, 83 miles from Nampa. All Idaho Northern properties were sold to the Oregon Short Line on December 30, 1912 and in 1914 the new owner completed the remaining 45.7 miles to Lakeport, now McCall. In 1947 approximately sixteen miles of track were relocated between Cascade, 99.2 miles from Nampa, and Donnelly by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation because of the construction of Cascade Dam and the resulting reservoir on the North Fork of the Payette River.

After leaving the wide and fertile Emmett Valley the line proceeds along the Payette River Valley, passing through a small tunnel six miles above Emmett, and at Banks encounters the beginning of the heaviest grades on the branch. For 19 miles the grade is 1.75 per cent with some stretches as steep as three per cent and steam helpers were once used between Banks, 64.1 miles from Nampa, and Smiths Ferry, sometimes resulting in as many as four locomotives on one train. A hand-operated turntable and fuel and water facilities were maintained at Banks for these helpers. Above Smiths Ferry, Payette Canyon widens into lovely Long Valley, a cattle-producing area which is surrounded by high mountain ranges. some of which are snow-covered the year around. McCall itself is situated on mile-high Payette Lake in a highly popular resort area and a 2-stall engine house located at this point served steam power of the O. S. L. and U. P. in turn. Because of a forest fire blamed on sparks from a locomotive, oil-burning engines replaced coal-fired power permanently on this branch in 1941. Through the years, logs and lumber have produced the greatest amount of traffic on this colorful 132.8-mile branch. One of the many unusual features of this branch is the Centralized Traffic Control which prevails on the first 2.4 miles between Nampa and Fischer.

(Read more about the Idaho Northern Railroad -- which became OWRR&N's Enaville Branch in 1910)

Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway

(later OSL's Stoddard Branch, Idaho Division)

Nampa to Murphy, Idaho, 29.55 miles

The following comes from Smoke Down The Canyons, by Ehernberger and Gschwind:

STODDARD BRANCH (MURPHY BRANCH)
Nampa, Idaho to Stoddard, Idaho
In 1897 the Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway constructed a 30-mile line southward to Murphy, once an important livestock, wool and ore shipping point and gateway to the Silver City, De Lamar and Dewey silver mining camps. Adjacent to the line, formerly known as the Murphy Branch, is extremely productive farmland, irrigated directly from the Snake River. The B. N. & O. was taken over by the Idaho Northern Railway in 1907 and operated as a part of that road until it, in turn, was absorbed by the Oregon Short Line in 1912. In 1947 that portion of the branch between Milepost 20 (three miles west of Stoddard) and Murphy was abandoned and the line has since been known as the Stoddard Branch. The line was further reduced in 1964 and now terminates at Milepost 17.8.

Timeline

February 7, 1896
Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway was incorporated

June 12, 1896
Construction of BN&O began at Nampa (OSL corporate history says August 1, 1896)

November 16, 1896
First rail was laid by BN&O, at Nampa

January 18, 1897
BN&O operations began

March 15, 1897
BN&O operations began between Nampa and Guffey, the crossing of the Snake River

June 30, 1897
ICC report shows that BN&O had 22 miles owned and in use

June 30, 1899
ICC report shows that BN&O had 30 miles owned and in use

August 24, 1899
BN&O construction was formally completed, Nampa to Murphy

January 22, 1900
Construction of Idaho Northern Railway began at Nampa (incorporated on December 17, 1897)

March 11, 1901
First rail was laid by Idaho Northern Railway, at Nampa

March 29, 1902
INRy operations began, Nampa to Emmett

April 30, 1902
INRy construction formally completed, Nampa to Emmett (27 miles)

June 30, 1902
ICC report shows that INRy had 27 miles owned and in use

January 21, 1907
Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway was sold to Idaho Northern Railway

June 30, 1907
ICC report shows that INRy had 57 miles owned and in use

In the period between 1906 and 1911, the Idaho Northern Railway was the focus of the grand plans of E. H. Harriman's Union Pacific and James Hill's Northern Pacific as they battled for rights to control the railroad traffic in eastern Oregon and Washington, and western Idaho. Union Pacific purchased controlling interest in INRy in 1910 to keep it out of the hands of Northern Pacific, and began construction north from Emmett.

October 10, 1910
The Payette Valley Railroad Extension was completed to Emmett, connecting with Idaho Northern Railway. This completed a connection between Emmett, and the OSL mainline at Payette, Idaho.

The Oregon Short Line corporate history, completed for the federal ICC, shows the Payette Valley Railroad being started at Payette on April 27, 1906, and completed to New Plymouth, Idaho, on August 30, 1906 (10.83 miles). The Payette Valley Railroad Extension was started at New Plymouth on April 1, 1910, and completed to Emmett on October 10, 1910 (17.96 miles). Both railroads were sold to OSL on August 5, 1914.

June 1911
Construction of INRy resumed at Emmett, by Union Pacific crews

August 1912
Construction completed between Emmett and Montour (14 miles)

December 30, 1912
Idaho Northern Railway (including Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway) was sold to Oregon Short Line Railroad

January 6, 1913
Idaho Northern Railway (including Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway) was merged into Oregon Short Line Railroad

October 31, 1913
Construction completed between Montour and Smiths Ferry (42 miles)

July 19, 1914
Construction completed between Smiths Ferry and Lakeport (later known as McCall) (46 miles)

1947
OSL abandoned the portion of the Murphy Branch (formerly the Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway) between Stoddard and Murphy, 9.5 miles, making Stoddard the end of the line and changing the Murphy Branch to become the Stoddard Branch

February 1993
Union Pacific abandoned the Stoddard Branch, Nampa to Stoddard, formerly the Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway

Idaho Northern & Pacific

From UP's web site:

Nature of Firm -- INPR provides freight service over four former UP branch lines in southwestern Idaho and northeastern Oregon. The Oregon Division runs from a UP connection at La Grande to Elgin, OR (20.6 miles). The Idaho Division runs from a UP connection at Payette to Cascade, OR (100.9 miles). Traffic includes agricultural products, forest products, and chemicals.

History -- The line from Payette to Emmett was built between 1906 and 1910 by the Payette Valley Railroad and acquired by the Oregon Short Line Railroad in August 1914. In 1914 the line was extended from Emmett to Cascade and beyond. The line in Oregon was built by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company in stages through the 1890s. UP sold Idaho and Oregon Divisions to INPR on November 15, 1993. INPR filed for abandonment for a portion of the Oregon Division between Elgin to Joseph, OR (60.6 miles) in 1997. This line was purchased by Wallowa County and operates as the Wallowa Union Railroad Authority. In March 1999, INPR leased the Caldwell to Wilder Branch (11 miles), and the Boise Cutoff from Nampa to Hillcrest (24.8 miles). In November 2009, the lease for the Wilder Branch and Boise Cutoff was transferred to the Boise Valley Railroad.

(The Caldwell-to-Wilder Branch, and the Boise Cutoff Branch, were leased from Union Pacific from March 1999 to November 2009. Boise Valley Railroad took over the lease from UP in November 2009.)

November 14, 1993
Idaho Northern & Pacific operations began over four former Union Pacific branchlines: Idaho Northern Branch (Nampa to McCall, Idaho, 132.8 miles); New Meadows Branch (Weiser to Rubicon, Idaho, 89.8 miles); Payette Branch (Payette to Emmett, 29.7 miles); and Joseph Branch (LaGrande to Joseph, Oregon, 83.8 miles)

OSL's Idaho Northern Branch was sold to Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad (INPR), which began a excursion service known as The Thunder Mountain Line, operating tourist trains between Emmett and Cascade, 99 miles.

1996
Idaho Northern & Pacific abandoned the portion of the former Idaho Northern Railway between Nampa and Emmett, operating its trains between Emmett and a connection with Union Pacific at Payette by way of the former Payette Branch.

June 1996
Idaho Northern & Pacific removed UP's former New Meadows Branch. (Railroad magazine)

From about June 1993, until August 2009, three former UP passenger cars were stored on the Boise Cutoff Branch. The cars were Imperial Letter, UP 4051, and UP 5613. In August 2009, UP 4051 and UP 5613 were sold to Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California. In November 2009, when IN&P lost, or gave up, the lease on UP's Boise Cutoff Branch, Imperial Letter was moved to IN&P property at Emmett, Idaho.

Locomotives

Idaho Northern Railway

INRy 4-6-0 -- 1 locomotive

INRy
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
1913 OSL
Number
1915 OSL
Number
Notes
INRy 101 Baldwin 30556 Apr 1907 OSL 526 OSL 1502 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 54 inches
Cylinders: 18x24 inches

General Notes:

a. Idaho Northern Railway was sold to OSL on December 31, 1912; merged with OSL on January 6, 1913.

Notes:

1. Built as Idaho Northern Railway 101 in 1907; to OSL 526 in 1913; to OSL 1502 in 1915 (leased to Saratoga & Encampment 1917-1919); vacated in 1925
   

INRy 4-4-0 -- 1 locomotive

INRy
Number
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
1913 OSL
Number
1915 OSL
Number
Notes
INRy 200 Baldwin 33302 Mar 1909 OSL 325 OSL 1008 1

Description:

CS Class:
Cabside Class: E-62
Drive Wheel Diameter:
Cylinders:
Valve Gear:
Maximum Tractive Effort:
Weight on Drivers:
Weight in Working Order (Engine Only):
Weight in Working Order (Engine and Tender):
Fuel: Coal

Notes:

1. Built as Idaho Northern Railway 200 in 1909; to OSL 325 in 1913; to OSL 1008 in 1915; vacated in 1923
   

INRy 4-4-0 -- 1 locomotive

1907 INRy
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Fourth
Number
Date To
INRy
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
1913 OSL
Number
1915 OSL
Number
Notes
INRy 201 U&NRy 730 OSL&UN 730 OSL 304 BN&O (?) 1907 Baldwin 8383 Feb 1887 OSL 304 OSL 1003 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 69 inches (rebuilt from 62 inches in 1897)
Cylinders: 18x26 inches

Notes:

1. INRy 201 was built as U&N 730 in 1887; to OSL&UN 730 in 1889; to OSL 304 in 1897; sold to Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railroad in October 1901 for $5,600.00; to Idaho Northern Ry 201 in 1907 (INRy sold to OSL in December 1912); INRy 201 back to OSL 304 in January 1913; to OSL 1003 in 1915; vacated in 1922

Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway

BN&O 4-6-0 -- 1 locomotive

1899 BN&O
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Fourth
Number
Date To
BN&O
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
1907 INRy
Number
Notes
BN&O 3 UPRy 54 (1st) UCRy 19 OSL&UN 1029 OSL 515 Aug 1899 Taunton 840 Mar 1882 INRy (?) 1

General Notes:

a. "The OSL's Salt Lake shops have turned out their engine 1029, as Boise, Nampa & Owyhee engine number 3, named 'Col. W. H. Dewey'." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 16, 1899)
b. Individual locomotive specifications:
  BN&O
Number
As Built
Specs.
Later
Specs.
Date
Rebuilt
  BN&O 3 54-18x24 57-18x24 Feb 1894

Notes:

1. BN&O number 3 was ordered as UPRy 54 (1st), changed to Utah Central Ry 19 upon delivery in 1882; to OSL&UN 1029 in 1889; to OSL 515 in 1897; sold to Boise, Nampa & Owyhee Railway in August 1899 for $4,000.00; to Idaho Northern Railway in 1907; vacated before 1909 (BN&O sale information from OSL account books, per Pitchard research)
   

BN&O 4-4-0 -- 1 locomotive

1901 BN&O
Number
First
Number
Second
Number
Third
Number
Date To
BN&O
Builder Builder
Number
Date
Built
1907 INRy
Number
1913 OSL
Number
1915 OSL
Number
Notes
BN&O (?) U&NRy 730 OSL&UN 730 OSL 304 Nov 1901 Baldwin 8383 Feb 1887 INRy 201 OSL 304 OSL 1003 1

Description:

Drive Wheel Diameter: 62 inches
Cylinders: 18x26 inches

Notes:

1. Boise , Nampa & Owyhee Railroad (?) was built as U&N 730 in 1887; to OSL&UN 730 in 1889; to OSL 304 in 1897; to Boise , Nampa & Owyhee Railroad in November 1901; to Idaho Northern Ry 201 in 1907; INRy 201 back to OSL 304 in January 1913; to OSL 1003 in 1915; vacated in 1922
   

Sources

Ehernberger, James L. and Francis G. Gschwind. Union Pacific Steam, Northwestern District (E&G Publications, 1975)

Robertson, Donald B. Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History, Volume II, pages 201 and 212

###