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Los Angeles & Salt Lake in Utah

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on July 4, 2018.

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Overview and Timeline

LA&SL In Utah, South of Salt Lake City -- Tracks owned by LA&SL; all UP lines south and west of Salt Lake City (leased to UP in 1936; merged with UP in 1987)

Research Notes

Compiled from handwritten notes, dating from 1978-1988, with recent updates from other material.

Most of the original information here was transcribed from handwritten notes taken while doing research in the files of UP's engineering department during 1982-1983, then compiled as a computer file in 1988, with additions through September 1994. Other updates and additions made after creation of web page in 2015.

The notes from the early 1980s were completed prior to the closure of UP's engineering office in Salt Lake City in about 1984. All files and most personnel were moved to Omaha in 1983-1984. The office was located in the Utah Division offices in the former depot annex building, just south of Union Pacific's Salt Lake City depot. The building was demolished in 1999 to make room for The Gateway Project.

LA&SL Locations

(Salt Lake City and South)

LA&SL at Garfield

(from LA&SL drawing 1512-D, Company Lands at Garfield, Utah, September 1909, examined during August 1981)

LA&SL at Stockton, Utah

LA&SL at Faust

LA&SL at Lynndyl

(from LA&SL CE drawing 54626, dated February 20, 1946)

LA&SL at Delta

LA&SL at Milford

(from LA&SL CE drawing 80773, dated November 25, 1953; also LA&SL drawing 5236, dated December 1902; both examined during August 1981)

LA&SL Branches

(listed alphabetically)

LA&SL Cedar City Branch

(Read more about the iron mines at Cedar City)

January 24, 1899
Utah Pacific completed to Cedar City Junction, 37 miles from Milford. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 25, 1899, "yesterday")

The current station of Lund is 35 miles south of Milford.

October 18, 1922
LA&SL received ICC approval to construct the 32.5 mile Cedar City Branch. To be completed by December 31, 1923. (ICC Finance Docket 2527)

The branch was to be constructed to serve the developing iron ore mines in the district west of Cedar City.

August 1922
Columbia Steel received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to construct a subsidiary called the Carbon County Railway. At the same time they withdrew their application to build another subsidiary called the Iron County Railway which was to be constructed from Lund, on the Union Pacific, to their iron ore properties in Iron County. The steel company withdrew their application based on the Union Pacific's protest in which Union Pacific stated that they were intending to construct the Cedar City Branch. (Utah Public Service Commission case 577)

The iron ore bodies in Iron County had been discovered in the early 1850s by Mormon pioneers. The particular deposits near Iron Mountain were first located in the 1870s but by the 1920s had not yet been commercially worked. The mines were to be developed to furnish ore for the new Columbia Steel Company's new iron mill that was being constructed near Springville. The actual mining was done by the steel company's subsidiary Columbia Iron Mining Company, and also by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company to supply its mill in Pueblo, Colorado. Columbia's mill near Springville, called Ironton, went into production, producing pig iron, on May 1, 1924. The construction of the Cedar City Branch also included the 4.5 mile Iron Mountain Branch to Desert Mound, which left the Cedar City Branch at Iron Springs (mile post 20.28).

Union Pacific's Utah Parks Company began operating the facilities at Grand Canyon National Park, and took over the interests of Utah and Grand Canyon Transportation Company, the bus company that was operating the bus service between Union Pacific's passenger trains at Cedar City and Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Monument, Zion's Canyon National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park. The bus company had begun the service in 1923. (Poor's, 1929, p.1052)

Union Pacific changed the name of the bus company to Union Pacific Stages.

April 18, 1928
LA&SL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue Sunday passenger service on the Cedar City Branch. (Utah Public Service Commission case 1018)

October 1930
Union Pacific was operating Trains 3 and 4 between Salt Lake City and Lund, and Trains 103 and 104 between Lund and Cedar City. In October 1930 the Public Utilities Commission approved the road's application to discontinue all four trains and only operate passenger train service to Cedar City during the tourist season. During the offseason the service was to be provided using motor buses of the Union Pacific Stages. (Utah Public Service Commission case 1197)

Between May 1, 1924, the date that Columbia Steel Corporation opened the Ironton plant, and 1934, the plant produced: 1,189,598 tons of pig iron; 825,574 tons of coke; 44,702 tons of sulfate of ammonia; and 35,939 tons of benzol. The pig iron that is produced at Ironton is shipped to plants in Pittsburg and Torrance, California. (Utah Public Service Commission case 1658)

Columbia Iron Mining expanded their operations to include the open pit mine at Iron Mountain and Union Pacific extended the Iron Mountain Branch ten miles south to reach Iron Mountain Station. In 1942 mining operations were again expanded to supply ore for the new ColumbiaGeneva Steel plant, under construction near Orem to supply steel plate needed for the war effort, and Union Pacific made improvements to the facilities on the branch to handle the additional traffic. (U. S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 4076, May 1947)

May 31, 1935
LA&SL began construction of the 11.31 mile line between Desert Mound and Iron Mountain, as an extension of the Cedar City Branch, to serve the iron ore mines that were being developed there. (ICC Financial Docket 10622)

During the 1960s Union Pacific retired the 9 x 20 depot and other station facilities at Iron Mountain. (Work Order 41394)

Summary of operations, as of November 1985:

The 15-mile Iron Mountain Branch was on the abandonment list during the mid 1980s, but removed due to the increasing traffic to support the Geneva Steel mill near Orem, Utah. In mid 1994 Geneva was buying its iron ore on the spot market, reducing traffic on the Iron Mountain Branch. In mid 1994, UP put the branch back on the proposed abandonment list. (Pacific Rail News, November 1994, page 47)

(Read more about the iron mines at Cedar City)

LA&SL Delta Branch

LA&SL Fairfield Branch

(handwritten notes from LA&SL drawing 562-11; examined at UP Depot Annex, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 29, 1988)

More Information for LA&SL Fairfield Branch

(see also: Salt Lake & Western Railway)

August 29, 1918
LA&SL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to abandon service on southern 13.3 miles of the Fairfield Branch between Topliff and Boulter, where the branch connected with the main line of the Leamington Cut-off. The Fairfield Branch was the former Salt Lake & Western. The abandonment was protested by the Scranton Mining & Smelting Company, for its Del Monte Mine located a few miles east of Del Monte Station on the branch. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 85)

May 10, 1921
Topliff (Mile Post 37.0) to Boulter (Mile Post 43.32) on Boulter Branch was abandoned. (Union Pacific AFE 3321, dated September 22, 1927, Work Order 7636, from LA&SL drawing 562-11)

October 31, 1927
LA&SL retired the southern 13.32 miles of the Fairfield Branch, from Mile Post 30.0 (Topliff) to Mile Post 43.32 (Boulter, connection to Leamington Cutoff main line). Operations were discontinued on September 6, 1918, after the August 29, 1918 approval for abandonment by the Utah Public Utilities Commission.

September 30, 1938
Union Pacific (LA&SL) completed removal of 6.56-mile portion of Fairfield Branch, from Mile Post 23.6 (Five Mile Pass) to Mile Post 30.16 (Topliff, end of branch), including 7.03 miles of spur tracks extending from Topliff, southeasterly to the limestone quarries of American Smelting & Refining Company and United States Smelting, Refining & Mining Company.

The limestone quarries had been opened in 1906 and their operation was abandoned in November 1937. (ICC Finance Docket 11983, 228 ICC 223, approved June 3, 1938, removal date from "Return to Questionnaire" for ICC Finance Docket 13762)

September 11, 1942
ICC dismissed LA&SL's application to abandon the Fairfield Branch, from Mile Post 0.8 (Cutler) to Mile Post 23.6 (Five Mile Pass, end of branch). The application was made on May 23, 1942. (ICC Finance Docket 13762)

On August 24, 1942 Union Pacific withdrew the application because new traffic developed which required that the branch remain in service. The operation of the new Geneva Steel plant at Orem required a special type of clay for use in the mortar of the fire bricking in the blast furnaces. The closest source for the clay was in a quarry which was located on the Union Pacific's Fairfield Branch. The clay was required in quantities that could not be furnished by trucks from the quarry. (Minutes of ICC hearing, Salt Lake City, August 24, 1942)

In November 1942 Union Pacific was operating two trains per week over the Fairfield Branch. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 2631)

April 1952
Utah Division Employee Timetable No. 12, dated April 27, 1952, was the last issue to show the LA&SL (UP) Fairfield Branch between Cutler and Five Mile Pass in Utah County. The branch is *not* shown in timetable No. 13, dated November 9, 1952. (Jim Ehernberger, email dated November 18, 2014)

LA&SL Fillmore Branch

The Fillmore Branch was built by LA&SL in 1922. It was 32 miles long, from Delta to Fillmore. The construction had been approved by the ICC on July 1, 1922, in their Finance Docket 2360.

When completed, at a reported cost of $701,188, the Fillmore Branch opened up some 90,000 acres of farm lands in the Pahvant Valley and an estimated 100 square miles of white pine timber in the adjacent Pahvant Range. A triweekly mixed train service was established between Delta and Fillmore on January 16, 1923.

June 1922
"In June 1922 construction was started of a single track line from Delta to extend southeasterly 32.24 miles to Fillmore, Utah. This extension is to serve a territory heretofore without railroad facilities containing approximately 150,000 acres of irrigable and 35,000 acres of dry-farming agricultural land now being extensively developed by the Sevier River Land and Water Company and other interests. The new line will result in increased production of sugar beets, grain and dairy produces." (Union Pacific 1922 Annual Report, research completed by James Ehernberger)

LA&SL to construct Fillmore Branch, approved July 1, 1922. (ICC Finance Docket 2360; 72 ICC 147)

January 15, 1923
"On January 15, 1923, new line officially opened between Delta and Fillmore, Utah." (Union Pacific 1923 Annual Report, research completed by James Ehernberger)

January 16, 1923
A special train from Salt Lake City arrived at Fillmore at 7 a.m. on January 16, 1923. No special ceremony was planned due to the weather, with a dedication ceremony planned for the following April. (Salt Lake Telegram, January 16, 1923)

January 19, 1923
"Delta-Fillmore Line Opened -- The first passenger train over the Delta-Fillmore branch left Lynndyl at 6 o'clock and pulled out of Delta at 8 o'clock this morning, well filled with passengers to take the first wide over this branch line. The train was pulled by Engineer Parkinson, Fireman Roberts and Conductor Ed. Marksheffel, and in charge of Superintendent W. H. Smith, Trainmaster G. W. Hamilton, Superintendent of Maintenance of Way Fran Strong and General Roadmaster Andrew S. Benson. The train was met at Fillmore by about 1000 people, and a short celebration held after an address of welcome by Maurice Lambert, mayor of Fillmore, to which Judge Joshua Greenwood of the utilities commission and Superintendent W. H. Smith replied for the railroad." (Beaver County News, January 19, 1923)

Between the spring of 1923, when the branch was opened to traffic, and June 1929 passenger service on the branch was provided with a locomotive and passenger cars.

June 10, 1929
To reduce costs, the railroad began using a gasoline motor car on the Fillmore Branch.

March 1930
Nine months later, in late March 1930, the Public Service Commission of Utah granted the railroad's request to discontinue all passenger train service between Delta and Fillmore, and replace it with auto bus service. During the time of motor car operation, between November 1929 and February 1930, the motor car had been operating mostly empty, and never with more than two passengers. The approval was in effect after April 3. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1160)

March 1932
Utah Public Utilities Commission approved the transfer of operation of the Delta-to-Fillmore auto bus service to a private contractor, Mr. Moyle Sargent. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1268)

UP (LA&SL) applied to the federal Interstate Commerce Commission to abandon the Fillmore Branch in 1942. The request was dismissed without prejudice on September 11, 1942. (ICC Finance Docket 13777)

June 11, 1984
Union Pacific (LA&SL) received ICC approval to abandon the Fillmore Branch from Delta (Mile Post 0.5) to Fillmore (Mile Post 32.26).

After several bridges and culverts were damaged by the floods of Spring 1983, abandonment papers were filed in November 1983. The ICC approved the abandonment in June 1984, and all but the first eight miles were torn up within just a few months.

UP Fillmore (Utah) branch approved for abandonment June 1984. 32 miles long; Delta to Fillmore, Utah. Trackwork sold to Gammel and Ollendick, scrapper. (Pacific News, August 1985, page 22)

The depot building was sold to a local contractor, and moved off of, but adjacent to railroad property. During the move, the building was swapped end-for-end. The depot building was sold to the contractor who was selling lava rock and shipping it by rail, until the branch was abandoned. By the late 1980s, the contractor was still selling rock products, but it was all moving by truck.

LA&SL Frisco Branch

(from LA&SL drawing 562-8, dated January 1907; examined at UP Depot Annex, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 29, 1988)

LA&SL Hinkley Branch

LA&SL Iron Mountain Branch

(see Cedar City Branch, above)

LA&SL Nephi Plaster Mill Spur

Purchased from D&RGW in 1948, upon the abandonment of their San Pete Valley Branch, Nephi to Ephraim.

Nephi to Plaster Mill, 1.9 miles

Retired by LA&SL in December 1953, Work Order 5272

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.

LA&SL Newhouse Extension

LA&SL Tintic Branches

(Read more about the LA&SL branches in the Tintic area)