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The Bamberger Railroad got its start 1891 as the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway, building northward from the west side of Salt Lake City, near the Union Pacific depot. The railroad was owned (mostly) by Simon Bamberger, using financial resources from his interests in coal and metal mines. The company completed its line to Becks Hot Springs later in 1891, and continued on to Bountiful in less than a year. Centerville was reached in 1894, and Farmington in 1895. To provide a destination for travelers while the company was recovering financially, Bamberger purchased a swampy area just north of Farmington, drained it and built the Lagoon Resort, for residents of Salt Lake City who sought recreation outside of the city. (Lagoon remains today as one of the largest resort parks in the West.)
Within a year of the completion of the line to Farmington in 1895, Bamberger expanded his vision with plans to extend his Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs line to serve Ogden. Bamberger wanted to provide service for the local business traveler, providing more frequent service than either Union Pacific or Rio Grande, which did not offer conveniently timed passenger service between Ogden and Salt Lake City.
The company was reorganized in October 1896 as the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway. The end of track remained at Lagoon from 1896 through 1902, when construction resumed, with Kaysville as the goal. Kaysville and Layton were reached in 1906, Kaysville on May 30 and Layton on September 4. Construction crews finished the line to Ogden in late July 1908, with passenger service between Salt Lake City and Ogden beginning on August 8, 1908. The depot was located at 31st Street and Lincoln Avenue.
Although the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway was powered by large steam locomotives, it was still known as "the Dummy Line" because of its 1890s start with dummy streetcars, small steam locomotives that were built with bodies that resembled regular electric streetcars. As service was expanded to points north, and to Ogden, the company purchased larger steam locomotives and larger cars with capacity to move the increased freight and passenger traffic.
With the completion of the line in 1908, Bamberger began giving thought to joining the wave of interurban railroads (railroads that inter-connect large urban areas) that were modernizing their lines by electrifying them, using electric power to replace steam locomotives. The Salt Lake & Ogden Railway seemingly had all the requirements for a profitable interurban railroad: large cities at either end of the line (with large central city terminals) to provide both passengers and freight; a prosperous rural countryside between to supply more of both; and a well-engineered route that would allow operation of high-speed, electric interurban trains. In 1910, the electrification was completed by stringing overhead trolley wire and purchasing new equipment, along with constructing electrical substations along the line. Since Bamberger also owned several coal mines, it seemed proper to also construct a coal-fired power plant, and one was built at Farmington to furnish all of the electricity needed for the railroad. The first day of electric operation was May 28, 1910.
Throughout its early years, the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway was known as "the Bamberger." In August 1917, the name was changed officially to the Bamberger Electric Railroad, accepting the road's nickname. Also in 1917, Simon Bamberger was elected governor as the Progressive Party candidate.
Most of the freight traffic was to and from local businesses along the line between Salt Lake City and Ogden, with Bamberger interchanging traffic with the larger interstate companies at either end of the line. During the 1920s, publicly-funded highways slowly expanded, providing trucking companies access to these same local businesses. Bamberger, with its privately owned right of way and tracks, was forced to compete with trucking companies for freight, and bus companies for passengers, all of which used the public highways.
Due to declining business, Bamberger Electric Railroad declared bankruptcy in 1933, emerging in 1939 as the reorganized Bamberger Railroad, dropping the word "Electric" from its name. During the 1939 reorganization, Bamberger owned 84 freight cars, four freight locomotives, 29 passenger cars, two express cars, a line work car, and two highway buses. To better compete for the local passengers, in March 1939 the company purchased five high-speed, streamlined cars that were capable of 75 miles per hour.
Like so many other railroads and businesses in the nation, Bamberger's bottom line benefited by the movement of freight and passengers during World War II, but its fortunes went into decline after the war. By the very early 1950s, the company was again struggling to keep red ink away from its account books. After the war, Bamberger had increased its efforts to convert its passenger business from rail cars to buses. By mid 1952, with new buses traveling daily between Salt Lake City and Ogden, regulators allowed the company to end the operation of its passenger trains. The last day was September 6, 1952.
Bamberger Railroad continued as a freight-only company until all operations came to an end on December 31, 1958. Remnants of the line are evident today in many of the towns it served, with the spur between Ogden and Hill Air Force Base, purchased by Union Pacific, remaining as the only part still seeing regular rail operations.
From The History of Weber County, by Richard C. Roberts & Richard W. Sadler:
The Bamberger Electric Railway was built under the leadership of Simon Bamberger, pioneer Utah coal-mine operator and railroad entrepreneur. Bamberger projected the Ogden-Salt Lake City line as a steam line as early as 1891; and in 1908 Ogden was connected to Salt Lake City on what was known as the Bamberger. The line was electrified on May 28, 1910 and renamed the Bamberger Electric Railway. The business of the line included commuter and shopper travel between Ogden and Salt Lake City as well as heavy summer traffic to Lagoon resort. Bamberger had developed Lagoon at Farmington to compete with the Denver and Rio Grande's resort, Lake Park, on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. In 1908 the Bamberger had five daily trains running both directions. The Ogden depot of the Bamberger was located on Lincoln Avenue just north of 24th Street. On May 7, 1918 the Ogden station, car barn, and some of the passenger equipment were destroyed by fire. Replacement equipment was difficult to obtain until the end of World War I. The advantage the Bamberger had over the Union Pacific line from Ogden to Salt Lake City was that it made stops at most of the small towns on the way, while the UP trains did not normally stop between Ogden and Salt Lake City. In 1914 the electrified Utah-Idaho Central was established, connecting Ogden with Preston, Idaho. A branch line of this road was extended to Plain City.
From The Electric Interurban Railways in America, by George W. Hilton and John F. Due:
The Bamberger was originally almost entirely double track, but the railroad removed most of its second track when it adopted automatic block signals in the late thirties. About ninety percent of America's other interurban lines were built and operated as single track systems. Notable exceptions with double track were the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee and the Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern; the Pacific Electric is also notable because that system had substantial amounts of route with four parallel tracks. Some systems, such as the Indianapolis and Cincinnati, and the Union Traction, constructed rights-of-way suitable for double track, but only laid single track on one side of these grades. (Hilton p.49)
From Pacific RailNews January 1988 article about interurban speeds in the west, comparing them to BART's then-current speeds:
Based on employee timetables (rounding off the figures in the railroad's favor) there is little doubt that the fastest interurban in the west -- and one of the fastest in the U.S. -- consistently was the Bamberger Railroad between Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. Its "Flyers" (two round trips a day) made the 36.25 mile run in exactly one hour, with the average speed thus being 36.25 mph, on a schedule that allowed six intermediate flags tops for passengers. Bamberger's limited trains averaged just above 30 mph, locals about 27-28 mph.
What is remarkable about this performance is that the Bamberger achieved the "Flyer" speed on a mainline with considerable single track that was crowded with freight and passenger trains. The Bamberger ran both speedy lightweight "Bullet" cars (acquired in 1939 from the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville) and heavy old interurban cars. (Business was so good during World War II the lightweights built in 1932 had to be removed from some of the "Flyer" schedules because of their limited seating capacity, and old cars were speeded up for the schedules).
Bamberger's top average speed is almost identical to the Oregon Electric's 36.8 mph average on the 121 mile Portland-Eugene line in 1932, shortly before the line was abandoned.
From Electric Railway Journal, January 1914:
Electric Railway Developments In Utah -- ...the Salt Lake and Ogden Railway (Bamberger line) has purchased during the past year eight new electric motor cars, one 40-ton electric locomotive and fifty box, brick and flat cars, and has built in its own shops one high-speed emergency line car and one caboose. Other improvements include large expenditures to secure better power supply. The company has also announced its intention of building car houses at Ogden large enough to hold all equipment of the system." (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 43, number 5, January 31, 1914, p.240)
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway (1891-1896)
November 22, 1890
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway was organized with a proposed route from a point at or near the Union Pacific Railway depot in Salt Lake City, then through Salt Lake and Davis Counties to a point at or near Farmington. Also from a point on said railroad line westward through Kinney's and Gorley's Improved City Plat of Salt Lake City to some point at or near the Jordan River, a total length of about 20 miles.
April 23, 1891
Yesterday, the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs received some of its new equipment, in the form of three closed and two open cars. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 23, 1891)
May 16, 1891
The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs road will begin laying track from both ends on Monday the 18th, says the paper. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 16, 1891)
July 10, 1891
"Word was had yesterday from the motor for the Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railroad. It has been on the road from the factory some three weeks. St. Louis telegraphed that it was coming and Pueblo wired that it would be here in three days. This encourages the officers of the road to the belief that they will have trains running by the middle of next week, at farthest." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 10, 1891)
July 15, 1891
"The first motor for the Salt Lake and Hot Springs road arrived and was unloaded yesterday. After a trial trip over the road the City Council and newspaper men will be invited to take a ride over the road and inspect it. The date has not been decided for this." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 15, 1891)
July 18, 1891
"One motor of the Hot Springs road has come and was tried yesterday. A special trial trip will be given this next week..." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 18, 1891)
July 19, 1891
"The Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway Company begins business today by running each hour, commencing at 8 o'clock and continuing up to 8 this evening, between the Union Pacific depot and Beck's Hot Springs. The real opening of the road has been set for next Thursday, when invited guests will be treated to a ride and banquet." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 19, 1891)
July 24, 1891
Official opening of the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs last evening, 23rd, with three trains of 'invited guests' going up to the Hot Springs. The 'motor' is "...one of the very best manufactured by the Baldwin works..." and has Westinghouse air brakes. "At present the road has the one motor here and another which will soon arrive. There are five cars here." Trains using U. P. depot for the present; road is 3-1/2 miles long, using 30 pound and 40 pound steel. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 24, 1891)
August 29, 1891
"Local" "The new motor car for the Hot Springs railway will arrive in about ten days." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, August 29, 1891)
September 11, 1891
"The second motor of the Hot Springs Railway has come and is in operation. The company have bought 160 feet square north of the Union Pacific Hotel, where they propose to erect shops and a station." (Salt Lake Tribune, 11 September 1891)
16 October 1891
"Cars for the Hot Springs Railway." "Mr. Simon Bamberger has given orders for the construction of thirty cars for the use of the Hot Springs railway, of which four will be for passenger service and the remainder for the freight traffic." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, October 16, 1891)
October 17, 1891
The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs road is building a wye at Third West and South Temple. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, October 17, 1891)
November 13, 1891
At the RGW auction of narrow gauge rail and equipment, "The Hot Springs road is expected to take the 785 tons of forty pounds steel, and it will give them good service. Someone wishing to create trouble, asked if Agent Riley had secured an auctioneer's license from the city to sell off those goods. If he didn't, the police would be shortly in hot pursuit of the violator of the law. Mr. Babcock is supposed to have bought the cars for the Rio Grande Southern." (Salt Lake Tribune, November 13, 1891)
December 8, 1891
Tracklaying begins today on the extension of the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs to Bountiful. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 8, 1891)
December 10, 1891
Grade to Bountiful completed yesterday, and tracklaying is progressing. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 10, 1891)
January 1, 1892
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway bought the 'Trinidad' of the RGW towards the end of the year, and it is now being put on a set of standard gauge trucks at the RGW shops. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1892)
January 3, 1892
Incorporation papers filed yesterday for a 'Salt Lake & Ogden' company. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 3, 1892)
January 7, 1892
The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs track was to have reached Bountiful last night. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 7, 1892)
January 16, 1892
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs starts running regular trains to Bountiful this morning, Saturday; through trains every two hours starting at 7:00am. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 16, 1892)
February 6, 1892
The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs is building a neat depot and a large platform at Bountiful. (Salt Lake Tribune, February 6, 1892)
March 24, 1892
"A monster 100-ton engine, with seven and a half feet drivers, has arrived at the R.G.W. yards for the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway, and it is said the monster will haul the limited express at the rate of a mile per minute between this city and Centerville corners. Persons disposed to make fun say that the engine is a peewee, weighing only five tons; but then, some people do not know a big thing when they see it." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 24, 1892)
March 24, 1892
It would appear that the GSL&HS has gotten another engine, and it is not a very large affair. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 24, 1892)
January 1, 1893
"The Hot Springs Railway company has taken charge of Beck's bathing resort. They propose to keep everything in first class shape and run trains every half hour." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 1, 1893)
January 20, 1893
The recently elected directors of the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway met yesterday and elected the following officers: President, James F. Woodman; Vice-president, 0. J. Salisbury; General Manager, Simon Bamberger; Treasurer, Frank Knox; and Secretary, C. E. Pearson. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 20, 1893)
January 22, 1893
"Relief at Hand!" a long article on the plans of the G. S. L. & H. S., most of which center on its intentions to build to Coalville and bust up the U. P. coal monopoly in Salt Lake City! But this item has a useful paragraph, entitled "History of the Hot Springs Road." "Several years ago John Beck, to secure quick access to the Hot Springs, built the road to that resort, with no thought of its being converted into a coal road. Later on Simon Bamberger became the manager and received overtures from the farmers and brick men at Bountiful to extend the road to that thriving settlement. Next there came requests for its continuation to Kaysville." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 22, 1893)
April 1, 1893
"A Hot Springs Locomotive." "The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs road has added a thirty-five ton Porter locomotive to its equipment. The engine, which has been in use before, was converted from a narrow to a broad gauge and thoroughly overhauled, the work being done in the company's shops in this city. .It will be used in the freight service, the business of the little road having grown to such proportions that something heavier than the motors is required, about twelve carloads of brick are being hauled daily." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 1, 1893)
November 26, 1894
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs seized by sheriff under court order on judgments totaling $63,702.08, and will likely be sold in about three weeks. The road has, as equipment, two 'normal' locomotives, two 'dummy' engines, 16 flat cars, one superintendent's car (Trinidad, from RGW), three passenger cars and eight excursion cars. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 26, 1894)
January 1, 1895
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs -- has 14 miles of railroad, three of which were built in 1894. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1895)
March 10, 1895
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway had been completed to Centerville, and "Tomorrow morning dirt will fly on the extension of the [railway] from Centerville to Farmington, a distance of four miles." (Salt Lake Herald, March 10, 1895)
March 12, 1895
"The work for the grading of the extension of the Great Salt Lake and Hot Springs road from Centerville to Farmington commenced yesterday." (Salt Lake Herald, March 13, 1895, "yesterday")
April 30, 1895
Great Salt Lake and Hot Springs Railway "is expected to be at Farmington by the end of this week." (Salt Lake Herald, April 30, 1895)
May 23, 1895
"The Great Salt Lake and Hot Springs extension to Farmington will be opened tomorrow, and on the 24th the children of Davis county will be given an outing at Lake Park." (Salt Lake Herald, May 22, 1895)
September 20, 1895
Bamberger has just returned from a trip to the East -- he bought six closed coaches for his Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs in Kansas City, which are to be here and in service by conference time. (Salt Lake Tribune, September 20, 1895)
January 28, 1896
The buildings and such at Lake Park, now defunct, are to be removed to Bamberger's new resort, and a short extension of the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs railroad will be built to it. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 28, 1896)
Bamberger opened his new Lagoon resort.
The end of track remained at Lagoon from 1896 through 1902, when construction resumed, with Kaysville as the goal. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, p. 9)
October 27, 1896
The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway was sold yesterday, in foreclosure proceedings, to Salt Lake & Ogden Railroad, for $70,000.00. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 27, 1896)
Salt Lake & Ogden Railway (1896-1917)
March 14, 1896
Salt Lake & Ogden Railway was organized on March 14, 1896. The company changed its name to Bamberger Electric Railroad on August 14, 1917.
May 26, 1897
The Salt Lake & Ogden will soon receive five coaches from Kansas City, which will bring to 20 the number of coaches on the road (Salt Lake Daily Herald, May 26, 1897)
June 5, 1897
"The Salt Lake & Ogden has received its new equipment and is in good shape to handle passenger traffic." (Salt Lake Tribune, June 5, 1897)
June 11, 1897
"Several excursion cars have been received at the Rio Grande yards for the Salt Lake & Ogden." (Salt Lake Tribune, June 11, 1897)
March 8, 1898
SL&O to paint its cars an orange color, C & O standard. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 8, 1898)
March 21, 1898
"A train of flat cars pulled into the Salt Lake & Ogden depot Friday and at first it was thought that a wreck had occurred, for the cars were loaded with bodies of coaches and passenger trucks, as well as small engines. It was the train from the East, however, loaded with the recently acquired equipment for the road." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 21, 1898)
April 12, 1898
"The Salt Lake & Ogden management has decided to abandon yellow as the standard color for its cars. The old cars, with the new equipment, will be painted a cherry color throughout with gilt lettering." (Salt Lake Tribune, April 12, 1898)
November 8, 1898
"Simon Bamberger Returns" from the East, where he has been on business of the Salt Lake & Ogden; 10 cars and 2 engines have been arranged for, and will be here when needed. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 8, 1898)
January 1, 1899
Review of 1898: On the Salt Lake & Ogden, "new engines and cars have been ordered,..." (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1899)
April 2, 1899
"The Salt Lake & Ogden will order two more locomotives shortly." (Salt Lake Tribune, April 2, 1899)
April 8, 1899
"The Salt Lake & Ogden has just received two fine thirty-eight ton locomotives for use on its line." (Salt Lake Tribune, April 8, 1899)
April 9, 1899
"Engines 17 and 19, the new ones for the Lagoon route, are very handsome and serviceable." These are later referred to as 50-ton locos. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 9, 1899)
April 14, 1899
The Salt Lake & Ogden contracted yesterday for 5,000 ties, to be used in the existing road, "Owing to the fact that the two engines just received are fifty-ton locomotives, it is necessary to improve the track..." "The new engines will be able to make fast time with a train of from ten to seventeen cars,..." (Salt Lake Tribune, April 14, 1899)
August 16, 1899
Bamberger says that the SL&O will build 2-1/2 miles this fall. (Salt Lake Tribune, August 16, 1899)
September 12, 1899
One James H. Kirk has been appointed Superintendent of the Salt Lake & Ogden, in addition to his current duties as Master Mechanic. (Salt Lake Tribune, September 12, 1899)
December 31, 1899
"The Salt Lake & Ogden bought two Baldwin locomotives." The SL&O is reported as having nine locomotives and 72 cars. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 31, 1899)
March 2, 1900
"The Salt Lake & Ogden has bought two box cars from the Oregon Short Line." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 2, 1900)
March 23, 1900
"J. E. Jennings yesterday transferred to S. Bamberger for $2,000.00 the lot on Third West street, now occupied by the shops of the Salt Lake & Ogden. This property is that on which Mr. Bamberger recently instituted condemnation proceedings." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 23, 1900)
December 30, 1900
Review of 1900: SL&O still at nine locomotives. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 30, 1900)
October 5, 1901
The Salt Lake & Ogden has bought a 20-ton switch engine. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 5, 1901)
Kaysville and Layton were reached in 1906, Kaysville on May 30 and Layton on September 4. (Kaysville-Layton Historical Society. A History of the Bamberger Railroad, p. 3)
April 21, 1908
Union Pacific and Salt Lake & Ogden Railroad were involved in a court suit to allow SL&O to build across Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line tracks at Ogden. A previous agreement had provided that SL&O would build an overhead crossing to gain access to its planned tracks and depot in Ogden, but delays were being encountered. In the interim, SL&O wanted to build an at-grade crossing, at the foot of Thirty-Third Street, which Union Pacific disagreed with. In response, Union Pacific had arranged for several derailed and dismantled coal cars, loaded with scrap steel, to be placed at the point of the planned crossing, effectively blocking the SL&O construction crews from doing any work on the crossing without the use of heavy derricks to move the derailed cars. Work on the Salt Lake & Ogden had progressed to the crossing of the Weber River, and much of the cut and fill earth work west of the Union Pacific crossing had been completed. A temporary wooden bridge was in place over the river, to be replaced by a permanent steel bridge to be completed within three weeks. Arrangements had already been made for special excursions to be made between Ogden and Lagoon on Memorial Day, and special excursions between Ogden and points in Ogden Canyon on June 7. (Deseret News, April 21, 1908)
July 22, 1908
"The Union Pacific Railroad Company is installing a nine-lever mechanical interlocking plant at the crossing of the Salt Lake and Ogden Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, one mile east of Ogden. The plant will be placed in service July 22d, on which date the Salt Lake and Ogden Railway commences running trains over the crossing." (The Signal Engineer magazine, July 1908, page 45, Google Books)
The plans for serving the Coalville coal mines were soon dropped due to a business slump in 1907, but SL&O construction crews finished the line to Ogden in late July 1908, with passenger service between Salt Lake City and Ogden beginning on August 8, 1908. The depot was located at 31st Street and Lincoln Avenue. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, p. 9)
Although the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway was powered by large steam locomotives, it was still known as "the Dummy Line" because of its 1890s start with dummy streetcars, small steam locomotives that were built with bodies that resembled regular electric streetcars. (Kaysville-Layton Historical Society. A History of the Bamberger Railroad, p. 2)
August 4, 1908
Salt Lake & Ogden Railroad opened for traffic to Ogden "this morning" with the operation of several special trains arranged by the Ogden Press Club. The trains were operated between Ogden and the Lagoon resort in Farmington, with projections of 2,500 people taking advantage of the service. (Deseret News, August 4, 1908)
March 4, 1909
"We are all ready to begin the work of electrifying the Salt Lake & Ogden railroad." said Senator Simon Bamberger, the president of that railroad. Sidney Bamberger, superintendent of the SL&O, had just returned from California after hiring an electrical engineer to oversee the project. While in California, he had also visited several electric railroads to inspect and observe their operation. These included the Pacific Electric, the Los Angeles Pacific, and Los Angeles interurban lines in Los Angeles, and the Key Route at San Francisco, and the Northern Electric at Sacramento. Blueprints, plans and specifications for the electrification of the line had been received and everything was ready to begin work. (Deseret News, March 4, 1909)
Salt Lake & Ogden completed the conversion of its lines from steam-powered trains, to electrified trains.
SL&O's first electrically powered cars came from the Jewett Car Co. of Newark, Ohio. Later in 1910, Bamberger purchased three trailers secondhand from Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis, which had recently upgraded its system and no longer needed the unpowered cars. (Hilton, p. 60-61)
Other trailer cars were purchased from the Niles Co. The electric cars were modern and fast. Bamberger adopted the slogan, "Every Hour, On The Hour, In An Hour," reflecting the high speeds which the cars were capable of. ("Abandonment Report: Bamberger Railroad", Short Line Railroader, p. 4)
When electrification was completed, there were 10 trains running in each direction every day, all of which stopped at every station between Ogden and Salt Lake City.
April 17, 1910
Ten new parlor cars arrived from the East by way of the Denver & Rio Grande road. The new cars were being held until the start of the electrified operation on May 1st. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 18, 1910)
May 14, 1910
"The electric current will be turned into the wires of the Lagoon road Saturday." (Salt Lake Tribune, May 14, 1910, "Railroad Notes"; "Saturday" was May 14)
May 28, 1910
"The road operated steam locomotives until May 28, 1910 when electric motor cars were put in service." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1956)
May 28, 1910
The first day of electric operation was May 28, 1910. Electrification was completed by stringing overhead trolley wire and purchasing new equipment, along with constructing electrical substations along the line. Since Bamberger also owned several coal mines, it seemed proper to also construct a coal-fired power plant, and one was built at Farmington to furnish all of the needed current for the railroad. (Street Railway Journal, Volume 37, no. 16 April 22, 1911, pp. 700-707, includes article, plans, and photos of Salt Lake & Ogden electrification)
January 19, 1912
"Another stretch of double track has been completed a mile or two north of Lagoon on the Bamberger line, enabling cars to pass this side of Sidney making a saving of time. As soon as the weather will permit, this will be connected with that at Sidney making two or three miles of double tracking to pass upon." (Davis County Clipper, January 19, 1912)
December 9, 1915
"General Offices To Go To West Temple -- The removal of the general offices of the Salt Lake & Ogden railroad from their present quarters with other Bamberger interests to the old Commercial club building on West Temple street was announced yesterday by President Julian Bamberger. With the moving of the Salt Lake & Ogden offices, the old Commercial club building will be known as the Electric Terminal building and will house all the general offices of the Salt Lake & Utah, the Salt Lake & Ogden and the Salt Lake Terminal Railroad companies. The exact date for moving the offices of the Salt Lake & Utah railroad has not been announced. but the change will be made before the first of the year. The offices of the other Bamberger interests will remain in the present quarters on Main street." (Salt Lake Tribune, December 9, 1915)
September 25, 1916
A temporary interurban terminal station was completed on the site recently purchased at the southwest corner of West Temple and South Temple streets. The tracks were in their permanent locations, but the construction of a permanent building was to be delayed due to economic conditions. (Salt Lake Herald, September 20, 1916)
December 13, 1916
Kaysville City granted land to Bamberger for a depot, with construction planned for spring 1917. (Box Elder News, December 15, 1916)
Bamberger Electric Railroad (1917-1939)
August 14, 1917
Salt Lake & Ogden Railway changed its name to Bamberger Electric Railroad. (Utah corproration records, Index 4366, Salt Lake & Ogden Railway)
May 7, 1918
The following comes from the August 10, 1918 issue of Electric Railway Journal magazine:
A fire on May 7 in the carhouse of the Bamberger Electric Railway at Ogden, Utah, destroyed one 40-ton electric locomotive, ten 56-ft. motor cars, four 56-ft closed trailers and six 61-ft. open excursion trailers. These latter were nearly new, having been in service but slightly more than a year.
The fire started from an explosion in one of the tanks of a 44,000-volt lightning arrester in a substation located at one side of the carhouse. The explosion broke large window between the substation and the carhouse and the burning oil from the lightning arrester scattered over the first row of cars and the roof of the carhouse. All of these immediately caught fire and this was rapidly communicated to other rows of cars and to the roof of an adjoining carhouse. The d.c. system grounded immediately after the explosion, cutting off all power for moving the equipment from the burning building. Of the company's fine interurban equipment nothing was left but trucks and charred underframes.
In order to maintain its service the Bamberger Electric Railroad leased temporarily some steam railroad coaches.
April 30, 1920
"Proposed government depot near Ogden; Arsenal." (UP correspondence file index)
July 15, 1920
Citizens of Kaysville filed formal complaints with the Utah Public Utilities Commission about the delay in Bamberger completing its promised depot in Kaysville. (Kaysville Weekly Reflex newspaper, July 15, 1920)
On July 10, 1919, in a hearing in Kaysville held by the Utah Public Utilities Commission, and in return for "certain considerations and granting of certain franchises, a passenger and freight depot and other improvements would be made in the City of Kaysville. The city council passed an ordinance on August 7, 1919, and on September 2, 1919, the voters of Kaysville elected to accept the city ordinance granting certain right-of-way on certain streets, and closing part of Eighth Street to accommodate the change of tracks in Kaysville. Bamberger broke ground immediately for construction on the new depot, but delays in obtaining concrete and other basic building materials forced actual construction to be delayed until late June 1920, beyond the nine months allowed for in the franchise of July 1919.
August 20, 1920
"Kaysville Kinks" "Construction on the new Bamberger depot is processing steadily. The brick masons have the walls built up three or four feet in height." (Davis County Clipper, August 20, 1920)
September 20, 1920
Bamberger received Utah PSC approval to construct a single track spur along the west side of 4th West, between Beck Street and 10th North, to connect its railroad with that of the Utah Light and Traction Company on 4th West. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 133)
January 31, 1921
Bamberger and the town of Kaysville celebrated the formal opening of the new Kaysville depot. There were speeches, and dancing at the Kaysville amusement hall. (Davis County Clipper, February 4, 1921, "Monday evening")
October 19, 1922
Contracts were let for the construction of the permanent interurban terminal station for the Salt Lake Terminal Company. The contracts, with a reported value of $210,308, were signed in the offices of Young & Hanson, architects for the new building. Work was to commence "next week or in ten days," and the building was to be ready for occupancy within 150 working days (30 weeks). The new building was to have a frontage along South Temple of 194 feet, and a frontage along West Temple of 92 feet. The main entrance was to be on the South Temple side. The building was to have two stories and a full basement. (Salt Lake Telegram, October 20, 1922, "yesterday")
September 11, 1923
"Bamberger Electric Offices Are Moved -- Several of the Bamberger Electric offices, which were formerly in the Electric building on West Temple street, have been moved to the new station at the corner of West Temple and South Temple streets. The offices changed are the superintendent's office, the claim agent's office, maintenance of way offices and traffic department offices. The Orem line offices remain in the Electric building at present, but it is expected that they will be transferred within the next few weeks, when the building is more nearly completed." (Salt Lake Telegram, September 11, 1923)
October 4, 1923
The new interurban terminal station opened to the public. It was an informal opening, without any ceremony except brief remarks by former Governor Bamberger. (Ogden Standard Examiner, October 5, 1923, "yesterday"; Salt Lake Telegram, October 5, 1923, "yesterday")
Bamberger received Utah PSC approval to operate less-than-carload (LCL) truck service between Salt Lake City and Ogden. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 944)
August 24, 1932
Bamberger received Utah PSC approval to relocate tracks near Glovers Lane to accommodate construction of the new state highway between Bountiful and Farmington (Project No. FAP 112-A). (Utah Public Service Commission case number 1283)
March 2, 1934
Utah State Road Commission received Utah PSC approval to construct a concrete subway for U. S. Highway 91 under the Bamberger Railroad in south Bountiful (now the 200 West crossing of 500 West). The crossing was where the most intense highway traffic in the state, at five-thousand cars per day, crossed the most intense railroad traffic in the state, at thirty trains per day. Bamberger called the station "Parkins". (Utah Public Service Commission case number 1512)
August 27, 1934
Known as the Parkin underpass, the contract was awarded on Monday August 27, 1934, with the lowest bid being $91,298.96. (Ogden Standard Examiner, August 28, 1934)
September 7, 1934
Work started on a highway underpass under the Bamberger tracks in South Bountiful. The work was planned to take about four months to complete, with an overall cost of $83,000. (Davis County Clipper, September 14, 1934) A later story referred to the bridge as the "Parkin Underpass." (Davis County Clipper, October 12, 1934)
June 28, 1935
The opening of a new secondary highway between Salt Lake City and Ogden (U.S. Highway 91) included the formal completion of the highway underpass under the Bamberger tracks in South Bountiful. The highway was to be opened to the public "next Wednesday" (July 3, 1935). (Davis County Clipper, June 28, 1935)
July 3, 1935
The U.S. 89/91 subway crossing of Bamberger tracks was completed in 1935. At the time the project was approved in March 1934, the crossing is where the most intense highway traffic in the state, at 5,000 cars per day, crossed the most intense railroad traffic in the state, at 30 trains per day. The dedication was held when Governor Henry Blood cut a metal ribbon on July 3, 1935. (Salt Lake Telegram, July 3, 1935)
This was the opening of what today is 500 West in Bountiful. It was a new stretch of concrete-surfaced highway between the Bamberger overpass, at about 2000 South in Bountiful, all the way north to merge and crossing point with U. S. 89 in Farmington. When Interstate 15 was completed in the early 1970s, the portion of U. S. 91 between 1000 North in Bountiful, and Farmington, was taken by the new super highway.
The Bamberger overpass at 2000 South in Bountiful was modified for highway use in early 1960, and became a merge-point joining 500 West with 200 West. (Davis County Clipper, December 25, 1959)
May 6, 1936
The Utah Public Utilities Commission approved the construction of a highway underpass in North Farmington, allowing U. S. Highway 89 (known as the "Mountain Road") to pass under the Bamberger Railroad. Just to the south of the site was where U. S. 89 had its junction with U. S. 91, and the construction of the new underpass would include an modernized junction for the two highways. The location was known as Secrist Hill. (Davis County Clipper, May 8, 1936, "last Wednesday")
May 14, 1937
The highway underpass at North Farmington had been completed and stop signs installed for all directions of travel, where the Mountain Road left the new state highway. (Davis County Clipper, May 14, 1937)
June 8, 1938
Bamberger receivership, F. D. 12017, approved June 8, 1938. (ICC Finance Reports, Volume 228, p.267)
Bamberger Electric Railroad was sold to H. L. Balser, reorganization manager, on October 20. 1938. He then assigned and transferred all his rights to the Bamberger Railroad. The sale was ordered by the court on March 23, 1938.
Bamberger Railroad (1939-1959)
Bamberger Railroad acquisition of Bamberger Electric Railroad, F. D. 12356, approved June 7, 1939. (ICC Finance Reports, Volume 233, p.301)
February 15, 1939
Bamberger Railroad incorporated in Utah.
March 8, 1939
Bamberger received five lightweight high-speed cars capable of 75 miles-per-hour. The first two cars were delivered on Tuesday March 7th, and the other cars were expected on Wednesday, March 8th. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 8, 1939, with photo)
June 7, 1939
The federal Interstate Commerce Commission approved the acquisition of the Bamberger Electric Railroad, by the newly organized Bamberger Railroad. (ICC Finance Docket 12356, approved June 7, 1939; reported in 233 ICC 301-311)
The following selected pargraphs are lifted from the report of the commission:
About $9,000 annually will be saved in maintenance expenses as compared with the average for the past five years because portions of a. second track have been discontinued. This was made possible by less frequent passenger service than formerly and the use of automatic block signals. A saving of approximately $6,000 a year will be made on electric power by the purchase in the early part of 1939 of five lightweight interurban cars which are about one-half the weight of cars formerly used. Electric power used on the line is purchased from power comparues.
Carload freight traffic handled on the line in 1938 consisted of products of agriculture 829 cars, animals and products thereof 25 cars, products of mines 1,548 cars, forest products 621 cars, and manufactures and miscellaneous 3,672 cars, total 6,695. The applicant estimates that a minimum of 7,300 cars will be handled in 1939. Less-than-carload traffic handled in 1938 amounted to 7,260 tons and is expected to increase to 8,49'2 tons in 1939.
Further increased traffic is expected to result from an anticipated enlargement of the Government munitions depot at Arsenal. Recently 8,000 acres of land were purchased, and there are indications that considerable additions are to be made to present facilities, 2,000 acres of land already being owned. An extensive air base is being developed adjacent thereto, which is to have runways of extraordinary length and width. Inasmuch as the line sought to be acquired is the only railroad connecting with the Government railroad, it is assumed that the cement and gravel for the concrete and possibly numerous other construction materials will be handled over it. The record also indicates possible increased movements of automobiles, petroleum products, and coal.
Of its average gross revenues during the years 1934 to 1938, inclusive, approximately 65.10 percent were derived from freight. Of 37,464 carloads of freight handled during that period, 34,361 were interchanged with connecting lines.
Julian M. Bamberger and Lahman V. Bower were appointed receivers of the properties on January 31, 1933.
Pursuant to an order of the court entered March 23, 1938, and subsequent orders entered July 18, August 18, and September 19, 1938, the properties were sold on October 20, 1938, subject to confirmation, to H. L. Balser, as reorganization manager under a plan of reorganization dated March 23, 1938, for $215,000 and certain other considerations. Balser has tendered to the receivers for credit on the purchase price $1,397,000 of the first mortgage bonds of the old company, together with $104,162.50 of unpaid interest coupons, a total of $1,501,162.50.
January 10, 1941
Bamberger received Utah PSC approval to construct a spur to serve the new Ogden Arsenal. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 244, dated January 10, 1941)
The United States government has awarded contract for the construction of two 37mm loading plants consisting of approximately 54 buildings and will let a contract on or about January 3, 1941, for one black powder pelleting plant consisting of approximately 10 buildings. These plants are to be completed and ready for operation by July 1, 1941, and will be used by the U. S. Government for the manufacture and loading of munitions for the U. S. Army.
In order to furnish track unloading facilities for the contractors who are to build these structures and also to provide additional essential trackage in connection with the general development and operation of the U. S. Munitions Depot applicant desires at its own expense to construct a spur track to the east of its main line and crossing said highway, as indicated on the blue-print which is attached to the application and made a part hereof by reference.
This development and extension is a part of the National Defense program and it appears to be in the public interest that this spur track and crossing be completed at the earliest possible date.
Utah State Road Commission received Utah PSC approval to construct underpass subways for State Highways 193 and 232 (the access roads to Hill Field) at Clearfield and Layton, under the tracks of the Bamberger Railroad. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 2470 and 2471)
June 1, 1943
Bamberger received its first diesel locomotive "today." The locomotive was on display at the interurban depot in Salt Lake City, and would be displayed at the Ogden depot "tomorrow." It would then enter service on Thursday June 3rd. The locomotive was to be the first of two that the railroad would receive. It cost $100,000 and weighed 242,500 pounds. (Deseret News, June 1, 1943)
May 2, 1945
Utah State Road Commission received Utah PSC approval to construct an underpass subway for the entrance road to Ogden Arsenal, at Sunset, under the Bamberger railroad. Federal Access Road Project No. DA-WR 156 (1). (Utah Public Service Commission case number 2832)
July 26, 1946
Bamberger was the successful bidder for SL&U tracks between the Salt Lake Terminal on the north, and Fayette Avenue on the south. D&RGW was the successful bidder of Salt Lake & Utah tracks in Salt Lake City, from Fayette Avenue (975 South), south to about 1800 South, along with SL&U trackage between Orem and Provo, and trackage at the Springville and Spanish Fork sugar factories. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 27, 1946)
October 22, 1946
" F. D. No. 15449, Bamberger Railroad Company Acquisition And Operation. Decided October 22, 1946. Certificate issued authorizing acquisition and operation of parts of the line of railroad of the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad Corporation, located on First West and Ninth South Streets, approximately 0.5 mile of main line and 0.25 mile of branch line, and spur tracks, all north and east of the intersection of First West Street and Fayette Avenue, extended, in Salt Lake City, Utah. R. E. Quirk for applicant." (ICC Financial Docket 15449, in 267 ICC 806, "Cases Disposed Of Without Printed Report")
December 4, 1946
Salt Lake & Utah trackage in Salt Lake City along First West (200 West after 1972) was sold to Bamberger Railroad on December 4, 1946. The Bamberger trackage was sold to D&RGW on December 31, 1958. (D&RGW engineering drawing for former Bamberger line, South Temple to 13th South, Utah State Archives, Index H-232)
December 10, 1946
Julian Bamberger sold the rights and property of the Salt Lake Terminal Company, in receivership with Bamberger as its receiver, to the highest bidder on the steps of the Salt Lake City & County building
December 10, 1946
The following comes from the February 10, 1946 issue of the Deseret News newspaper:
Rail Company Buys Terminal. The Salt Lake Terminal Company today was purchased as a single operating unit for $262,500 by the Bamberger Railroad Company.
The sale, authorized Nov. 30 by Third District Court Judge Ray Van Cott Jr., was conducted at 10 a.m. at the west entrance of the City and County Bldg. H. L. Balser represented the railroad concern, which made the purchase for company bondholders under a reorganization plan. No other bidder was present. Papers relating to the transaction were filed in Third District Court.
Julian M. Bamberger, company receiver in the reorganization of terminal properties, originally requested the sale. Properties of the terminal company include the Interurban Depot Bldg., occupying the southwest corner of South Temple and West Temple Sts., and trackage on First West between South Temple and Sixth South Sts. The sale was conducted to provide funds to pay for bonds issued in 1915 and for other indebtedness.
December 31, 1946
Bamberger Railroad and the Salt Lake Terminal Company receive Utah PSC approval to construct a spur at 100 South near 500 West. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 3071)
January 27, 1947
Bamberger received Utah PSC approval to construct a spur at 800 North and 400 West. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 3084)
April 22, 1947
Julian Bamberger purchased the Salt Lake Rail and Bus Terminal, approved by the federal ICC on April 22, 1947. At the same time, he became sole owner of the Bamberger Railroad. (ICC Financial Docket 15643 and 15644, ICC Finance Reports, Volume 267, p.826)
August 27, 1947
Bamberger received Utah PSC approval to close and remove the grade crossing at 1500 North in Salt Lake City. The railroad is operating thirty-eight passenger trains per day over the crossing, along with twenty freight and switching movements per day. (Utah Public Service Commission case number 3090)
August 29, 1947
The construction of the potato chip factory of Clover Club Foods at Kaysville was nearing completion, with full completion expected by November. The building was completed, but the needed machinery was not yet installed. The new building included 20,900 square feet of space on the first floor, with 2,700 square feet on a second floor for offices, rest rooms, and employee lunch rooms, along with a basement that had 2,500 square feet, for storage of foods and processing ingredients. The factory would use 100 car loads of Utah and Idaho U. S. No. 1 potatoes, delivered to the newly constructed spur of the Bamberger railroad. Excavation had been completed in early July 1947. (Davis County Clipper, July 4, 1947; August 29, 1947)
March 11, 1952
A fire at Bamberger's North Salt Lake shops destroyed the building and machinery inside, including the "repair shop, three boxcars, and an overhead crane." The damage was unofficially set at $250,000. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 12, 1952)
March 30, 1952
A new schedule went into effect. Nine northbound rail trips and eight southbound rail runs were removed from the schedule, leaving just three round trips daily and one of these ran on week days only. Added were seven daily bus round trips. The reason given for this drastic curtailment of good service was that without the machinery that had burned in the fire 19 days before, it was impossible to keep the cars in good running condition. This was just an excuse, since there was another building at North Salt Lake Shops was equipped with the necessary equipment, plus a pit, being used to maintain the Bamberger electric locomotives. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, Interurbans Special 55, page 13)
April 2-3, 1952
Utah Public Service Commission held public hearings on Bamberger's request to cut its daily schedule from 11 round trips, down to three round trips. The reason given was the recent fire that had destroyed the North Salt Lake maintenance shops. The two hearings were held to allow Bamberger to make permanent the so-called "temporary" schedule changes granted to it under an emergency order from the commission following the fire. The railroad was taken to task by the commissioners because the railroad had promised replace train trips with bus trips, but not to reduce service. Citizen groups asked that the railroad be forced to restore the previous schedules. "Several citizens stated that maintenance facilities now being used for freight trains could be used to accommodate passenger trains." (Deseret News, April 2, 1952; Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1952; Deseret News, April 3, 1952)
April 21, 1952
The Utah Public Service Commission ordered Bamberger to restore service that had been cut. The new schedule called for five trains and 18 buses, including three "stub" trains. (Deseret News, April 21, 1952; Salt Lake Tribune, April 22, 1952)
April 27, 1952
Bamberger put into effect a new schedule calling for four daily round trips plus an evening trip as far as Lagoon and back. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, Interurbans Special 55, page 13)
July 9, 1952
Bamberger applied to the Utah Public Service Commission to replace all passenger electric trains with buses. A public hearing was set for July 28th. Bamberger's vice president and general manager, H. L. Balser, said that the losses for the fire in March, and the fact that the passenger trains did not pay for themselves were the major factors in the application. The fire in March had caused $200,000 in damages, and another at the Royal Canning company's factory adjacent to the railroad's facilties in Ogden had caused another $10,000 damage. The railroad was running five northbound trains daily, and five southbound trains daily. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 10, 1952; Deseret News, July 10, 1952)
July 10, 1952
After a June 1952 fire in its Ogden substation, the Bamberger company applied to end all rail passenger service. In the hearings that began on July 28th, the company testified that electric train losses totaled $29,876 in the first five months of 1952 while its bus operations lost only $9,112. Passenger service could show a profit, if switched to bus operation completely. Most of the freight operations were reported as being profitable because they were handled by diesels. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, Interurbans Special 55, page 13)
July 28, 1952
"Abandonment of its 'burned out' and 'obsolete' electric passenger train service could transform operations of the Bamberger Railroad company from the red to the black, company officials and representatives told the Utah Public Service Commission Monday." In public hearings held on Monday July 28th and Tuesday July 29th, company officials said that the railroad had lost $29,876 on its train service during the first five months of 1952. The bus service lost $9,112 in the same period, but would become profitable with increased ridership if the trains were eliminated. The railroad and bus company testified that it cost 85.1 cents per mile to operate the electric passenger trains, compared to 41.8 cents per mile to operate buses. (Deseret News, July 28, 1952; Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1952; July 30, 1952)
August 21, 1952
The Utah Public Service Commission gave its approval for Bamberger to replace its train service with bus service, after a five-day period of public notice. Bus trips were to run parallel to the train routes, and operate on a schedule as close to the train schedule as possible, providing enough buses to assure ample room for passengers. The railroad company provided evidence that the passenger trains had been operating at a loss for the first five months of the year, and commission stated that it could not force a utility to continue to operate at a loss. (Deseret News, August 22, 1952)
August 31, 1952
Bamberger announced that it would end all electric train operations on Saturday September 6th. The electric trains would be replaced by buses. All of the railroad's freight trains would be pulled by new diesel locomotives, including two new locomotives that had just been purchased. The sister bus company, Bamberger Transportation company, had just received 15 new buses with seating for either 33 or 45 passengers in each new bus. Because the buses traveled on highways, they would provide better service, with 78 bus stops between Salt Lake City and Ogden, compared to 27 stops on the railroad. (Salt Lake Tribune, August 31, 1952)
Saturday, September 6, 1952
After the abandonment was approved, cars 322 and 436 made the final interurban trip between Salt Lake City and Ogden. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, Interurbans Special 55, page 13; Salt Lake Tribune, September 7, 1952)
The final return trip from Ogden to Salt Lake City was on the same day. Gordon Cardall was the engineer on that last run.
September 7, 1952
The Bamberger Railroad ceased operation by electric power and substituted diesel locomotives for all freight service. Under same date, buses owned by the Bamberger Transportation Company provided all of the company's passenger service. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, Interurbans Special 55, page 13)
(Bamberger Transportation Co. had been formed in 1927 to take over the bus routes of the railroad, which had been operating since 1926.)
June 27, 1953
Announcement was made that the Bamberger Transportation company, as the bus subsidiary of the Bamberger Railroad company, had been sold to a newly formed company called Lake Shore Motor Coach company. The new company was organized by Dale Barratt, who resigned his position general manager of the local Salt Lake City Lines, operator of the local bus company, which itself was a subsidiary of the National City Lines conglomerate. Bamberger had offered his bus company to Salt Lake City Lines, but they had turned down his inquiry. Barratt, however, saw the potential and organized Lake Shore Motor Coach company of the purpose of taking over Bamberger's 15 buses and their routes between Salt Lake City and Ogden. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 27, 1953)
August 1, 1953
The Bamberger Railroad sold its bus operations to the Lake Shore Motor Coach Company. On the same date, the Bamberger Railroad Company and the Bamberger Transportation Company eliminated all passenger service. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, Interurbans Special 55, page 13)
May 24, 1954
"OUR&D constructing double track overhead steel railroad bridge to carry Bamberger tracks over new yard, and agreement for new tracks on Bamberger right of way at Ogden." (UP correspondence file index)
July 18, 1956
The sale of the Bamberger Railroad to Murmanill Corporation, a group of Texas investors led by Clint Murchison, was announced. The sale was in the form of the Bamberger family selling its two-thirds ownership of the stock of the railroad. The remaining one-third was held by 150 shareholders in practically every state of the Unites States. The sale did not include the family's interest in the Lagoon resort, or any of the mining or real estate holdings in the state. Julian M. Bamberger had been involved with the railroad's management since 1910, and had been vice president since 1911. (Ogden Standard Examiner, July 19, 1956, "yesterday")
The final papers for the sale were signed on Tuesday July 17, 1956. There were a total 154 shareholders in the company. The sale was effective August 23, 1956. (Deseret News, July 19, 1956; Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1956)
It was later reported that Julian M. Bamberger, the largest shareholder of the company, received $1,320,000 of the estimated $2.5 million the road sold for. (Ogden Standard Examiner, August 12, 1956)
"Besides Julian M. Bamberger and his wife, others selling stock to effect the transfer of the line are two sisters of Mr. Bamberger, Mrs. Helen B. Behal, New York City, and Mrs. Herbert F. Michael, Murray." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 29, 1956)
July 20, 1956
Julian Bamberger retired from his position as president of Bamberger Railroad. He remained active with his other business interests. (Deseret News, July 20, 1956)
August 2, 1956
The following comes from the August 2, 1956 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.
Murmanill has sent a letter to shareholders of the Bamberger, other than the 66-2/3 per cent held by Julian Bamberger, his wife, sisters and daughters, advising them that stock of the firm is being bought at $60 a share. This offer expires Aug. 27.
The offer, also at $60 a share to the Bamberger interests, will be taken up on or before Aug. 16. Bamberger Railroad has some 43,130 shares outstanding in hands of approximately 140 stockholders.
Mr. Aiken [Lee Aiken of Murmanill Corp.] said Wednesday [August 1, 1956] that Murmanill had acquired some 94 per cent of the total outstanding shares at this date.
Julian Bamberger, in a letter to shareholders, advised that wafter a lifetime in the Bamberger Railroad, I now find it advisable to discontinue this activity ...."
(Murmanill Corporation was a joint venture of Clint Murchison and G. L. Mann, both of Dallas, Texas)
Bamberger merger et. al., F. D. 19669, decided April 1, 1957. (ICC Finance Reports, Volume 295, p.826)
February 2, 1957
Ogden Iron Works purchased the Bamberger freight depot in Ogden, and the two acres of land it rested on. The property included a 200-foot frontage on Lincoln Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets, and extended 445 feet into the center of the block. (Ogden Standard Examiner, February 2, 1957)
May 27, 1957
The Utah Public Service Commission held a public hearing for Bamberger railroad's request to purchase the assets and property of the Salt Lake Rail and Bus Terminal company. (Ogden Standard Examiner, May 15, 1957)
June 7, 1957
Bamberger completed its new freight dock in Ogden. (Ogden Standard Examiner, June 7, 1957)
November 27, 1957
The new owners of the Bamberger Railroad announced that the railroad had been found to not be profitable, and wanted to sell the northern portion to Union Pacific, and the southern portion to Denver and Rio Grande Western. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 26, 1957; Ogden Standard Examiner, November 27, 1957; Provo Daily Herald, November 27, 1957)
December 28, 1957
Lee Aiken sold all of his shares and interest in Bamberger Railroad to Murmanill Corp. of Dallas, Texas. He also resigned his position as president of the railroad. "Mr. Aiken had arrived in Utah in February 1956 to arrange for the purchase of the Bamberger's majority interests held by Julian Bamberger and associates." (Deseret News, December 28, 1957; Salt Lake Tribune, December 28, 1957) (Aiken had acquired his portion of the Bamberger stock on August 9, 1956 as part of the overall sale of the railroad at that time.)
January 29, 1958
Bamberger Railroad was in negotiations with D&RGW to purchase the portion of the railroad in Salt Lake City, to 15th North. Union Pacific was in negotiations to purchase the portion of the line from Ogden to Hill Air Force Base. The portion in the middle was to be abandoned. Bountiful City had written to the Utah State Road Commission to have the Road Commission purchase the portion through Bountiful for a new highway, including the Bamberger bridge over U. S. 91. The Road Commission had already, "for several months," been studying the possible use of portions of the Bamberger railroad for highway purposes. (Deseret News, January 29, 1958)
November 25, 1958
Bamberger received ICC approval to abandon entire operation. "F. D. No. 20202, Bamberger Railroad Company Abandonment, Entire Operation. Decided November 25, 1958. (Embraced in F. D. No. 20338.)" (ICC Finance Reports, Volume 307, page 802, "Cases Disposed Of Without Printed Report.")
November 25, 1958
D&RGW received ICC approval to purchase the former Bamberger trackage in Salt Lake City. "F. D. No. 20338, Denver Rio Grande Railroad Company Purchase (Portion), Bamberger Railroad Company. Decided November 25, 1958. (Embraces F. D. No. 20367 and F. D. No. 20202.)" (ICC Finance Reports, Volume 307, page 803, "Cases Disposed Of Without Printed Report.")
November 25, 1958
UP received ICC approval to purchase the portion of Bamberger Railroad between Ogden and Hill Air Force Base. "F. D. No. 20367, Union Pacific Railroad Company Purchase (Portion), Bamberger Railroad Company. Decided November 25, 1958. (Embraced in F. D. No. 20338)." (ICC Finance Reports, Volume 307, page 804, "Cases Disposed Of Without Printed Report.")
December 3, 1958
The following comes from the December 3, 1958 issue of the Ogden Standard Examiner newspaper.
ICC Approves Sale Of Bamberger Line. The Interstate Commerce Commission has authorized the Barnberger Railroad to sell portions of its line to the Union Pacific and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railways and to abandon the remainder.
The Union Pacific will pay a half million dollars for about 13 miles of track linking Ogden and Hill Air Force Base.
About seven miles of trackage in and around Salt Lake City will be sold to the D&RGW for another half million dollars.
The 25-mile section between Hill AFB and Salt Lake City will be abandoned.
December 31, 1958
"Bamberger Quits After 67 Years" "One of Davis County's most colorful characters died this week when the Bamberger Railroad passed into history." Bamberger had operated its final trains between Salt Lake City and Ogden, with the last southbound train on Wednesday December 31 picking up empty coal cars at Smith Milling, and empty boxcars being picked up at Bountiful station which brought the last load of new automobiles to Bountiful. (Davis County Clipper, January 2, 1959)
December 31, 1958
The Bamberger trackage in Salt Lake City was sold to D&RGW on December 31, 1958. That portion that was originally Salt Lake & Utah trackage in Salt Lake City along 200 West (First West; changed to Second West in 1972) was sold to Bamberger Railroad on December 4, 1946. (D&RGW engineering drawing for former Bamberger line, South Temple to 13th South, Utah State Archives, Index H-232)
December 31, 1958
Bamberger Railroad operated its last freight train into Ogden, and returned to Salt Lake City later that night. One of the crew remarked, "All along the way from Salt Lake City to Ogden, almost at every stop, were one or two freight cars to pick up, giving us a string of 20 cars by the time we pulled into Ogden." With the return to Salt Lake City on Wednesday night [December 31, 1958] the line became the property of Union Pacific and Denver and Rio Grande Western companies. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1959)
January 2, 1959
The last freight train on the Bamberger Railroad passed through Kaysville, Layton and Clearfield on Friday afternoon January 2, 1959. The last less-than-carload business at Layton was in November 1958. The final car at Layton, a carload load of new automobiles, was received at Olsen Chevrolet in December 1958, and the final car at Kaysville, a carload of potatoes, was received at Clover Club Foods, also in December 1958. The last car shipped from Layton, a carload of onions from the Hines and Company warehouse, was shipped on Friday January 2, 1959. The train continued on to Ogden, then returned to Salt Lake City. (Kaysville Reflex Journal, January 7, 1959, "last Friday, the day after its 68th birthday," on January 1, 1891)
February 5, 1959
The following comes from the February 5, 1959 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.
Crews to Lift Bamberger Line Rails. Morse Brothers Machinery Co., Denver, Colo., and Commercial Metals Co., Dallas, Tex., Monday [February 9, 1959] will start tearing up the rails near Ogden of the Bamberger Railroad Co. The two firms reportedly paid the Bamberger, controlled by Clint Murchison's Murmanill Corp., Dallas, Tex., in neighborhood of $300,000 for the rail and other equipment, excluding two Diesel locomotives, the remaining right-of-way and buildings.
Traffic on the Bamberger was abandoned Dec.31 with the sale of north portion of the line of Union Pacific Railroad Co. and south part in industrial Salt Lake City to Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. for a total consideration of about one million dollars.
According to Raymond L. Grimes, sales manager for Morse, there are about 5,000 tons of steel in the 30.72 miles of main line and siding to be pulled up. Most of the track will be sold to other railroads for relaying, as will the 85,000 ties also in demand by ranchers for fencing. Other "odds and ends" include 1,500 wooden telephone poles; 17,000 pounds of copper wire and 170,000 tie Plates, weighing nine pounds each for a total of about 750 tons. Walter Schneider, Dallas Tex., an employee of Commercial Metals will ramrod the crew of 30 tearing up the tracks.
(The Deseret News of the same date had a similar article, with identical numbers and quantities.)
"Death Of The Bamberger: Utah's 37-mile Bamberger Railroad has gone out of business after selling tracks at Salt Lake City to the Rio Grande and an 8-mile stretch from Ogden to Hill Air Force Base to the Union Pacific. Once the proudest of Utah's interurban "big four" (the others: Salt Lake & Utah; Utah-Idaho Central; Salt Lake, Garfield & Western ), the Salt Lake-Ogden line began as a steam road in 1891, reached Ogden in 1908 as Salt Lake & Ogden Railway, was electrified two years later, and adopted the name of its longtime managing family in 1917. The Bamberger closely paralleled lines of UP and D&RGW, in its prime gave them tough competition, in its fading years saw the tables turned as connecting roads froze Bamberger's chances of attracting new industry by denying the short line participation in "fabrication in transit" freight rates. Revitalized in 1939 after a long insolvency, the electric hopped up passenger runs with five lightweight Brill Bullets from New York's Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville, reaped the results of perseverance during busy war years. But by 1952 Bamberger was forced to drop passenger service and dieselize freight operations; later the Bamberger family sold out to Texas interests. Truck competition and highway construction involving part of the right of way did the rest. As the road's oldest adversaries, UP and D&RGW were glad to get its best parts. And towns along the way were happy to get the tracks out of the streets." (Trains magazine, March 1959, page 12)
March 18, 1959
Morse Brothers and Combined Metals had removed 25 miles of rail and stacked the removed rail, as well as other track material, at the material yard just east of the Union Pacific tracks, south of the Beck Street overpass. The rails had been removed at the rate of two miles per day. (Deseret News, March 18, 1959)
June 14, 1959
A Bountiful businessman purchased the Bamberger shops in North Salt Lake, the Bamberger's former shop site in Salt Lake City (on the northeast corner of South Temple and 400 West streets), and the Bamberger right-of-way, 66 feet wide, between Bountiful and Kaysville. The reported sale price was $125,000. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 14, 1959, "Bamberger Rail Property heads Real Estate Sales")
(The right-of-way between Bountiful and Kaysville was from 400 North in Bountiful, where the private right-of-way began after traveling along 200 West, to 200 South in Kaysville, approximately 10.5 miles. The 66-feet wide right-of-way passed through Centerville and Farmington. The newspaper report was for seven miles of right-of-way, which suggests that portions in Farmington and south Kaysville, north of the U. S. 89 crossing, that were part of public streets were not included.)
August 17, 1959
Demolition of the Bamberger depot at Kaysville was begun.
December 14, 1959
The former Bamberger depot at Clearfield was demolished. The Bamberger right-of-way through Clearfield had been purchased by the Utah State Road Commission for use as part of a new super highway. (Ogden Standard Examiner, December 14, 1959)
"New Home For The Hybrid: Union Pacific, a railroad known for variety in motive power, has picked up an odd one: Bamberger Railroad diesel 570, now UP 1270. Bamberger (which folded last year ) got the early road-switcher from Alco-GE in 1943. Although the few units built up to that time had been partly requisitioned for wartime use in Iran, the Utah electric rated One complete with heating boiler (and a trolley pole to throw signals ) for its troop trains. The Alco's silhouette became truly unforgettable in 1951, when upgrading at La Grange gave it an EMD hood." (Trains magazine, January 1960, page 14)
January 19, 1962
The former Bamberger bridge over U. S. 89 at Cherry Hill was demolished in mid January 1962 to allow widening of U. S. 89. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 19, 1962)
October 2, 1964
The Bamberger crossing of U. S. highway 89 in south Bountiful was completed in July 1935, and Bamberger continued to use it until the railroad was abandoned in late December 1958. Plans were presented to convert the right-of-way and the bridge to highway use in November 1960, and after the approval process was completed, construction began in April 1964, with completion in mid October 1964. (Davis County Clipper, November 11, 1960; April 3, 1964; October 2, 1964)
February 5, 1977
Former Bamberger spur -- "After 72 years, the last locomotive moved along spur railroad tracks on First West Friday. The diesel pushed an empty box car before it. The boxcar had contained molding starch which had been delivered to the Sweet Candy Co. manufacturing plant at 2nd South." "The first rail was installed on the street [First West] in 1905. The Sweet Co., just a few yards from the spur, asked to be linked up in 1920." "Sweet Candy had been in Salt Lake City since 1900. Its present factory, embracing 130,000 square feet, consists of three contiguous buildings - built in 1911, 1921 and 1953 respectively." (Salt Lake Tribune, February 5, 1977)
The spur was linked to the former Bamberger tracks along First West (200 West). The line had originally been constructed by the Salt Lake & Utah interurban line in 1910. Bamberger had purchased the portion along First West, north of 1300 South, when the Salt Lake & Utah had shut down in 1946. D&RGW had purchased the tracks when Bamberger shut down in 1959, and continued to serve the businesses along First West (200 West after 1972) since that time. The Sweet Candy street address was 224 South First West (200 West).
Simon Bamberger Biographical Notes
Simon Bamberger, fourth governor of the State of Utah, was born at Darmstadt, Bayern, Germany, February 27, 1847. In 1861, at the age of fourteen years he came to the United States, and in 1869 he became a resident of Utah. He assisted in developing the coal mining interests of Utah and in course of time was made president of the Bamberger Coal Company. His business interests were not confined to mining operations, however, as he has held the positions of director of the Salt Lake Valley Loan and Trust Company and director and treasurer of the Bamberger Electric Railway. In 1898 Mr. Bamberger was elected a member of the board of education of Salt Lake City and continued in that body for five years. He was elected state senator on the democratic ticket in 1902 and served for four years. During that time he increased his acquaintance over the state and became recognized as one of the leaders of the democratic party. In 1916 he was nominated and elected governor for a term of four years. He was Utah's first Democratic governor, first non-Mormon governor, and the oldest, assuming the office at age 71. (part from Utah Since Statehood: Historical and Biographical. Volume I.)
Shortly after coming to Utah in about 1869-1870, he settled in Ogden. He remained in Ogden for just a short time before moving to Salt Lake City where he operated the Delmonico Hotel with a partner. In 1872, Bamberger invested in a silver mine, the Centennial Eureka Mine in Eureka in Juab County. A major vein of silver was struck two years later, making Bamberger a millionaire.
In 1875 he was hired to manage the operations of the San Pete Coal and Coke Company, and its subsidiary San Pete Valley Railway. The coal mine was near Wales in Sanpete County, and the railroad transported coal from the mine to a connection with the Utah Southern Railroad as that road built its line south, reaching Nephi in 1879.
He married Ida Maas in 1881 in Cincinnati, and they had four children, born between 1883 and 1889: Sidney, Helen, Elsa, and Julian.
In 1882 he organized a connecting railroad, the California Short Line Railroad, a small company with grand ambitions. The CSL only built about three miles of track, all within San Pete Valley. Both the railroad and the coal mine fell on hard times by 1888.
(The name meant that the railroad was to be the railroad line with the shortest distance, the "short line," to California. This was in 1882, less than a year after Union Pacific had organized its own Oregon Short Line Railway, to connect its mainline in southwestern Wyoming, with Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.)
In April 1888 the two companies' London owners replaced Bamberger as general manager of the two companies.
In 1890, he organized the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway to build an excursion line to Becks Hot Springs in northwest Salt Lake City.
In 1890, Simon Bamberger was shown as living at 126 S. Main, Salt Lake City, working for Rio Grande Western Railway, and was the proprietor of the Bamberger Quarry Company. (Utah Directory, 1890: Salt Lake City, Logan, and Provo, R. L. Polk and Company, 1890)
Bamberger saw the potential for a localized railroad line between Salt Lake City and Ogden, and by 1895 had extended his Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway as far north as Farmington, where Bamberger built his Lagoon resort to serve as a destination for railroad customers. In 1896 the road was reorganized as the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway to extend the line still further, but construction north of Farmington was delayed until 1902. Ogden was reached in August 1908.
The Bamberger Coal Company was organized on May 16, 1898 to purchase assets and business of Halm-Bamberger Coal Co., incorporated May 21, 1898, name changed to Bamberger Coal & Grain Co. on August 5, 1903, name changed back to Bamberger Coal Co. on June 30, 1939, name changed to Castle Gate Coal Co. on January 14, 1949, voluntarily dissolved on August 10, 1950 with Utah Fuel owning all 7,500 shares of stock (Utah #2233)
Julian Bamberger Interview, 1952
(From the September 14, 1952 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper)
Auto Proved a Nemesis To Julian Bamberger
If there ever was a man with a nemesis it is Julian M. Bamberger. The railroad executive and leader in traffic safety work in Utah is quick to name the bad actor. "It's the automobile," he exclaims.
Mr. Bamberger says that he and his father Simon Bamberger (later governor of Utah) had settled on a law career for him. But after graduating from Princeton (he worked his way through the freshman year), he was thrown willy-nilly into running the rail line from Salt Lake City to, Ogden. His father was busy with other pressing affairs.
Death Takes Brother
And his brother Sidney, who was picked to run the road, died at the start of what probably would have been a promising engineering and mining career. Julian Bamberger, a bachelor of arts, and not an engineer, was given the assignment as vice president of the road to supervise construction of the new electrical generating plant at Farmington, Davis county. "I didn't know anything about electrical engineering. And there wasn't time to enroll in a school," he says. So he burned the lamp oil over an International Correspondence School course in electrical engineering - a course he successfully completed. "Anybody who wants an education in this country can get one," he says recalling the experience.
Study Paid Off
The correspondence course, he adds; enabled him to keep abreast of the contractors who were building the power house. Later on, the vice president had to apply himself to the coal, hay and grain business. For he and his father launched the Bamberger Coal Co. And he got into the "resort" business, when the company built the Lagoon in Davis County as a means of increasing passenger traffic on the new electric railroad. ("We also built Idle Wilde in Ogden Canyon. But by agreement with David Eccles we didn't run our line through Ogden and up the canyon in competition with his street car company.")
Enter Metal, Oil Business
Mr. Bamberger and his father also expanded into the metal mining and oil business. ("Simon Bamberger and his brother J. E., with J. D. Wood, backed the discovery of the Lebrea Field in California. My father sold his interests to complete construction of the railroad line.") Julian Bamberger is today the president of the Raymond Ely-West Mining Co., with active holdings in the Pioche District Of Nevada and of the old Del-LaMar Mining Co. — a fabulous gold producer of southern Nevada. ("The miners had to be searched to prevent 'high-grading'. ").
Where does the automobile come in?
Those Autos Again
Mr. Bamberger said that after the horseless carriage made its noisome appearance on the scene, people began to drive to Lagoon with their picnic baskets. They didn't ride the Barnberger. The hay and grain business receded at the Bamberger Coal Co. (The horse population commenced falling off.) So when the old Utah Gas and Coke Co. began laying natural gas lines into Salt Lake City, it was decided to sell the Bamberger Coal Co. (They did — to the old Utah Fuel Co.) With development of better cements for highway building, business dropped off at the Bamberger limestone quarries which furnished much of the rock that paved Salt Lake City streets and gutters.
Beck St. Quarries
The quarries were located across Beck St. from the present Utah Oil Refining Co. plant, just above Wasatch Dr. at 33rd South and at Park City. (The latter quarry is still in operation, furnishing stone for home building.) Mr. Bamberger said the automobile has transformed the electric passenger line from here to Ogden into a Diesel operated freight carrier. Passengers will be hauled from the two (and intermediate) points in a fleet of new buses purchased by an affiliated company. As a shortline railroad, the future looks good for the Bamberger (once named the Great Salt Lake and Hot Springs railroad Co.).
For the Ogden-Davis County area is growing industrially. And the Bamberger is the only line delivering freight between these points - although other major railroads pass by.
Improved Brick Company in North Salt Lake was also served by Bamberger, located just off Second West, at curve to North Salt Lake, at about Seventh or Eighth South, near present-day Bountiful City shops and National Guard armory.
Bamberger Railroad -- A Google Map of the electric railroad between Salt Lake City and Ogden.
Bamberger Photos -- A photo album of Bamberger cars and locomotives.
Equipment Rosters -- Roster listings of Bamberger electric locomotives and cars.
Steam Locomotives -- A roster listing of steam locomotives on Bamberger's predecessor railroad Salt Lake & Ogden Railway.
Diesel Locomotives -- A roster listing of diesel locomotives on Bamberger railroad.
Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway and Salt Lake & Ogden Railway -- Information about the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway, started in 1891 and changed to the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway in October 1896; converted to electric operation in May 1910; name changed to Bamberger Electric Railroad in August 1917.
Bamberger's Alco RS1 number 570 -- An expanded article based on an original piece published in Railroad Model Craftsman in 1988.
Bamberger Railroad -- An excerpt from Ira Swett's "Interurbans of Utah".
Bamberger Railroad History -- An excerpt from the book "Ogden Rails".
Simon Bamberger and the Lake Park Resort -- A separate page about the Lake Park Resort, one of Bamberger's earliest business ventures.
The Dummy Line -- A copyrighted history of the Bamberger Railroad, completed by Shay Stark (presented here with Mr. Stark's permission).
Bamberger Bullet Car -- A PDF of an article about the restoration of Bamberger Bullet 127 at Orange Empire Railway Museum.
Bamberger Bullet Cars -- A PDF of an article about the Bamberger Bullet cars, and where they came from and their disposition, from the January 1992 issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine.
Bamberger Railroad, 1946 -- A PDF of Interurbans Special No. 4, published in 1946. (PDF; 24 pages; 17.3MB)
The Interurban Era, by William D. Middleton, Kalmbach Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1961
The Electric Interurban Railways in America, by George W. Hilton and John F. Due, Stanford University Press, 1960
Interurbans of Utah, by Ira L. Swett, Interurbans Special 55, Interurbans, Glendale, California, 1974