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Copper Belt Railroad

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Overview

(Although the original articles of incorporation used *Railway*, a very large percentage of later references use *Railroad* -- the locomotives were lettered as "C. B. R. R.")

Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company, as part of its expansion to exploit the copper sulphide ore found in its claims, built a smelter near the Jordan River. To improve the economics of its mining operation, the mining company decided to control its own transportation facilities, from its mines in Bingham Canyon, to the smelter. This was done by leasing the horse tramway in Bingham Canyon, rebuild it as a standard gauge railroad and operate it by Shay steam locomotives. Since the new railroad was to be a common carrier railroad, an added benefit would be that the mining company would profit from the shipments of adjacent mining companies.

The Bingham horse tramway (also known as a gravity tramway) was known as the "Standish and Jimpson Company's tramway." It used gravity to move loaded ore cars down to the railroad terminal at the Bingham depot, and horses to move empty ore cars back to the mines to be reloaded. Rio Grande Western surveyed a new route along the east side of Main Canyon during Fall 1900, but the owners of Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company assured the newspaper that the Standish and Jimpson tramway would satisfy its present needs. There was mention made that the United States company would, however, require expanded transportation facilities. (Salt Lake Herald, October 7, 1900, "Bingham Mining Notes")

(Read more about the Bingham horse tramway)

The lower terminus for the horse tramway was at the Rio Grande Western station at Bingham, elevation 5,890 feet. The Copper Belt line was laid with 52-pound rails and was operated with a 50-ton Shay locomotive, leased from Jacob's Salt Lake and Mercur. The capacity of the locomotive was three empties up and three loads down, using special built 50-ton capacity all-steel gondolas. (Engineering News, July 24, 1902, p. 59)

The all-steel gondolas were very modern since almost all rail cars to this time were made entirely of wood. On February 14th, the Copper Belt railroad moved its first car of ore. (Bingham Bulletin, February 15, 1901)

The Copper Belt Railroad was built in 1900 to replace the pioneer horse tramway that was completed in 1875 to serve the early transportation needs of the Bingham mining camp, and which had played a major role in the development of Bingham Canyon as one of the most important mining districts in the American West. The completion of the Copper Belt's line made the movement of the ore more economical, keeping the costs of the mining operations low enough so that many marginal mines were able to remain in production.

As reconstruction of the horse tramway was nearing completion, the local press took to calling it the "Copper Belt line", and the name stuck. The new rail line was completed in February 1901, and was built on the roadbed of the old horse tramway for 1.75 miles of its 2.9 mile length. The upper terminus was about 600 feet northeast of Bingham Copper and Gold's Commercial mine, down slope in Copper Center Gulch at 6,915 foot elevation. Maximum grades were 3.7 percent on the lower portion and 7 percent on the upper portion, with a 7.4 percent grade on the coal spur to the Commercial mine. The lower end of the line, at Bingham, had curves up to 34 degrees while the upper part had 40 degree curves. (Engineering News, July 24, 1902, p. 59)

The mining of copper requires the handling of larger quantities of ore. The old horse tramway had been working just fine for the low quantities of high value gold and silver ores that it was being used for at that time. But the expanded operations of the new Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company would be needing something more efficient than the tramway.

In 1900, Bayley and one of his associates, J. G. Jacobs (already involved in the Salt Lake and Mercur Railroad), negotiated with Rio Grande Western for a lease of the right-of-way of the old 3.5 mile horse tramway between Bingham and the Old Jordan and Galena Mine. (Spendlove, p. 30) Jacobs became involved because of his experience with his Salt Lake and Mercur Railroad, which was serving the gold mining camp of Mercur, also in the Oquirrh range, but ten miles to the south. Jacobs announced that he would rebuild the Bingham tramway to operate the same as his Salt Lake and Mercur, using a Shay locomotive over standard gauge track, with steep grades and tight curves.

Standish and Jimpson turned over their lease of the Rio Grande Western tramway in early November 1900, for a price reported to be $15,000. The length from the depot to the upper terminal was established as one and one-third miles, with a grade of six percent. The upper terminal will be established near the Rogers mill where a gravity tramway in Bayly Gulch will dump ore cars directly from the Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company's north tunnel. (Salt Lake Herald, November 11, 1900, "Shawmut Mill Closed Down")

The contract to rebuild the old horse tramway was given to Utah Construction Company, as one of that company's first efforts. Work began in early November 1900. (Engineering News, July 24, 1902, p. 59 states that construction began on November 1, 1900; Bingham Bulletin of February 15, 1901 states that construction began on December 1, 1900; D&RGW's corporate history for the ICC valuation project, published in Volume 26 of the ICC Valuation Reports, p. 927; 26 Val Rep 927; contract to Utah Construction in ICC Valuation Reports, Volume 26, p. 928; 26 Val Rep 928)

By December 1900, the construction company had 150 men working on the contract for the building of what was called the "Upper Bingham Railroad". The mining company announced that it would soon be shipping 200 tons per day over the new line. (Engineering and Mining Journal, December 29, 1900, p. 770)

To finance additional expansion, on April 24, 1901 the Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company was reorganized as the Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. The expansion included the purchase of the Dalton and Lark mining properties. With the reorganization, the new Bingham Consolidated company also announced that they would formally purchase the interests of the Copper Belt railroad. (Engineering and Mining Journal, May 4, 1901, p. 572; USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 99)

When Bayley and Jacobs took the lease on the Rio Grande Western tramway in 1900, they had intended to operate the new standard gauge line as a carrier for all of the mines in the district. Much of the traffic was to come from Bayley's Commercial mine, but Jacobs and Bayley were also figuring on additional traffic from the newly formed United States Mining Company's Old Jordan, Galena, Telegraph, and Niagara mines. The U.S. company, however, built its own aerial tramway for its transportation needs.

In early May 1901 an agreement was reached between the new owners of the Bingham Consolidated properties and William Bayley, who along with Jacobs, held the lease on the Copper Belt railroad's roadbed. Bayley, who had also arranged for the actual construction of rebuilding the old tramway, would buy out Jacobs' interest in the lease and would in turn sell the lease on the roadbed and the lease of the former Salt Lake and Mercur locomotive to the Bingham Consolidated company.

On May 18, 1901 the Copper Belt Railroad was incorporated by the owners of the Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. Controlling interest in the company was turned over to William Bayley in return for his lease of the tramway and locomotive, formerly Salt Lake and Mercur number 7. The end result was that although the Copper Belt Railroad owned the lease on the right of way of the former horse tramway, and the lease of the locomotive, Bayley, who also controlled the mining company, controlled the Copper Belt. J. G. Jacobs, who owned the Salt Lake & Mercur, was also a director of the new Copper Belt company. (Utah corporation files, index 3147)

Both the new Copper Belt railway, and the Dalton and Lark line were built under the supervision of Rio Grande Western engineers and were operated by the "railroad department" of the Bingham Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company.

(For contemporary Copper Belt references, see Salt Lake Tribune, January 2, 1901 and February 1, 1901 for news items about the road being in operation. See also the Salt Lake Mining Review, February 28, 1901 for an article lifted from the Bingham Bulletin of February 15th, including a photo of Copper Belt RR Shay No. 1 in use.)

The Salt Lake Mining Review ran an article about the Bingham smelter and Copper Belt railroad of the Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company, in the February 28, 1901 issue, Vol. 2, No. 22. (link to the text of the article)

L. H. Beason described the Copper Belt Railroad in the February 15, 1905 issue (Vol. 6, No. 21) of the Salt Lake Mining Review, upon control of the road passing to Rio Grande Western. (link to the text of the article)

The following comes from "Different Methods of Hauling Ore at Bingham, Utah" by W. P. Hardesty, C. E., Engineering News, July 24, 1902.

COPPER BELT RAILROAD -- This road, for the greater part of its length, follows very closely the line and grade of an old horse tramway, used to haul ores from the Old Jordan and Galena mines. This tramway is displaced by the steam road as far as it is followed, about 1-3/4 miles. The new road starts from the terminus of the Rio Grande Western, at the lower end of the town. It follows along the east aide of Bingham Canyon for 2-1/8 miles, generally at a short distance above the bottom. It then crosses to the west side of the creek, and, by a development along the hillside which causes it to work slightly back along the side of the main canyon reaches the terminus, 2.9 miles from the beginning. This terminus is about 600 ft. northeast from the Commercial Mine, from which it receives the ore by a gravity tramway.

The line is nearly all in curve. There are many 30-degree curves and one 34-degree curve in the first two miles. Beyond there are several 40-degree curves, on one of which is located a trestle with eleven 15-ft. spans. There is a stretch of 3.7 percent grade at the beginning; for the rest of the way, where the old tram grade is used, it averages from 7 percent to 7.4 percent, the latter the maximum. There is no compensation on curves for this portion. For the entirely new work the ruling grade is 7 percent, compensated on curves at the rate of .02 ft. per 100 ft. The elevations above sea level of the terminals are 5,890 and 6,915 ft. The maximum cut and fill are each about 25 ft. The road is standard gage, with 52-lb. rails on a 14-ft. roadbed. A 50-ton Shay locomotive, with three cylinders on a side, is used. The 100,000-lb. capacity; steel ore cars of the R. G. W. are used, together with all standard cars that may be transferred from the R. G. W. The Shay engine easily hauls three empties up and handles three loads down the grade.

Construction of the road was begun Nov. 1, 1900, and completed Feb. 1, 1901.

In May 1904, Copper Belt issued several unique passes for its important officers, employees, friends and customers. Instead of the traditional cardboard passes usually issued by railroads, these passes were made of solid sheet copper, with the company name in raised letters, and the name of the recipient engraved on the pass. (Salt Lake Mining Review, May 30, 1904; the newspaper's editor, Will C. Higgins, received a pass and would keep it as a souvenir)

Railroads And Steam Shovels

"Railroads And Steam Shovels", article about the construction of the Copper Belt railroad and other RGW lines around Bingham Canyon, by H. C. Goodrich, presented at the regular monthly meeting of the Utah Society of Engineers. (Salt Lake Mining Review, Volume 13, number 14, October 30, 1911, page 18)

Timeline

November 13, 1900
J. G. Jacobs leased from Rio Grande Western Railway, for a period of ten years, "all that line of narrow gauge road known as the Bingham tramway, commencing at or near, Bingham station in Salt Lake County, Utah, and extending up the canyon three and one half miles, more of less,...".

The lease provided that RGW would, at its own expense, "do the widening, grading and bridging of the tramway road bed, and required extensions thereof, suitable for a standard gauge railroad; and the lessor agrees to furnish material for, and lay the track of the railroad and its extensions and put the same in condition for operation...". All work was to be done under the supervision of RGW's Chief Engineer.

Jacobs was to pay, as rental fee, the cost incurred by RGW "in furnishing labor and materials for laying the track and placing, the railroad in condition for operation..." with the rental being divided equally over the ten-year period of the lease, payable monthly. In case of default, RGW would take ownership of all cars, engines and operating equipment. (Lease, RGW to J. G. Jacobs, dated November 13, 1900) (link to text of the lease) (map)

November 15, 1900
"The extension of the Bingham branch of the Rio Grande Western railroad from lower Bingham as far as the Old Jordan & Galena mine in Highland gulch has been decided upon, it being the intention to use the Old Jordan & Galena tramway after widening the track, the motive power to be a Shea engine." "J. G. Jacobs, who projected and built the Salt Lake & Mercur road, will have charge of the little branch or spur. The construction of this line will materially advance the mining and business interests of the marvelously rich camp of Bingham." (Salt Lake Mining Review, November 15, 1900, page 21)

December 11, 1900
"Will be Steep Grade" when the RGW extends its line from Bingham to the mines of the Bingham Copper & Gold Mining Company, three miles up the canyon. "For the first two miles beyond Bingham the present grade of the company's three-foot gauge tramway will be used as far as practicable. Beyond that point the work will be new." "It is to be standard gauge and operated with a Shay engine." (ed. note: This is the Copper Belt Railroad) (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 11, 1900)

December 17, 1900
"J. G. Jacobs in company with Mrs. Jacobs and child, has gone to Los Angeles. He will return to be on hand at the opening of the Copper Belt railroad." (Deseret News, December 17, 1900)

December 30, 1900
Review of 1900: "The Rio Grande Western three-mile extension at Bingham will be known as the Copper Belt Railroad and will be operated by J. G. Jacobs." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 30, 1900)

December 31, 1900
"Steve Hays and C. W. Watson have applied for an injunction to restrain the Utah Construction company, contractors, and their principals, from trespassing on the Remnant placer with the roadbed of the Copper Belt railroad, under construction between Bingham depot and Bingham C. & G. mines. The Remnant claim extends from the old Forrest house north to dump of Winnamuck mine, and the new railroad is to pass over nearly the entire length." (Salt Lake Herald, December 31, 1900)

1901
Copper Belt railroad leased (and converted to standard gauge) the three-mile long old RGW narrow gauge tramway from Bingham to the Old Jordan and Commercial mines in Bingham Canyon. Copper Belt later, in 1905, acquired title to the line in exchange turning over its stock to D&RG (not RGW). (LeMassena, p. 111)

January 2, 1901
"Copper Belt Railway" "The order for lumber to be used in the construction of a roundhouse at the yards of the Copper Belt railway at Bingham was placed with a local dealer yesterday, and, under the direction of Joe Dederichs, the structure is to be hurried to completion. Mr. Dederichs says that to have it ready for the locomotives for which it is intended, about two weeks will be required. The location of the roundhouse will be at the terminus of the Rio Grande Western track at Bingham, where space has been provided by Manager Jacobs. In addition to this, a mammoth coal bin is to be reared on the ground, as are also offices for the attaches. The Shea engine with which traffic over the line is to begin will be brought from the Mercur line and put in readiness during the week, while the ore cars will be such as may be transferred to Rio Grande tracks and dispatched without change to the valley smelters. The operation of the new line, which promises so much for the producers of Bingham, is promised for January 15th." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 2, 1901)

(This item is one of the few contemporary sources that used *Railway* when referring to the Copper Belt. The original articles of incorporation used *Railway*, but a very large percentage of later references use *Railroad*. All locomotives were lettered as "C. B. R. R.")

January 8, 1901
"One of the locomotives from the Mercur railroad has been transferred by Manager Jacobs to the Copper Belt line in Bingham, and tracklaying has been in progress for three of four days." "The Bingham Copper & Gold company has traded offices in the McCornick block with Salt Lake & Mercur and Copper Belt railroads, or more properly, consolidated the two suites. The change was made in order that the Bingham company might secure the use of the vault formerly held by Mr. Jacobs alone." (Salt Lake Herald, January 8, 1901, "Mining Notes")

January 18, 1901
"Manager Jacobs of the new Copper Belt railroad stated yesterday that the company expected to have the road in working order as far as the forks of the canyon by next Monday or Tuesday. they will then they will commence to haul ore for the Bingham Copper & Gold company from that point to the smelter. The ore will be brought from the mine to the end of the railroad on the tramway and dumped direct into the company's cars. It will take about two weeks to complete the heavy wooden trestle, after which the rest of the rails will be rapidly laid and the road completed on short notice." (Salt Lake Herald, January 18, 1901, "Mining Notes")

January 20, 1901
"Tracklaying on the Copper Belt railroad has progressed to the point some distance above the mouth of Markham gulch. There is a temporary suspension today, caused by the non-arrival of material." (Salt Lake Herald, January 20, 1901, "Bingham Mining Notes")

January 27, 1901
Manager Jacobs of the Copper Belt railroad received word from the tracklaying foreman yesterday that the rails would be all laid as far as the forks of the canyon by this evening. This will put the company in shape to haul ore from that point to the new smelter. The first trainload is expected to be sent over the new road tomorrow and shipments will continue right along, as a quantity of ore has been stored at the forks awaiting the completion of the road to that point." (Salt Lake Herald, January 27, 1901, "Mining Notes")

Bingham Copper & Gold Mining Company had started construction on its Midvale smelter in October 1899. Construction was completed in January 1901, with test runs begun on January 15th. Full production began on January 31st. The new railroad was not yet complete, so the mining company was shipping ore from the mine to the smelter in what was called "a steady stream of wagons". To get the smelter into full production, in addition to their own ore, the mining company used custom ores from the Grand Central and the Tesora mines in Tintic, along with reprocessing the slag dumps from the old smelters at Stockton. Pending completion of the company's Copper Belt rail line, the mine began shipping its sulfide copper ore to the smelter by wagon and team. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 254) The new smelter was adjacent to the Rio Grande Western mainline at Midvale.

In 1903 the Copper Belt Railroad built two extensions to get the ore traffic of other mining companies in the canyon. The new construction included a spur to Boston Consolidated mine and the Yampa Consolidated mine, both in Carr Fork, along with another spur to the Yampa Consolidated's smelter, located on the north slope of the canyon, about a quarter mile below Rio Grande Western's Bingham station. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 302) The smelter was put into operation in December 1903. The spur to the Yampa smelter crossed the canyon just above the Bingham station and continued along the north slope to the smelter.

The Yampa Consolidated Mining Company, had been organized in April 1901 as a consolidation of Yampa mine and seven other properties, all located on the north slope of Carr Fork. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 382)

"The Bingham Copper and Gold Company was organized in December 1898 to work the carbonate and oxidized ores of the Commercial Mine which under the ownership of the Bingham Gold Mining Company was exploited for oxidized gold ore and treated by the cyanide process without success. Under the new ownership extensive exploration at depth was carried on and the results led to the construction of a semipyritic smelter in 1901 at Bingham Junction, now Midvale, Utah. This smelter went into commission in November 1902, originally built with a capacity of 1000 tons for treating copper ore and in 1905 a plant of 400 tons capacity for treating silver-lead ores was added on a tract of land adjoining on the north the United States Company smelter. The Brooklyn and Dalton Lark properties acquired by this company in 1901 were unwatered by the driving of the Mascotte tunnel and shipments from these holdings commenced in 1903. These with increased productions from the Commercial mine and contracts for the treatment of the Boston Consolidated Stewart mine production and the copper concentrates from the Utah Copper porphyry operation necessitated additional furnaces and converters. Also, with the development of silver-lead ores in the Dalton Lark group, a lead furnace was added." (Billings)

February 1, 1901
"Thomas J. Mackintosh has resigned as general superintendent of the Salt Lake & Mercur and the office is abolished, effective today. General Manager J. G. Jacobs announced yesterday the appointment of W. S. Hall as superintendent of both the Copper Belt road at Bingham and the Salt Lake & Mercur. Mr. Hall's headquarters will be at the general offices of the companies in the McCormick block, this city." Item further comments that Hall "has been general agent of the Mercur road at Mercur ever since it was built." In a separate item: "Two miles of the Copper Belt tramway are completed and in operation and one more mile remains to be built under the present plans." "The tramway has a 7 per cent grade and is operated with a Shay engine, making it one of the most interesting railroads in Utah."(Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 1, 1901)

February 13, 1901
The Copper Belt Railroad company, which operates two or three miles of road at Bingham, will be ready day after tomorrow to announce that its line is completed." (Salt Lake Herald, February 13, 1901, "Railroad Notes")

February 14, 1901
News item, from the Bingham Bulletin newspaper for February 15, 1901. The Copper Belt railroad began operation "yesterday" (February 14, 1901). Construction began in December 1900. The upper terminal was at the Bingham Copper & Gold Mining Company's mine. The railroad was three and a half miles long and had grades of six to seven percent. Article includes a poor photograph of a Copper Belt locomotive and a car. (Salt Lake Mining Review, Volume 2, number 22, February 28, 1901, pages 11 and 12)

February 15, 1901
"The gravity tramway by which Bingham C. & G. ores are to be conveyed from the mouth of tunnel to bins at upper terminal of the Copper Belt railroad is 525 feet in length. It's ready for business, a trial run having proved it to be in perfect working order. The cars dump automatically and apparently nothing can be suggested that would increase its utility and value as a labor saver." (Salt Lake Mining Review, February 15, 1901) (This gravity tramway was in Copper Center Gulch and moved ore from the upper tunnel of the Commercial mine, down to the mine's lower tunnel, where the ore from both tunnels ore was loaded from an ore bin into the cars of the Copper Belt railroad.)

February 17, 1901
"Superintendent W. S. Hall of the new Copper Belt railroad, from Bingham to the mines of Bingham Gold & Copper company, announced yesterday  that the road was practically been completed. The rails are laid the entire distance, and yesterday the company hauled the first car of ore direct from the bins at the mine to the terminus of the road at Bingham, where it is delivered to the Rio Grande to complete the haul to the smelter. The road will not be in shape to handle the entire output until the latter end of the coming week, as it is necessary to do a little ore ballasting at certain points before trains can run at full speed. This work, however, will not delay regular shipments. The road as it stands is a wonderful piece of engineering work, and the three miles of track make numerous sharp curves in order to reach it destination. It was also learned that in the near future the company may build several miles farther in order to reach more of the mines in the vicinity. " "Colonel Heffron of the Bingham Gold & Copper Mining company stated that the output at the present time was about 200 tons a day, which, with the aid of the new compressor, just installed, would be increased to the full capacity of the smelter. The telluride power & Transmission company had the contract to furnish power for the compressor and was at present at work constructing a new line to the mine, which would be completed in a short time. After that the mine could furnish all the mineral required. The smelter now being in the position to get all the ore required, will probably blow in another stack at once, and before many days the entire combinations of the Bingham Gold & Copper company, including railroad, mine and smelter, will be working full capacity." "J. A. Coram, president of the company, who arrived from Boston on Friday, accompanied by O. P. Posey and O. E. Weler, made a trip to the smelter yesterday, and will take a run out to the mine today." (Salt Lake Herald, February 17, 1901)

February 23, 1901
"The steel gang on Copper Belt road having completed its work broke camp yesterday. It is stated the road is now bringing down 200 tons of Bingham C. & G. ore per day; also, that the smelter is ready to fire up its second furnace, when its maximum  capacity will be increased to 300 tons. The third furnace will be ready for business as soon as it can be operated to advantage." (Deseret News, February 23, 1901)

February 28, 1901
Full length article: "The Bingham Smelter and Copper Belt Railroad" (Salt Lake Mining Review, February 28, 1901)

March 3, 1901
"Owing to rock slides, the Copper Belt train made no trip yesterday. Falling of rock and soil from the steep side left by recent excavations is likely to prove quite a disagreeable matter this spring. Gangs of men were clearing track in several places the past two days, and kept up a lively fusillade breaking large boulders. In one slide there were upwards of seventy-five tons of rock. Last evening the track was clear, but it is not likely to long remain so and it will be fortunate if the train is not caught." (Salt Lake Herald, March 3, 1901, "Bingham Mining Notes")

April 27, 1901
"Some difficulty has been experienced with the Copper Belt railway, owned by the company [Bingham Copper & Gold]. It was built in winter, and the thaw out of the past few weeks has caused the road bed to yield." "Joseph G. Jacobs has sold his interest in the Copper Belt railway at Bingham to the Bingham Copper and Gold company." (Deseret News, April 27, 1901, page 6, "A Wonderful Smelter Record")

May 17, 1901
Copper Belt Railway (Railroad) was formally organized in Utah. (corporate information)

May 18, 1901
"Articles of incorporation of the Copper Belt Railroad company were filed yesterday with the county clerk. The stated purpose is to operate under a lease the line of railroad partly constructed by the Rio Grande Western Railway company, extending from the depot of the latter company at Bingham, a distance of  about three miles to the mine of the Bingham Copper & Gold company. William Bayly of the mining company is the president and chief shareholder, owning 7496 shares. The Copper Belt Railroad company will, it is stated in the articles of incorporation, furnish the rolling stock for the ore hauling railroad." (Salt Lake Herald, May 18, 1901)

September 10, 1901
The Bingham Copper Belt railway is in the market for a locomotive. This is a sequel to the purchase of the road by the Bingham Consolidated Copper & Gold company." (Salt Lake Herald, September 10, 1901, "Railroad Notes")

September 23, 1901
"From Monday next the Copper Belt road will make two trips to the Commercial (Bingham Con.) and haul 200 tons of ore daily, instead of 100 as at present." (Salt Lake Herald, September 23, 1901, "Bingham Mining News")

November 24, 1902
"W. S. Hall, superintendent of the Copper Belt, says the road is now hauling about 500 tons of ore daily; 300 from the Commercial (Bingham Con.) and 200 from the Columbia and other mines." (Salt Lake Herald, November 24, 1902)

In 1903 the Copper Belt Railroad built two spurs to get the ore traffic of other mining companies in the canyon. The new construction included a spur to Boston Consolidated mine and the Yampa Consolidated mine, both in Carr Fork, along with another spur to the Yampa Consolidated's smelter. (1909 Bingham Commercial Club Souvenir booklet) The Yampa Consolidated Mining Company, had been organized in April 1901 as a consolidation of Yampa mine and seven other properties, all located on the north slope of Carr Fork. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 382) The Yampa smelter was completed in December 1903 and was located on the north slope of the canyon, about a quarter mile below Rio Grande Western's Bingham station. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 302) The spur to the Yampa smelter crossed the canyon just above the Bingham station and continued along the north slope to the smelter.

The new Copper Belt spur for Boston Consolidated was built after the mining company signed a two-year smelting contract to supply the Bingham Consolidated smelter in Midvale with 200 tons of ore per day. By October 1903, Boston Con was shipping as much as 500 tons per day from the Carr Fork mine. The mine was shipping 4,000 tons by February 1904. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 381) Considering that the average rail car at this time had a 30-ton capacity, 500 tons per day would have been about 16 carloads per day, and 4,000 tons per month would have been a total of about 133 cars per month, or just four carloads per day, averaged out over the month. This ore was all moving over the Copper Belt line to Bingham, then by RGW to Midvale.

February 1903
There were statements that George H. Robinson, manager of the Tintic Mining & Development company, owners of the Yampa mine at Bingham, had purchased controlling interest in the Copper Belt railroad, and that the deal would mean that the Copper Belt would likely be extended to reach the Yampa mine in Carr Fork. (Deseret News, February 12, 1903; Salt Lake Mining Review, February 15, 1903)

April 5, 1903
During April 1903 the Boston Consolidated company had a party of engineers in the field surveying for an aerial tramway. The lower terminal was to be below that of the new United States company. It would have to cross the Highland Boy tramway. (Salt Lake Herald, April 5, 1903)

May 7, 1903
"The Copper Belt railway, Bingham, is transporting about 300 tons of ores daily over its lines." (Deseret News, May 7, 1903)

May 27, 1903
"The Bingham Copper Belt railway may yet arrange with the Tintic Mining & Development company to extend its lines to the Yampa mine and transport the ores of that property to the  proposed new smelter just below the town of Bingham. If the Copper Belt company shows its ability to do this, the management of the Tintic company is ready to talk business. In the meantime, however, the latter company will stand prepared to build an aerial tramway. The Copper Belt company has a force of engineers in the field surveying a feasible route to the Yampa mine and the results of their labors will no doubt be known within a few days. While the grade up to the mine is not an easy one by any means, yet there is no difficulty but what can readily be overcome." "Consulting Engineer James W. Neill of the Tintic company, returned last night from Bingham, where he spent several days measuring up the elevations to fit plans already made for new buildings." (Deseret News, May 27, 1903)

May 31, 1903
"Surveying is progressing on the proposed extension of the Copper Belt road to the Boston Consolidated and Yampa mines. Should the road be extended it will fall heir to hauling of timbers and other up-freight for the Highland Boy mine; a considerable item of business that is now done entirely by teams." (Salt Lake Herald, May 31, 1903)

During May 1903 the Copper Belt had surveyors in the field surveying an extension that was to reach the Boston Consolidated and Yampa mines in Carr Fork. If completed, the extension would also capture considerable traffic from the Highland Boy that was currently going entire by team. (Salt Lake Herald, May 31, 1903) The survey was completed on June 4th. (Salt Lake Herald, June 15, 1903, "probably next week will see the grading begin") The Boston Consolidated extension "will be completed within thirty days." (Salt Lake Herald, September 14, 1903)

June 13, 1903
"The Bingham Copper Belt Railway company has completed the surveys to the Yampa and Boston Consolidated mines. Just as soon as word comes from the eastern offices that the contracts with Tintic Mining and Development company and the Boston Consolidated have been signed, the extension of the line will be made." (Deseret News, June 13, 1903)

(This item is one of the few contemporary sources that used *Railway* when referring to the Copper Belt. The original articles of incorporation used *Railway*, but a very large percentage of later references use *Railroad*. All locomotives were lettered as "C. B. R. R.")

June 15, 1903
"The corps of engineers who arrived on the 4th completed the work running lines for the Copper Belt extension Tuesday morning. The entire distance from the present (Commercial) terminus to the Yampa mine via Boston Con., also a spur to the Highland Boy, is now cross-sectioned and ready for graders. Probably next week will see the grading begun." (Salt Lake Herald, June 15, 1903, "Bingham Mining Notes")

July 5, 1903
"A switch is being laid from the Rio Grande Western track to the Yampa site for delivery of building materials and machinery, and engineers are surveying at the head of the depot yard for the crossing of the Copper Belt road to the smelter." (Salt Lake Herald, July 5, 1903; Deseret News, July 6, 1903; the two items match word for word.)

July 6, 1903
"The Utah Construction company has been awarded the contract for the extension of the Copper Belt railway of Bingham. The road is to connect with the Yampa and Boston Consolidated mines. The work is to be completed within the next ninety days and will mean an outlay to the company, it is said, of more than $50,000." (Deseret News, July 6, 1903)

July 1903
During early July 1903 Rio Grande Western laid a spur to the site of the new Yampa smelter to deliver building materials. Also, surveys were started at the head of Bingham depot yard for the crossing of the Copper Belt road to the smelter. (Salt Lake Herald, July 5, 1903)

July 15, 1903
"The Utah Construction company which was awarded to contract to build the extensions to the Copper Belt railway in Bingham has its outfits on the ground and has begun work in earnest. A large force of Greek and Italian laborers landed in Bingham last evening to work on the line which will soon be connected with all principal mines in the camp." (Deseret News, July 15, 1903)

July 19, 1903
"Grading was begun last Monday on the lower extension of the Copper Belt railroad and a large amount of work has been accomplished. A second gang of graders arrived Tuesday morning, another will be here tomorrow, and it is stated that over 200 men will soon be working on the upper and lower extensions. At the rate it is progressing the grade from the main track to Yampa smelter should be completed and ready for ties next week. The bridge work will be started as soon as materials are on the ground." (Salt Lake Herald, July 19, 1903, "Bingham Mining Notes")

July 25, 1903
"The grade for the lower extension of the Copper Belt road, three-fourths of a mile in length, is now all opened up and work is progressing rapidly. Considerable cribbing will have to be done on loose rock slides along the side hill. the grade should be ready for tracklaying by Aug. 15." "Twelve carloads of timbers for trestles are in transit. Along the line there will be three trestles, in all 600 feet in length." "Engineers were yesterday running lines high up on the point at the mouth of Carr Fork. Materials for three camps along the upper extension are here, and a gang of graders should arrive this morning, when dirt will at once begin to move. It is the intention to have 150 or 200 men at work as soon as possible. The upper extension will be over two miles in length." "When the road is complete it will handle upwards of 4,000 tons of ore a day, largely from the Boston Con. and Yampa mines, the latter continuing its delivery to Bingham Con. smelter under arrangement calling 30,000 tons. When in full operation the road will be using three engines; an order having already been placed for a large new one, and train will then be passing to and fro through the canyon every half hour." (Deseret News, July 25, 1903; Salt Lake Herald, July 26, 1903; the two items match word for word.)

August 19, 1903
"Mining, social, and business circles will be interested to know that William Bayly of Los Angeles, identified from the beginning with the Bingham Consolidated company and one of its most energetic directors, has decided to move, with Mrs. Bayly, to this city. Mr. Bayly is the chief man in the Bingham Copper Belt railroad and it is understood that he will take the active management of that enterprise. Regarding the coming of Mr. and Mrs. Bayly the Los Angeles Express says:" "Mr. and Mrs. William Bayly, Jr., contemplate going to Salt Lake  City to live, although their plans for the change have not yet been completed. The purpose is for Mr. Bayly to take charge of a railroad that transports ore from the smelter at the Bayly mines to Salt Lake City. If Mr. and Mrs. Bayly go north it will be with the understanding that they are to return in the course of a few years and make their home in Los Angeles again. Mrs. Bayly formerly was Miss Lauraine Harding and her marriage to Mr. Bayly will be remembered as one of the most brilliant events of last spring. Soon after the marriage Mr. and Mrs. William Bayly, Sr., parents of the groom, went east to pass the summer on their yacht, which was anchored in Boston bay. They write they have just sailed from Shelter Island to Newport and will be at the latter place during the yacht races soon to be held there. They will return home late in the fall." (Salt Lake Herald, August 19, 1903)

August 31, 1903
"Considerable bridge material having been delivered during the past 20 days, construction work was begun Wednesday on the two trestles of the Copper Belt railroad lower extension, and they should be completed about Sept. 15. Materials for the four upper extension trestles are looked for right away, but owing to the prevailing car famine in Oregon their arrival is uncertain. Nearly all ties and steel are here, and if the lumber shows up soon the line should be fully completed by October. Upwards of 300 carpenters and graders are now employed and more can be used to advantage." (Deseret News, August 31, 1903)

September 11, 1903
"William Bayly, president of the Bingham Copper Belt railway, also director in the Bingham Con. Mining company, has arrived from the east. After spending a few days looking over his Utah interests will return to his home in Los Angeles. (Deseret News, September 11, 1903)

September 14, 1903
"While in Boston one day last week M. M. Johnson, manager of the Boston Consolidated in Bingham and the Newhouse mines in Beaver county, was interviewed concerning conditions at a number of Utah copper properties. He was questioned particularly on conditions at Bingham. He said: The Copper Belt railway, which will connect our mines with the valley smelters, will be completed within thirty days. This road will obviate the necessity of our building a tramway, as in the case of the Highland Boy and United States Mining company. Within a month we will be in a position to enter the producing ranks." (Salt Lake Herald, September 14, 1903)

September 23, 1903
"Capt. Duncan McVichie, manager of the Bingham Consolidated Mining company, and one of the heavy shareholders in the Bingham Copper Belt railway said today that splendid progress is being made with the extensions of the road in the West Mountain district, and that traffic would open for the ores of the Yampa mine and possibly for those from the Boston Consolidated, not later than Oct. 15." "The Bingham Copper Belt is undoubtedly the most wonderful railroad in Utah, if not in the entire west, and there are few men with capital that would have ever attempted to put their money into such an enterprise." (Deseret News, September 23, 1903)

October 5, 1903
"Yesterday nearly all grading except rock work on the upper Copper Belt road having been completed, about 190 graders rolled up their belongings and left camp. Trestle building is now progressing. Laying iron on the lower section of the road is awaiting completion of the Dunn bridge, which is almost ready for ties. The road should be bringing down ore from the Yampa and Boston Consolidated before the close of October." "Day in and day out an average of twenty-five fifty-ton cars of ore are now shipped from Bingham every twenty-four hours. The amount should materially increase next month, when the Boston Consolidated turns loose and the Yampa switches from wagoning to the Copper Belt." (Salt Lake Herald, October 5, 1903; Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1903, using exact wording from "Day in and day out..." paragraph.)

October 12, 1903
"As the Yampa smelter will not be ready to receive ore for possibly two months, and the Yampa and Boston Consolidated mines are awaiting facilities for filling their contracts with the Bingham Consolidated smelter, Copper Belt construction work has within a few days been concentrated on the upper extension, and by the end of the month the mines should be connected by rail with the Rio Grande Western track. As soon as the connection is made Bingham will increase its output 250 to 300 tons a day. Track-laying has begun on the upper extension, and probably little will be done on the lower extension before November." (Salt Lake Herald, October 12, 1903)

October 13, 1903
"Capt Duncan McVichie returned from Bingham last night where he went to look over the new work being carried on by the Bingham Copper Belt railway. All grading has been completed, the captain states, except the spur to the Boston Consolidated mine, and that is being finished as rapidly as possible. By Nov. 10 the rails will be laid and the entire system ready for operation." "The laying of the rails on the completed grades is being done and the work is progressing with speed." "The Copper Belt company has the necessary equipment ordered to operate the new lines. A new 65-ton locomotive is scheduled to leave the Lima, Ohio, shops on Nov. 1." (Deseret News, October 13, 1903) (Very similar news item in Salt Lake Herald, October 14, 1903, adding that McVichie was General Manager of Bingham Consolidated.)

October 19, 1903
"Since ore began to come down from the Boston Consolidated, early in the week, about a carload a day has been hauled by teams for shipment to the United States smelter. It is understood that as soon as the Copper Belt spur is connected up, the Boston will switch its consignments to the Bingham and increase them to 150 to 200 tons a day." (Salt Lake Herald, October 19, 1903)

October 26, 1903
"A heavy new engine for the Copper Belt is due to be on the rails in a few days. The Commercial (Bingham Con.) mine is now shipping upwards of 800 tons of ore daily from its lower tunnel." (Salt Lake Herald, October 26, 1903)

October 30, 1903
"Supt. W. J. Craig, to whom is due the credit of opening up the massive ore bodies in the Yampa at Bingham, is in the city today and will leave for camp again tomorrow. He says he has the big property ready to keep the new smelter, now being constructed at the mouth of Bingham canyon, going steadily. The plant will be ready to blow-in, Mr. Craig says, by the first of January." "Good progress is being made with the laying of the tracks for the Bingham Copper Belt railway and Mr. Craig says the line to the Yampa mine will be completed by next Tuesday and in condition for the operation of trains. In the meantime he is mining about 100 tons of ore daily and sending as much of it as he can down the canyon toward the Bingham Consolidated smelter in accordance with the contract entered into with the latter. There is a scarcity of teams in the camp and under the conditions is compelled to be satisfied with just what he can get." "It is the intention to erect a large ore bin at the mine before the new smelter is started, but work has been delayed; the management has been waiting on the railroad to bring the material." (Deseret News, October 30, 1903)

The new Copper Belt spur for Boston Consolidated was built after the mining company signed a two-year smelting contract to supply the Bingham Consolidated smelter in Midvale with 200 tons of ore per day. By October 1903, Boston Con was shipping as much as 500 tons per day from the Carr Fork mine. The mine was shipping 4,000 tons by February 1904. (USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 381)

Considering that the average rail car at this time had a 30-ton capacity, 500 tons per day would have been about 16 carloads per day, and 4,000 tons per month would have been a total of about 133 cars per month, or just four carloads per day, averaged out over the month. This ore was all moving over the Copper Belt line to Bingham, then by RGW to Midvale.

November 1, 1903
"At the offices of the Bingham Copper Belt railway it was learned yesterday that the roadbed has been completely graded to the mouth of the Yampa tunnel. A little bridge and trestle work yet remains to be done, and then, by the 5th of the month, it is hoped, trains will begin hauling from the Yampa mine to the Bingham smelter, which is under contract to handle a large tonnage of ore from the property pending the completion of the Tintic company's smelter at camp." "The spur being built from the main line to the bins of the Boston Consolidated is being hurried as rapidly as men can do the work, and by the middle of the month, it is expected, trains will be in operation there, also. When they are, the moving of 200 tons of ore per day will begin and the camp will present a mighty busy appearance." (Salt Lake Herald, November 1, 1903)

November 4, 1903
"The Copper Belt railway will be completed to the Boston Con. mine at Bingham by the 15th inst." (Deseret News, November 4, 1903)

November 12, 1903
"A big electrical locomotive has been ordered by the Boston Con. of Bingham. The engine will be on the ground in a short time and will be used on the Copper Belt railroad as soon as completed." (Deseret News, November 12, 1903)

November 15, 1903
"Next week the Copper Belt railroad will be completed to the main tunnel of the Yampa mine, when shipments to the Bingham's smelter, which have averaged fifty to sixty tons daily, will at once be increased to about 200 tons. early this week the extension to the Yampa smelter was connected up with the main line, and Tuesday afternoon an engine crossed the lower trestle for the first time. Two flats were attached, one loaded with timbers and the other carrying Superintendent Hall and a number of parties who will have it to say they were among the first to make the crossing. The trestle is substantially built and apparently equal to the heavy tonnage that will soon be going over it from the Yampa to the smelter. Before the end of November the Boston Consolidated extension will also be completed, when the mine will begin delivering 200 tons of ore daily to the American Smelting & Refining company, with ore, equipment and facilities for increasing the amount to 1,000 tons daily." (Salt Lake Herald, November 15, 1903)

November 18, 1903
"Stormy weather has impeded the work on the Copper Belt at Bingham." (Deseret News, November 18, 1903)

November 26, 1903
"George H. Robinson, general manager of the Tintic company, who has been taking part in the suits now pending between the Heinze and Amalgamated interests at Butte for several days past, returned yesterday morning to be at home for Thanksgiving." "At the Yampa mine the Copper Belt tracks have just reached the bins, and hereafter the tonnage delivered to the Bingham smelter will be much larger than it has been possible to make it with the limited number of teams which it was possible to keep on the job." (Salt Lake Herald, November 26, 1903)

December 5, 1903
The Copper Belt spur to the Yampa mine in Carr Fork was completed. "The first consignment of Yampa ore has come out over the Copper Belt railroad. It started last night for the Bingham Consolidated smelter." "The mine has been sending ore to the smelter for some time, but it has been by the rather slow means of teams." (Deseret News, December 5, 1903)

December 9, 1903
"The grade of the Copper Belt has been finished to the ore bins of the Boston Consolidated at Bingham, the work having been completed last night. This morning the work of laying and spiking the rails will be started and it is hoped that the ore trains will be moving over the new road by the first of next week. The amount of ore ahead is big and the way it is coming out of the tunnel shows that a heavy tonnage may be expected when all things get in working shape." (Deseret News, December 9, 1903)

December 23, 1903
"The Boston Consolidated will begin today the shipment of its ores to the Bingham Consolidated smelter. The Copper Belt railroad was completed to the mine yesterday, cars were supplied and preparations were practically completed to begin the movement of ores today. The first day or two the tonnage may not be large, but after that it is expected the full contract output of 300 tons daily will be sent out, and perhaps even more." "After many years of patient waiting and putting up money, the shareholders of the Boston will receive nice revenue from the ores that are being opened up in such vast quantities within their ground, and there is some ground to hope for dividends. The ore shipped will probably average 3 to 5 per cent copper, making the output in the neighborhood of 500,000 pounds of copper monthly, besides the gold and silver values. The copper alone, at local settling prices, would have a gross valuation of $57,500. As soon as practicable, this output will probably be increased." (Salt Lake Herald, December 23, 1903)

December 26, 1903
"The nervy little Copper Belt railroad, with its half-a-dozen miles of main line, branches and spurs, does not have to "get busy," for with its one little engine of three cars capacity four or five trips a day are now made up and down freight, and it is handling 450 to 500 tons of ore from the Commercial, Yampa and Boston Con. mines. A night crew was put on yesterday. The new engine of five cars capacity, is to be here by Jan, 10. The output from the mines mentioned will then be increased to 650 tons, while the Colombia will swell the amount to at least 800 tons. Within three months, with the Utah Copper outputting, the Copper Belt Railroad will be hauling not less than 1,500 tons a day. A new engine house, also an office building, are now under construction." "Early in the week fires were started in the roasters of the Yampa smelter, and they are now answering all expectations, operating without a hitch save such as are incident to the limbering up of new plants. With the blowing in of the furnaces the production of matte will begin. This may be delayed a few days, pending the arrival of several hundred tons of coke, now on the road. Meantime since the 19th ore has been coming from the mine via the Copper Belt railroad, and it is now reaching the bins at the rate of 100 tons a day. Directly after the holidays the Yampa smelter will without doubt be in full and successful operation." "Including shipments from the Commercial Con. mines are now sending to the smelter an average of 450 tons of ore daily." "Wednesday afternoon the Boston Consolidated sent out its first carload of ore to go over the Copper Belt. When the mine motor is in, it will at once begin sending 200 tons daily to the Bingham Con. smelter." (Deseret News, December 26, 1903)

December 31, 1903
"Will Hall, who for some time past has been superintendent of the Copper Belt railway of Bingham, has tendered his resignation and severs his connection with the railroad today. He is succeeded by Harrison Clement, who comes to these parts well recommended." Deseret News, December 31, 1903)

January 2, 1904
"An extension of the Copper Belt from its old lower terminus to the Winnamuck mill bin is being made and on its completion the Columbia's ore will begin to move." (Deseret News, January 2, 1904, "Bingham Mining Notes")

January 4, 1904
"...the Copper Belt railroad grade would be completed by tonight to the Winnamuck mill in lower Bingham, where the Ohio Copper company will soon commence grinding out concentrates." The opening of the mill would be delayed until later in the week due to problems with delivery of needed equipment. (Deseret News, January 4, 1904, "Grade Completed Today")

January 9, 1904
Shipments over the Copper Belt for "this week" included 300 tons daily from the Commercial mine for the Bingham Consolidated smelter, 150 tons daily from Boston Consolidated, and 100 to 150 tons daily from the Yampa, which "next week" will be running down 200 tons daily. (Deseret News, January 9, 1904, "Bingham Reviewed")

January 11, 1904
"Three men who jumped from a runaway train on the Copper Belt Railway at Bingham yesterday morning are lying at Keogh-Wright hospital." "The accident happened yesterday morning at 11:30 as a train, consisting of an engine and seven cars, was coming down from the Yampa and Boston Con. mines with ore for smelters. the engine left the track and five of the cars piled up on the bank. the scene of the wreck was at the rear of the Opera House hall, at Bingham." "Just what was the cause of the wreck remains to be settled at the investigation today. It is usual for the trains to stop prior to coming to the bridge near the main line. Yesterday, however, no stop was made and at this point the engineer whistled for brakes. The brakes were screwed down hard with the result that two chains parted and the train became unmanageable. The cars ran at increasing speed for a distance of 3,000 feet and then piled up on the bank." "The engine left the track and plowed along for a distance of about 500 feet before it came to a standstill." "The accident had the effect of tying up the ore supply from the Boston Con. (200 tons daily), Yampa (250 tons), Utah Copper, Ohio Copper and Bingham Consolidated's Commercial mines, temporarily as there was but one engine operating until the arrival of another, which has been ordered." "Yesterday's accident was the first wreck in the life of the road." The injuries were not fatal to any of the crew. (Deseret News, January 11, 1904, "yesterday" was Sunday January 10th; Salt Lake Herald, January 12, 1904, stating that the accident happened "Sunday morning")

(Two of the employees, John Henry Koelmann and Mike Matthews sued Copper Belt in the amount of $10,000 each for injuries received in the above wreck. see Deseret News, March 3, 1904)

January 12, 1904
"The management was fortunate in getting the loan of a Shay locomotive from the Salt Lake Route, one that has been in service in Tintic. The engine reached Bingham during the night and is in service today. The Union Pacific has notified the Copper Belt management that the new locomotive, which left the manufacturers on December 28th, had passed Omaha, so it is only a matter of a few days until it will be on hand and ready for operation." "In the meantime the Yampa smelter will remain out of commission, as General Manager G. H. Robinson does not propose to take any chances in starting up until the little road's management advises that the troubles are over and that there will be no shortage of the ore supply. Captain Stern of the Yampa company, said today that the smelter is all ready to start and the bins, both at the smelter and mine, are filled with ore." "The mishap will not interfere with the operation of the Bingham Consolidated smelter at Bingham Junction, as the supply of ore on hand will last until after the Copper Belt is in operation again. The smelter management has prepared for just such emergencies as this one, notwithstanding the supply from the Commercial and Boston Consolidated mines is temporarily cut off." (Deseret News, January 12, 1904)

January 13, 1904
"With a locomotive in use that was borrowed, and with the new Shea engine due to arrive in camp within the next few hours, the troubles of the Copper Belt railroad line at Bingham, caused by the wreck of a few days ago, are about to end. Ore is moving from the mines again yesterday in nearly the usual volume and just as soon as the new engine arrives the company will be able to meet all requirements." (Salt Lake Herald, January 13, 1904)

January 13, 1904
"William Bayley, Jr., assistant manager of the Copper Belt railway in Bingham, returned last night from the scene of the wreck on that line and says that the road will be open for traffic again in a few days. Trains will be running anyway by Friday. Two of the ore cars that went into the ditch are beyond repair. the new engine en route from the east is reported by Union Pacific to have been delivered in Denver and s now probably in care of the Denver & Rio Grande. (Deseret News, January 13, 1904)

January 14, 1904
Ohio Copper was ready to start shipping ore from its mine. "The Copper Belt wreck has tied us up for a few days, otherwise we would be shipping. The bins are filled at the mine and with the exception of laying a short piece of track in lower Bingham, the Winnamuck mill will be connected up with the Copper Belt line. We are ready to ship 200 tons of ore daily, 150 tons of second class to the mill and 50 tons of first class direct to the smelters." "The mill will not go into commission before some time next week, as it will probably take several days yet to get the Copper Belt line into operation." (Deseret News, January 14, 1904)

January 15, 1904
"Within a few weeks the Bingham Copper Belt railroad will be about the busiest line, according to its length, in the country. With the completion of the Utah Copper company's big concentrator the road will be called upon to deliver daily anywhere from 1,400 to 2,000 tons of freight, nearly all ore, and some of the companies contemplate either the building of new reduction works of the enlargement of the present ones during the present year. So it looks as if the little road would have to be supplied with more new equipment to handle the increasing tonnages from the mines of the Old Reliable group." "On account of the steep grades, some of which exceed 7 per cent, traffic cannot be rushed. It takes about so long to make a trip; to try and shorten the time would be dangerous and might result in a repetition of what occurred on the line a few days ago and which cut of the movement of ores from several of the mines pending the clearing of the wreck." "According to a well known Binghamite it takes about three hours for a crew to make a trip from lower to upper Bingham and back, and, it is claimed, three cars loaded with ore is about all that can be brought down the mountain side on a single train with safety; consequently, with the volume of business now in sight, two crews will be kept going pretty steadily, both day and night." "The following will give a good idea of what the road is doing and will have to do when the Utah Copper company's concentrator is finished, a few weeks hence, the minimum and maximum tonnages being given and represent the daily output of the several mines:

  Minimum Maximum
Utah Copper 500 750
Yampa 250 400
Bingham Con. (Commercial) 200 250
Boston Consolidated 200 250
Ohio Copper 175 200
Miscellaneous 75 150
Total 1,400 2,000

"The Boston Consolidated, Ohio, Yampa, and in fact, about all of the properties mentioned, if called upon, could easily increase the tonnage given by considerable. The Ohio is to construct a 500 ton concentrator this year." "The Copper Belt charges its patrons at the rate of about 15 cents per ton for handling the ores between upper and lower Bingham." "In addition to the ores carried over the Copper Belt, the Utah Consolidated tramway carries daily at present 500 tons; the United States tramway, 500 tons; the Dalton and Lark, 200 tons, and on top of this is the output of the various properties operated on a smaller scale in the district." (Deseret News, January 15, 1904, "Tonnages from Bingham Mines")

January 16, 1904
"The management of the Copper Belt line at Bingham expects to have the road in operation again by tomorrow." (Salt Lake Herald, January 16, 1904, "Mining Notes")

January 17, 1904
"The new Shea locomotive for the Bingham Copper Belt road arrived from the east yesterday morning and during the afternoon it was fired up at Bingham Junction and sent out to the camp under its own steam. Superintendent Bayly said he expected that the track at the point where the wreck occurred last Sunday would be cleared last night, and in that event he expected the hauling of ore from the mines would begin today." "The new engine is a ten-ton machine and, on the sharp curves of the Copper Belt line will easily take care of four loaded cars of fifty tons each. As the Yampa property is at the farthest end of the line, and the round trip can be made between that mine and its smelter easily in three hours, two trips a day, at the outside, will take care of its product. The Boston Consolidated, Bingham company's Commercial, Ohio company's Columbia, and in fact, all the other contributors to the line's business are much nearer to road's lower terminal, it is believed the new engine will easily take care of the business offered, at least for the present." "The Shea engine borrowed from the San Pedro company is still at camp and may not be pressed in commission, but it will not be used unless it is absolutely necessary, as it is almost too large to take the sharp curves in the roadbed as comfortably as it should. However, the Copper Belt is anticipating a largely increased business after the starting up of the Utah Copper company's big smelter and preparations are being made to handle it." (Salt Lake Herald, January 17, 1904)

February 15, 1904
"The Silver Bros. Iron Works company of Salt Lake, has constructed a building on its property on Fourth West, between Sixth and Seventh South, which will be devoted to the repair and reconstruction of locomotives. The building is 25 x 50 feet in dimension, and at the present time is giving shelter to the locomotive of the Copper Belt company, of Bingham, which recently jumped the track and is now in for repairs. A spur from the railroads runs into the Fourth West property of Silver bros., and the new building is the nucleus of the fine structures which will adorn this ground in the future, it being the intention of the company, later on, to here establish mammoth foundries and machine shops. From this time on this firm will not build any more at its works on West North temple, as it is the expectation to improve the new site as rapidly as possible. This company has an order from the Utah Con. company for castings for new furnaces for the Highland Boy smelter, and it will take twenty carloads of castings to fill the order. The management states that business is good with them, with bright prospects for the future. From now on more attention will be paid to locomotive building and repair work." (Salt Lake Mining Review, February 15, 1904, "Trade Notes")

February 18, 1904
"The offices of the Copper Belt railway have been located on the fourth floor of the McCornick building." (Deseret News, February 18, 1904)

February 28, 1904
Another wreck on the Copper Belt - "The new engine placed in commission a few weeks ago is lying on its back down an embankment about 3,000 feet below the Boston Consolidated loading station. Three 'battleships' loaded with ore from the Boston are also piled up there badly wrenched and twisted out of shape. The wreck occurred about 4 o'clock yesterday morning and from all accounts the cause was due to the crew undertaking to come down the mountain side with too much load. the rails were wet from the snow, which was falling at the time, consequently very slippery. At any rate the engine was unable to check the momentum gained by the cars, and when the first curve was reached the whole train jumped the track. Fortunately, the crew escaped uninjured, the engineer, fireman and all making a dash for their lives on the uphill side." "This is the second wreck of a serious nature on the road within the past few weeks and the engine crippled at the first one is still in the shops undergoing repairs. The road having only two locomotives in its equipment, the line is temporarily put out of business. Not a pound of ore has been moved since yesterday, but the Salt Lake Route has been appealed to for assistance and has consented to loan a Shay locomotive from its Tintic Branch. Assistant Manager Bayly said today that it would reach Bingham sometime during the day and be running over the line tonight." "In the meantime the Ohio concentrator and the Yampa smelter are forced out of commission and the start of the Utah Copper company's big 500-ton concentrator is delayed several hours." (Deseret News, February 29, 1904, "Copper Belt Road Out Of Business")

March 1, 1904
"Another serious accident occurred on the line of the Bingham Copper Belt railroad early Sunday morning and the mine operators dependent upon it for transportation are not a little put out in consequence. The new locomotive had started down from the Boston Con. with three fifty-ton cars of ore, but the heavy snowstorm during the night had placed the track in such slippery condition that the engineer and train crew soon lost control of the train and, it is said, jumped to save themselves." "Just after leaving the Boston Consolidated switch the engines and cars left the track and went tumbling down the mountain side. The locomotive is now half buried in the ground several hundred feet below where the accident occurred and the cars and other paraphernalia are scattered broadcast down the mountain side." "Coming just at this time the accident is extremely unfortunate. It means that the chief officials of the Utah Copper company, who have come over from Colorado to witness the start of the new 500-ton concentrator, will be disappointed. It closes the Yampa smelter and the Ohio Copper company's mill and means laying off of miners at the Boston Consolidated, from which 200 tons of ore per day were being sent to the Bingham smelter, and the withdrawal of stopes from the Yampa and Columbia as well. To the different operating companies the keeping of the road in constant operation means everything, for without it revenues cease, the mine, mill and smelter forces become scattered and those who are retained entail great expense on the companies without the least return." "The first engine wrecked is still in the shops undergoing repairs and the locomotive that the San Pedro is loaning the Copper Belt company has not the capacity to handle much ore. It now looks as though it might be several weeks before the road is in shape to handle the business that has been placed at its disposal, so, aside from the loss it suffers in the smashing up of equipment, it will also lose a great many thousands of dollars in freight tolls. The company will do the best it can until the engine now in the shops is ready for business." (Salt Lake Herald, March 1, 1904)

March 4, 1904
"The Copper Belt Railroad, operating between the mines, mills and smelter at Bingham, expects to begin moving ore again today." (Salt Lake Herald, March 4, 1904)

March 5, 1904
"Ores are moving over the lines of the Copper Belt railway in Bingham again. Had the delay been continued another day a complete blowing out of the Yampa smelter would have been necessary. the bins at the Utah Copper company's concentrator are being filled." (Deseret News, March 5, 1904)

March 8, 1904
"The Copper Belt company has the last engine to go over the grade recovered and the active hauling of ore from all the properties will be inaugurated again today. Since Saturday one locomotive has been kept busy hauling to the Utah Copper company's big mill and the prospects of its going into regular commission during the present week are quite promising. General Manager D. C. Jackling and Superintendent Frank Janney went out to camp yesterday and it is presumed that the warming up of the plant will begin within the next few hours." (Salt Lake Herald, March 8, 1904, "Mining Notes")

March 14, 1904
"Since the Bulletin's last issue the plucky little Copper Belt road has been incessantly busy and done much to overcome the bad state of affairs resulting from its late accident." "No. 59, the borrowed engine, was repaired and returned to the shops sooner than expected, and the Oregon Short Line wrecking outfit having again been pressed into service. Monday night the wrecked engine was brought down on its own wheels, considerably disfigured, but understood to be in such condition that it can be thoroughly repaired. The company has also ordered a new ninety-two tone engine from the Ohio works, to be delivered in three weeks, and it is expected that within a month the road will have three engines of its own in service. It will then be fully equipped to meet the heavy demands being made upon it, now moving something over 1,300 tons daily." (Salt Lake Herald, March 14, 1904, "Week At Bingham") ("Monday" was March 7, 1904)

March 18, 1904
"If indications count for anything, it will not be long till the Boston Consolidated company undertakes the erection of an aerial tramway between its Bingham mines and the loading station on the Rio Grande Western. When asked how things were moving yesterday, Manager M. M. Johnson made no attempt to conceal the aggravation which he felt." "'Why,' he said, 'we are simply tied hand and foot by the inability of the Copper Belt road to handle our ores. Not a single pound bas been marketed since the 1st of the present month, and when we shall be able to do business again the good Lord only knows. We get promises that ore will be moved for us and start miners to work on that understanding; the promise is all we get, and as a result men have to be laid off again. The way things are going is enough to make a man fighting mad. What we shall do I really don't know. Some other means of moving the mine's product will, apparently, have to be provided, and I shall be surprised if we are not forced into the necessity of building an aerial tramway.'" "The Boston Consolidated has been sending 200 tons of ore per day to market, and the mine is now in shape to continue the performance for years to come. To double the tonnage would not bother the management if it knew that the ore could be moved after it was broken." (Salt Lake Herald, March 18, 1904)

March 20, 1904
"By Sunday the Copper Belt will be reinforced by the return from the shops of one of its crippled engines thoroughly repaired. The other one will also soon be on duty and the new engine ordered from Ohio is due to arrive early in April. There will be work for all, and plenty of it." (Salt Lake Herald, March 20, 1904) ("Sunday" was the day of publication, March 20, 1904)

March 24, 1904
"The first of the locomotives to have been disabled on the Copper Belt road was turned out of the repair shops Tuesday and placed in commission again yesterday. Barring further accident the Copper Belt road will now be able to take care of the business placed at its disposal." (Salt Lake Herald, March 24, 1904) ("Tuesday" was March 22, 1904; "yesterday" was Wednesday March 23, 1904)

March 26, 1904
The Deseret News urged all parties to exercise a little more patience concerning talk of new aerial tramways to replace the Copper Belt road, "talk that has taken a serious turn since several landslides have occurred along the upper spurs and extensions, particularly on the Boston Co. extension." "The Copper Belt will in a few days be meeting all demands. Its old engines in thorough repair, reinforced by a new one, will then be at work. There had been several winter storms during March, causing drifting on the heavy grade and making the tracks icy. "Caving will only continue while the frost is coming out and the ground settling." "This morning the engine that was put out of service in January is due to be on duty again, and the one crippled last month, it is reported, will leave the repair shops next week." (Deseret News, March 26, 1904)

March 30, 1904
"Although the little Copper Belt railway at Bingham has been annoyed to the point almost beyond endurance by wrecks and rock slides the management has done heroic work in coping with the situation. The worst trouble has been encountered on the Boston Consolidated branch, where several deep cuts were made during the construction of the line during the winter. Naturally enough, difficulty was expected in these new cuts and the heavy precipitation in the camp has not helped matters." "The trains reached the Boston today and delivered several cars of ore to the Rio Grande Western at Lower Bingham. The Utah, Ohio and Yampa reduction plants are being supplied with ore as they need it. Two engines and crews are handling the road's traffic." William Bayley, Jr., has been appointed general manager of the Copper Belt railroad, vice Duncan McVichie resigned. Mr. Bayley has been connected with the line since it was opened." (Deseret News, March 30, 1904)

April 1904
Utah Copper completed their Copperton mill in April 1904, and commenced operations in September, shipping its low grade ore from the mine to the Copperton mill, by way of the Copper Belt and the Rio Grande Western. (Arrington: Richest Hole, p. 39; Kennecott's own Historical Index says that operations commenced on July 1, 1904)

April 12, 1904
H. H. Van Housen, Union Pacific's yardmaster at Rawlins, Wyoming, has resigned and has taken the position of general superintendent of the Copper Belt railroad at Bingham, with headquarters in Salt Lake City. Mr. Van Housen was formerly superintendent of the the Oregon Short Line's Idaho Division, and was the second oldest employee in service on Union Pacific, with 31 years of service. Mr. Van Housen was to arrive at Salt Lake City on April 14, 1904. Harrison Clement was the retiring superintendent of the Copper Belt and was quite anxious to be relieved, allowing him to devote his time to his profession of mining engineer. (Salt Lake Herald, April 12, 1904; Deseret News, April 13, 1904)

April 21, 1904
At its regular annual meeting, the shareholders of the Copper Belt Railroad voted William Bayly of Los Angeles as president; William Bayly, Jr., of Salt Lake City as vice president and treasurer; and Charles H. Post as secretary; with Duncan McVichie and Clarence K. McCornick as directors. Prior to heading for the east, president Bayly made the statement that, "During the past few months the rolling stock has been repaired and added to, so that if called upon to do so the line can handle a tonnage of ore daily much larger than is required to meet demands at the present time." (Deseret News, April 21, 1904) (Note that Joseph G. Jacobs, of the Salt Lake & Mercur, was no longer vice president; Jacobs' leaving may have been the reason Bayly, Jr., came to Salt Lake City in August 1903.)

April 27, 1904
"Today the new locomotive for the Bingham Copper Belt which has just arrived from the east, will be taken out to camp and placed in commission." (Salt Lake Herald, April 27, 1904, "Mining Notes")

May 1, 1904
"The new 90-ton engine (No. 3) of the Copper Belt made a short trial run up the road yesterday, and will be on duty today. Apparently she is a daisy on wheels." (Salt Lake Herald, May 1, 1904, "Bingham Mining Notes")

May 21, 1904
"The tonnages coming towards the smelters from various mines in the camp easily averages 2,600 tons daily, and this is being steadily increased, by the end of the year it is predicted the regular output will come close to 4,000 tons per day, and the Copper Belt railroad's traffic, consequently, is steadily growing." "'Yesterday,' said General Manager Bayly today, "our road broke all previous records, and 28 cars loaded with ore were brought down to lower Bingham from the various mines. This came from the Boston Co., Yampa, Ohio, Utah Copper and the Bingham Consolidated's Commercial mine. The cars carried an average of 45 tons each or approximately 1,200 tons.' 'The operating department of the road has everything running smoothly.'" "In addition to the tonnage coming over the Copper Belt, the Utah Consolidated company's tramway is transporting a little over 500 tons every 24 hours, over the United States tramway fully 400 tons of ore is coming daily, the Dalton and Lark mine and other miscellaneous properties are contributing enough (about 500 tons) to make up the balance of the 2,600 tons." "The Dalton and Lark, Sampson and Fortuna mines are producing about 1,500 tons weekly." (Deseret News, May 21, 1904)

May 28, 1904
"For several days past it has been affirmed among a little coterie of Salt Lake business men that the Copper Belt railroad at Bingham was about to pass into new ownership, that of Mr. J. G. Jacobs, the owner of the Salt Lake & Mercur and while Mr. Jacobs admitted there had been some negotiations the price was not agreed to and the results were in doubt." "Mr. Jacobs when seen this morning, practically admitted that negotiations were under way but declined to discuss the matter." "The owners of the Copper Belt road know they have a good property and as Mr. Jacobs is certainly familiar with railroads of this character it must have looked good to him." "The Copper Belt railroad is owned by William Bayly, Sr., of Los Angeles and is one of the engineering feats of the country. It would be hard to say how many curves there are on the seven miles of road from the mines in Bingham canyon to the smelters, but when it is stated that some of the curves run as high as 40 per cent curvature and the grade averages 400 feet to the mile (7.5 per cent) some idea of the undertaking can be arrived at." "As a revenue earner the road is a paying proposition and already handles 1,500 tons of ore per day with 1,500 more daily in sight." (Deseret News, May 28, 1904; Salt Lake Herald, May 29, 1904, the two news items match word for word)

June 8, 1904
"During the month of May 52,967,510 pounds of ore passed over the tracks of the Copper Belt railroad in the camp of Bingham." (Deseret News, June 8, 1904) (26,484 tons, or about 588 carloads; about 20 cars per day)

July 10, 1904
"Engine No. 2 of the Copper Belt, having gone to shop for a new set of flues, and No. 3 being also sidetracked for slight repairs, No. 1 has this week been on day and night shift, delivering about the daily average of ore." (Salt Lake Herald, July 10, 1904, "Bingham Mining Notes")

August 18, 1904
"The Copper Belt road put in a rather more than average day last Monday when it brought down 30 cars (1,500 tons) of ore, as follows: From the Utah Copper, 9; Yampa, 4; United States, 8; Boston Consolidated, 5; Ohio Copper, 3; and Copper Belt, 1 (the latter having been a load left..." (Salt Lake Herald, August 18, 1904, "Bingham Mining Notes") ("Monday" was August 15, 1904)

October 1, 1904
"It is stated that the Copper Belt railroad is to extend it branches this fall so as to reach two new producers in Carr fork (the New Haven and Utah-Apex) that are rapidly increasing their outputs and report says will soon be in shape to ship upwards of 100 tons daily each. As the season is advanced, however, it is probable the extensions will not be made until settled weather next spring." "Manager Orem of the Utah-Apex, accompanied by a party of seven English capitalists interested in that property, and some of them understood to be Highland Boy and Boston Con. stockholders, visited the mine Tuesday and took the party through its workings. They were evidently greatly pleased with the general showing made." "Bingham & New Haven are is being shipped at the rate of 50 tons daily." "Four Utah-Apex teams are delivering about three carloads of ore a week, that being the limit, owing to the demand for haulers." (Deseret News, October 1, 1904)

October 4, 1904
"The month of September was a busy on on the Copper Belt railway of Bingham. The tonnage of ore handled from the mines connected with its tracks ran close to 35,000 tons. A total of 31,389 tons were brought down over the lines in August." (Deseret News, October 4, 1904)

October 10, 1904
"Last month the Copper Belt hauled 35,000 tons of ore, an increase of 5,000 on the August record, and it is said a new record will be made this month." "A preliminary survey of the Copper Belt railroad extension to the Highland Boy is being made, and report says it will be constructed this fall and may be extended on to the Bingham & New Haven." (Salt Lake Herald, October 10, 1904, "Bingham Mining Notes")

December 1, 1904
"The persistent rumors to the effect that the Copper Belt railroad at Bingham has been sold to the Rio Grande Western, and that it will be operated by that company in the future brings from Superintendent William Bayly, Jr., the statement that the rumor is not true. Mr. Bayly admitted that negotiations were pending, that they had been on for some time past, but that no sale or transfer had been made to the Rio Grande Western or any other company." (Salt Lake Herald, December 1, 1904)

December 3, 1904
"During November the Copper Belt railroad hauled 34,000 tons of ore from the following properties at Bingham: Utah Copper, 19,000; Yampa, 3,500; Commercial, 6,400; Ohio, 3,900; Boston Co., 1,200." "The Bingham and New Haven mine is putting in new chutes and bins and the Copper Belt is to shortly build its spur to the mine. Shipments from the New Haven are to be then increased to 100 tons daily." (Deseret News, December 3, 1904)

December 11, 1904
"During the week ending yesterday the Copper Belt hauled 175 carloads of ore, as follows: From Utah Copper, 4,200 tons; Yampa, 360 tons; Commercial, 1,500 tons, and Ohio, 640 tons. Up freight hauled, twenty-seven cars. (Salt Lake Herald, December 11, 1904, "Bingham Mining Notes")

December 17, 1904
"Shortly the Copper Belt will add to its rolling stock, to enable it to more easily handle the greatly increasing output of the Utah Copper and Ohio mines, also meet the requirements of its new customer, Bingham & New Haven, and prepare for doubling the haul to the enlarging Yampa smelter." "The spur of the Copper Belt road to the Bingham-new Haven ore bins was completed this week. With the wagon haul reduced to less than a mile, shipping from the Clipper Hill bonanza is greatly facilitated and, it is understood, is to be increased to 100 tons a day." (Salt Lake Herald, December 17, 1904)

December 28, 1904
"As a forerunner of the anticipated announcement that the Copper Belt railroad will be taken over by the Rio Grande on Jan. 1, John H. Harris, from the president's office of the Denver & Rio Grande, arrived in this city this morning with the appointment in his pocket of superintendent of the Copper Belt railroad, vice Supt. Van Housen, who goes to the Salt Lake Route Jan. 1 as division superintendent, succeeding Mr. Henderson." (Deseret News, December 28, 1904, "D&RG Gets Copper Belt")

January 1, 1905
D&RG (not RGW) took control of Copper Belt railroad. (26 ICC 927) The Copper Belt had been completed in February 1901 (construction began in November 1900) by the owners of the Bingham Copper & Gold Mining Company. In April 1901 the mining company was reorganized as the Bingham Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company, partly to finance the organization (on May 18, 1901) and purchase of the Copper Belt railroad. (Engineering News, July 24, 1902, p. 59; Engineering & Mining Journal, May 4, 1901 p. 572; USGS Professional Paper 38, p. 99)

January 3, 1905
"William Bayly of Los Angeles, president of the Copper Belt road, is expected to arrive in Salt Lake this week when the Copper Belt will be formally turned over to the Denver & Rio Grande. The clerical force of the road is now busy working on an inventory of the property prior to the transfer." (Deseret News, January 3, 1905, "Ready For Transfer")

January 5, 1905
"President William Bayly of the Copper Belt road arrives tomorrow from Los Angeles, when it is understood the formal transfer of the road to the Rio Grande will occur. The clerical force has completed an inventory of all the property owned by the company." "While the Copper Belt is only seven miles in length and, in fact, covers but three miles of territory it is a splendid traffic proposition. At present the road is hauling close to 1,000 tons of ore a day to the smelters from the U. S., Highland Boy, Yampa and Newhouse properties. The road has been a paying proposition from the first. When the D. & R. G. gets hold of it, it will be a splendid revenue earner." "The road, which was built by J. G. Jacobs, is one of the dizziest engineering feats of the country. From the time it leaves Bingham a 7-1/2 per cent grade is negotiated while some of the curves encountered run as sharp as 40 per cent." (Deseret News, January 5, 1905; Salt Lake Herald, January 6, 1905; the two news items match word for word)

January 6, 1905
"Charles H. Schlacks, general manager of the Denver & Rio Grande and vice president of Utah Fuel company, is in Salt Lake today in his private car looking over the situation. It is believed that his presence here is also in connection with the transfer of the Copper Belt road, as both he and President Bayly were in conference for several hours this morning." "Mr. Bayly when seen stated that he did not think any official announcement in the matter would be forthcoming today." (Deseret News, January 7, 1905)

January 7, 1905
"William Bayly, Sr., the Los Angeles capitalist who is interested in the Copper Belt railroad at Bingham canyon, arrived in the city from the west last evening and registered at the Knutsford. Negotiations have been on for months for the sale of the Copper Belt to the Rio Grande Western, and it is understood that Mr. Bayly is in the city at this time in connection with this deal. He will go on to Denver, where the deal will be consummated if an agreement is reached." (Salt Lake Herald, January 7, 1905)

January 10, 1905
"Vice President and General Manager Schlacks of the Denver & Rio Grande this morning gave out the first official announcement regarding the acquisition of the Copper Belt road by the Gould line. In course of an interview with the news he stated that everything had been settled and he would start back to Denver this evening. 'I expect the transfer to be made in a few days, judging from the present outlook.' he said." "In addition, Mr. Schlacks stated that there would not be any changes on the system and aside from the deal with President Bayly of the Copper Belt the present visit was of purely routine character." (Deseret News, January 10, 1905)

January 11, 1905
"The transfer of the Copper Belt railroad to the Rio Grande system was confirmed yesterday by Vice President and General Manager Charles H. Schlacks of the Rio Grande Western. The road was purchased from President William Bayly of the Copper Belt company. The transaction has been under consideration for some time, and General Manager Schlacks and President Bayly met here and finally closed the deal. Nothing was given out as to the amount paid for the road, and General Manager Schlacks was unable to say just what changes would be made to the system. The road runs up Bingham canyon and is used to haul the ores from the mines in the locality. Three engines and a number of cars were also included in the deal." "General Manager Schlacks left last night for Denver and President Bayly returned to Los Angeles." (Salt Lake Herald, January 11, 1905)

January 11, 1905
"The Copper Belt railroad of Bingham is now in the possession of the Denver & Rio Grande railway. The deal for the sale of the little Bingham line to the Rio Grande was closed yesterday afternoon. The road, for a while at least, will be operated independently of the big system to which it now belongs, but just what will be done in the future, Manager Schlacks stated, before his departure for Denver, has not been decided." "A high compliment was paid to General Manager William Bayly, Jr., by Manager Schlacks who requested that he continue to serve the Copper Belt as he has in the past. Owing to other arrangements Mr. Bayly could not accept the offer, but after being prevailed upon consented to direct the operation of the road until he departs for a tour of Europe, accompanied by Mrs. Bayly, a few weeks later." "Auditor Charles H. Post has not decided on his plans for the future but it was learned during the day that he had received a flattering offer by one of the big mining companies which he may accept." "President Bayly of the Copper Belt left last evening for his home in Los Angeles after completing the details of the transfer to the Denver & Rio Grande. Mr. Schlacks and his party also left for home." (Deseret News, January 11, 1905)

January 14, 1905
"The office of the Copper Belt railroad in the McCornick bank building was closed today and all property belonging to that corporation was turned over to the Denver & Rio Grande railroad, the purchaser of the Bingham road." "William Bayly, Jr., manager, will retire some time next week when the line will be operated from the office of General Supt. Welby." "All the mines connected by the Copper Belt are supplying ore in considerably increased quantity since the opening of the year. The line connects with the Yampa, Boston Consolidated, Bingham and New Haven, and when the aerial tram is not in order, transfers the Utah ores." (Deseret News, January 14, 1905)

February 1905
Article about the Copper Belt railroad. (Salt Lake Mining Review, Volume 6, number 21, February 15, 1905, pp.17,18)

February 6, 1905
"The Copper Belt has been a busy little road this week. Of coal, lumber, lime, etc., they hauled fifty-three cars and their ore haulage consisted of: Utah Copper, 101; Yampa, 31; Commercial, 33; Bingham-New Haven, 13; Ohio Copper, 21; Total, 199." (Salt Lake Herald, February 6, 1905)

March 11, 1905
At the Phoenix mine: "The body of lead ore recently opened has assumed such magnitude that the railway company, it is reported, is figuring on the construction of a spur from the Copper Belt line to the Phoenix, branching off at a point near the Highland Boy." "The Boston Consolidated has just completed a spur from the Copper Belt to its power house, which will effect a saving of $1 per ton in the cost of coal." "The Bingham & New Haven is sending down about 100 tons of fine ore ore from its Frisco property every day. It is loaded onto Capper Belt cars from its new bins, near the Boston Consolidated." "Manager Harris of the Copper Belt has found that by doubling up locomotives and placing one in the middle of the train he can send ten empties up the line, while four cars are the most that a single engine can push. By doubling up, one engine helps the other over the hard spots." (Deseret News, March 11, 1905)

April 8, 1905
"The Copper Belt road will practically be rebuilt during the present season, and extensive improvements will also be made at the Rio Grande Western depot yards. When the Copper Belt was purchased by the Rio Grande system, it was regarded as certain that the road would be greatly improved, for Supt. Welby operates no slip shod trackage, and every foot of road under his jurisdiction always has been in the finest condition. Mr. Welby came out in his private car Monday evening and spent Tuesday looking over the line and terminal grounds at the depot. He stated that it was the intention to relay the entire Copper Belt line with 65-pound steel rails, put in new ties, improve and strengthen the grade, and straighten the curves as much as possible. A reduction in the grade, of course, would be impossible. Mr. Welby also stated that heavier engines would be necessary, in order to handle the heavy traffic. The present engines have a weight of 60 tons on the drivers, and it may be that they will be replaced with 100-ton locomotives of the Shay type." "The improvements will be commenced just as soon as the engineers have completed their work. Engineer Baxter was out for that purpose last week. Concerning alterations and improvements at the depot, Supt. Welby stated that no definite plans had yet been adopted, but it was certain that some important changes would be made during the present season." (Deseret News, April 8, 1905)

April 17, 1905
"In order to facilitate the handling of lumber for the Highland Boy mine, the Copper Belt will put in a switch near the Boston Con., from which point the lumber will be conveyed to the Highland Boy over a tramway." (Salt Lake Herald, April 17, 1905)

June 5, 1905
"The Utah Consolidated Mining company of Bingham is going to employ the services of the Copper Belt railroad in the handling of all freight, except the transportation of ore. heretofore it has been necessary to rely on the teamsters operating in the camp to deliver all mining timbers, supplies, etc., to the mine. But this is to be done away with, just as soon as a short tramway can be built from a point near the mine across the gulch to connect with a station on the Copper Belt a short distance below the Boston Consolidated ore bins." "The Copper Belt has put in a switch and the Utah Con. has a force engaged in building the tram." "The change will be a decided improvement over the old method, which, at times, was provokingly inconvenient, to say the least. During the season of bad roads in the canyon the teamsters cannot always be relied on." (Deseret News, June 7, 1905)

December 5, 1905
"The Copper Belt Railroad company was granted a franchise by the county commissioners yesterday to construct a trestle and overhead tracks across the county road in Bingham." (Deseret News, December 5, 1905)

December 6, 1905
"The Copper Belt railroad people have solved the power problem at Bingham. A new engine has arrived at the camp, and will be put in commission at once. There was a hopeful feeling among the mine managers this morning, all of them saying that they felt that the pinch was over and that in three of four days the road would be able to handle the tonnage." (Deseret News, December 6, 1905)

December 6, 1905
"The new engine of the Copper Belt railroad at Bingham, went into commission today." (Deseret News, December 6, 1905, "Concentrates")

December 16, 1905
In an article about the mining properties of the Bingham Consolidated Mining company, a description was included of the company's Commercial mine in upper Bingham canyon, served by the Copper Belt railway: "The Commercial mine, another of the Bingham Consolidated's Bingham properties, is situated in the upper portion of the Bingham camp and has been producing copper ore at the rate of 250 tons per day for the entire year, the product being shipped via the Copper Belt railroad from the mine to Bingham station, thence via the Rio Grande Western to the company's smelter at West Jordan, Utah." "The lower tunnel connects with the loading station of the Copper Belt railroad, the upper tunnel being connected with the lower tunnel by means of a gravity road operated with skips running in balance." (Deseret News, December 16, 1905)

1906
RGW built the new "Low Grade" line in Bingham Canyon, 12 miles of new construction. To connect its existing trackage at Bingham with the new line, the road converted to standard gauge, two miles of trackage from Bingham to Copper Belt Junction, further up the canyon. (LeMassena, p. 115)

Copper Belt Junction soon became a very busy point on the Copper Belt. A switching yard was constructed there to relieve some of the congestion. In later years this same yard was expanded to become Utah Copper's "A" Yard and was the starting point for the copper company's system for assigning a letter designation to each of the levels of its open cut mine. Still later when the copper company converted to a numbering system that reflected the elevation (in feet) of each level, the "A" level became the 6340 level.

February 10, 1906
"According to the reports from various mines during the past week, considerable difficulty is being experienced in having ore hauled from the several mines which depend on the Copper Belt railroad for service. While the service is as good as the average, it is unable to adequately handle all the ore from the mines satisfactorily because of the ever-increasing output." "The Commercial mine was forced to close down for two days, the latter part of last week, as the bins were filled to overflowing and no more could be dumped until the Copper Belt had removed that which was already in the bins. The Utah Copper and the Boston Con. were also handicapped because of a delay in removing ore from its bins. Three engines, one of them a new one, are working night and day to catch up, but the road evidently is unable to give all the above named properties the service that it could wish." The mine managers were making statements about the need for another railroad in addition to the Copper Belt. (Deseret News, February 10, 1906)

February 13, 1906
"The management of the Boston Consolidated Mining company yesterday awarded a contract for a two-mile extension of the Copper Belt railroad to the point in the copper bearing porphyries where the big steam shovel is to be operated. The job was awarded to Deal Brothers & Mendenhall of Springville." (Deseret News, February 13, 1906)

"The contract for extending the line of the Bingham Copper Belt railroad from its terminal approximately two miles to the mouth of the Ben Hur tunnel in the Boston Consolidated company's copper-bearing porphyry, was awarded yesterday by the Boston Consolidated company to Deal Brothers & Mendenhall of Springville. Weather permitting, grading will begin next Monday morning and will be finished within sixty days." (Salt Lake Herald, February 13, 1906)

(The Boston Con's Shay locomotive arrived in December 1906, and was likely used on this extension, which was a series of switchbacks up to the porphyry properties.)

November 9, 1906
"With Screaming Whistle" An account of the runaway of Copper Belt Shay No. 2 when one of the locomotive's cylinder heads blew out, causing the loss of control and allowing the locomotive to runaway at high speed from the vicinity of the Utah Copper mine, ending in a collision with an ore car near the Bingham depot. No one was injured, but the locomotive and ore car were both "demolished." (Salt Lake Herald, November 9, 1906, "yesterday")

December 30, 1906
"The Rio Grande has ordered another Shay engine for the Copper Belt, which has already been shipped from Dayton, and is expected here within a few days. This with the new No. 10 of the Boston Co., will do much to relieve the freight congestion on the Copper Belt." (Salt Lake Mining Review, December 30, 1906, "Around The State," quoting an item in the Bingham Bulletin)

December 30, 1906
In addition to recently completing an aerial tramway from the mouth of its "nearly completed" Andy tunnel, to the bottom of Carr Fork gulch, where the company planned to erect its ore bins, the Utah-Apex company "has every assurance that during the present year a spur of the Copper Belt will be built up to those bins, which will place the company in a position to have its ore handled at a much lower rate than it is at present. The company is shipping by teams to Bingham about 100 tons of ore daily." (Salt Lake Herald, December 30, 1906)

Rio Grande Western's "Low Grade Line" went into service on January 27, 1907, taking much of the Utah Copper ore traffic away from the Copper Belt line, and relieving the pressure on its overworked engines and crews. Work started in April 1906. On April 19, 1907 Utah Copper shipped its first train of low grade copper ore to its new Magna mill, by way of the new Low Grade Line and the new Garfield Branch.

March 6, 1907
Another runaway train resulted in the deaths of the engineer and fireman of a Copper Belt locomotive. "Some car loads got out of control and the train proceeded down the canyon at an increasing high rate of speed. The engine eventually left the track and rolled some distance, becoming a total wreck." In addition to the two deaths, two of train's crew members were injured and rushed by special train to St. Mark's hospital in Salt Lake City. (Deseret News, March 6, 1907, "at 4 o'clock this morning")

March 7, 1907
Copper Belt engine No. 1, with three loaded cars, loaded with about 50 tons of ore, started down grade from the Commercial mine. "When the train reached the trestle work near the United States head house, the cylinder head of the engine blew out, rendering the brakes powerless to act. All control was lost and the train went crashing with with terrible speed down the ten per cent grade. When it reached the Columbia mine switch the three loaded cars leaped from the track and were hurled against the side of the mountain, making a complete wreck. The engine, which was in the rear of the train, went about 200 yards farther down near the Utah Copper mine and jumped the track there, landing upon its side with such terrific force as to leave it a mass of ruin." "Engine No. 1 is the oldest one on the road, and has run away for of five times during the last three years, causing considerable damage." "Shortly after this accident engine No. 3 and four cars, coming down the canyon, started to slide. The train gained such speed that Engineer McLaughlin had to reverse on every curve in order to keep the engine on the track. Near town all the crew jumped except the engineer. he stayed at his post and by his coolness of mind was able to gain control of the engine near the bottom of the hill, and brought the train to a stand-still. No damage was done, and no one was injured." (Inter-Mountain Republican, March 7, 1907)

March 7, 1907
The accident occurred at 3:45 a.m. on March 6, 1907. The train left the Commercial mine at 3:15 a.m. "After leaving the United States bridge the train became unmanageable and started to run away. The conductor noticed the increasing speed and gave the engineer a stop signal." The air refused to work and the engineer threw the reverse lever. The train continued to gain speed, reaching 40 miles per hour by the time it passed the Ohio Copper company's mine. "This point is considered the steepest and most dangerous of any part of the road, and for a distance of 500 yards is interspersed with sharp curves, also known as double reverse curves. The three cars of ore jumping the track, plowed into the mountain side, the coupling gave way and the engine continued on down the hill and striking the next curve, left the track." The force was such that from the point the engine left the track, to the point where it stopped moving, a distance of about 43 feet, there was no damage to ties or ground indicating the locomotive was hurled through the air. The engineer died from his injuries one hour and twenty-three minutes after the accident, and although in "excruciating pain," gave an account of the cause. After receiving the emergency stop, "washout," signal from the conductor, he threw the engine into reverse, but the force caused the drive gears to strip their teeth, making the locomotive helpless as far as steam power is concerned. (Salt Lake Herald, March 7, 1907)

March 9, 1907
"Another run away on the Copper Belt, near the scene of the fatal wreck last Wednesday, occurred about midnight Friday." "Engine No. 3 is a mass of wreckage, a barn partly demolished, the end of the Dewey mill caved in and a horse is hurt so badly that it will probably have to be killed." "Engine No. 3 was bringing four loaded cars down the steep grade when it got beyond the control of the engineer and dashed wildly down the line. At the Dewey mill the engine and one car left the rails and were hurled fifty feet down the embankment. The engine crashed into the end of the Dewey mill, and the car into the barn owned by C. E. Adderley, badly injuring the horse which was on the inside. In its roll down the steep embankment the engine was almost completely demolished. It was No. 3's first and last runaway." All of the crew members jumped to safety, but in doing so the fireman broke his leg. (Inter-Mountain Republican, March 9, 1907, "Friday" was March 8, 1907)

The barn was completely destroyed. The "Dewey" mill mentioned in the above article, was also known as "Col. Wall's 'Jim Crow' concentrating mill," and as Wall's mill, receiving an estimated $10,000 in damages. (Deseret News, March 9, 1907)

March 20-21, 1907
On March 20, a combination of heavy rains and warm weather caused Bingham creek to flood its banks. The Copper Belt engine had plunged into the creek bed during the wreck of March 8th, and had not yet been moved. Over the two previous days, the engine diverted the rushing creek into the town's main street making it impassable to teams, and on the night of March 20th, the creek entered Col. Wall's mill, damaging machinery and filling it with dirt and mud. On the night of March 21st, a high wind blew over the stack of Col. Wall's mill, and the creek again flooded the mill, filling its with still more dirt and mud. After exiting the mill, the flood waters flowed down the main street, washing deep ditches and leaving large boulders in the road, blocking all travel. The was speculation that the Copper Belt engine lying in the stream bed "may be the cause of some expensive damage suits." (Inter-Mountain Republican, March 21, 1907)

June 26, 1907
Colonel Wall's mill was being repaired and was to be back in service within thirty days. "It was more than a month after the accident that the railroad company got its wrecking crews to work and pulled the big steel cars out of the works, into which they had tumbled after leaving the track. this delayed the work of reconstruction and repairs." (Salt Lake Herald, June 26, 1907)

Until June 1907, all of the ore came from Utah Copper's underground mine. The concentrates from the Copperton mill were shipped to the Bingham Consolidated smelter at Midvale, by way of the RGW.

September 11, 1907
Referring to a news item dated September 10 at Bingham, saying that five men had been injured during three wrecks at Bingham, the following headlines were printed. "Five Men Are Injured" "Three Bad Wrecks at Bingham Result in Serious Injury to Train Crews and Much Damage" "Early this afternoon (September 10, 1907) Copper Belt engine No. 10 blew out its boiler check, and escaping steam badly scalded Engineer Ray Miller and his fireman." (Salt Lake Herald, September 11, 1907) (The news item may be referring to the former Oregon Short Line Shay No. 10, but records show that No. 10 was renumbered to SPLA&SL No. 60 in 1903.) (No damage to engines in any of the above mentioned wrecks.)

December 19, 1907
"Copper Belt engine No. 2 and train of three cars ran away last night from the Commercial mine, and jumping the track at the Silver Shield mine, was piled in a heap at the foot of the incline. The crew jumped before the train left the track, and with the exception of a few cuts and bruises all escaped injured. the train, in charge of Conductor Downey, left the Commercial mine at 3:30 a.m., starting down a grade of about 7-1/2 per cent. It immediately began to gain speed. Engineer Laughlin applied the emergency brakes, but the train continued to slide on a slippery rail. He whistled for assistance, but as the train kept on gaining speed they soon saw it was useless to risk their lives any longer. Kheim was the fireman and Gibson brakeman. Damage was $12,000." (Salt Lake Herald, December 19, 1907, item was dated December 18, making "last night" the early morning hours of December 18, 1907)

December 19, 1907
"A bad wreck occurred shortly after midnight this morning on the Copper Belt road, when engine No. 2 and three cars loaded with ore jumped the track and plunged to the bottom of the canyon. The train crew jumped in time, thus avoiding almost sure death. The train started down from the Commercial mine, and had proceeded but a short distance when Engineer McLaughlin noticed that the brakes were refusing to hold. The grade at this point is nearly 7 per cent, and the engine and cars were soon rounding the turns at a fearful rate. Seeing that nothing could be done to stop the train, the engineer, fireman, conductor and brakeman jumped toward the mountain side. All escaped injury with the exception of the brakeman, who sustained painful but not serious bruises. The train, left to itself, disappeared in the darkness. I an moment a mighty crash was heard that awakened the people of Upper Bingham from the slumbers. The train had left the track at a curve near the Silver Shield compressor and had dropped to the canyon bed. The wreckage looked like a mass of kindling wood when the sun cast its light on the scene. the loss to the company is placed at $10,000 to $12,000." (Inter-Mountain Republican, December 19, 1907, item was dated December 18th)

March 21, 1908
Three men died as a result of a wreck on the Copper Belt on the morning of March 21, 1908. Killed were Conductor Charles Madden; Engineer J. M. Goodwin; and Fireman James J. Joyce. "More deaths were added to the Copper Belt line's great record this morning. This piece of track, owned and operated by the Rio Grande Western, has killed more men than the whole R. G. W. system. Three were added to the list this morning when a freight engine which had taken empties up to the Utah Copper plant, got away when coming down the grade. Last night's light snow had covered the tracks, and while the mogul was sliding the three members of the crew, Goodwin, Madden and Joyce, stayed by their posts, tugging frantically at brakes." "Each foot of distance added more speed to the flight. Sand wouldn't hold the wheels, even after the brakes had been jammed down tight. The wheels were not moving around; they were sliding." "Reverse brakes were jammed on but the mass of steel was too heavy; the engine went on down the hill, faster and faster. Three men, members of another train crew, were riding in the cab. They jumped and escaped with more or less severe bruises. But the engine's crew stayed with their brakes and were at them when the engine took a sudden swerve at a point above wall's mill." "Here the runaway left the tracks, and eyewitnesses assert positively that it went 50 feet through the air, turning squarely around before it came down to ground in the bottom of the gulch." "The engine was coming down the tracks a a fearful speed, when it reached the big curve above the mill. It shot out into the air, turned around end for end, and , rolling down the gulch a distance of 35 feet, finally stopped upside down." "An ore train crashed into Wall's mill last summer ..." (Deseret News, March 21, 1908)

March 22, 1908
"A runaway engine, skidding on snow-covered tracks of the Copper Belt railroad, carried three men to their death yesterday and demolished Wall's mill." "Engine No. 5 had been used during the night on the high line and this morning started down the grade to the depot yard. The locomotive gathered speed in spite of set brakes and when a point near the Utah Copper ore bins was reached the train crew realized the engine was beyond control." (Salt Lake Herald, March 22, 1908, with a photo of the demolished mill)

March 22, 1908
[second paragraph] "The disaster occurred about 7:30 o'clock Saturday morning. Charles madden, in charge of No. 5 engine and No. 4 tender, ran up to the Utah Copper property and started back to take the Shea engine to the lower yards, where it was wanted for switching. Starting down the seven per cent grade the wheels began to slip and the brakes and reverse power was unable to hold it." "Control of the engine was completely lost at the Utah Copper bridge and it tore down the steep grade, gathering momentum with every bound. At a sharp curve above Colonel E. Wall's Dewey mill, the wheels left the track and the front trucks, plowing great furrows, swung the engine completely around down the hill, where it crashed into the mill, tearing away one side completely. The front part of the engine landed in the creek bed at the foot of the embankment." "Conductor madden and Fireman Joyce were riding on the running board when the engine left the track." Both were hurled 75 feet across the creek "smashing into the mill office building." "As the accident occurred just above and not more than a hundred feet from Bingham's main street, there were a number of eye witnesses. All of these agree that Engineer Goodwin held to his engine and labored to stop. He was seen at the throttle as the engine turned turtle and never left his post for a second." "The engine which went over the embankment is a total wreck and only fit for the scrap heap and much of Colonel Wall's mill is in the same condition." Engineer Goodwin was 57 years of age, and had been with Copper Belt for four years; longer than anyone else. Conductor Madden was 28 years of age and had been with Copper Belt for a year. Fireman Joyce was 22 years of age, and had been with Copper Belt for six weeks. (Inter-Mountain Republican, March 22, 1908)

March 24, 1908
A coroner's jury was unable to determine the cause of the wreck on March 21st. "That deceased came to their death in an accident on the Copper Belt railway on the morning of March 21, caused by engine No. 5 running away and leaving the rails at Wall's mill, the cause of said runaway being unknown to jury." (Salt Lake Herald, March 24, 1908)

April 4, 1908
"The mass of wreckage caused by the accident on the Copper Belt railroad March 21 has been entirely removed from the creek bed, near Colonel Wall's mill, by the company." (Inter-Mountain Republican, April 4, 1908)

April 11, 1908
Apparently the board of trustees of the Town of Bingham had sent a letter to Rio Grande Western, asking that a derail switch be installed to prevent a repeat of the fatal wreck of March 21st. The response from General Superintendent E. Stenger stated that as long as there have been railroads, there have been accidents. Some railroads are more difficult and dangerous to operate than others. "For your further information, beg to advise that this accident was not caused on account of any defect in the track or in the engine, as a complete and thorough investigation has shown, the indications being that it was entirely due to a lapse on the part of an old and experienced engineer, who had a reputation for extreme care, and the accident should not have happened, and would not have happened if the engine had been properly handled." (Deseret News, April 11, 1908)

July 21, 1908
"Stockholders in the Rio Grande Western railroad and six subsidiary lines voted in favor of the proposed consolidation of Rio Grande railroads at meetings held in Salt Lake yesterday." "Next Thursday at Denver another step in the consolidation will be made, when the stockholders of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad will meet to vote upon the question, but it will not be until next October that all the details of merging the various lines into one big company can be completed." "The Gould interests long ago acquired interest in all of the lines." Mr. Charles Schlacks, vice president of Denver & Rio Grande railroad, and Joel F. Vaile, chief counsel, came to Salt Lake City from Denver, with voting power of all the Gould holdings and met in the office of Ernest A. Greenwood, cashier and assistant secretary. The whole matter took just fifteen minutes for each company's business, and Schlacks was on his way back to Denver by 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The companies involved were, in the order that the meetings were held: Sevier Railway; Tintic Range Railway; Castle Valley Railway; Utah Central Railroad; Sanpete Valley Railroad; Copper Belt Railroad; Rio Grande Western Railroad. "The result of the meetings is that the six Rio Grande Western subsidiary lines will now become parts of the Rio Grande Western system." "'As this is just as though George Gould asked George Gould to do something,' remarked a railroader yesterday, 'there is not the slightest doubt that it will be done.'" (Salt Lake Herald, July 21, 1908)

July 31, 1908
August 1, 1908
The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (Consolidated) was incorporated. Rio Grande Western Railway was merged with Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, along with Carbon County Railway, Castle Valley Railway, Copper Belt Railroad, San Pete Valley Railway, Sevier Railway, Tintic Range Railway, Utah Central Railroad, and Utah Eastern Railway. (LeMassena, pp. 115, 117)

According to Le Massena, page 67, the mechanism used by both D&RG and by RGW to build branchlines was to encourage a group of individuals, or a particular shipper, to organize a new company to build a spur or branch, contracting the actual construction to the railroads' construction crews. The railroads would then refund all costs of construction to the organizing company or individuals in the form of haulage credits until the full cost was fully recovered. Formal ownership, deed and title would then pass to the railroads.

August 11, 1908
"The carpenter work on Col. E. A. Wall's mill, which was badly wrecked by a Copper Belt engine a number of months ago, has been completed and the work of installing the machinery commenced." (Inter-Mountain Republican, August 11, 1908)

October 7, 1908
"On of the final acts in effecting the consolidation of all Rio Grande railroad lines into one company was the filing of deeds yesterday by which the Copper Belt railroad company turned over title of its property to the Rio Grande Western and the Rio Grande Western in turn deeded it to the Denver and Rio Grande Railway company. The Rio Grande Western has held a mortgage on the property for $100,000. The consideration named in each deed was $1." "The Copper Belt is the ore-hauling railroad at Bingham and includes the high line, built primarily to transport the ores of the Utah Copper and Boston Consolidated companies to the mills at Garfield." (Inter-Mountain Republican, October 7, 1908, "yesterday" was Tuesday October 6, 1908)

(The Salt Lake Herald of the same date shows that Copper Belt was transferred to Denver & Rio Grande Railway, and Rio Grande Western Railway property was transferred to Edward T. Jeffery, et. al., directors)

October 7, 1908
"An instrument was filed yesterday in the office of the county recorder, by which the Copper Belt Railroad in Bingham canyon and all its property and assets, were conveyed to the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad company. The consideration is given as 41, and the deed is signed on behalf of the Copper Belt company by Charles H. Schlacks as its president, and Edward R. Murphy as its secretary." "The transfer of the railroad was authorized at a meeting of the board of directors held Sept. 2, 1908, the transaction, however, being as of Aug. 1, 1908. The road was originally owned by the Rio Grande Western Railroad company, which held the entire issue of capital stock, amounting to $100,000. The transfer is made to the Denver & Rio Grande company subject to the first consolidated mortgage upon the property of that corporation of date April 1, 1889. The Denver & Rio Grande company assumes all liabilities of the Copper Belt and will continue the conduct of this road in the future." (Deseret News, October 7, 1908)

October 25, 1908
"Colonel E. A. Wall's mill, which has been wrecked so many times by accidents in the Copper Belt, is nearly ready for its initial run, after extensive repairs and improvements. The old boiler and steam arrangements have been taken out and a 100-horsepower motor will be installed just as soon as it arrives from the East. This will add much to the efficiency of the plant and solve the coal proposition, which has been a perplexing one in the winter. It is understood that the plant when completed, will handle Utah Apex second-class ores, the mill of this company at the mouth of Markham gulch not being in shape to handle the large bodies that are accumulating on the dump. More tables will undoubtedly be installed and the tonnage capacity of the mill materially increased. If no delays occur the motor should be installed the early part of the coming month." (Inter-Mountain Republican, October 25, 1908)

July 1, 1909
Wall's mill was ablaze with electric light while a party of 200 guests held a "house warming" dance and supper to celebrate the completion of improvements to the mill. "At two different times Copper Belt trains have battered and shattered this industrial landmark of the 'Old Reliable.' In March of 1907, an engine and loaded ore cars at midnight crashed into the very top of it, burying the machinery with a deluge of ore. A year ago last March an old mountain climber leaped from the track and plunged like and angry wild beast into the very center of the building, playing havoc with the machinery and twisting its iron bars like so many straws and sending three men to their death." "Each time the mill has been wrecked it has been rebuilt with better equipment than before." "The previous capacity of the mill was eight tons an hour. It has been improved and enlarged to ten tons per hour. The mill heretofore has been run for lead and silver, but has been changed to mill copper ore. Colonel Wall owns a fine copper property, called the Starless mine, just north of the Utah Copper mine." (Salt Lake Herald, July 1, 1909)

August 14, 1909
General Superintendent James H. Daley of the Denver & Rio Grande, accompanied by a number of operating officials, visited Bingham in his private car today to inspect the D.&R.G. 'Sky Line' road and also the 'Copper Belt' tracks." "The 'Shea' engine of the D.&R.G. running on the 'Sky Line' at Cuprum ran into a coal car today. The coal car was smashed to kindling wood and the locomotive was also damaged to to considerable extent." (Salt Lake Herald, August 14, 1909)

January 14, 1910
Officials of Western Pacific railroad were in Salt Lake City for the annual meetings of Carbon County railroad, Castle Valley railroad, Copper Belt railroad, Sanpete Valley railroad, Sevier railway, Tintic Range railway, and the Utah Eastern railway, all of which were to pass out of corporate existence and be merged with D&RG on January 21. (Salt Lake Herald, January 14, 1910)

January 21, 1910
Several meetings and conferences of officials of Western Pacific and Denver & Rio Grande railroads were held in Salt Lake City to discuss the combined operations of the Gould properties east and west of Salt Lake City. As part of the meetings, the annual meetings of the stockholders of the seven former RGW subsidiaries were held to approve the merging of all seven into Denver & Rio Grande. Included were Carbon County Railway, Castle Valley Railway, Copper Belt Railroad, Sanpete Valley Railway, Sevier Railway, Tintic Range Railway, and the Utah Eastern Railway. (Salt Lake Herald, January 21, 1910)

January 21, 1910
The Copper Belt Railroad passed out of corporate existence, after having been taken over by Denver & Rio Grande "about a year ago." Other roads that also passed from existence included the Carbon County Railway, the Castle Valley Railway, the Sanpete Valley Railway, the Tintic Range Railway, the Sevier Railway, and the Utah Eastern Railway. (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 20, 1910, "tomorrow") (All company names shown in the original article as "Railroad" rather than the correct "Railway".)

These same companies were later formally "dissolved" in the district court of Judge C. W. Morse at Salt Lake City. (Source not recorded)

February 16, 1910
"Seven railroad corporations filed applications for voluntary dissolution in the district court yesterday, as a result of the merger of Rio Grande Western several years ago." "The companies which seek dissolution are the Sevier Railway company, Utah Eastern Railway company, Castle Valley Railway company, San Pete Valley Railway company, Copper Belt Railroad company, Carbon County Railway company, and the Tintic Range Railway company. All of these companies were purchased by the Rio Grande and merged into the one company. The determination to strike out the names of these companies was made by Rio Grande officials on January 21, 1910." (Salt Lake Herald, February 16, 1910)

April 3, 1910
"Seven railroads which were formerly independent lines and were all absorbed by what is now the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad company, were dissolved yesterday in the district court by Judge C. W. Morse. Application for voluntary dissolution of the old companies was made three months ago by the Gould officials, now owning them. The lines dissolved were: Utah Eastern, Castle Valley, San Pete Valley, Copper Belt, Carbon County, Tintic Range and Sevier railroad lines. They were all formerly held independently and played an important part in the development of the various sections of the state where they were located." (Salt Lake Herald, April 3, 1910)

There were at least two spectacular derailments. The close proximity of homes and businesses just below the Copper Belt's line made for a great potential for damage should a train leave the tracks and fall down the hillside into any part of the town. And that is exactly what happened on February 12, 1912 with the derailment of one of the Copper Belt's Shays. The locomotive crashed through a shoe store and a lady's dry goods store, with one of the locomotive's trucks stopping across the street, standing on end against a telephone pole. The location was such that the locomotive's boiler could not be moved back up to the tracks. Instead it was loaded onto a wagon and freighted slowly down Bingham Canyon's main street, behind a team of 28 horses, to the Rio Grande Western's Bingham station where it was loaded on to a waiting flat car for a trip to the Copper Belt's locomotive shop to be re-mated with the locomotives frame and truck assemblies.

February 5, 1912
"What might have been a serious accident occurred on the Copper Belt road at Bingham at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. A train composed of an engine and two loaded ore cars was backing down grade between the second and third levels when the brakes refused to act and the train ran away." "Engineer Joe Colvar started his engine ahead at full speed, but could not secure control of the train before it had run into the yards. The engine stayed on the tracks but the two ore cars were overturned near the end of the run and blocked traffic for the entire day." "The train crew was composed of Engineer Joe Colvar, Fireman Dick Friend and Brakeman A. E. Miller, all of whom jumped when they realized that attempts to save the train were useless. Colvar and Miller were but slightly bruised and Friend sustained a severe bruise on the left hip which will incapacitate him for several days." (Salt Lake Herald, February 5, 1912, "Ore Trains Run Away")

February 15, 1912
There was a wreck that involved one of the Copper Belt Shay no. 3., which was later found to be caused by the rails being greased by a disgruntled employee. The Copper Belt locomotive derailed and crashed down the mountainside and into several buildings in the town of Bingham. Four persons died due to the wreck. Newspaper coverage was extensive, with much speculation about the cause of the wreck. An investigation by the federal ICC found that the wreck was caused by slippery rails due to morning cold, and an inexperienced train crew. The wreck took place on the Copper Belt Branch of D&RG, but the ICC report mistakenly identified the location as D&RG's Cuprum Yard, which was located much higher up on the canyon walls, but directly above the site of the wreck. (Read the text of the ICC report)

1924
D&RGW's ex Copper Belt railroad line in Bingham Canyon was removed because of the copper mine's expansion, including the line from Bingham up canyon to Copper Belt Junction on the low grade line, and the former Copper Belt branch from Bingham to the Yampa smelter. (LeMassena, p. 139)

September 21, 1925
Denver & Rio Grande Western sold the Copper Belt Branch, the Yampa Branch, and the upper (in-canyon) portion of the Low Grade Line to the Bingham & Garfield Railway. (D&RGW Agreement 4163 and Deed U-3267)

The location of the three lines were interfering with the expansion of Utah Copper's open pit mine. The copper company wanted the freedom to move the trackage around to suit the operations of the mine. The Rio Grande retained its yard and depot at Bingham and 3.3 miles of the Low Grade Line outside of the canyon, which they renamed the Bingham Branch Extension. That portion of the line was being used to serve the loading bins of the Congor and Midas mines and was later abandoned in 1931. By the time of the 1925 sale the Copper Belt Branch was thoroughly intermixed with the trackage of the copper company. The Yampa Branch had not been operated since 1913 and had seen very little traffic since the Yampa Smelter was destroyed by fire in 1909. Most of the other mines were owned by the larger companies but were being worked by leasers. Their ore bins would be served by the Bingham & Garfield, as a common carrier.

By 1926 Utah Copper was shipping 50,000 tons per day over the Bingham & Garfield Railway, compared to the 35,000 tons that the Copper Belt had shipped during the entire month of October 1904.

The five Shay locomotives purchased by the Denver & Rio Grande as part of its purchase of the Copper Belt Railroad had been kept working on the branches in the canyon, above Loline Junction. With the sale of the three branches with steep grades and sharp curves in 1925, Denver & Rio Grande would likely have moved the Shays from their former Copper Belt location at Bingham down to the roundhouse and facilities at Welby. Three of the Shays, road numbers 1, 2, and 4, were sold for scrap within a year and a half. The two others, numbers 3 and 5, were kept in service for another eight and ten years respectively, when they too were sold and cut up for scrap.

Before The Copper Belt

(Read more about the Bingham horse tramway)

Lease

Copper Belt Lease -- Text of the lease between RGW and J. G. Jacobs for the horse tramway in Bingham Canyon

Map

Map of Copper Belt -- A scan of the map that accompanied the lease to J. G. Jacobs in 1900.

Locomotives

Copper Belt Locomotives -- Roster listings of the Shay locomotives used by Copper Belt Railroad.

More Information

Salt Lake Mining Review article about the Bingham smelter and Copper Belt railroad of the Bingham Copper and Gold Mining Company, in the February 28, 1901 issue, Volume 2, Number 22

Salt Lake Mining Review article in which L. H. Beason described the Copper Belt Railroad in the February 15, 1905 issue, Volume 6, Number 21

Lease of RGW horse tramway to J. G. Jacobs, November 1900 -- Jacobs was to pay, as rental fee, the cost incurred by RGW "in furnishing labor and materials for laying the track and placing, the railroad in condition for operation..." with the rental being divided equally over the ten-year period of the lease, payable monthly. In case of default, RGW would take ownership of all cars, engines and operating equipment.

To Move A Mountain, Copper Era, 1900-1914 -- A narrative history of the railroad and mining activities in Bingham Canyon after copper began to be mined in larger quantities. Coverage includes the construction of the Copper Belt Railroad to replace the original mule tramway, and the consolidation of the mining companies into the United States Mining, Boston Consolidated, and Utah Copper companies.

Railroads And Steam Shovels -- article about the construction of the Copper Belt railroad and other RGW lines around Bingham Canyon, by H. C. Goodrich, presented at the regular monthly meeting of the Utah

Copper Belt Corporate Information -- Information about the corporate organization of Copper Belt Railroad.

Salt Lake & Mercur Railroad -- Information about another of J. G. Jacobs Shay-operated railroads in Utah.

Salt Lake & Alta Railroad -- Information about another of J. G. Jacobs Shay-operated railroads in Utah.

Society of Engineers. (Salt Lake Mining Review, Volume 13, number 14, October 30, 1911, page 18)

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