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Utah Central Railway (1881-1889)

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This page was last updated on June 11, 2011.

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Overview

Utah Central Railway operated the trackage between Ogden to Salt Lake City (former Utah Central), from Salt Lake City to Juab (former Utah Southern) and from Juab to Frisco (former Utah Southern Railroad Extension), a total of 275.3 miles.

Utah Central Railway was consolidated with seven other railroads in Utah and Idaho to form the OSL&UN on July 27, 1889

Timeline

July 1, 1881
Utah Central Railway was the consolidation of the following companies:

July 19, 1881
Utah Central Railway Timetable No 1, effective July 20, 1881. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 19, 1881) (ed. note: This would be for the newly combined Utah Central, Utah Southern, and Utah Southern Extension, all recently controlled by UP.)

August 3, 1881
The new Pullman coaches on the Utah Central were first used in regular service on Tuesday, August 2, 1881. (Salt Lake Herald, August 3, 1881)

August 4, 1881
New Pullman coaches in use on the Utah Central. (Ogden Herald, August 4, 1881)

September 14, 1881
An article on the Utah Central adopting the Eames Vacuum Brake. (Ogden Herald, September 14, 1881)

October 12, 1881
Articles of incorporation for the 'Pleasant Valley Branch of the Utah Central Railway' were filed on Monday the 10th. (Salt Lake Herald, October 12, 1881)

November 11, 1881
The Utah Central has built a new pay car, which made its first trip yesterday, Thursday, going south. (Salt Lake Herald, November 11, 1881)

April 13, 1882
"The Utah Central received a new locomotive last night. It arrived here a few minutes before 11 o'clock." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 13, 1882)

April 20, 1882
An item on the court battle between the Utah Central and the Utah & Pleasant Valley, over right-of-way in Spanish Fork canyon; the item indicates that detailed maps of the U&PV were filed with the court records. If so, they are now gone. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 20, 1882)

May 12, 1882
"The engine which hauls granite from the depot to the Temple Block ran off the track on Thursday morning just as it was coming out of the south gate. It ran against the wall, and knocked a portion down. The engine was soon righted." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, May 12, 1882)

May 25, 1882
Utah Central Railway will have a new timetable as of June 1, 1882. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, May 25, 1882)

July 4, 1882
"A new postal car for the Utah Central has arrived from Omaha." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 4, 1882)

July 11, 1882
The pay car lately built by the Utah Central has a kitchen, sleeping accommodations, etc. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 11, 1882)

August 1882
Utah Central replaced its original iron rails with steel rails. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 20, 1882)

August 20, 1882
The Utah Central has, at various points, some 50 miles of secondhand iron stacked up, all of it rail taken up from the main line when it was relaid recently with steel rails. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 20, 1882)

(Some of the original iron rail may have been used in the construction of the Salt Lake & Western. A piece of original iron rail, dated 1869, still existed as a vertical "post" in a railroad tie retaining wall located at Tintic Mills as late as 1981.)

October 5, 1882
The Utah Central is tearing down their old enginehouse at the foot of 5th street (now 25th Street) in Ogden, it having been replaced already by a new one located near the Weber river bridge. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 5, 1882)

November 24, 1882
"Railroad Racket" "The Utah Central have just completed a freight and passenger depot at Spanish Fork." (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, November 24, 1882)

December 8, 1882
"Railroad Chat" "The new iron bridge over the Timpanogos (Provo) river, on the Utah Central railroad, was completed yesterday, and the first train passed over last evening. The structure is said to have stood the test admirably, and the officers of the road are well pleased with the work." (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, December 8, 1882)

January 4, 1883
"Railroad Chat" "A new ten-wheel locomotive, to haul freight on the Utah Central road between. Ogden and Juab, was received at the company's depot in this city this morning." (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, January 4, 1883)

January 4, 1883
"The Utah Central Railway Company received a new engine last evening." (Salt Lake Herald, January 4, 1883)

January 5, 1883
"The Utah Central has received a new locomotive, no. 21, which is a ten wheel engine of the heavy freight pattern." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 5, 1883)

January 24, 1883
"The Utah Central machine shops in this city have in process of construction a powerful locomotive, the iron having been produced at Ogden. This is only a starter; let the good work go on." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 24, 1883)

January 26, 1883
"Home Made Locomotive." "At the Utah Central machine shops a locomotive is being made for use on the road. It is proposed to make one that will have greater speed than any now in use by the company. In accordance with this purpose the driving wheels are made a foot larger in diameter. The last of the four wheels was cast yesterday at the U. C. foundry. They are of iron obtained from the Ogden Iron Works, the metal produced there being of a superior quality for this purpose. When finished, it will be a genuine home production. -- Deseret News." (Utah Journal, Logan, January 26, 1883)

February 10, 1883
"Railroad Chat" "Utah Central freight engine No. 9, which left Provo at 6:50 o'clock this morning, and to which a train of freight cars was attached, became disabled at Lehi Junction through the bursting of the blow-out valve. A locomotive was dispatched from this city at 10:15 o'clock to bring the train through." (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, February 10, 1883)

February 21, 1883
Wednesday - Utah Central Rwy. Timetable No. 3, in effect February 20, 1883, published in today's paper for the first time - just shows passenger trains, 1 & 2 thru to Frisco, 3 & 4 to Juab. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 21, 1883)

March 4, 1883
Utah Central Timetable No. 3, effective February 20, 1883, nicely printed in paper. (Salt Lake Herald, March 4, 1883)

March 27, 1883
Utah Central item mentions that a new boiler being made just now, for the new locomotive being built in the UC shops -- will have 5-foot 10-inch drivers, frame, etc., already built. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 27, 1883)

March 29, 1883
Item from Deseret Evening News, on new engine being built in UC shops; cylinders have been cast in the shops, have a 17-inch bore. (Ogden Herald, March 29, 1883)

June 1, 1883
"Utah Central Shops," where construction of the new locomotive is still in progress. The frame, cylinders and wheels are done, the boiler nearly so. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 1, 1883)

July 1, 1883
A new timetable goes into effect this date on the Utah Central Railway. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, July 1, 1883)

July 7, 1883
The Utah Central's train dispatcher's office has been removed from the general office building (next to the Deseret National Bank), and is now located near the depot, "in the building formerly used as the office of the superintendent of the road." The dispatchers are D. J. Spencer and James Clinton. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, July 7, 1883)

July 31, 1883
The Utah Central is going to automatic air brakes, to replace the inferior system now in use. (see Ogden Herald, September 14, 1881) (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 31, 1883) (ed. note: UC had tried the Eames vaccum brake in 1881.)

August 14, 1883
"The plans and-specifications for the new Utah Central passenger depot are out and indicate that the pioneer road proposes to get up a fine appearing building." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, August 14, 1883)

September 2, 1883
Utah Central Engine no. 11, passenger, has just been completed an overhaul, and fitted with automatic air brakes. Engineer is Robert Butt, who took the engine out yesterday for a trial, and in regular service today. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 2, 1883)

September 29, 1883
A new timetable will go into effect on the Utah Central Railway on the 1st of October, 1883. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, September 29, 1883)

October 10, 1883
A letter, signed "Justice," commenting upon an old lady who was run over and killed by a Utah Central train, sometime in late September, notes that "the engine running the train was No. 7, a very light engine with a vacuum brake,..." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, October 10, 1883)

November 17, 1883
And a new timetable in effect November 20, 1883 on the Utah Central. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, November 17, 1883)

March 9, 1884
"On Monday the Utah Central will change Timtable No. 8,..." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, March 9, 1884)

April 24, 1884
"Chips" "The old engine shed in the U. C. railroad depot has been demolished and gives the southern part of the depot block quite a vacant appearance." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 24, 1884)

April 30, 1884
Utah Central Rwy. Timetable No. 10, in effect 5:00 a.m., May 1, 1884. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 30, 1884)

May 8, 1884
The Utah Central to build a new passenger depot in Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 8, 1884)

May 15, 1884
The Utah Central pile driver is in service on the San Pete Valley, rebuilding bridges. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 15, 1884)

July 25, 1884
Utah Central began the demolition of the the original Utah Central depot in Salt Lake City. ("Railroad Notes", Salt Lake Tribune, July 26, 1884, Utah Digital Newspapers Project, "The work of tearing down the old Utah Central passenger depot began yesterday, and there is now no mistaking the fact that the old eye-sore will go.")

August 2, 1884
Utah Central Timtable No. 13 effective today. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 2, 1884)

September 3, 1884
"The roof is now on the Utah Central depot. It must be borne in mind the portion completed is just one wing of the structure." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, September 3, 1884)

September 6, 1884
Utah Central Timetable No. 14 to take effect on Monday the 8th. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 6, 1884)

December 1884
For the week ending December 20, 1884, the Horn Silver mine shipped 23 cars of bullion, with reported value of $57,500. This was the largest shipping mine in the territory; the Ontario in Park City shipped $34,983, and all others were in amounts less than $10,000, with a grand total of $138,922. These totals made the Horn Silver mine the producer of 40 percent of the territory's total bullion production. (Salt Lake Herald, December 21, 1884)

January 7, 1885
Utah Central Railway Timtable No. 18 took effect this morning. (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, January 7, 1885)

February 12, 1885
The Horn Silver Mine at Frisco had a cave-in that closed the mine for almost a year. The cave-in was expected due to the condition of the ground, and none of the hoisting equipment or surface workings were damaged. (Salt Lake Herald, February 14, 1885)

February 22, 1885
During 1884, the mine hoisted 40,000 tons of lead and silver ore. The ore was loaded in 3,332 railroad cars and shipped to smelters in Salt Lake City by way of the Utah Central Railway. After smelting, the ore resulted in 940 cars shipped, each with 300 bars of bullion. Revenues from the mine were expected to decline sharply during 1885. The mine was being expanded below the 8th Level, with supplies of ore above that level almost exhausted. The ore was shipped to the Franklyn smelter, which was worn out and needed to be shut down for repairs. The mine itself was also in need of additional development to bring it into profitable production, including opening a new Shaft No. 3, to replace the exhausted Shaft No. 1. A railroad spur was needed to allow loading ore from Shaft No. 3. (Salt Lake Herald, February 22, 1885, citing a report in the Engineering and Mining Journal)

(Klein, in his History of the Union Pacific, Volume 1, page 504, wrote that the Horn Silver mine "failed" in 1885, and the Utah Central suffered the loss of traffic of 14,000 tons of bullion shipped.)

(Trottman, p. 202, says the mine "gave out" in 1883.)

(Athearn, p. 286, says that the mine closed in the mid 1880s.)

March 15, 1885
Utah Southern was shipping 150 tons per day from the Horn Silver mine, until it was closed in February 1885. A month later, the railroad announced that it would not be declaring a dividend on its stock because the Horn Silver mine was producing the bulk of its revenue south of Utah Valley. The mine was expected to reman closed for at least another month. (Salt Lake Herald, March 15, 1885)

April 6, 1885
A second cave-in at the old workings of the Horn Silver mine also forced the new workings to be closed. (Salt Lake Evening Democrat, April 6, 1885)

June 19, 1885
The Horn Silver mine was shipping 30 tons per day, instead of its usual 100 tons per day. The ore was being sent to the Mingo smelter in Sandy. (Salt Lake Evening Democrat, June 19, 1885)

September 3, 1885
Utah Central is building a new passenger car shed in Salt Lake City. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 3, 1885)

January 19, 1886
The new workings of the Horn Silver mine were still not shipping ore, although the new shaft had been sunk from the 700-foot level, down to the 1400-foot-level. All ore being shipped was coming from development work. (Salt Lake Evening Democrat, January 19, 1886)

January 1, 1887
"The Utah Central on its 283 miles of road operates 17 locomotives, but has 20 in all. Five of them are 40 ton engines, the balance are 27 and 30 ton engines. Road also has 22 passenger cars, eight baggage cars, seven caboose cars and 480 freight cars. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1887)

September 16, 1887
"The Utah Central road has closed its Frisco freight, ticket and telegraph offices, as they don't pay. Trains will run up there from Milford just the same, but all the clerical work will be done either at Milford or by the conductors." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 16, 1887)

October 13, 1887
Utah Central engine No. 5 broke down on a passenger train recently. (Deseret Evening News, October 13, 1887)

January 29, 1888
Utah Central Railway Timetable No. 34 in effect January 28, 1888. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 29, 1888)

January 29, 1888
By late January 1888, the Horn Silver mine was again shipping 100 tons per day, a figure that seemed to be its regular daily shipment, regardless of actual production. (Salt Lake Herald, January 29, 1888; July 22, 1888)

December 7, 1888
New Utah Central Timetable No. 38, on 9 December 1888. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 7, 1888)

February 1889
A new shaft was opened at the Horn Silver mine, and by mid March 1889, the mine was shipping 200 tons of ore per day. The ore was coming from below the caved portion of the old works. (Salt Lake Herald, February 10, 1889; March 10, 1889)

July 27, 1889
Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway is organized by merging the Utah & Northern Railway, the Utah Central Railway, the Utah & Nevada Railway, the Salt Lake & Western Railway, and the Ogden & Syracuse Railway (all in Utah), the Oregon Short Line Railway and Idaho Central Railway (both in Idaho), and the unbuilt Nevada Pacific Railway in Nevada. (OSL corporate history)

December 31, 1889
"Ogden" column: "The Utah Central, leaving Ogden yesterday morning, carried to Salt Lake two coaches and two locomotives for the Utah Western railroad." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, December 31, 1889)

Locomotives

Utah Central Railway Locomotives

More Information

Utah Central Railway Corporate Information -- Information about the Utah Central Railway corporate organization

Ogden Rails -- Information about Utah Central Railway from the book "Ogden Rails"

Clarence Reeder -- Information about Utah Central Railway from Reeder's manuscript

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