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Uintah Railway

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This page was last updated on May 29, 2011.

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Overview

While the Uintah Railway is one of the more interesting Western railroads, and is closely followed by its fans, it is not covered as part of the railroads of Utah, along with its locomotives. Uintah Railway was based in Colorado and crossed the Colorado-Utah line as part of its route to access and ship asphaltum rock, known by its commercial name of "Gilsonite," found nowhere else in the world. The mines were in Utah, but all management and maintenance for the railroad were on the Colorado side.

Uintah Railway was 36-inch narrow gauge line in eastern Utah, known as the "crookedest railroad in the world", but operated only 12 miles in Utah, of its 62-mile mainline between Mack, Colorado and Watson, Utah. It served Watson, Utah as its western terminal, and included the four-mile Uintah Branch and the one-mile Black Dragon Branch, that each served several uintaite (Gilsonite) mines in Utah, and transported the mined Gilsonite eastward to Mack, Colorado.

There are other well-researched and readily available sources for Uintah Railway, most of which have very nice maps. Also, do a search on either Google or Bing for "Uintah Railway". There is lots of good information available.

Locomotives

The following Shay locomotives are shown in builder records as Uintah Railway, but are not included in the overall totals for Shays locomotives in Utah because all of Uintah Railway's management and maintenance was in Colorado. What follows is a listing of Uintah Railway's Shay locomotives that was extracted from Koch's "The Shay Locomotive - Titan of the Timber," back in August 1980 as part of the initial Utah railroads research.

Lima Number Date Gauge Cylinders Wheels
b/n 888 5/17/04 36 in. gauge 10x12 29 in. wheels

(888) Built as Uintah Ry. #1 at Mack, Colorado; Scrapped 6/30/28

Lima Number Date Gauge Cylinders Wheels
b/n 939 10/26/04 36 in. gauge 11x12 32 in. wheels

(939) Built as Uintah Ry. #2 at Mack, Colorado; Scrapped c. 1935-38

Lima Number Date Gauge Cylinders Wheels
b/n 1513 4/8/05 36 in. gauge 11x12 32 in. wheels

(1513) Built as Uintah Ry. #3 at Mack, Colorado; Scrapped 10/33

Lima Number Date Gauge Cylinders Wheels
b/n 1674 6/19/06 36 in. gauge 11x12 32 in. wheels

(1674) Built as Argentine Central Ry. #3 at Silver Plume, Colorado; to Georgetown and Gray's Peak Ry. #3 at Silver Plume, Colorado; to Argentine and Gray's Peak Ry. #3 at Silver Plume, Colorado; to Uintah Ry. #5 at Mack, Colorado; Scrapped /39

Lima Number Date Gauge Cylinders Wheels
b/n 3054 2/3/20 36 in. gauge 11x12 33 in. wheels

(3054) Built as Uintah Ry. #6 at Mack, Colorado; to Feather River Lumber Co. #3:2 at Delleker, California 5/27; to Hyman Michaels Co., (dealer) at San Francisco, California 3/45

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