Utah Idaho Central Railroad
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This page was last updated on March 19, 2017.
Utah Idaho Central -- Extract from the book Ogden Rails, published in 2005
Ogden Rapid Transit Company
March 30, 1909
Ogden Rapid Transit Company was granted franchises from Ogden City for operation along Wall Avenue south of 21st Street. On January 26, 1907, February 21, 1907, and June 16, 1925 Ogden City granted other franchises to Ogden Rapid Transit Company. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 2419)
Logan Rapid Transit Company
January 29, 1910
Logan Rapid Transit Company was incorporated in Utah "To construct, etc., street railways within the city of Logan and in the future to expand throughout Cache County and into the State of Idaho." (Utah corporation index number 13794)
Ogden Logan & Idaho Railway
- The Ogden, Logan & Idaho line to Preston ran along 5th West in Brigham City
- The Ogden, Logan & Idaho "Town Spur" in Brigham City ran east, from 5th West, along Forest Avenue (0 north/south) to Main Street, then south along Main Street
- From a Valuation Map for OSL mainline, Fruitdale (Bushnell) to Collinston, MP 19 to MP 39. (UP drawing 20248, dated April 1912)
The streetcar lines of Ogden were included in Ogden Rapid Transit's merger with Logan Rapid Transit that formed the Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway in May 1914. By that date, the streetcars were also operating over Wall Avenue from 33rd Street, north to 24th Street and east to Washington, a distance of 1.5 miles. There were also other lines: along Jefferson Avenue from 25th Street to 27th Street, then along 27th Street to Van Buren Avenue (one mile); the 22nd Street Line had been shifted at Adams, north to 21st Street, then east along 21st to Van Buren (the tracks were removed along 22nd Street east of Adams); and the 23rd Street Line had been added from Washington to Harrison Avenue and along Harrison to 24th Street (1.2 miles). (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, p. 76) (Also see an article, with photos, of Ogden composite car, photo of number 45, by J. G. Brill Company, six cars, in Street Railway Journal, Volume 43, no. 24 June 13, 1914, p. 1326)
Also included in the Ogden, Logan & Idaho merger was Ogden Rapid Transit's suburban line along Washington to North Ogden, through Pleasant View and west to Hot Springs and Brigham City. This was the former Ogden & Northwestern line between Ogden and Brigham City, built by the Ogden & Hot Springs company in 1889, sold to Ogden & Northwestern in 1903; and re-sold to Ogden Rapid Transit in June 1911. The Ogden, Logan & Idaho company immediately built a new line from the Fairgrounds, at 17th Street and Wall Avenue, northwest to Harrisville, then north to Hot Springs, and a connection with Ogden Rapid Transit's original O&NW line to Brigham City via North Ogden. Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway changed its name and became the Utah Idaho Central Railway in January 1918.
October 3, 1914
Ogden Rapid Transit Company "has placed into operation its extension from the Hermitage Hotel, to the Idlewild resort, 2 miles east of Ogden. Plans are being considered to reroute the Brigham City cars to a new track to be constructed on Lincoln Avenue north in Ogden to connect with the fir ground tracks on west Seventeenth Street." (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 44, Number 14, October 3, 1914, page 649)
October 15, 1914
Ogden Logan & Idaho Railway applied for a charter in Utah as a consolidation of Ogden Rapid Transit Company and Logan Rapid Transit Company and to build 71 miles of electric lines extending to form links and extensions of the consolidated Ogden, Brigham and Logan systems. The lines to be constructed include 44 miles for the connections between Brigham and Logan, and provide 21 miles between Smithfield and Preston, Idaho, and 6 miles miles between Idlewild and Huntsville. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 44, Number 18, October 31, 1914, page 1035)
April 10, 1915
Work began on the extension of Ogden Logan & Idaho Railway between Brigham City and Wellsville. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 45, Number 17, April 24, 1915, page 822)
May 1, 1915
The line between Smithfield to Preston was completed and placed in service, allowing through service between Logan and Preston. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 45, Number 18, May 1, 1915, page 867)
October 27, 1915
Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway was formally completed between Ogden and Preston, Idaho. The line included new construction between Brigham City and Providence, connecting with the existing Logan Rapid Transit 8.9 miles of line (1.5-mile line between Providence and Logan, and 7.4-mile line north from Logan to Smithfield). At Smithfield, additional new construction completed the line to Preston, Idaho. (Swett, Interurbans of Utah, p. 76)
Utah Idaho Central Railroad
January 1, 1918
Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway changed its name to Utah Idaho Central Railroad.
July 16, 1918
UIC received Utah PSC approval to discontinue the sale of commuter tickets within the cities of Ogden, Logan and Brigham City. Only one car is intermittently operated in Brigham City. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 43)
August 6, 1919
UIC received Utah PSC approval to discontinue and dismantle part of the street car line in Brigham City, from a point 900 feet east of the intersection of Forest Avenue and 5th West, east along Forest Avenue to Main Street, then south along Main Street to the end of the line at Fruitdale.
A franchise for the line was granted by Brigham City on March 9, 1910 and the line was constructed at about the same time by the Ogden Rapid Transit Company.
When the Ogden, Logan and Idaho Railway built its line from Ogden to Brigham City in 1914, it abandoned the former Ogden Rapid Transit Company's line between Ogden and Brigham City, except that 2.61 mile portion from Fruitdale north to Brigham City, which has since been used only for street car service.
The application to discontinue and dismantle the street car line was made because Brigham City wanted to remove the pole line from the center of Main Street and UIC could not afford its share of the improvement. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 205)
July 15, 1925
UIC received Utah PSC approval to start auto stage service between Ogden and Logan. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 809)
UIC receivers appointed August 20, 1926 in case brought by Westinghouse. The new UIC has been engaged in business since November 20, 1926. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 928)
September 8, 1926
UIC received Utah PSC approval to abandon street car line in Logan. The route is operated by two cars, #211 and #212. The route was along Center Street from 6th West to Main Street, then north along Main Street, over the interurban tracks, to 4th North, then east along 4th North to 6th East, then north along 6th East to 9th North. Also a one block line along 7th East from 4th North to 5th North. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 902)
December 13, 1926
"Direction of the Utah Idaho Central Railroad company was shifted from Ogden to other hands today with the announcement by the company that M. E. Singleton of St. Louis becomes president and A. B. Apperson becomes vice president." Apperson was living in Denver at the time he was appointed as vice president, and was "president of Calumet Fuel company and the Apperson-Vallery company." Singleton was well known as the director First National Bank of St. Louis, the largest national bank west of the Mississippi, as well as many other positions in the financial and insurance industry. (Standard Examiner, December 13, 1926, "today") Utah Idaho Central was recently sold under a receiver's sale and purchased by a committee representing the bondholders of the company. (Millard County Chronicle, December 23, 1926)
Following are annual passenger counts for the Utah-Idaho Central, taken from McGraw's Electric Railway Manual. The difference likely reflects the replacement of Logan street cars with buses. (Leroy W. Demery, Jr., email dated September 23, 2005)
- 1926: 795,159
- 1929: 334,090
November 9, 1935
State Road Commission received Utah PSC approval to construct a concrete subway U. S. Highway 30 under the UP and UIC tracks, north of Brigham City. Project No. WPGH 38‑A (1936). (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 1807)
October 8, 1938
UIC received Utah PSC approval to change the layout and relocate some of the tracks in the vicinity of the Ogden Repair Shops (car barns, shops, switch and storage tracks and yard facilities), to allow the construction of Wall Avenue along the west side of its property. The railroad's line eastward along 17th Street was formerly its connection with Utah Rapid Transit, but the line had been abandoned, except for the access it gave to the south end of the cars barns. The tracks along 17th Street were to be removed, and new connecting tracks, including a new wye track crossing the new Wall Avenue would be built immediately along the north side of 17th Street. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 2172)
December 5, 1938
In a decision by the United States Supreme Court, the Utah Idaho Central was found to *not* be an interurban railroad. (See Shields v. Utah Idaho Central, Argued: October 19, 1938 Decided: December 5, 1938; 305 U.S. 177)
At the request of the Railway Labor Mediation Board, the Interstate Commerce Commission was asked to determine if the Utah Idaho Central was, or was not an interurban railroad. The ICC found that the UIC was *not* an interurban railroad, and in turn subject to the Railway Labor Act. The Utah Idaho Central disagreed, and refused to post labor notices for its employees. The United States Attorney for the District of Utah brought suit against Utah Idaho Central to force it to comply with provisions of the Railway Labor Act. The District Court agreed with the railroad and issued a permanent injunction, staying the determination of the ICC, saying that the railroad was an interurban. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court.
It was Congress that decided that an interurban was exempt from the Railway Labor Act, and its requirements relating to the adjustment of labor disputes, although Congress did not define what an interurban was. The Supreme Court affirmed that Congress had conferred the authority upon the Interstate Commerce Commission to determine whether a particular electric railway is an interurban, which cannot be regarded as an unconstitutional delegation of power. The evidence presented in each of the court cases was substantially the same as that produced before the Commission. The facts, as they were analyzed by the Commission and by the courts were virtually undisputed. The Supreme Court found that the railroad was not an interurban and overturned the Appeals Court, and the District Court, and affirmed that the Utah Idaho Central was not an interurban. The Supreme Court's decision was based on the railroad's predominantly freight nature, with just 18 percent of its business coming from passengers, and that it interchanged outbound freight with railroads in 31 states, and inbound freight with railroads in 26 states.
The case included the following description of Utah Idaho Central:
Respondent's railway extends from Ogden, Utah, north to Preston, Idaho, a distance of 94.63 miles and has two branch lines of about 7 and 14 miles respectively. About 81.8 per cent. of the line is located on privately owned right-of-way and the remaining 18.2 per cent. on public streets or highways, these being chiefly in fifteen cities and towns. The Government concedes the point stressed by respondent that its line has many of the physical characteristics of an interurban railroad. Thus its tracks on the whole are of lighter weight, its grades slightly steeper, its curves sharper, its stations and sidetracks more frequent, its motive power of less capacity, its sidetracks shorter than is customary on trunk lines, and its passenger business is conducted in the same manner as that of any interurban electric railway. The passenger business, however, yields but a minor part (about 18.1 per cent.) of the total revenues. During the five years from 1930 to 1934, inclusive, the freight revenues amounted to $2,021,724.57 and the revenues from passengers, mail and express were $448,941.62. The railway is predominantly a carrier of freight. The freight traffic consists to a large extent of raw products such as sugar beets, milk, tomatoes and peas moving to factories, canneries or processing plants, and of the manufactured products moving outbound from the plants to connecting railroads. A considerable part of the movement of the raw products requires special service with one-car or two-car trains. A daily package- merchandise train is maintained with facilities for refrigeration in summer and heating in winter and with pick-up and delivery service at all available points. In 1934 the freight trains averaged 6.2 cars each. In the last half of that year the carrier handled 6,354 carloads of freight of which 2,226 were local and 4,017 were interchanged with other carriers. The traffic originating on its line moved to points in 31 States and that delivered by it was from points in 26 States. Respondent is a party to practically all the tariffs publishing through rates to or from this territory and its interchange traffic generally moves on joint rates. It does not perform intermediate service between other lines. Practically all the interchange traffic is handled in standard equipment furnished by connecting railroads.
October 29, 1940
Utah Idaho Central Railroad Corporation received Utah PSC approval to take over the property of the Utah Idaho Central Railroad Company. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 2417)
December 13, 1944
UIC received Utah PSC approval to abandon the North Ogden Line. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 2818)
May 1, 1945
UIC received Utah PSC approval to close the agency at Hyde Park. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 2800)
May 1, 1945
UIC received Utah PSC approval to close the agency at Millville. The agent has resigned and the railroad has been unable to fill the position with a qualified person due to the labor shortage because of the war. In 1944 the agency received 19 carloads of coal and handled 2,731 pounds of LCL traffic. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 2841)
December 20, 1946
Utah Idaho Central applied to the federal Interstate Commerce Commission. The following comes from Ira Swett's "Interurbans of Utah" book:
On December 20, 1946, UIC asked the Interstate Commerce Commission for authority to abandon its entire line. UIC's application said the company had been operating at a loss of $237,664 from 1943 through the first ten months of 1946. "There is no prospect that sufficient additional revenue can be obtained to meet the corporation's operating charges, which are increasing, taxes, and other costs and expenses," the application said.
A petition for receivership of the road had been filed the previous day in Federal Court in Salt Lake City in behalf of the First Security Trust Company which claimed a first lien of $289,280. Federal Judge Tillman D. Johnson appointed S. J. Quinney (he also axed SL&U) receiver.
At the time, UIC was down to one rail round trip between Ogden and Preston; this left Ogden at 9:30 AM and returned at 8:20 PM.
The coal strike and consequent loss of considerable coal traffic undoubtedly hastened the demise of UIC. Passenger traffic had been considerably reduced when the Utah Public Service Commission granted franchises to a competitor by the name of Cook and also to Union Pacific Stages to carry people between points north of Ogden (not including Ogden) to and from Salt Lake City.
Judge Johnson on February 13 issued an order suspending operations of the rail line effective 12:01 AM Sunday, February 16, 1947. Thus Saturday, February 15, was the last day of UIC's interurban life.
January 16, 1947
UIC received Utah PSC approval to close the agency at Willard. In 1944 the agency shipped 10,196 pounds of LCL traffic; received 13 carloads of coal and 2 carloads of "shooks"; shipped 22 carloads of celery and one car each of onions and potatoes. In 1945 the agency handled 5,558 pounds of LCL traffic; received 11 carloads of coal and one carload of baskets; shipped 7 carloads of onions and one carload of machinery. The entire route between Ogden and Preston is paralleled by Fuller‑Topance Truck Line and Cook Transportation Company. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 3078)
January 16, 1947
UIC received Utah PSC approval to close the agencies at Honeyville, Mendon, and Wellsville. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 3079, 3080, and 3081)
February 15, 1947
Utah Idaho Central operated its last passenger train.
February 28, 1947
Utah Idaho Central operated its last freight train. (The last rail operations were for Line Car 051, which operated on March 18, 1947.)
The following comes from the April 1947 issue of the "Interurbans" newsletter, edited by Ira Swett, published monthly:
UTAH-IDAHO CENTRAL: The ICC hearing on the abandonment of the UIC (Ogden-Preston) is set for May 5th at Ogden. All operations of the UIC as a railroad have ceased and everything is under a watchman's care pending the ICC action. The Bamberger Railroad has entered into a temporary agreement with the receiver of the UIC under which Bamberger is providing emergency service on UIC tracks to a half dozen industries which are served by that railroad in Ogden. No other portion of UIC trackage is apparently being operated by any other railroad with UIC-served industries outside Ogden being forced to get along without any rail service except from nearest steam line team track. The receiver of the UIC is advertising for sale a portion of the UIC car barns which have been used primarily for buses of Ogden Rapid Transit; it is anticipated that ORT will purchase this portion of the barns. There is a strong rumor current that the bus line which the receiver of the UIC is operating will shortly be sold to one of the Trailways group.
May 28, 1947
Ogden Transit Company received Utah PSC approval to purchase the Ogden car barns of the Utah Idaho Central Railroad which ceased operations at 12:01 am on February 16, 1947. The car barns were erected in 1915, they measure (in feet) 90 x 325 x 23 high, made of brick. (Utah Public Service Commission Case No. 3121)
October 18, 1947
Photos by Emil Albrecht show the Hyman-Michaels salvage train working to remove portions of the rail.
The car barns of the Utah Idaho central were sold to the Ogden Transit Company for $75,000 in cash. (Ogden Standard Examiner, May 14, 1947)
(Ogden Transit Company used the building until it failed in May 1952, after which the builing was leased to the bus company's successor, Ogden Bus Lines, which took over bus operations on May 20, 1952. Ogden bus Lines continued to use the building until June 1954 when the bus company was to move into its own building at 20th Street and Childs Avenue.)
March 16, 1948
Receiver of UIC received Utah PSC approval to the receiver's request to destroy the records of the corporation because they are no longer of use. (Supplementary order to PSC Case No. 2336)
The former Utah Idaho Central car barns were sold to the Utah State Road Commission for a reported $85,000. The state took possession in late July 1954, at which time the Ogden Bus Company moved to its new site. The state road commission moved from its former site at 23rd Street and Harrison Boulevard had been used for material storgae such as sand and gravel, and there had been numerous complaints from residents nearby concerning the noise and dust. (Ogden Standard Examiner, July 25, 1954)
In later years, the state road commission (later known as Utah Department of Transportation) moved to a larger site and as late as November 2016, the site was used by the Utah Department of Agriculture as its grain testing labratory.
Utah Idaho Central -- A Google Map of the electric Utah Idaho Central Railroad between Ogden and Preston, Idaho.
Utah Idaho Central Equipment -- Equipment information from Interurbans of Utah by Ira Swett.
Interurbans of Utah -- The Utah Idaho Central chapter from Interurbans of Utah by Ira Swett.
Utah Idaho Central Railroad Corporate Information (four corporations with the same name, includes 1914 name change from Ogden Logan & Idaho, and 1918 merger with Cache Valley Railroad, plus the 1926 and 1939 reorganizations)
Retriever -- The scanned text of a newsletter of the Utah Electric Railway Historical Society.