About UtahRails.net

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This page was last updated on January 9, 2024.

Here at UtahRails.net, the pupose is to provide in-depth historical information about railroading in Utah.

Any story about Utah's railroads must also include background information about the industries the railroads serve, so you will also find information about mining companies, canning companies, and grain and flour mills and elevators, and eventually, any company that shipped anything in a railroad car.

You will also find extensive research and information about the various mining districts in Utah, and the railroads that served them directly.

In 1978 Wilbur Smith distributed to interested persons, his comprehensive narrative of the history of smelting in Utah. Without me being aware of his work, his conclusion has been my own guiding principle for the past 20 years.

A comprehensive history of Utah in railroading, mining, and smelting still has not been written. Perhaps others interested in early-day railroading and mining will take the opportunity to do this type of research, for which there is an almost total lack of published material. There is a great challenge for researchers of industrial history in Utah, by bringing together the multitude of individual subjects into an orderly series of comprehensive publications of specific subjects.

My own advantage is that with a website, I have no need for a publisher, a disinterested editor, and the evil overseer of page-count. I am free to create, add, and remove information and narrative as new sources become available, including the digital preservation of contemporary sources.

Along with Utah's fascinating railroad history, UtahRails.net also has available lots of history of the equipment of Utah's railroads, such as locomotives, cabooses, passenger cars, and freight cars, for railroads that operated in Utah, including Union Pacific, D&RGW, Utah Railway, and Kennecott Copper.

UtahRails.net has always been, and will continue to be my own research notes about things I find interesting. It is a good thing if others find my notes useful, but tracking the number of visits is no longer important.

At times it seems I have only scratched the surface, but progress is being made. This is truly a work in progress, so please come back often.

UtahRails.net is a private, non-commercial web site owned and maintained by Don Strack. It is a one-man-show.

(Contact a live person at UtahRails.net)

Why UtahRails.net?

During the last half of the year 2000, I became a bit disillusioned with publishing in printed books and magazine articles, realizing that it was not as satisfying as I had first imagined it could be. I wanted to share my research at a much quicker pace than the realities of printing to paper would allow. Financial compensation is not really an issue, since I have come to realize that my particular fields of interest have such a small potential market.

I have always been interested in railroad history (especially Utah railroads), railroad locomotives (especially UP and D&RGW locomotives), and business and industrial history (especially as they apply to railroads in Utah). With many file boxes and three-ring binders full of research, and a seemingly endless number of potential publications to get out, publishing to the internet soon became very attractive.

In early 2002, an opportunity came for a dedicated domain name (UtahRails.net), and on May 12, 2002, the new UtahRails.net web site became available for anyone in the world with a computer and an internet connection.

In the years since UtahRails.net was first made available, the journey along the road of ever-changing web technology has been bumpy at times, and the learning curves almost too steep.

(Read about the bumps and the steep curves at Tech Talk)