Bingham & Garfield Railway
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This page was last updated on March 18, 2022.
From the ICC Statistics of Railways, on dates as noted:
|June 30, 1911||19.9||19.9||Independent road, line owned, not in operation|
|June 30, 1913||71.67||26.75||45.45 miles leased to, and operated by Utah Copper Company|
|June 30, 1916||79.22||36.07||41.64 miles leased to, and operated by Utah Copper Company; 2.04 miles not in operation|
|December 31, 1917||37.52||36.06|
|December 31, 1918||38.25|
|December 31, 1935||Shown as controlled by Utah Copper Company, which owns entire capital stock of Bingham & Garfield Railway|
|December 31, 1936||Shown as controlled by Kennecott Copper Corporation, which owns entire capital stock of Bingham & Garfield Railway|
July 8, 1908
Bingham & Garfield Railway was incorporated in Utah by individuals who were also officers of Utah Copper Company; the company was organized on July 1, 1908.
September 30, 1908
Utah Copper had not been receiving sufficient ore to keep its mill running at full capacity. Boston Consolidated had started up four additional units at its mill, but was forced to shut them down due to the railroad not delivering the needed tonnage. With eight units in operation, Boston Con was milling 1600 tons per day. Utah Copper's mill had a 5500 tons per day capacity, but was not in full operation due to a shortage of ore. Surveys for the proposed Bingham & Garfield road were practically done, and Jackling hinted that construction could start any day, which meant that Rio Grande would soon lose Utah Copper's business. For every ton hauled over Rio Grande's line, the railroad gets 25 to 30 cents. As comparison, the Yampa company prior to building its aerial tramway, built to overcome inadequate railroad service, paid the railroad 15 cents per ton. (Deseret News, September 30, 1908)
March 30, 1910
Utah Construction Company was awarded the contract for construction of the Bingham & Garfield Railway. (Salt Lake Mining Review, July 30, 1914, page 15)
April 1, 1910
All of Utah Copper's mine trackage (over 25 miles) was transferred to the B&G subsidiary, then leased back to Utah Copper. (Interstate Commerce Commission Reports, Volume 106, page 452, cited as 106 ICC 452)
April 22, 1910
Construction of the Bingham & Garfield began on April 22, 1910 when Utah Construction began the grading work. (Utah Copper annual report, year ending December 31, 1911)
By November 1910, the Bingham & Garfield was about 70 percent graded, with the main line between Magna and the Garfield smelter being about 90 percent graded. All track materials were on hand, and track laying would begin shortly. (Salt Lake Mining Review, November 15, 1910, page 37)
The grading for Bingham & Garfield was complete by June 1911, with the track laid across the Dry Fork bridge on July 14, 1911. The grading for the Bingham yard was completed by the end of July. The locomotives also arrived at the end of July. (Salt Lake Mining Review, August 14, 1911, page 18)
September 14, 1911
Bingham & Garfield operated its first train, using new 0-8-8-0 Mallet number 100 and 41 new 60-ton hopper-bottom ore cars. At the beginning of operations, the Bingham & Garfield was truly a common carrier as there were approximately 25 other mines producing ore in Bingham canyon, and the Bingham & Garfield provided switching services between the mines and the Rio Grande Western at both Bingham and Cuprum, high on the south canyon wall. (Kennecott Historical Index)
September 15, 1911
Bingham & Garfield started its passenger service between Salt Lake City and Bingham. By December 31, 1911, the railroad had served 15,276 passengers. Passenger service to Garfield started in October 1911, with 18,499 passengers being moved by year's end. (Utah Copper annual report, year ending December 31, 1911)
Because the line had to connect with Utah Copper's mine trackage, the Bingham & Garfield's depot at Bingham was considerably lower than the line's actual trackage in its Bingham yard. To allow passengers access from the rail line down to the town's streets, in 1911, B&G built a twin track inclined tramway from their street-level Bingham depot up to their Bingham yard (and Utah Copper's mine office). The site of the Bingham & Garfield depot was later taken by the Gemmell recreation building. (Kennecott Historical Index)
Utah Copper's annual report for the year ending December 31, 1911 shows the following for the Bingham & Garfield Railway:
Grading for the Bingham & Garfield Railway was started on April 22nd, 1910, and completed in August, 1911. During that period, there were removed in excavations for the line 746,970 cubic yards of solid rock, 618,222 cubic yards of loose rock and 315,079 cubic yards of earth, a total of 1,680,271 cubic yards. Four tunnels were driven having an aggregate length of 4,798 feet, of which it was found necessary to line 2,963 feet with timber. These tunnels are all located in the first three miles of line from the Bingham end. In that distance there are also three steel bridges, containing about 3,000 tons of steel and having an aggregate length of 2,000 feet. The maximum heights of these bridges, beginning with the one across Carr Fork at the upper end of the line, are 190, 225 and 188 feet respectively. The total length of tunnels and bridges, together with their approaches, in the upper three miles of the line constitute about one-half that distance. The main line between the Utah Copper Mine and the mills at Garfield is laid with 90-lb. steel. The extension from the mills at Garfield to connect with the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Ry. and the yards at all points are laid with 65-lb. steel. The line was completed and put in operation for freight service on the 15th day of September, 1911.
At the end of the year 1911, the tracks belonging to the Bingham & Garfield Railway already constructed and in use for ore and commercial purposes were as follows:
|Main line from Garfield to the mines, including the track to the Garfield Smelter||22.27 miles|
|Yard and siding tracks at Garfield and Bingham and along main line, including extension of switch-back system at Bingham necessary to reach Utah Copper and other mines||19.91 miles|
|Other tracks at Bingham to which the Utah Copper Company has the right of use||34.2 miles|
A double-track incline tramway 554 feet long has been constructed for the handling of passengers, express and light freight between the Bingham station of the Railway and a sub-station located near the centre of the town of Bingham. The difference in elevation between these two is 201 feet.
The equipment of the Railway at the end of the year consisted of 3 Mallet locomotives, each weighing 460,000 pounds on the drivers; 2 switching locomotives, each weighing 122,300 pounds on the drivers; 120 hopper bottom steel ore cars, each having a capacity of 132,000 pounds net load; one tool car; four cabooses for freight train service; 3 flat cars of 50,000 lbs. capacity; 3 passenger coaches and one 120-ton wrecker. Orders have been placed for six 6-wheel switching locomotives weighing 156,500 pounds on the drivers and for 204 steel cars for ore, concentrate and general service. This equipment is in part delivered and in process of delivery at the time of writing this report.
As has been previously stated, freight service was started on September 15th, 1911, and at the same time passenger service, consisting of two trains each way per day, was inaugurated between Bingham and Salt Lake City. Up to the end of the year the total traffic amounted to 754,584 net tons of ore and other freight, and the total number of passengers handled was 15,276. The facilities for handling freight and passengers at the Bingham terminal were not completed until very late in the year and the business of the line suffered accordingly. Since these were completed business of all commercial classes has been increasing rapidly. In October a passenger service between the town of Garfield and the smelting and concentrating plants in that vicinity was inaugurated which handled a total of 18,499 passengers up to the end of the year.
The operation of the road has proven satisfactory and economical in every respect. The heavy Mallet compound locomotives readily handle a train of 40 ore cars containing 65 net tons each of ore, a net train load of 2,600 tons, between the mine and the mills at Garfield in 1 hour and 30 minutes, the empties being returned to the mine in the like time without the assistance of additional motive power. It, therefore, requires less than one shift's service of 10 hours for two train crews to handle 10,000 tons per day.
February 22, 1912
The new Bingham passenger tram between the B&G depot and Bingham town, 225 feet below, went into service on or about February 22, 1912. The article in the Salt Lake Tribune states that the trains leave the Harriman (Union Pacific) Salt Lake City depot at 7:30am and 2:50pm, with the round trip from Salt Lake City to Garfield (over what are now UP tracks), then on B&G tracks from Garfield to Bingham, taking about three hours. Passengers rode a single train (likely with UP locomotive and cars), without having to change trains at Garfield. An associated photo shows a pasenger train, with UP locomotive, crossing the B&G's Markham Gulch bridge, possibly showing a specail train that gave officials and special guests a preview of the upcoming service. Photos show that the long and winding wooden stairs between the two points remained in place for a number of years after the tram went into service. (Salt Lake Tribune, February 22, 1912; headline reads "Tramway For Bingham; Stairs Are Abandoned")
Railway Age magazine had an article about the construction of the Bingham & Garfield Railway. (Railway Age, Volume 52, Number 13, March 19, 1912)
"At a point near the Garfield Townsite, a line about 3 miles long has been built to the Garfield Smelting Company's smelters, and from this line at a point in Garfield townsite, a line has been built to what are known as the lime-sand beds on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. This sand is used by the smelting company." The sand spur had an interlocked level rail crossing of both the WP and the LA&SL. (Engineering Record, August 17, 1912; courtesy of Don Marenzi, email to Utah Railroading Yahoo discussion group, April 25, 2011)
August 30, 1912
"Bingham & Garfield -- An officer writes that this company, which operates a line from Garfield Junction, Utah, south to Bingham, 19-1/2 miles, has given a contract to the Utah Construction Company to build an extension from the southern terminus north, thence south into the Bingham mining district. The extension is located on steep mountain sides, working from a level of 6,340 ft. above sea level to an elevation of 6,687 ft. It will be a switchback railway on 4 per cent maximum grades, compensated, and with 16 deg. maximum curves. There will be two wooden frame trestles on pile foundations, one 428 ft. long with a maximum height of 30 ft, and one 590 ft. long with a maximum height of 91 ft. The company is building a five-stall engine house, car repair shop, and coaling station at Magna, also the necessary hotel accommodations, sleeping quarters, etc., for the employees. The Bingham & Garfield was originally built to carry ore from the Bingham mining district to the mills and smelters at Garfield. H. C. Goodrich, chief engineer, Salt Lake City." (Railway Age, Volume 53, Number 9, August 30, 1912, page 408)
(The extension mentioned above was not built or completed. It was meant as competition to the already existing network of spurs and branches built and used by the D&RGW, and its Copper Belt subsidiary. However, the enhine house, car repair shop and coaling station at Magna were completed.)
Utah Copper's annual report for the year ending December 31, 1913 shows the following for the Bingham & Garfield Railway:
During the year, additional trackage was constructed to the extent of 4.478 miles. The length of the main line tracks was not changed; the additional length consisting of about one mile increase in yard and siding tracks, and 3.5 miles increase in trackage at Bingham. The total mileage at the end of the year 1913 was as follows:
|Main line and branches between the vicinity of Garfield and Bingham||25.9 miles|
|Yard and siding tracks, including all terminals||35.1 miles|
|Yard tracks at Bingham (trackage rights leased to Utah Copper Co.)||41.1 miles|
Ballasting of the main line with waste from the mine was completed during the year, and a branch line was constructed from Bacchus station to the new plant of the Hercules Powder Company, now under construction. Other improvements consisted principally of an engine house at Bingham; a depot building at Bacchus station, and a dormitory, oil house, and car repair shed at Magna. Improvements were made in the water supply system, both at Bingham and Magna.
Additions to the equipment during 1913 brought the total in service up to 4 heavy type Mallet compound locomotives; 8 heavy type and 1 light type switching locomotives; 375 hopper bottom steel ore cars; 75 steel concentrate cars, and 50 hopper bottom steel general service cars, a total of 500 cars, each of 66 tons capacity, available for ore and concentrate service. In addition to the above, there are 19 wooden outfit cars; 6 flat cars; 4 cabooses; 3 tool cars; 2 passenger coaches; 1 business car; and 1 120-ton wrecking crane. Fifty additional steel ore and concentrate cars are on order, and will be delivered during the early part of 1914.
During the year, the road handled a total of 6,044,959 tons of freight, being an average of 16,561 tons per day, as compared with 3,620,750 tons and 9,893 tons, respectively, for the year 1912. Of this quantity, 5,324,114 tons were ore shipped by the Utah Copper Company, the daily average for the year being 14,587 tons, as compared with 3,381,161 tons and 9,238 tons, respectively, for the year 1912. Of the remaining 720,845 tons, 90,588 tons were ores shipped by other mining companies, and 630,257 tons consisted of commercial freight.
Throughout the year, a twice-daily passenger train service was operated between Salt Lake City and Bingham in connection at Garfield with the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. The total number of passengers handled was 134,151, as compared with 107,108 for the year 1912. There was a corresponding increase in the express business as compared with the previous year. The indications are that there will be a further increase in all classes of traffic during 1914.
Bingham & Garfield was shut down, until April 27, 1915, for lack of traffic. Copper was selling at 18.5 cents per pound, the highest price since 1907. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 30, 1915)
Utah Copper's annual report for the year ending December 31, 1914 shows the following for the Bingham & Garfield Railway:
During the year, the total length of all tracks was increased to the extent of 3.3 miles. The total mileage at the end of the year was as follows:
|Main line and branches between the vicinity of Garfield and Bingham||26.0 miles|
|Yard and siding tracks, including all terminals||32.7 miles|
|Yard tracks at Bingham (trackage rights leased to Utah Copper Co.)||46.7 miles|
No extensive improvements were made during the year.
During 1914, one heavy consolidated locomotive, 25 hopper bottom ore cars, 25 steel concentrate cars, 4 steel underframe box cars, 4 outfit box cars, and 2 steel underframe flat cars were purchased. The total equipment in service at the end of the year consisted of 4 heavy Mallet compound locomotives, 8 heavy type switching locomotives, 1 heavy consolidated engine, 400 hopper bottom steel ore cars, 100 steel concentrate cars, and 50 drop bottom steel general service cars, making a total of 550 cars, each of 66 tons capacity, available for ore, concentrate and waste service. There are also 23 wooden outfit cars, 6 steel underframe flat cars, 2 wooden flat cars, 4 cabooses, 3 tool cars, 4 steel underframe and steel body frame powder cars, 2 passenger coaches, 1 business car, and one 120-ton wrecking crane. No additional equipment will be required during 1915.
The road handled a total of 5,902,196 tons of freight, or an average of 16,170 tons daily, as compared with 6,044,950 tons and 16,561 tons, respectively, for the year 1913. Of this quantity, 4,829,877 tons were ore, 4,729,411 tons having been shipped by the Utah Copper Company and 100,466 tons by other mining companies in Bingham. The remaining 1,072,319 tons consisted of commercial freight, as compared with 630,257 tons of such freight shipped during the previous year.
A twice-daily passenger service between Salt Lake City and Bingham was operated throughout the year, in connection at Garfield with the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. The passenger business was very good during the first eight months of the year, but after that there was a large decrease. Nevertheless, the total number of passengers handled was 135,759, as compared with 134,151 for 1913. There was a corresponding increase and decrease in the express business during the same periods. The indications are that these reductions in the passenger and express business will continue as long as it is necessary to curtail mining operations.
The forced curtailment of production, beginning with the month of August, seriously deranged working conditions for awhile, but it is gratifying to observe that after operations became systematized on the reduced basis, the cost of production was not substantially different from that prevailing in connection with normal output, and the properties are ready to produce again at full capacity on short notice. In fact, notwithstanding the reduced rate of stripping prevailing during the last five months of the year, the mine is now in better shape to produce tonnage than it ever has been before.
The tracks and roadbed of the Bingham & Garfield Railway are in good condition. No important construction work is now under consideration. Some routine expenditures will be made from time to time, as further experience may indicate, to increase the efficiency and economy of the railway operations. At the mines, as the stripping work progresses, it will be necessary to continue the construction of extensions to the tracks leased to the Utah Copper Company.
Transportation of copper ore for Utah Copper was by way of the Denver & Rio Grande and by its own Bingham & Garfield. Other companies were using Utah Consolidated's cable tramway to the International smelter, and the underground Bingham Central Railway, by way of the three-mile Mascotte Tunnel to Lark. (Wegg, page 68)
Utah Copper's annual report for the year ending December 31, 1915 shows the following for the Bingham & Garfield Railway:
During 1915, the total length of all tracks was increased to the extent of 2.26 miles. The total mileage at the end of the year was as follows:
|Main line and branches between the vicinity of Garfield and Bingham||26.0 miles|
|Yard and siding tracks, including all terminals||34.5 miles|
|Yard tracks at Bingham (trackage rights leased to Utah Copper Co.)||47.1 miles|
Improvements made during the year consisted only of minor additions to operating facilities and equipment. One Jordan spreader and six, 6-wheel, side-tank locomotives were purchased, and twenty-five steel concentrate cars and one hundred hopper-bottom, all steel, ore cars were ordered.
During the year, the railway handled a total of 7,074,272 tons of freight, being an average of 19,382 tons daily, as compared with 5,902,196 tons and 16,170 tons, respectively, for the year 1914. Of this quantity, 6,101,237 tons were ore; 5,812,723 tons having been shipped by the Utah Copper Company, and 288,514 tons by other mining companies in Bingham. The remaining 973,035 tons consisted of commercial freight, as compared with 1,072,319 tons of such freight shipped during the previous year. The total number of passengers handled was 97,304. This business was affected adversely by the curtailment of operations during the early part of the year and by the competition of auto-bus services.
"Directors of Bingham & Garfield considering electrification". (Salt Lake Mining Review, July 30, 1916, page 32)
Bingham & Garfield received an order of 100-ton ore cars. (Salt Lake Mining Review, August 15, 1916, page 33)
Utah Copper's annual report for the year ending December 31, 1916 shows the following for the Bingham & Garfield Railway:
During the year, the total length of all tracks was increased to the extent of 4.131 miles, and the total mileage at the end of the year was as follows:
|Main line and branches between the vicinity of Garfield and Bingham||35.5 miles|
|Yard and siding tracks, including all terminals||33.6 miles|
|Yard tracks at Bingham (trackage rights leased to Utah Copper Co.)||42.7 miles|
Other improvements during the year included only filling of wooden trestles and making minor additions to operating facilities and buildings. Equipment consisting of six switching locomotives, one hundred hopper-bottom steel ore cars, twenty-five steel concentrate cars, and three steel tank cars, was delivered; two Mallet articulated compound locomotives, two large superheater switching locomotives, one hundred and fifty hopper-bottom steel ore cars, twenty-five steel concentrate cars, and one locomotive crane, were ordered.
During the year, the railway handled a total of 10,462,118 tons of freight, being an average of 28,585 tons daily, as compared with 7,074,272 tons and 19,382 tons, respectively, for the year 1915. Of this quantity, 9,564,283 tons were ore; 9,120,196 tons having been shipped by the Utah Copper Company, 327,426 tons by other mining companies in Bingham, and 16,661 tons by mining companies in Nevada, through Western Pacific connection. The remaining 997,835 tons consisted of commercial freight, as compared with 973,035 tons of such freight shipped during the previous year. Throughout the year a twice-daily passenger train was operated between Salt Lake City and Bingham in connection at Garfield with the Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. The total number of passengers handled was 241,488, as compared with 97,304 for the year 1915.
As an illustration of the value and insurance to the Copper Company's operations, due to its ownership of the Bingham & Garfield Railway, it need only be said that during the excessively severe winter weather of the past season this line was kept constantly open and in service, and that continuation of the Copper Company's business was entirely dependent on it for the equivalent of more than thirty full days. The other railroad, which participates normally in the transportation of ores from the mines to the concentrators, was not able to, or did not, keep its line open or operate a single ore train for different periods varying from one to eleven days, and totaling twenty-two days. Considering the situation in another way, the Utah Copper Company's operations would, but for the Bingham & Garfield Railway, have been suspended for periods totaling more than a month, in which time it earned an amount of money exceeding the original cost of the railway's entire main line, yards and sidings. The property and improvements of both the Copper Company and the Railway Company have been maintained in perfect physical and operating condition, notwithstanding the heavy duty imposed upon them, and, barring additional equipment necessary to keep pace with added mill tonnages, both the mine and the railway are in a position to meet any requirement more rapidly than the mills can possibly be increased in capacity.
The following comes from Moody's Analyses of Investments, Steam Railroads, 1917 for Bingham & Garfield Railway:
History: Incorporated under Utah laws July 8, 1908, and road opened Oct. 1, 1011. Company is controlled by the Utah Copper Co., and its business is primarily that of carrying ore from Bingham Canyon to the mills and smelter at Garfield.
Location: Line of road: Bingham to Garfield. Utah, and mines, 35.60 miles; spurs and sidings. 66.94 miles, making 102.54 miles. At Garfield, the line connects with that of the Los Angeles & Salt Lake R.R. Equipment owned: 19 locomotives, 2 passenger and 631 freight and company cars. (Moody's Analyses of Investments, Steam Railroads, 1917, page 793)
Bingham & Garfield increased its stock to $10 Million to finance electrification. (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 15, 1917, page 56) Board of Directors was to make a decision of electrification. Construction would not start for at least six months due to unavailability of electrical components from General Electric. (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 30, 1917, page 34)
Bingham & Garfield hauled an average of 32,019 tons of copper ore per day. (Kennecott Historical Index)
March 21, 1918
The United States Railway Administration (USRA) took over the operation of America’s railroads (including Bingham & Garfield) to improve the efficiency of America’s railroads during World War I. It continued to operate and “administer” the railroads until March 1, 1920.
September 20, 1918
The Utah Public Utilities Commission approved the B&G application to discontinue commuter shuttle train service between Garfield and the Magna Mill of Utah Copper Company. Approved September 20, 1918, to take effect September 28, 1918. (Utah Public Service Commission, Case Number 88)
March 1, 1920
The United States Railway Administration (USRA) returned control of the nation's railroads (including Bingham & Garfield), from government control due to World War I, back to the railroad companies. Included in the enabling Esch–Cummins Act was a provision to allow the ICC to control the railroads profits and rate of return for investments.
May 28, 1920
An agreement was signed for the operation of Utah Copper ore trains over the Bingham & Garfield, by Bingham & Garfield crews. (Kennecott Historical Index; Utah Public Service Commission, Case 466)
This action was taken because of an ICC ruling that half of all Bingham & Garfield earnings over six percent profit should be contributed to a fund controlled by the ICC for the advantage of other railroads in the region. This action by the ICC was the result of the Transportation Act of 1920, passed in March 1920. The Act ended government control of the nation's railroads by the fedreal USRA, as a result of World War I.
Since the B&G had a very unique relationship with Utah Copper, being a direct subsidiary, there was no way that Utah Copper was going to share *any* profits with anyone else. After that date, Utah Copper moved its own ore, using B&G crews. The locomotives were all relettered as Utah Copper (UCC), then as Kennecott Copper (KCC) after 1941 when Kennecott took full control and ownership of Utah Copper.
The following comes from Interstate Commerce Commission, Finance Docket 313 (138 ICC 45):
Under date of May 28, 1920, the carrier and the copper company entered into an agreement whereby the copper company took over the transportation of the copper company's ore from Bingham to the mills at Magna and Arthur. Other transportation was continued by the carrier as before. The carrier transferred to the copper company the equipment used in the ore transportation. Under the terms of this agreement, which, although dated May 28, apparently was not placed in operation until September 1, the copper company assumed the entire expense of running the ore trains and in addition its proportion upon a wheelage basis of expenses common to both the ore traffic and the remaining railway traffic; also its proportion upon the same basis of the amount necessary to yield a return of 6 per cent upon the value of the track and other facilities used in the ore traffic.
The purpose of the agreement was to reduce the net railway operating income of the carrier, thus avoiding the effect of the recapture provisions of section 15a. According to the record, the carrier sought to justify this step upon the theory that its line was a plant facility of the copper company and that the payment to the Government of any portion of its earnings as excess income was not within the intent of the law.
The construction of the line of railroad by the Bingham & Garfield Railway Company was absolutely essential for the successful operation of the Copper Company's mine and mills, and the railroad so constructed was in all essential features a plant facility merely of the Copper Company. The entire capital stock of the Bingham & Garfield Railway Company is owned and is a treasury asset of the Copper Company and all earnings, therefore, of the railway company ultimately pass to and become the property of the Copper Company.
In view of the fact that the Bingham & Garfield Railway Company is to all intents and purposes a plant facility of the Utah Copper Company, the legal advisers of the Railway Company were of the opinion that it was not intended by Congress that such a railroad should pay any part of any excess net earnings above 6 per cent into the general railroad contingent fund provided by Section 15a as above stated. They were of the opinion that both the Copper Company and the Railway Company were entitled, without in any way offending the letter or spirit of the Interstate Commerce Act or the Transportation Act, to make a trackage contract or agreement so that the Copper Company could transport over the railroad of the Railway Company its ores, provided always that such trackage agreement should not in any way interfere with or impair the common-carrier duties or obligations of the Railway Company, and provided further that any other mining company or individual should have the right under similar circumstances to secure a like trackage agreement or license from the Railway Company.
(Interstate Commerce Commission Reports; Volume 138; Decisions Of The Interstate Commerce Commission Of The United States; (Finance Reports); January-June, 1928, page 45)
September 1, 1920
Bingham & Garfield was removed from interstate commerce. Utah Copper purchased all Bingham & Garfield equipment at a cost of $1.3 Million. This action was taken because of an ICC ruling that half of all Bingham & Garfield earnings over six percent profit should be contributed to a fund controlled by the ICC for the advantage of other railroads in the region. (Kennecott Historical Index)
The mainline trackage agreement for Utah Copper to operate over Bingham & Garfield, using its own crews and equipment, was signed on May 20, 1920. (Kennecott notes)
(See also: Utah Public Utilities Commission, Case 466, March 29, 1922)
May 19, 1921
"The ore delivery department transported a total of 1,276,461 tons of ore, being an average of 14,183 tons per diem. The Bingham & Garfield railway, operating in its own common carrier capacity, transported a total of 159,411 tons of merchandise, freight, or an average of 1771 tons per diem." (Ogden Standard Examiner, May 19, 1921, citing the 1920 Utah Copper annual report)
December 3, 1921
All passenger service over the Bingham & Garfield was discontinued. From 1911 to 1921 the B&G carried 2,442,726 passengers. (Kennecott Historical Index)
February 15, 1922
The Utah Public Service Commission approved the B&G application to discontinue passenger service. Passenger service was being provided using one passenger coach. That one coach would be replaced by the railway company taking any passengers in the caboose of freight trains. (Utah Public Service Commission, Case Number 476)
The Magna and Arthur dumper yards were electrified, using 600 volts DC, and the two 70-ton locomotives go into service, one at Magna on September 8th and the other at Arthur on September 10th. (The two locomotives were purchased second-hand from Manufacturer's Railway in St. Louis.)
(These two locomotives may, or may not have been designated as B&G locomotives, they were operated by B&G crews at the time of the strike in January 1945.)
July 1, 1928
The mileage of B&G was 35.75 miles, including spur tracks, with an additional 50.03 miles of yard tracks and sidings leased to Utah Copper Company. Total mileage was 85.78. (Poors 1929 Manual of Railroads, page 951)
September 23, 1929
Electric locomotives placed in service in Bingham & Garfield Bingham yard as switchers. (Kennecott Historical Index)
February 15, 1942
Utah Copper locomotive 105 had a boiler explosion that killed both the engineer, Joseph Poulsen, and the fireman, Rhys Thomas. The brakeman, Edward Anderson suffered minor burns because of his location in the brakeman's shanty atop the locomotive tender. The explosion took place at 8:05 a.m. on Saturday February 15, 1942 while the locomotive was inside Tunnel No. 3 on the former Bingham & Garfield line in Bingham Canyon. The locomotive was at the head of a train of 52 empty ore cars returning to the Bingham copper mine from the mill at Magna. (Salt Lake Telegram, February 21, 1942) The usual operating practice was for the locomotive to travel tender first when returning to the mine, putting the brakeman ahead of the locomotive when the explosion took place.
Bingham & Garfield received its first diesel-electric locomotive, an American Model S-2, road number 800 (Alco construction serial number 69908). The locomotive was transferred to Kennecott's Chino, New Mexico operation in 1949, after the arrival of RS-2 number 902. (Ardinger locomotive roster)
Bingham & Garfield received a Baldwin Model VO1000, road number 801 (Baldwin construction serial number 64731). The unit was transferred to Kennecott's Nevada operation in 1944. (Ardinger locomotive roster)
Bingham & Garfield received a second Baldwin VO1000, road number 803 (Baldwin construction serial number 64743). Transferred to Nevada in 1948. (Ardinger locomotive roster)
Bingham & Garfield received a unique, one-only 128-ton GE center-cab locomotive, road number 802 (GE construction serial number 15634). Later changed to road number 900. (Ardinger locomotive roster)
Supposedly an additional order was placed with Baldwin for two very large steam locomotives of the 2-8-8-4 type (very similar to B&O's EM-1 2-8-8-4, known as "Eastern Yellowstones"). This proposed purchase was mentioned in a lengthy 40-page article on the history of Mallets by Henry B. Comstock (who as also editor at the time) in the March 1944 edition of Railroad Magazine, page 42. (Railway Preservation News, "The 26th and 27th EM-1 2-8-8-4s," July 9, 2011)
"As we go to press, twenty-two more 2-8-8-4s are being built by Baldwin, of which an even score will go to the Baltimore & Ohio and the others to the Bingham & Garfield. A profile drawing of the B&O machine appears on pages 44 and 45. She will have twenty-four by thirty-two-inch cylinders, sixty-four-inch drivers, two hundred and thirty-five pounds' boiler pressure, and a tractive effort of 115,000 pounds. Total engine weight is estimated at around three hundred and twenty tons." (Railroad magazine, March 1944, page 42)
Later research found that the two additional locomotives for Bingham & Garfield were canceled by the War Production Board.
As a result of a labor dispute, on January 25, 1945 the U. S. Army took over the operations of Utah Copper subsidiary Bingham & Garfield Railway. The strike had started 12 hours previously, and the government control was authorized by President Roosevelt because of Utah Copper's vital place in the war effort, producing 30 percent of the nation's copper output. The strike on B&G itself stemmed from a walkout by six B&G employees over B&G's refusal to hire a "helper" for each engineer on electric locomotives which were to haul copper ore between the Bingham mine and the mills at Magna and Arthur. Negotiations were under way for the operation of Utah Copper's new railroad, which was to use electric locomotives instead of B&G's current steam locomotives. (New York Times, January 26, 1945)
The strike was reported as starting at 12:01 a.m. on January 25, 1945, when 37 engineers and firemen walked off the job in defiance of a recommendation from an emergency arbitration board appointed by President Roosevelt. The strike caused a six-hour shutdown of the Bingham & Garfield Railway, but employees on duty remained at their duty stations until the end of their shift, which was at either 6 or 7 a.m., making the length of actual interruption just two hours before the U. S. Army, under orders of the Secretary of War, took over the operation of the railroad at 10 a.m. The employees returned to duty at 12 noon.
The dispute started in May 1944 when the operating union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen made a demand for 11 changes to the operating agreement between the union and the railroad. The railroad agreed to nine of the 11 changes, but refused two, which included adding a helper (fireman) to the three electric locomotives being used by B&G, two at the Magna and Arthur dumpers, used on three shifts each day, and a third at the Bingham yard, used on two shifts per day. The railroad refused the demand, since each locomotive was already assigned an engineer, a foreman, and two brakemen. The disagreement went to mediation in September 1944, but was refused by both parties in November. The President named a three-man emergency board on November 8, 1944. After holding hearings in Salt Lake City, and riding the locomotives in question on all shifts, and due to the very slow speeds of the operation in question, usually less than 12 mph, the board found in favor of the railroad, adding that all of the local electric railroads (Salt Lake & Utah, Bamberger, and Utah Idaho Central) were all using one-man crews over much longer distances, and carrying both freight and passengers. (from an undated two-page article, from an unknown magazine; includes a photo of Utah Copper no. 1001 at the Arthur dumper)
September 8, 1945
With the end of the war, the U. S. Army returned control of the Bingham & Garfield railroad to the company's owners. The government's action had been in accordance with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, to prevent a long-term strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen. The dispute had been about the need for a fireman on B&G electric locomotives operating in Utah Copper's open pit copper mine. (Railway Age magazine, September 8, 1945
May 8, 1946
"Work on the construction of the new Electrified Railroad Line (14 miles in length) to Magna was begun. It was 95 per cent completed by the end of the year." (Kennecott Historical Index, citing the Mines Annual Report, 1946, page 5)
April 1, 1948
Operations of the Copperton Low Line began, for training purposes.
April 30, 1948
"The 'Electrified Line' was placed into operation. The working force in the Ore Delivery Shops were affected by the change to Industrial Ore Haulage, effective May 1, 1948." (Kennecott Historical Index)
"The Bingham & Garfield Railway Co. ceased operation on this date at 11:59 p.m. and was completely liquidated and dissolved by decree of Court june 30, 1951." (Kennecott Historical Index)
May 2, 1948
New Copperton Low Line began operation. The maximum grade for the new line was 1.35 percent while the maximum grade of the Bingham & Garfield was 2.5 percent. The lower gradient of the new line allowed longer trains and therefore more ore to be delivered to the mills. Seven 3,000 hp electric locomotives were purchased for service on the new Copperton line; enough to operate the low line trains and to provide locomotives for the car dumpers at the two mills. To allow the new locomotives to be used on the car dumpers, the dumper yards at Magna and Arthur were converted from 600 volts DC to 3,000 volts DC (the same as the Copperton low line) and the three 85-ton (numbers 737, 738, 740) and single 100-ton (number 600) were reassigned to the Bingham pit. Number 600 was renumbered to 765 upon reassignment. (notes from interview with Jay Richardson, March 1972, upon arrival of Chino no. 4).
June 24, 1948
The federal Interstate Commerce Commission approved B&G's request to abandon its operation. (Finance Docket 16093; Approved June 24, 1948; Case not reported, listed in 271 ICC 804)
June 24, 1948
The federal Interstate Commerce Commission approved D&RGW's request to purchase the former B&G Sand Pit Spur at Garfield, Utah. (Finance Docket 16094; Approved June 24, 1948; Case not reported, listed in 271 ICC 804)
"Bingham & Garfield Railway abandoned July 1948, in liquidation." (Moody's Manual of Investments, Railroad Securities, 1951, Former Line Directory)
Bingham Canyon Railroads -- A Google Map showing the railroads that connected the Bingham mine with the mills at Magna.