Bingham Ore Cars

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This page last updated on February 10, 2024.

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Utah Copper cars do not appear in the official guides because it was a private company, and did not participate in interstate interchange.

Eric Neubauer wrote, referring to the 1916 ICC Valuation report for Bingham & Garfield:

All Bingham & Garfield cars were sold to Utah Copper in September 1920.

The Utah Copper 500 class cars were built in 1929 by Pressed Steel Car Company. Received in September 1929.

The Utah Copper 600 class cars were built in 1936 and 1940 by Pressed Steel Car Company.

Utah Copper 600 to 1324 were built by Pressed Steel Car, and were received in August 1937 to December 1943.

The Official Railway Equipment Registers show the following rolling stock for Bingham & Garfield Railway.

Description Car Numbers Length Capacity Assigned
Dec 1922
May 1929
Oct 1937
Gondola (GB), Steel 2000-2149 29 feet, 10 inches 100,000 pounds Concentrate 150 146 108
Gondola (GD), Steel 3000-3049 37 feet, 8 inches 120,000 pounds   50 50 50

These ore cars were only used in the Bingham Canyon mine, and along the Bingham & Garfield in the steam era (1911-1948), then on the Copperton Line in the electric era (1948-1978) and the SD40-2 and GP39-2 diesel era (1978-2001). They were built to AAR standards since B&G was technically a common carrier.

Prior to 1911 when the B&G was completed as a Utah Copper subsidiary, all ore was moved by way of the RGW/D&RG which in 1905 purchased control of the Shay-powered Copper Belt Railway. When the Copper Belt went into operation in 1901 the road used steel gondolas, which were nicknamed "battleships." There are distant photos from the 1903 era showing a Shay gingerly bringing its limit of three "battleships" down to the RGW connection at Bingham.


April 1911
Bingham & Garfield began its ore haulage activities, moving copper ore from the Bingham canyon mine, north to the mills at Magna and Arthur, then the copper concentrate from the mills west to the copper smelter at Garfield.

July 30, 1914
In an article about Utah Copper operations, there was a summary of Bingham & Garfield equipment:

September 1, 1920
All Bingham & Garfield locomotives and rolling stock was sold to Utah Copper Company in a move to remove the B&G from interstate commerce.

June 1929
Pressed Steel Company delivered to Utah Copper Company, a series of steel, sealed-bottom gondolas for copper ore service on Bingham & Garfield Railway; lettered for Utah Copper (photo of UC 599).

March 1937
Pressed Steel Company delivered to Utah Copper Company, a series of steel, sealed-bottom gondolas for copper ore service on Bingham & Garfield Railway; lettered for Utah Copper (photo of UCCX 719).

The 2000-series open-top steel gondolas were still in concentrate service during the 1960s, lettered as KCC and still operating between the mills and the smelter.

The 1929 Railway Age order list documents there were 100 ore cars built by PSC, length 24'-5" (possibly 500-599?). The order date was 6-29 with delivery 9-29. There were no orders for Utah Copper Co. in the 1937 Railway Age list, but the 1936 list had 250 gondola cars built by PSC, length 24'-5". Order date 10-36 with delivery Jan.-March 1937. This order probably included car 719. All of these cars were 100-ton capacity. A check by Ed Hawkins showed no cars for Utah Copper Co. listed in either the July 1933 or July 1938 ORER, so it appears these UCCX cars were not interchanged. (Ed Hawkins, email dated September 18, 2011)

Pressed Steel Car Company went out of business abruptly in 1954. Visits to the plant PSC's subsidiary plant at Mount Vernon, Illinois, on two occasions by Ed Hawkins came up with essentially nothing. PSC purchased the Mount Vernon Car Manufacturing Co. in 1943, and Mount Vernon Car became a division of Pressed Steel Car. From all local accounts, the company records were trashed. Presumably the same thing happened at PSC's main offices in Pittsburgh. The Mount Vernon Historical Society had only a couple of items that were donated by local residents, and Mr. Hawkins could find no individuals or organizations having technical data or knowledge of an company records that were saved. (Ed Hawkins, email dated September 18, 2011)

Sale To Other Jackling Copper Railroads

In 1935 to 1941, Utah Copper Company sold at least 265 cars to Nevada Consolidated Copper Company, an affiliated mining company also controlled by Daniel C. Jackling and his associates.

On June 29, 2011, Rich Wilkens wrote:

I'm trying to find some history on a number of Ingoldsby Ore Cars which the Nevada Consolidated Copper Co. acquired from Utah Copper in the late 1930's/early 1940's. These were from the Utah Copper/Bingham & Garfield car series 1000 to 1649 but I'm not sure if they are listed as UC or B&G cars. I know some of them are Kopell cars but that's about the extent of it.

I do have most of the car renumbering but I'm stumped as far as who the builder was and when. These cars were rebuilt at the McGill, Nevada smelter in 1947 and 1948.

The following comes from Steve Swanson, via an email dated June 29, 2011:

Nevada Consolidated Copper bought 265 Utah Copper ore cars, with the first cars being purchased in 1935. The cars were from the Utah Copper car series 1000-1649 and were purchased in groups of 25 and 50 from 1935 to 1941. Referred to as the UCC cars, these cars ran under their UCC numbers for years, as late as 1946 (photos show UCC 1401 in a train of emptys). When these cars first came to East Ely, they had to have a minor change to the brake system and although the Nevada rotary dumper was constructed in 1932, the UCC cars ran with unsealed bottoms until during the 1940s these cars were rebuilt with sealed bottoms and an increased capacity with rebuilt ends. When the cars first arrived, a serious problem of overloading occurred in the pit with the shovel loaded cars.

All former UCC cars had been rebuilt and renumbered with the welded numbers by 1955, when I started in engine service at Copper Flat (in Nevada).

B&G 1000-1649 were the standard Bingham and Garfield ore cars. These cars went to Utah Copper on September 1,1920.

The Verde Tunnel and Smelter bought thirty of these cars built from the B&G plan and the Ray and Gila Valley bought thirty of these cars nos. nos. 1100-1129, but later when NCCCo. Ray Mines went back for more cars, they bought a slightly larger version of their 1000-1099 series Ingoldsby cars numbered 1200-1229. A number of these cars from both series of Ray Mines Ingoldsby cars are in East Ely today and I don't know how they got there, possibly transferred from Ray Mines in the 1970s.

I have a photograph taken at McGill in 1965 showing a standard B&G car still with its bottom not sealed and (possibly) numbered 31. So far, I have no record of the McGill captive ore cars except those cars purchased from the Nevada Northern's 200 and 400 car series. Many of the captive cars at McGill came from other railroads, such as M&StL and Great Northern The NN 400 series cars were numbered into the 3000 series at McGill and a few of those cars still exist.

I have General Manager Orders (GMOs; the equivalent of an AFE) for expenses on UCC cars that amounted to $14,000 and took six years to complete. One GMO was for approximately $4000 was for the 75 cars purchased in May 1937.

Steve Swanson has shared two folio diagram sheets from Kennecott's Nevada operations (see photos). One sheet is identified as "Ore Cars, UCCX, 1000X to 1399X" for a series of cars built by Pressed Steel Car Company in September 1917. The second sheet shows "Ore Cars, 1000-1649" with no builder or date information. In Utah, the "X" suffix on the road number denoted a car assigned to copper concentrate service between the concentrator mills at Magna and Arthur, and the Garfield smelter.

Steve Swanson shared the following information in December 2012, showing the former Utah Copper ore cars that were in service in Nevada in 1966:

My records didn't show the acquisition date of the 1256-1266, but I think they came early in '42.   These cars ran under their UCC numbers for years, don't think I will find out exactly when they were actually renumbered. I have a picture of Eng. 97 taken from the Hy 93 overpass and the first car behind the Eng. had 1400 painted end number.   The ore car fleet was to receive metal number welded on each side of the car sometime after WW II. I have more than half the UCC numbers but I haven't made it a point to find all of the original UCC numbers. Many numbers were included with information about the purchase of the cars. UCC was back charged for many worn wheels and axles. The cars were immediately sealed when put in service at NMD, changes were made to the retainer system and the old dump mechanisms were removed.   Eventual rebuildings were to include making the old tapered end more vertical to increase the  capacity.

Interesting following the fifty 700-749 series purchased new in July 1915. When cars were being sealed after the 1932 installation of the rotary car dumper, twenty five of the 700's were sealed and renumbered to 750-774. Starting in 1940 with the transfer of five cars to Hurley, numbers 701, 706, 715, 718 and 723 and then 15 sealed cars (numbers 760-774) were sold to Ray on August 22, 1942. On March 27, 1950 five drops; 700, 704, 705, 713 and 718 along with sealed car 758 were sold to Hurley. On May 1, 1950, 10 more cars sold to Hurley and again on December 14, 1950, leaving only four low numbered drop bottoms in the 700 series at East Ely.   Nevada Mines had 78 drop bottoms in 1966, seventy-four 800-879 series cars bought second-hand from the Colorado and Southern in 1926 and 1928 and the four remaining 700's.

From Utah

Road Number Quantity
In 1964
Light Weight Load Limit Date
1001-1050 44 44,000 204,000 Oct. 1935
1151-1125 70 44,000 204,000 May 1937
1126-1175 44 44,000 204,000 Nov 1938
1176-1205 27 44,000 204,000 May 1940
1206-1225 20 44,000 204,000 Jun 1940
1226-1255 28 44,000 204,000 Jul 1941
1256-1266 11 44,000 204,000 (early 1942)
Total 244      

Bingham Freight and Company Cars

Information based on the equipment diagram books of Bingham & Garfield Railway and Utah Copper Company, with later updates by Kennecott Copper Corporation.

Koppel Dump cars, B&G Numbers 80 and 81. The diagram sheet has the following note:

"U.C.Co. Mine purchased all B&G cars except 80 & 81 Oct. 1944. cars 80 & 81 sent to mines 5-3-5( )"


Photos of Bingham Ore Cars