D&RGW Lakota Crossing
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This page was last updated on December 30, 2022.
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Lakota Crossing is located near Orem, Utah, and was where Union Pacific's rail line, completed in 1873, was crossed by Denver & Rio Grande's line when it was completed in 1882. The site is about 1/4 mile south of today's University Parkway where it crosses over the current Union Pacific and Utah Transit Authority Frontrunner tracks, and Interstate 15.
The LA&SL crossing was at D&RG/D&RGW M.P. 705.7 (from Denver).
During the period when Rio Grande Western was independent from D&RG in Colorado, its mileposts were numbered from Ogden to Grand Junction. During this time, the crossing was located at RGW Mile Post 76.5 (from Ogden).
The D&RGW crossing was located at UP M.P. 757.3 (from Los Angeles).
The Lakota name was first used in 1909 for a siding on the D&RG, about a mile south of the crossing. The siding was at first called Prospect, then in 1908 changed to Riva, then in 1909 changed to Lakota. The siding remained in D&RG and D&RGW timetables until it was dropped between 1946 and 1949. An aerial photo in 1958 shows the siding still in service as a trailing-point stub-end spur along the west side of D&RGW's double-track main, with the siding filled with hopper cars spotted at a sugar beet loading station.
The use of Lakota as the name of the crossing was first used in D&RGW timetables in 1970, and in UP timetables in 1983.
Utah Southern Railroad, a predecessor to today's Union Pacific, progressing south from Salt Lake City to Provo, completed its line between American Fork and Provo in November 1873. Utah Southern built its line up on the bench above the Jordan River narrows to minimize the cost of construction.
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway, progressing north from Provo to Salt Lake City, completed its line from Provo to American Fork in April 1882. With the easy and cheapest route between the Salt Lake valley and the Utah valley taken by Utah Southern nine years before, D&RGW chose a line adjacent to the Jordan River passing through the river's narrows.
D&RGW crossed the Utah Southern line at a location that was 4.5 miles north of Provo, putting its line west of the Utah Southern line. It was the only location where the mainlines crossed.
In later years, Utah Southern became part of Utah Central, then Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern, then Oregon Short Line. In 1903, all OSL tracks south of Salt Lake City were sold to the San Pedro Los Angeles & Salt Lake, a railroad almost fully controlled by Union Pacific after 1907. SPLA&SL was renamed as the Los Angeles & Salt Lake in 1916, then in 1937 it was made a formal part of the Union Pacific System. It remained a UP subsidiary until 1987 when it was fully merged with Union Pacific.
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway became the Rio Grande Western Railway in 1889, as an independent company away from its former Colorado owners. RGW remained independent until 1901 when D&RG bought control, and the two roads were consolidated as the single Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, as a precursor to D&RG's expansion to California by it organizing the Western Pacific to build westward from Salt Lake City. The D&RG then became the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1921.
On UP, the nearest siding to the Lakota Crossing, at M.P. 757.0 was shown in timetables as Lakeview, 0.4 miles north of the crossing. In 1943 Lakeview, at M.P. 757.4 was changed to Geneva.
On D&RGW, the crossing was M.P. 705.7, and the nearest siding was Lakota, at M.P. 704.8, about a mile south toward Provo. Lakota continued to be included in D&RGW timetables after 1938, but had been removed by the time of Salt Lake Division #133, dated March 20, 1949. (The actual change, to abandon Lakota as a siding, happened between 1946 and 1949, with employee timetables not being available for that period.)
The following comes from the February 1932 issue of Railway Signaling magazine.
In August, 1931, the Denver & Rio Grande Western, jointly with the Los Angeles & Salt Lake, placed in operation an automatic interlocking, without derails, near Provo, Utah, where the Rio Grande's single-track main-line between Ogden and Denver intersects the L. A. & S. L. single-track main line between Salt Lake City and Lynndyl. At this intersection the main track of the L. A. & S. L. is not equipped with continuous automatic block signals. The main track of the Rio Grande is equipped with centralized train control, the automatic crossing protection being located approximately midway between two controlled field stations, but is not connected in any manner with the centralized control system other than the necessary intermingling of circuits to maintain the continuity of the centralized control and the automatic block signaling. The plant was installed in September, 1931, after the Utah State Public Utilities Commission had approved an application submitted in June, 1929.
The home signals of the installation mentioned in the introductory paragraph are of the General Railway Signal Company Type SA and Exide storage batteries are used for all circuits, both operating and track. Clockwork time releases are used at the crossing for a time interval in the event it is desired to change the route. The installation was made by the signal department forces of the Rio Grande. The savings effected by the elimination of train stops represent approximately 40 per cent of the investment charges.
(View the photos from the Railway Signaling article)
The Lakota Crossing became a much busier spot on the two railroads beginning in 1942 with the construction of the Geneva steel plant as part of the war effort.
(Read more about the Geneva steel plant)
The crossing was at the south end of the Geneva area, which itself was at the north end of the D&RGW and UP lines that were essentially parallel lines between 400 South in Provo, north to 400 South in Orem (about 5.2 miles). The crossing was where the original D&RGW line in 1882 crossed the existing Utah Southern (later LA&SL, then UP), at about today's 1300 South in Orem.
North of the crossing Union Pacific had its Geneva yard, where traffic to and from the Geneva steel mill was stored and worked. The yard consisted of four yard tracks, two on each side of the single-track mainline.
October 22, 1985
Union Pacific and D&RGW exchange trackage rights on their separate lines between Ogden and Salt Lake City (D&RGW operating on UP), and between Salt Lake City and Provo (UP operating on D&RGW).
At the same time, UP and D&RGW removed the angled crossing at Lakota, near Orem, and replaced it with a switch that allowed UP trains direct access to the D&RGW mainline to Salt Lake City.
The angled crossing at Lakota was replaced by a pair of facing-point turnouts. The south turnout allowed UP southbound (railroad eastbound) trains to exit the D&RGW mainline and continue along UP's own line into Provo. The north turnout gave UP access from the D&RGW mainline to UP's Geneva yard, and customers north of the former crossing, with U. S. Steel's Geneva steel plant being by far the largest customer.
When D&RGW granted UP traffic rights between Salt Lake City and Provo in 1985, a connection was installed between the two lines at the north end of UP's Geneva yard, known by some as the 4th South Connection. The connection was about 1.2 miles north of the Lakota crossing, and allowed UP Salt Lake City-bound trains to back down into the UP's Geneva yard, then head north (railroad west) to Salt Lake City by way of the D&RGW main, preventing a backup move by UP trains along the D&RGW main at the Lakota Junction location.
The 4th South connection was in place until Spring 2022 when UP removed the switch from its (former D&RGW) mainline, although the actual connecting track remains in place. UP continues to use its former Geneva yard to stage rail cars bound to and from its former Provo Subdivision "industrial lead" that today serves numerous local customers as far north as Lehi, where the line has been cut.
Rio Grande Employee Timetables
D&RGW timetable #27, dated April 27, 1884, does not show the crossing as a location. The copy of the timetable available seems to be incomplete, meaning that the crossing may be part of any special rule or special instruction.
RGW timetable #90, dated June 10, 1890, shows the crossing as "U.C.R'y. Crossing, M.P. 76.5."
RGW timetable #14, dated August 28, 1892, does not show the crossing as a location. The copy of the timetable available seems to be incomplete, meaning that the crossing may be part of any special rule or special instruction.
RGW timetable #33, dated February 5, 1898, does not show the crossing as a specific location, but the Special Instructions state, "At the crossing at M.P. 76-1/2, Oregon Short Line trains have the right to cross ahead of the Rio Grande Western trains."
(Remained unchanged through RGW #52, dated November 1, 1902)
RGW timetable #53, dated June 21, 1903, does not show the crossing as a specific location, but the Special Rules and Regulations state, "At the crossing at M. P. 701.4, Oregon Short Line trains have the right to cross ahead of the Rio Grande Western trains."
RGW timetable #55, dated June 8, 1904, does not show the crossing as a specific location, but the Special Rules and Regulations state, "At the crossing at M.P. 701.4, S. P. L.A. & S. L. trains have the right to cross ahead of the Rio Grande Western trains."
(Remained unchanged through RGW #66, dated January 19, 1908)
D&RG timetable #67, dated November 22, 1908, does not show the crossing as a specific location, but the Special Rules and Regulations state, "At the crossing at Mile Post 701.4, S. P ., L. A. & S. L. trains have the right to cross ahead of the Denver & Rio Grande trains." (SPLA&SL changed to LA&SL in Utah Lines #87, June 13, 1918)
(A general change in milepost numbers took place in 1914, with timetable #81, but the crossing was shown in error in the Special Rules at M.P. 701.4, the new milepost for Provo. The error continued until Salt Lake Division timetable #90, dated March 28, 1920, when the rules for crossings were rearranged, at which time the crossing's milepost was corrected to M.P. 705.7.)
D&RGW Salt Lake Division timetable #92, dated October 7, 1923, shows the crossing for the first time since before 1898, showing the crossing as "L.A.&S.L. Crossing" M.P. 705.7. The Special Time Table Rules state, "At the crossing at Mile 705.7, L. A. & S. L. trains have the right to cross ahead of the Denver & Rio Grande Western trains."
(Automatic interlocking was added in 1931.)
D&RGW Salt Lake Division timetable #113, dated June 6, 1937, shows the crossing as "U.P. Crossing" M.P. 705.7. The Special Time-Table Rules states, "D. & R. G. W. and U. P. main tracks." "Automatic signals. Color Light Signals without derails. Each road governed by its own rules and special instructions." The special rules also state the following.
7-A. Automatic signals govern use of crossing with U. P. at Lakota. Normal position of home signals is STOP. A train approaching on either D. & R. G. W. or U. P. will cause the home signal governing its use of crossing to change to PROCEED position provided no other train is within the limits of the plant. If home signal does not give PROCEED indication for train which is to use crossing, trainman shall proceed to the crossing and rotate clockwork release at the crossing being governed by the instructions posted there. If, after operating clocks release, home signal continues to indicate STOP, the train will remain at signal in STOP position until it receives proceed signal from trainman while standing on the railroad crossing. Trainman must not give proceed signal until satisfied that any approaching train has stopped. Except as otherwise herein provided, "Automatic Block Signal Rules, 1927" as supplemented and revised, and Special Timetable Rules 7-I and 7-J govern.
D&RGW Salt Lake Division timetable #121, dated November 16, 1941, shows the crossing as "U.P. Crossing M.P. 705.7" and and the nearby siding of Lakota as M.P. 704.8.
(Lakota siding, at M.P. 704.8, was retired after 1946 and before 1949. The siding, which was a stub-end-spur on the west side of the double-track mainline, was the site of a beet loading station.)
D&RGW Salt Lake Division timetable #132, dated July 6, 1952, shows the crossing as "U.P.Crossing" M.P. 705.7. Special Time-Table Rules describe the rules governing the crossing.
Automatic signals. Color light signals without derails. Each road governed by its own rules and special instructions. Automatic release section has been installed 500 feet west of eastward Interlocking Home Signal on eastward main track and will be designated by a sign reading: "RELEASE SECTION." Eastward trains occupying section of track between eastward Distant Signal and release section sign for a period of eight (8) minutes or more will automatically release the Interlocker, and the Home Signal will change to Stop indication. To again clear Home Signal, eastward trains will proceed into Release Section and Home Signal should change to Approach or Proceed indication after time interrval of two (2) minutes has elapsed. If Home Signal does not change to Approach or Proceed indication after a time interval of two (2) minutes, train and enginemen will be governed by Rule 667.
D&RGW timetable #4, dated November 1, 1964, shows the crossing as "U.P.Crossing" M.P. 705.7. Special Instructions states, "D. & R. G. W. main tracks and U.P. main track." "Automatic signals. Color light signals without derails. Each road governed by own rules and special instructions."
D&RGW System timetable #8, dated October 6, 1968, shows the crossing as "U.P. Crossing" M. P. 705.7.
D&RGW System timetable #9, dated April 19, 1970, shows the crossing as "U.P. Crossing" M.P. 705.7, and as "Lakota" M.P. 705.7 in the Special Rules section. (The use of the Lakota name returned in 1970 after the nearby siding was retired after 1946 and before 1949.)
D&RGW System timetable #2, dated January 1, 1974, shows the crossing as "U.P. Crossing" M.P. 705.7, and as "Lakota" M.P. 705.7 in the Special Rules section.
D&RGW System timetable #3, dated January 1, 1977, through System timetable #6, dated October 30, 1983, all show the crossing as "Lakota XING" M.P. 705.7, and the new "Geneva XOVER" as M.P. 707.1.
D&RGW System timetable #7, dated May 4, 1986, and System timetable #8, dated May 15, 1988 (the last D&RGW timetable) both show the location as "Lakota UP JCT" M.P. 705.7, and "Geneva XOVER" as M.P. 707.1.
Subsequent Southern Pacific timetables through SP Central Region timetable #1, dated April 14, 1996 (the last SP timetable), continued to show the location as "Lakota UP JCT" M.P. 705.7, and "Geneva XOVER" as M.P. 707.1.
Union Pacific Employee Timetables
UP Utah Division timetable #10, dated September 27, 1891, shows the crossing as "R.G.W Crossing" M.P. 79.2 from Ogden. Rule 98 states, "Trains must approach the end ot double track, junctions, railroad crossings at grade, and drawbridges, prepared to stop, unless the switches and signals are right and the track is clear. Where required by law, trains must stop."
SPLA&SL timetable #27, dated October 27, 1907, shows the crossing as "R.G.W. Crossing, M.P. 753.5," and "Lake View" as M.P. 753.6. Special Rule 28 states, "At Rio Grande Western crossing 4.8 miles east [compass northwest] of Provo, trains of the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad have right over trains ot the same class of the Rio Grande Western Railway, but must stop, as provided for by rule 98-B."
LA&SL timetable #59, dated November 14, 1920, shows the crossing as "D.& R.G. Crossing, M.P. 757.3" and Lake View as M.P. 757.4 (from Los Angeles). Special Rules state, "Trains must stop at a distance not to exceed four hundred feet from these crossings and must not proceed until the way is known to be clear; two blasts of the whistle shall be sounded at the moment of starting."
LA&SL Salt Lake Division timetable #81, dated June 1, 1930, shows the crossing as "D.&R.G.W. Crossing, M.P. 757.3," with the nearby "Lakeview, M.P. 757.4." The Special Rules shows a table listing of all crossings on the division, including the crossing as, "Lake View, M.P. 757.3 " without any entry in the "How Governed" column. The following quote of Utah state law was included preceding the listing of all crossings on the division.
The Utah State Law governing movement of trains over railroad crossings at grade as follows: "All locomotives with or without trains, before crossing the main track at grade of any other railroad must come to a full stop at a distance not exceeding four hundred feet from the crossing and must not proceed until the way is known to be clear; two blasts of the whistle shall be sounded at the moment of starting; provided that whenever interlocking signal apparatus and derailing switches are adopted, such stops shall not be required. Every person in charge a locomotive, for any neglect to observe the provisions of this act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and the corporation shall be liable for all damages which any person may sustain by reason of such neglect."
LA&SL Salt Lake Division Special Rules No. 1, dated October 15, 1933, shows the same quote of the Utah state law, adding that the crossing at Lake View, M.P. 757.3, was governed by an "Automatic Interlocking Plant."
In a move that confuses the name of the crossing, the timetables show the name as R.G.W Crossing, or D.& R.G. Crossing, or D.& R.G.W. Crossing, at M.P. 737.4. But the separate Special Rules show the crossing as "Lake View, M.P. 757.3."
After 1936, the timetables used "U.P." in place of "L.A.&S.L.," reflecting the formal lease of LA&SL by Union Pacific for operational purposes.
Lakeview (or Lake View) was changed to Geneva in 1943. At some date between 1943 and 1946, Geneva siding was moved from M.P. 757.4, to M.P. 758, nearer the Geneva steel plant.
UP Utah Division Special Rules #9, dated August 1, 1949, shows the crossing as "Near Geneva (M.P. 757.3)" "D.&R.G.W. Two Tracks" "Automatic Interlocking with movable point frogs. Special Rule 98 (X)" Rule 98 (X) reads as follows.
98 (X). At Geneva, automatic interlocking M.P. 757.3, release section is located 500 feet east of westward interlocking home signal. Westward trains occupying approach section of interlocking in advance of release section sign for a period of five minutes or more will automatically release interlocking, and home signals will change to Stop indication. To again clear home signal, westward trains will proceed into release section and home signal should change to Proceed indication after interval of two minutes. If signal does not change in two minutes, Rule 615 and instructions in signal case will govern.
Westward U.P. trains or engines standing between switches at Geneva will cause signals to display Stop indication for D.&R.G.W. trains and opposing U.P. movements. To clear signals, west switch of Geneva siding must be lined for the siding.
Member of crew of Diesel-electric switch engine without cars or Sperry rail-detector car or operator of bus or track car must place selector levers in HAND position before using this crossing.
These rules remained unchanged through the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
The name of the crossing was changed to use the Lakota name in UP timetables in 1983, with System #7, dated June 12, 1983, using "near Geneva MP P-757.3," and System #8, dated November 20, 1983 using "Lakota (MP P-757.3)."
UP System timetable #8, dated November 20, 1983 shows the crossing as "Lakota (MP P-757.3)", with the following rule.
Automatic interlocking with movable point frogs, release section is located 500 ft. east of westward interlocking home signal. Westward trains occupying approach section of interlocking in advance of release section sign for five minutes or more will automatically release interlocking and signals will change to stop indication. To again clear signal, westward trains will proceed into release section and signal should change to proceed indication after two minutes. If signal does not change in two minutes. Operating Rule 612 and instructions in signal case govern, including hand operation of movable point frogs. Westward UP trains or engines standing between switches at Geneva will cause signals to display stop indication for DRGW trains and opposing UP trains. To clear signals, west switch of Geneva siding must be lined for siding. Member of crew of single unit engine without cars, rail detector car or operator of track car must place selector levers on movable point frogs in HAND position before using crossing.
By the time of System timetable #5, dated April 5, 1987, the crossing had been eliminated and the location had been changed to "Lakota Junction, MP P-757.3, CP P787," with an additional note that trains operate over DRGW between Grant Tower and Lakota Junction.
Union Pacific Salt Lake City Area timetable #1, dated October 30, 1998, and Salt Lake City Area timetable #2, dated October 29, 2000, both show the location as "Lakota Junction" M.P. 705.7, and "Geneva XOVER" as M.P. 707.1.
Union Pacific Salt Lake City Area timetable #3, dated June 16, 2008, shows the location as "Lakota Junction" M.P. 705.7, and "Geneva" as M.P. 707.1.
Nearby Stations and Sidings
Between Provo and American Fork
* Miles from Denver
** Miles from Ogden
After 1898, and until 1928, because consecutive timetables are available, only the first year of a change is shown.
D&RGW trains were governed by Centralized Traffic Control between Dern and East Roper, meaning that the Lakota crossing was also subject to CTC control.
Lakota siding, at M.P. 704.8, was retired after 1946 and before 1949.
* Miles from Ogden
** Miles from Los Angeles
|Lakeview (Lake View)||78.5||753.6||757.4||757.4|
|D.& R.G.W Crossing||757.3||757.3||757.3||757.3|
Hardy was added in 1923, changed to Hardy Beet Spur in 1949 and moved to Stations Not Shown.
Lakeview was dropped after 1941.
Geneva was added in 1946.
Vineyard was dropped after 1951.
Pipemill was added in 1954.
Pleasant Grove was dropped in 1995.