Utah Central Railroad of 1897, and its antecedents
Index For This Page
- Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway, 1884
- Salt Lake & Eastern Railway, 1888
- Utah Western Railway, 1889
- Utah Central Railway, 1890-1897
- Utah Central Railroad (under R. G. W.), December 1897; through end of Narrow Gauge in 1900.
By George E. Pitchard
This page was last updated on March 3, 2005.
Part 1: 1885-1889
This group of railroads was John W. Young's second effort at building narrow gauge railroads in Utah, the first having been the Utah Northern RR; the first Utah Western Ry., later the Utah & Nevada Ry.; and an early 'Salt Lake & Ogden' railroad, narrow gauge of course, intended to connect the Salt Lake City end of the first Utah Western Ry. with the Ogden end of the Utah Northern RR. This S.L.& O, does not appear to have gotten past the 'projected' stage before Young seems to have been pushed out of the Utah Northern RR, in 1875. He also lost control of the U.W. in 1878, for much the same reason as in the U.N.'s case - financial problems on the railroads, for which he seems to have been blamed (probably unjustly).
Young's 'second empire' ended up as a rather ambitious scheme to effectively encircle Salt Lake City with a narrow-gauge necklace, with the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas line on the south, east, and at least partially on the north sides of the city, with the Cottonwood branch (later the Mill Creek branch) running southerly from the southeast corner of town along the edge of the hills (i.e., the Wasatch Front).
The Utah Western Ry. was to run up the west side of town, northerly from a junction with the S.L.& Ft.D. at 8th South, and at a point about where the north-side line of the S.L.& Ft.D. (if it could be built) would intersect the U.W., the U.W. was to turn from its northerly route and run slightly north of west on a direct line to the Great Salt Lake.
Additionally, the Salt Lake & Eastern Ry. was to run east from a connection with the Cottonwood branch in the Sugar House district, up Parley's Canyon and into Park City, and continue on easterly - to Colorado!
Most of this never came to pass. The S.L.& Ft.D. did not build any trackage on the north side of the city. The Cottonwood branch ended at Mill Creek, and never went as far south as initially proposed. The two short branches from Ft. Douglas, one more or less north up Red Butte canyon to rock quarries, the other more or less east to a brewery at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, were in use for six years at most (and probably less). The Salt Lake & Eastern, after the name change to Utah Central in April of 1890, did make it to Park. City, in May 1890, and apparently some seven miles or so of track was actually laid easterly from a junction point just below Park City, into the middle of nowhere, but no service on this line appears ever to have been scheduled, and the rail was apparently taken up in a few years. The Utah Western line apparently was largely graded, all the way out to Great Salt Lake, but no track is known to have been laid thereon.
Active construction on the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas did not begin until 1886, and as much of it as would ever be done appears to have been completed in 1888. Construction on what would become the Salt Lake & Eastern began in late 1887, and was finished into Park City in May, 1890; such track as was laid eastwardly from the Park City area appears to have been laid in 1890-1891 (and was taken up, it appears, in 1894). What grading was done on the Utah Western line appears mostly to have been done in 1889, with perhaps a bit being done in 1890.
Once the standard-gauge Utah Central Railway, running south from Ogden, through Salt Lake City, Provo, et cetera, on into southwestern Utah, was merged with several other lines into the Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Ry., effective August 1, 1889, John W. Young decided to appropriate the 'Utah Central' name for his group of railroads, and effective April 8, 1890, the railroads began to be operated as the Utah Central Railway, a move which apparently caused no end of confusion (then and now!), as the locals, after 20 years, were used to referring to the north-south standard-gauge line as the Utah Central, and indeed the OSL&UN continued calling it the 'U.C. District' for some time. Young claimed the right to the name by virtue of his having suggested it back in 1869 for the first Mormon railroad project, the 'Utah Central Rail Road' between Ogden and Salt Lake City (and one of the three predecessor companies of the 1881 Utah Central Ry. that in 1889 became part of the OSI&UN Ry).
In any case, Young's narrow-gauge lines were operated as the Utah Central Ry., legally incorporated as such, though the preceding companies continued their legal existence, too, until sold in 1897, at the conclusion of the 1893 receivership, of which more hereafter.
Judging from the state of such records as still exist, Young seems to have lost interest in his Utah railroad projects along about 1891 or 1892, leaving active management to the company secretary, or to his lawyer. Financial difficulties had always been a problem, ever since the beginning of this 'second empire,' and the famous "Silver Panic" of 1893, et cetera, brought about receivership in November of 1893. During the receivership, operation of the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas line above and beyond the wye at 9th South and 10th East, to Ft. Douglas and the branches to Red Butte and Emigration canyons, was suspended - the last known operation on these lines was in 1894, after which the track lay unused until taken up in 1897. The Cottonwood branch also appears to have been shortened early on in the receivership period, leaving only that portion south from the junction with the Park City line (by now the 'main' line) in the Sugar House district, to a brick works in an area known to this day as 'the Brick Yard,' and at which time it seems to have become known as the Mill Creek Branch. (ed. note: This branch served the Salt Lake Pressed Brick Co., later Interstate Brick Co., and remained in place until the mid 1970s, albeit as a standard gauge branch for successor D&RGW. The site of the brickworks is today, the site of the Brickyard shopping mall.) Such of the easterly extension beyond Park City as had had track laid on it, lost same early in the receivership; and of course the Utah Western line never had track to lose, so far as is known.
By the end of 1897, the pruning of the branches had left the Utah Central with its main line to Park City, which ran from the R.G.W. connection, easterly along 8th South and 9th south, southerly along 10th East and 11th East, easterly up Parley' canyon, and so forth, into Park City; and the Mill Creek branch. Not much else, except a few minor spurs here and there.
When the several railroads were sold in 1897, in the winding-up of the receivership, to the reorganized company, the Utah Central Railroad, the Rio Grande Western turned out to be the backer of the new company; in early 1898, the R.G.W. officially leased the U.C.RR. for a period of 49 years. Plans were already in process for the widening of the 'Utah Central branch,' which work began in 1899 and was completed in mid-1900. The R.G.W. was taken over operationally by the D & R G in 1902, but certain legalities delayed actual merger until July 31, 1908. The next day, August 1, 1908, lease of the Utah Central RR ended with the sale of the U.C.RR. to the D.& R.G.
At an as-yet-uncertain date, but known to be before the R.G.W. took control in early 1898, a third (standard-gauge) rail was laid on the line along 8th South, et cetera, and on into the Sugar House district, apparently for the benefit of the several lineside industries then present (but now long gone, of course). In 1900, the entire remaining line was widened by the R.G.W., which necessitated several new bridges and trestles, as well as a tunnel through Parley's Summit, at Altus (indeed, the entire line over the worst part of the hill was almost entirely relocated, to reduce grades from more than 6 percent to a mere 0!). Shortly after the widening project was completed, a new line (standard-gauge, of course) was built, at the behest of the City, more or less along what is now 21st South into the Sugar House district, which made necessary some rearrangement of tracks in that area, and allowed the abandonment of the old 8th South-10th East line, this work being completed by mid-1901.
Only minor changes to the remaining trackage occurred over the next 45 years. In 1946, most of the Park City line was abandoned, leaving only a few miles in operation up to quarries at Shale, in lower Parley's Canyon, and a bit of the former Mill Creek branch, down to Brick Yard. Most of this came up in about 1962, leaving only the 'Roper Spur,' along 21st South to about 11th East, in the Sugar House district. This track has, at this writing, been out of service for several years, and is missing in spots, but it is now owned by the Utah Transit Authority, and at some future date is to become part of Salt Lake City's highly successful light-rail transit system.
Since the real point of this exercise is supposed to be a discussion of the motive power of the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas Ry. and it's associated and successor companies, perhaps it is time to get on with it...
Introduction to the Locomotive Roster
Owing to the lack of anything like decent records, this roster, such as it is, has been put together from an uncommonly large number of bits and pieces of all sorts, including (but not necessarily limited to) what little does exist in the way of records, newspaper items, letters and the like from sundry individuals connected with the railroads, territorial and state tax records, a few photographs, some bits from Union Pacific records, and so forth. Additionally, it is occasionally necessary to draw conclusions based upon this sometimes-thin evidence; where this is done, it will be explained, we think in full.
This, the final effort to be made by this writer to develop and clarify the locomotive roster of the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas Railway and its successors, should of course be regarded as entirely replacing all previous efforts in that direction.
The earliest-known 'public' notice of the locomotive (if it may be so dignified) that was to-become Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas No. 1 occurs in the Ogden Herald of February 25, 1885:
"This morning, we saw at the depot an engine which is to be used on the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway. It is one of the smallest locomotives that ever came to this country, being almost a toy in comparison with the giant iron engines in use on the Union Pacific."
Three days later, the following appeared in the Salt Lake Herald of February 28, 1885:
"The Salt Lake & Fort Douglas railroad continues its operations. An engine belonging to the company has made its appearance,..."
More than two years later, under date of April 10, 1887, an entry is made in a journal kept by John W. Young as contractor building the S.L.& Ft.D., showing that on February 28th, 1885, Engine No. 1 was carried by the D:& R.G. Western Ry. from Ogden to Salt Lake City, on D.& R.G. flatcar #8265, the engine being billed at 20,000 lbs., which at 15 cents per hundred pounds, resulted in a freight charge of $30.00.
On February 24th, 1885, Young had written to W. H. Bancroft, then Manager and Receiver of the D. & R. G. Western Ry., as follows:
"Can you furnish the S.L.& Ft.D. Ry. room for a locomotive under your sheds? Can you furnish us the necessary material to attach an air brake apparatus to our locomotive, and would it be consistent to give us the privilege to have our men put it on in your shops?"
Bancroft's reply to this seemingly cheeky request does not appear to have survived, but that he seems to have agreed, at least in part, can be seen from this item in the Salt Lake Tribune of, August 4th, 1886: "That still-born affair, engine No. 1 of the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas Railroad, has been fired out of the Western's roundhouse, and unless it is called for pretty soon, it will find its own and proper abode in the scrap-heap."
Even though track had been laid from the D & R G Western connection, near what is now 7th West and 8th South, easterly along 8th South for some distance as early as mid-August of 1886, there does not appear to have been any effort by the S.L.& Ft.D. to actually use their engine No. 1 prior to mid-November of 1886, as on the 16th of that month, the Secretary of the S.L.& Ft.D., Arthur Stayner, writes to Young (who was as usual out of town), asking "What shall be done for motive power? Shall the little engine be tried? Shall I employ Bro. McDonald as fireman to fire up and start her out?"
Finally, evidently, some effort to run this thing was made, and the really poor condition of this relic began to become apparent, for on the 20th of November Stayner writes to Young: "The Engine needs a patch on the boiler, so Bro. Croft says & so says Bro. McDonald. Shall it be done? or will you make other arrangements for power? The D&RG people have needed the round house room and have set the Engine outside."
We guess that someone, probably Robert Croft, then master mechanic of the S.L.& Ft.D., over the next few days got into the engine and noticed a few more problems, as on the 26th of. November Stayner again writes to Young: "The engine needs a patch on the crown sheet, the frame is cracked and needs mending, the links renewing and a new drive-pin." He also comments on "...the narrow tread, the drive wheels are only 3 7/8 inches including flange, and the frog openings are 4 1/4 inches." He concludes his discussion of the engine in this letter by saying "...just as soon as (the engine) is repaired so as to be tolerably safe, we will put it to work." Apparently, the repair work on the old engine was being done at the D & R G Western shops as an item in the Salt Lake Tribune of 15 December 1886 so states.
The coming of the new year did nothing to improve things; on 15 January 1887 Stayner writes to Young regarding what may have been the first actual attempt to run the old engine on the S.L.& Ft.D. track, on the 13th: "...we had just got the little Engine on the track, but she had dropped down between the rails on the wye where the rails had been spread a little by the D&RG engines,...", and then on the 21st of January, he writes: "The Engine we have tried on the track, but her pumps and valves are very much out of order, so I had her repaired. In doing this she does not open up very flatteringly and in opening up the steam boxes some of the bolts were found quite rusted and rotten, so it will be quite costly to get her in shape. The D&RG have two engines at Denver, 18-ton (sic) engines, Nos. 4 & 7, Mr. Bancroft tells me which would, he thinks, do you good service and could be bought on very reasonable terms. We have the Engine in our own house..., and are repairing her there."
Evidently, the old thing was again repaired sufficient for use, as the Salt Lake Tribune of February 5, 1887 notes: "The Lilliputian Fort Douglas railroad is now in operation, with its five-flea-power locomotive and single dirt car, hauling gravel and sand from the east bench along the south end for street grading." On the 14th of March, 1887, Stayner writes to Young: "I think the Engine will push up one loaded car at a time, and we can get along to lay our track with that."
A couple of weeks later, in the Salt Lake Tribune of 27 March 1887, it is noted that "Three flat cars and a little tea-pot of an engine of about five-flea power constitutes the munificent equipment. The tea-pot ran off the track the other day near the D&RG roundhouse. The master mechanic says one of the boys went out, put his shoulder to it and shoved it right on the track again."
On July 12th, 1887, Stayner writes to Young that 'the Engine' has been stored more than not, as the suits in progress over the rights-of-way have had the effect of interrupting construction. Then, on August 5th, 1887, Stayner writes a long letter to Young, on several subjects, including: "Fourth - An Engine; we have kept the No. 1 going and have managed with it to bring up all the material without keeping the track layers waiting. From 15 to 20 rails or 6000 to 8000 lbs. at a time we have done when we could keep moving and did not stop, but when stopped we could not start again on the hill. Consequently the engine has been put to its utmost capacity and has done well for its weight and condition. But it is dangerous to work it this way. By keeping the track in good condition and putting on an injector, doing away with the pumps which are nearly gone they are so cracked, she may work some time on the Cottonwood Branch as you designed, but she is useless on the Ft. Douglas division, it would be impossible to push up one car of coal." Stayner concludes this part of the letter by saying: "Arrangements are made for Bro. Croft to go up to Pocatello, to see the engines and make a selection..."
And that was the last that we see of the old engine No. 1 in Stayner's letters to John W. Young. Some bits of information relating to the No. 1 are to be found in a ledger and a cash book of the S.L.& Ft.D., the earliest entry being in January of 1887, and the last in October of 1887; as it was about October 30th that the first of the former Utah & Northern Baldwin moguls arrived (being the engine Croft 'selected' in August), with another coming along in early November, it seems probable that the unfortunate No. 1 was retired from active service as soon as it possibly could be - nothing showing it in service (as a locomotive) is to be seen after the arrival of the former Utah & Northern moguls.
Neither of the two reports on the condition of the motive power at September 17, 1888 even hint at the old No. 1's existence, and the last that is presently known of the old No. 1's service is contained in a letter by J. M. Whitaker, Secretary (and successor to Arthur Stayner), to John W. Young, dated June 1, 1889, part of which reports on the condition of the road's motive power, and therein he says that "No. 1 is in the pump house, pumping water in tank." That it eventually went to scrap is a virtual certainty, but nothing has so far been found to indicate when that was. The earliest available return to the Board of Equalization (for taxation purposes) is for 1894, end it does not supply sufficient information to be able to determine if old No. 1 was still in the pump house or not.
Before moving on, in this vaguely chronological progression, to the acquisition of the former Utah & Northern Baldwin moguls in 1887 and 1888, a few thoughts on the origin of the old No. 1, and what it may have been, will be offered for the reader's consideration and amusement...
We will first consider the question "Where did the No. 1 come from?" What we know is that it was hauled over the D & R .G Western from Ogden to Salt Lake City on a D&RG flatcar; and that the Ogden Herald on February 25, 1885 said "It is one of the smallest locomotives that ever came to this country,..." (emphasis added), and that it was seen by the Herald reporter 'at the depot' tends to indicate that the engine had only, just arrived in Ogden. Assuming that to be the case, then did it come from east of Ogden, via the Union Pacific, or did it come from West of Ogden, via the Central Pacific?
That the engine was carried on a D&RG flatcar from Ogden to Salt Lake City is suggestive of a couple of things, one of which is that the engine most likely came from west of Ogden, via the Central Pacific, because IF the engine had come into Ogden from the East, via the U.P., WHY trans-ship the thing to an unfriendly competitor, rather than just send it on down the U.P.-controlled Utah Central line? And, as it happens, the engine was received in Ogden and sent down over the D&RG(W) at the same time as several carloads of rail, bought from the C.P., arrived in Ogden over the C.P. (of course), and which were trans-shipped to the Western at Ogden for delivery to Young at Salt Lake City. The C.P. and the D&RG(W) having a traffic agreement at this time makes the trans-shipment at Ogden more understandable, as does remembering that the U.P. and the D&RG(W) were not on the best of terms at this time, nor had they been since the D&RG(W) line was completed to Ogden, and with the general unpleasantness further worsened by the D&RG's confrontations with the U.P.-controlled South Park line in Colorado.
So, to compound a felony by further assuming that the engine in question did come from West of Ogden, via the Central Pacific, the question obviously raised is, from how far west did it come? The available evidence indicates that we are looking for a very small and rather old narrow-gauge engine, of such light weight that it has to be an 0-4-0 of some sort, not, apparently, a tank engine, as one of the items in the aforementioned 'Cash Book' is $2.50 for a piece of "hardwood for Tender buffer" on February 8, 1887 (several months before any other engine is acquired), so if the billed weight of 20,000 lbs. (when shipped on February 25, 1885 over the D&RG Western) is anything even close to correct, including as it must a tender, the engine must then have been small indeed. Even assuming the billed weight to be nominal only, the car in question, D&RG #8265, had a marked capacity of just 30,000 lbs., which would still be rather light for engine and tender combined, even empty. And, that they both would fit on (or in, since 8265 was a 'Gondola Coal Car' a 30-foot car doesn't indicate any great length for this engine-tender combination, either.
Where, then, would one find such an engine, west of Ogden, not later than February of 1885? In Nevada is not likely, as things there seem to be rather well accounted for at present; so probably the relic in question came out of California. IF that is the case, then the most likely candidate seems to be the old "Betsey Jane" 0-4-0 with small tender that had been the Santa Cruz Railroad's first engine about a decade earlier (and apparently not new then), an engine that would seem to 'fill the bill' in every known particular, including apparent availability, as in about April of 1882; the Santa Cruz RR passed into the hands of the Southern Pacific (all but inseparable from the Central Pacific at this time), which widened the line in November 1883 as the S.P.'s Santa Cruz branch. Our friend John W. Young is known, per Salt Lake Herald of January 14, 1885, to have then been in San Francisco buying rail for the S.L.& Ft.D., which rail we know came from the Central Pacific, so it takes no great stretch of imagination to postulate that while Young was at Central Pacific/Southern Pacific offices in San Francisco arranging for some rail, he also ended up acquiring the old Santa Cruz RR engine "Betsey Jane" from its new owners - who had no use for it, and were probably more than glad to be rid of it!
So -- does anyone 'out there' know enough about the "Betsey Jane" to effectively remove her from consideration here -,and perhaps suggest another and more fitting candidate?
One more thought here, with regard to the condition of the old relic, and that is that since it was considered prudent to move this narrow-gauge engine over a narrow-gauge railroad on a flatcar, rather than on its own wheels, would in itself seem to be an indication of its condition - i.e., poor! Wouldn't a picture be a good thing? In any case, on with the story...
As noted heretofore, Robert Croft, then master mechanic of the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas Railway, went up to Pocatello in August of 1887, "...to see the engines and make a selection...". An entry in the cash book in August of 1887 shows that $30.30 was spent on a "Trip to Pocatello to examine Engines." Secretary Stayner went along on this junket, for on August 31, 1887 he writes a letter to John W. Young, from Pocatello, as follows:
"Bro. Croft recommends purchase of Engine No. 16 (39,000 lbs) @ $2,500# The price quoted was $3300, but a little pleasant conversation knocked off the $800 & gave us the Engine repaired at 2500, a great bargain."
He goes on to say "All the equipment is very cheap -- Bro. Croft thinks the Engine selected is remarkably cheap, it cost new in the shops at Baldwin's $6300# and is now in good repair, and will last with no more than 5.00 a month expense two or three years."
'A great bargain' it may have been, but nothing was done about it for more than a month. Finally, on October 8th, 1887, John W. Young, then in New York City, telegraphs to LeGrand Young (his, and the railroad's, attorney) in Salt Lake City a number of comments, including: "Croft can order best engine selected and six flat cars. Will pay cash on delivery at Ogden."
Two days later, on the 10th, a telegram is sent, over John W. Young's name, to J. S. Hickey, the Utah & Northern's Master Mechanic, at Pocatello, as follows: "On Robert Croft's report, I will take Locomotive Number Sixteen, and pay cash on delivery at Ogden, although I expect other arrangements with Manager Potter. Send Engine immediately. Will telegraph you tomorrow numbers of flats selected. Please reserve Locomotive Number Thirteen until we hear from Manager Potter. Answer immediately."
The following day, October 11th, Stayner writes a letter to Hickey, thus:
"Our Mr. Hardy, Engineer of our road, telegraphed you yesterday requesting you to put in shape and deliver at Ogden the Engine No. 16 which we got your figures on when I was up at your place in August.
"Our understanding is $2500-- for No. 16 with the wheels newly turned and such other repairs as are necessary and which you mentioned. We are informed that the money will be paid on delivery of the Engine at Ogden, as also the price of six flats.
"Please have the Engine numbered 2 (two) Salt Lake and Fort Douglas Railway –
"Notify me of the time when the engine will be ready at Ogden, and please arrange transportation for Mr. Hardy and one to select cars."
(Note - the engine was not repainted by the Utah & Northern, and was used for some time on the S.L.& Ft.D. as No. 16 before being renumbered - NOT to #2 - some time in 1888, of which more hereafter.)
Apparently, it took Young a while to make the "other arrangements with Manager Potter," but on October 27th, Young telegraphs to J. J. Burns, U.P. (purchasing) agent at Omaha, that he (Young) will take "Two locomotives, 10 flats, 3 box, 1 combination car, 1 caboose ... from U. & N. on terms proposed." The Salt Lake Herald, a morning paper, notes in its issue of November 1, 1887:: "A large number of teams were at work yesterday on the grade of the S L & F D Railway,... A new 39,000 pound engine has arrived, and several flat and box cars are on the way for use on the road." The 'new' engine was, of course, Utah & Northern No. 16, a Baldwin mogul of 1879, then but a mere eight years old.
About a week later, on November 7th, John W. Young telegraphs to Robert Croft, then in Pocatello, thus: "Bring Engine Thirteen with our cars. Bring tools for Thirteen and Sixteen." No notice of the No. 13's arrival in Salt Lake City seems to have made it into the local papers, however there is a November 1887 journal entry in the U.P. Boston office's General Journal, in the Utah & Northern equipment account, showing Utah & Northern engines 13 and 16 sold in November 1887 to the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Ry., "and are not to be replaced." This journal entry was for the purpose of crediting to the Utah & Northern equipment account the value of the two engines (#13 at $5,600, the #16 at $6,600) and does not mention the actual sale price, but from various S.L.& Ft.D. records, it is seen that the #16 cost the agreed-upon $2,500, whereas the #13 cost $3,500; the records further indicate that these two engines, together with a lot ,of "cars, rail and other fixtures, were paid for as part of a large cash payment made to the Union Pacific on February 29, 1888 - apparently the end result of the "other arrangements with Manager Potter" made in October of 1887.
We will note here the existence of a problem in the surviving records, in that there are ledger accounts, in the partial surviving S.L.& Ft.D. records, for both of these engines, which indicate that the #16 was renumbered to #3 on May 9, 1888, and that the #13 was renumbered to #2 on May 19, 1888 - BUT the number 16 appears as late as August 10th 1888 - with no indication of a concurrent use of a number 3, whereas the number 13 occurs as late as November 26th, 1888, with a number 2 occurring as early as November 15th. 1888, and appears in the same letters (three times) with a #13. Two things are indicated by this -- first, the renumbering of 13 and 16 did not occur on the dates indicated in the ledger, and second, that at least in the case of the 13, the renumbering did not occur as indicated in the ledger, either. It is perhaps worth considering that these surviving account books of the S.L.& Ft.D. are records that were created by John W. Young (and his employees) as contractor building the S.L.& Ft.D., and do not appear to have been kept with any great diligence; these records were retained by Young, not the company (which accounts for their having been a part of the John W. Young collection in the Mormon Church's Historical Department), so these books may very well not be the official 'last word' in accuracy, especially with respect to renumberings that probably didn't actually occur until after these surviving books were no longer being maintained.
On August 30, 1888, "The Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway received two new engines...", per the Salt Lake Herald of the 31st. On the same day as received, the 30th, Croft wrote to J. S. Hickey, at Pocatello: "We have just received our engines, and am a little surprised to find that there are no tools on either of the engines. As this was the understanding, that the engines were to be equipped, ... will you have the kindness to send them (i.e., the tools) to us at once,..." Also on the 30th, John W. Young wrote a letter to W. W. Riter, manager, Utah & Nevada Ry.:
"I understand that you have one of the locomotives that I purchased of the U. P. Railway. We have just received two others from the U. p., but they made a mistake and sent us one that has no air-brakes. As it is impossible for us to operate an engine with a train on our grades without air-brakes, will you therefore do me the favor to receive this engine 'that we have without air-brakes, and let us have the one that you have got a loan of from the U. P. which was purchased among the number that we formerly purchased. The grades being easy on your road, I presume you can do this without any detriment or danger." Here occurs a paragraph of pleasantries in connection with Young's recent use of the private car out to Garfield, after which Young closes with "Please answer question about locomotive to our Master Mechanic, Robert Croft."
The three locomotives involved here (the two just received by the S.L.& Ft.D., and the one on-the Utah & Nevada) were all former Utah & Northern, of course, and Baldwin moguls of 1879 or 1880, since no other class of locomotive was being sold (or otherwise being removed) from the Utah & Northern at that time - or at any other time between May 1886 and June 1889.
'Brother Riter' does not seem to have acceded to Young's polite request for an exchange of locomotives, so on September 13th, Robert Croft sends a telegram to E. T. Hulaniski, U.P. agent at Ogden: "Utah & Nevada Railway Company has been using one of our engines No. 17 about three months on their line. Now want (you) to turn it over to us. There should be a reduction made on the original price. Please answer immediately." The answer wasn't quite immediate, being on the 15th, Hulaniski sending the following to Croft: "R. Croft: foll. telegram from C. F. Resseguie, ans. to yours of 13th- 'Before giving engine to the Utah & Nevada we spent about $250.00 in repairs so the S L & Ft D Ry. are benefited rather than otherwise. We can't make any reduction in price if they take the engine. Please look out for payment."' Finally, on the 17th, Young himself sends a telegram to Hulaniski: "We want Engine No. 17, now at Utah & Nevada, turned over to us. Charge on amount paid in advance. Please give order immediately. Answer."
Apparently, the 17 was turned over to the S.L.& Ft.D. that day, the 17th of September, as there are two reports of the condition of the road's motive power on that same date, 17 September 1888, one being a rather sketchy affair by the road's master mechanic, Croft, of five engines, numbers 3, 8, 9, 13 and 17; and the other, at Young's pointed request, by F. Pierpont (who was a machinist with his own shop in S.L.C.), and showing rather better reports on the condition of four engines, numbers 3, 8, 9 and 13.
From comments in his report, Pierpont apparently made his examination of the four engines at the road's shops in Sugar House; the fifth engine, number 17, not being in the shops with the other four, was likely out on the road - and perhaps we see here the reason for the apparent urgency in getting No. 17 onto the S.L.& Ft.D.: none of the other engines were serviceable at that date.
While nothing has as yet come to light that states specifically the numbers of the engines sold to the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas in August-September of 1888, it is possible to trim the field of candidates considerably by eliminating the impossible first. Of the 16 engines of this class, in the 1885 scheme numbered 10 through 25, five were sold in the year between June 1887 and May 1888, including two, U&N 13 and 16, sold to S.L.& Ft.D. in November 1887.
The remaining 11 locomotives are shown in the system roster of June 1, 1889, with six of them, numbers 10, 12, 14, 15, 20 and 21 shown as being on the roster, and the balance of five engines, numbers 17, 19, 22, 24 and 25, tagged as "Sold", which, by analysis, is determined to have been in the year preceding the date of the roster, that is, in the year June 1, 1888 to May 31, 1889.
Of those five marked as sold, U&N 19 was sold June of 1888, leaving four, numbered as 17, 22, 24 and 25, with little, if any, records showing as to where they were sold to. What is found is a journal entry in September of 1888 (U.P. Boston office General Journal), showing the sale of engines 17, 24 and 25 at $2,000.00 each, but the buyer is not named, since this entry is intended solely to charge to the Equipment Suspense account, Utah & Northern Ry., the difference in value over the actual cash received for these three engines from whomever bought the things.
(ed. note: The following is a summary of the author's evidence that U&N 22 became Utah & Nevada 5, and that U&N 17, 24, and 25 were sold to S.L.& Ft.D.)
Of these remaining four locomotives, U&N 17, 22, 24, 25, one went to Utah & Nevada as their #5, sometime after September 1888 (newspaper accounts say April 29, 1889). The other three went to S.L.& Ft.D. in the August to September 1888 time period. That #22 ended up on Utah & Nevada comes from the fact that the tender donated to Idaho State University in 1936 by Sumpter Valley. As the paint on the tender weathered down to its original number, the #22 was clearly in evidence, leaving the known line of progression as: U&N 22 to Utah & Nevada 5 to OSL&UN 21 to OSL 1 to Sumpter Valley. Additional evidence that #22 went to Utah & Nevada as their #5, is the Salt Lake Tribune of April 30, 1889, saying that "The Utah & Nevada road received last night from the Utah & Northern, a twenty-tons, Baldwin passenger engine for use between Salt Lake and Garfield this season." This leaves U&N 17, 24, and 25 as the three sold to S.L.& Ft.D.
Therefore, the engines acquired by the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas in August and September of 1888 cannot be any other than former Utah & Northern numbers 17, 24 and 25. And none could be the former U&N #22, as we have accounted for that one, as shown above; it went to Utah & Nevada. Young is believed to have paid $2,000 each for the locomotives he acquired at that time - and former Utah & Northern #s 17, 24 and 25 are known to have been sold at $2,000 each. We do not see this conclusion as being reasonably avoidable.
Now that we have the five engines purchased from the Utah & Northern identified, it remains to renumber them for the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas, which is almost as much of a problem as identifying them in the first place.
The earliest document to show all five of the former Utah & -Northern engines is the September 17, 1888 report of condition, where the former U&N numbers 13, 16, 17, 24 and 25 appear as S.L.& Ft.D. numbers 3, 8, 9, 13 and 17. Obviously, former U&N numbers 13 and 17 have not yet had their numbers changed, while numbers 16, 24 and 25 have become 3, 8 and 9, and probably in that order, the assumption being made that the 16 has finally been renumbered to 3 in accordance with the S.L.& Ft.D. ledger accounts mentioned earlier. The renumbering of 24 and 25 to 8 and 9 is a toss-up, it could obviously go either way, and will here be taken in order simply for convenience and to be conventional. The 'why?' in this is of course is why were the 24 and 25 renumbered almost immediately, whereas the 16 wasn't renumbered until some 10 or 11 months after arrival., and the 13 hasn't yet been renumbered, either, some 10 months or so after arrival?? The answer is - we have no idea.
Between September 17, 1888 and the arrival of the Shay just shy of three months later, there are several letters, mostly by the master mechanic reporting to the secretary, that naturally mention the engine numbers of the engines the master mechanic is working on at that particular time. Croft's letter of November 5, 1888 notes that "We have five locomotives..." (not counting the out-of-service No. 1), and he mentions the #13, and a number 2, the first noted appearance of that number. Twice more the #2 and #13 will appear together in the same letter, whereas the #17 does not appear at all after the September 17, 1888 condition report. One therefore concludes that the 13 has not been renumbered to 2, but that the 17 has been given the number 2, contrary to the indicated plan in the S.L.& Ft.D. ledger accounts mentioned earlier. Now, since the #2 appears in early November 1888, and the #13 appears in late November, one concludes that in the mid-November period the engines carry numbers 2, 3, 8, 9 and 13. (ed. note: S.L. & Ft.D. 13 later became #6. Numbers 4 and 5 were left blank, apparently set aside possibly for the purchase of a couple D&RG engines in the October-November 1887 time period. Number 7 was set aside for the Shay that was delivered as #226.)
As to the Shay, per the Salt Lake Tribune of December 11, 1888, the Salt Lake & Ft. Douglas had received the day before a locomotive from Lima, Ohio, which of course was Shay c/n 226, November 22, 1888, having three 10x10" cylinders, 28" wheels, and allegedly of 28 tons weight in working order. It was a two-truck engine, what in a later days would be a Class B engine. As was Lima's practice for an engine for which no road number had been specified by the purchaser, it carried its construction number, 226, as its road number when delivered, as is shown in the builder's photograph of this engine, which also shows it was incorrectly lettered as 's.L.V.& Ft.D.RR.' by Lima. The engine arrived in the charge of H. S. Williams, of Lima, who set up the engine for initial operation and its test runs, which were to see that the engine would actually do the work Lima claimed it would do. The test was that the engine successfully handle a train of some 80 tons up the steepest grade on the line, that of 316 feet per mile, in Red Butte canyon, which the engine did, starting and stopping several times, to the satisfaction of all concerned. This test was conducted on December 20th and reported upon in the Salt Lake Herald of the 21st of December, 1888.
This was the only new locomotive acquired by the S.L.& Ft.D., and from the surviving records appears to have been invoiced at $4,725.00, not including freight and so forth. The Shay had not yet been paid for when it was quite spectacularly wrecked on January 29, 1889, in which melancholy occurrence two men were killed, and two others seriously injured. The coroner's inquest showed that the rail had been frosty; the grade steep (Red Butte canyon); the train probably too heavy, even for a dry rail; and at least one sander was inoperative!
Except for the wreck of the Shay, early 1889 seems to have passed off fairly quietly. John W. Young seems to have become interested in acquiring additional locomotives and cars from the recently-widened Connotton Valley road of Ohio, but well before any of that stuff arrived in Utah, Secretary J. M. Whitaker wrote a lengthy letter to Young, dated June 1, 1889, reporting on many things, including the condition of the motive power, as follows:
"No. 1 is in the pump house, pumping water in tank. No. 2 is in the shops for new crown stays, will be ready for road next week. No. 3 is on the road, as is also #9, and both in pretty fair condition. No. 6 is in the shops, having new side rod brasses put on, will be on the road by the 15th; No. 8, in shops, having new flues put in, two axle brasses and six new wedges put on. Tires have been 'turned up,' and new wheels will have to be put under the tender.
"The Shay engine has been in the shops for a long time, undergoing repairs of the accident. Her beams, upon which the engine rests, are straightened, axles also straightened, and new cab built. Mr. Trent has sent for the new parts, (the engine) will be put on the road in three weeks, Croft says, just as good as new. He states that it takes only half the fuel, and will do the work of any two engines we have."
This report shows engine numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 and 'the Shay,' the No. 1 of course being the antique relic relegated to pump house service. So, from this, it would appear that #13 has finally been renumbered to No. 6. Once rebuilding and repainting of the Shay was completed, it returned to service as S.L.& Ft.D. No. 7, as is shown by two known photographs, the better of which is reproduced in Hilton, "American Narrow Gauge Railroads," page 532.
Using the above 'report of condition' as a base, it is now possible to create a roster more or less as of June 1, 1889, but which effectively covers the period from the arrival of the Shay in December of 1888 through the arrival of the first of the former Connotton Valley Ry. engines in late December of 1889. There does not appear to be any change in the locomotives 'on hand' (if not in service) during this period of approximately one year, essentially the calendar year 1889:
SL&FD and SL&E Locomotives
Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Ry. and Salt Lake & Eastern Ry. Locomotives, ca. July 1889
|#||Type||Builder, c/n & date||Cyls., Drvrs, Eng Wt||Formerly||Date
|2||2-6-0||Baldwin 4562, 3/14/1879||12x18", 42", 39,000#||U&N #17||9/17/1888||$2,000|
|3||2-6-0||Baldwin 4561, 3/14/1879||12x18", 42", 39,000#||U&N #16||ca.10/31/1887||$2,500|
|6||2-6-0||Baldwin 4555, 3/8/1879||12x18", 42", 39,000#||U&N #13||11/??/1887||$3,500|
|Lima, 226, 11/22/1888||10x10", 28", 28 tons||bought new||12/10/1888||$4,725|
|8||2-6-0||Baldwin 5122, 5/31/1880||12x18", 42", 39,000#||U&N #24||8/30/1888||$2,000|
|9||2-6-0||Baldwin 5129, 6/2/1880||12x18", 42", 39,000#||U&N #25||8/30/1888||$2,000|
Remarks upon the foregoing:
a.) reason(s) for skipping over numbers 4 and 5 unknown; it may have something to do with John W. Young's desire to purchase another Utah & Northern Baldwin mogul or two; or the suggested purchase of one or two of the engines the D&RG was wanting to sell in 1887-88 (but mostly scrapped).
b.) there is no information at hand which will permit a definite assignment of ancestry to numbers 8 and 9; we firmly believe them to have been Utah & Northern numbers 24 and 25, but the above assignment is only by convention and simply for convenience, and may need to be reversed.
c.) date of arrival of No. 6, formerly Utah & Northern #13, does not seem to be a matter of record, but appears to have been about November 9th or 10th, 1887.
d.) lettering on No. 9 is known to have been changed to "Salt Lake & Eastern" in mid-November of 1888.