Utah Light & Railway Co. Timeline

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This page was last updated on December 22, 2023.

(Return to the Salt Lake City streetcars index page)


Salt Lake City Street Car Routes -- Scanned maps of the routes of street cars in Salt Lake City.


(Read more about the history and background of Utah Light & Railway and the street cars of Salt Lake City)


January 2, 1904
Utah Light & Railway Company was organized as a consolidation of Utah Power & Light Company, and Consolidated Railway & Power Company. (Utah Corporation Index 4644)

(Read a summary of the articles of incorporation)

A descriptive memorandum of the railway property was completed at the time of the organization of Utah Light & Railway Co., and showed the following:

August 4, 1904
"J. G. Jacobs is the original builder of the West Side Rapid Transit. In the beginning it was known as the Salt Lake & Utah Valley road. It was built in 1891 and the intention was to run it to the lake and establish a resort at the terminus. At the beginning it was run the full seven miles. Soon after that the panic came and the property passed into the possession of L. L. Nunn. Now it runs only to the Cannon farm in the southwestern part of the city." (Salt Lake Herald, August 4, 1904)

March 1, 1905
Report of conditions and operations for 1904. (Edwards Notes: Salt Lake Tribune?, March 1, 1905)

January 1, 1906
A listing of the tracks, buildings and equipment of the Utah Light & Railway Company.

(View the 1906 listing of Utah Light & Railway tracks, buildings and equipment) (PDF; 3 pages; 0.6MB)

October 27, 1906
E. H. Harriman closed the deal for the purchase of Utah Light & Railway Company, the street car system in Salt Lake City. Management and operation was to be turned over to the Oregon Short Line Railroad, Harriman's steam railroad in Utah, with the same directors and officers. Harriman was reported to having purchased three-fifths of the stock of Utah Light & Railway Company. (Inter-Mountain Republican, October 28, 1906, "yesterday")

December 1906
E. H. Harriman bought controlling interest in Utah Light & Railway, the street car company in Salt Lake City, operated as a subsidiary of Oregon Short Line. Most of the stock came from the LDS Church, at a reported price of over $10 million. (Arrington: Great Basin, p. 408)

March 16, 1907
Item about new car barns for Salt Lake City. (Street Railway Journal, Volume 29, Number 11, March 16, 1907, page 429)

April 27, 1907
Historical sketch of predecessor companies. (Edwards Notes: Salt Lake Tribune, April 27, 1907)

July 18, 1907
The Salt Lake City council approved Utah Light & Railway's request for unhindered permission and access to start a $3 million upgrade of all of its tracks and routes. The council, however, did deny the railway's request that it use the tracks for freight service between Midnight and 6 o'clock. The railway's attorney pointed out that the city benefited directly in the amount $40,000 in the reduction of city business-related fares from 5 cents to 4 cents, as well as another $10,000 for other city-related purposes. This included both railway and power fees. (Salt Lake Herald, July 19, 1907, "yesterday")

March 24, 1908
Seventeen new cars to arrive. (Edwards Notes: Salt Lake Tribune, March 24, 1908)

Historical sketch and description of improvements made by Harriman interests. (Edwards Notes: Salt Lake Tribune, January 3, 1909)

March 23, 1909
Murray City granted a franchise for Utah Light & Traction to operate through the city. (Utah PSC Case 6-A)

August 14, 1909
"Salt Lake City, Utah.—The County Commissioners have amended the 50-year franchise of the Utah Light & Railway Company to extend its railway from Murray to Sandy and Bingham Junction. By the amendments the company is given until Jan. 1, 1914, to complete its double track to Murray and until Jan. 1, 1911, to complete a macadam road of crushed slag. (See also: E.R.J, March 13, 1909)" (Electric Railway Journal, August 14, 1909, page 274)

September 9, 1909
Edward H. Harriman died (Wikipedia). His interest in Utah Light & Railway was held by Oregon Short Railroad.

October 1909
"Rehabilitation of the Utah Light & Railway Property" A description of the improvements made by Harriman, including a cross section of a street, a track layout drawing of the block of new car house and shops (now known as Trolley Square), and an elevation detail drawing of the end arches and roof trusses of the new car house. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 34, Number 14, October 2, 1909, page 517)

St. Louis Car Company shipped 12 new "semi-convertible" cars to Utah Light & Railway. The cars were 34 feet, 4-1/2 inches long over the corner posts, with an overall length of 45 feet, 4-1/2 inches. A photo shows car number 602. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 36, Number 27, December 31, 1910, pages 1284, 1285)

December 10, 1910
"New Shops of Utah Light & Railway Company" A description and numerous elevation and floor plan drawings of the new car house and shops. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 36, Number 24, December 10, 1910, pages 1138-1142, copied November 2, 1981)

(The original Salt Lake City RR shops at 1st South and 2nd East were later closed; Freed Motor Co. car dealership, moved to the site in November 1932, from location at 164 East Broadway, selling DeSoto, Plymouth, and Reo trucks, see Salt Lake Tribune, February 24, 1935)

December 31, 1910
Semi convertible cars for Utah Light and Railway, with photo of no. 602, from St. Louis Car Company. (Street Railway Journal, Volume 36, Number 27, December 31, 1910, pages 1284, 1285, copied November 2, 1981)

October 14, 1911
Item about wheel grader, with photo partially showing cars 101 and 102, both open single truck cars. (Street Railway Journal, Volume 38, Number 16, October 14, 1911, page 873)

June 15, 1912
Article, with photo and plan of Salt Lake City sand house. (Street Railway Journal, Volume 39, Number 24, June 15, 1912, page 1035)

July 12, 1912
The first street car traveled along the extension to Holladay, in car 606, with invited guests only. Regular service was to begin on Monday, July 15, 1912. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, July 12, 1912)

(Read more about the street car service to Holladay)

March 30, 1913
The first streetcar operated on Capital Hill. (Edwards Notes: Salt Lake Tribune, April 1, 1913)

August 28, 1913
Streetcar service to Bountiful to be extended to Centerville. (Edwards Notes: Salt Lake Tribune, August 28, 1913)

September 19, 1913
Work was completed on the extension of the Utah Light & Railway line to Centerville, but service would be delayed until the power station was completed. The contract for the power station had been awarded. (Salt Lake Telegram, September 19, 1913)

December 27, 1913
Service to Centerville started. (Ogden Standard, December 27, 1913, "this morning")

January 1914
W. H. Bancroft, who was 74 years old at the time, resigned his positions with Oregon Short Line, but retained his position as president of UL&Ry, and vice president of SPLA&SL. (Electric Railway Journal, February 7, 1914, page 338)

August 6, 1914
Salt Lake Light & Traction Company was organized by O. J. Salisbury and A. H. Parsons. (Utah Corporation Index 10792)


Initial chronology based on notes taken during a review of "Robert W. Edwards" microfilm at University of Utah library, research completed on October 28-29, 1981.

One major source are the files of the Utah Public Utilities Commission. (Read more about the Utah Public Utilities Commission)

Portions come from newspaper research completed by George Pitchard during the mid 1980s.

Research is on-going; new information is added on a regular basis, with sources cited as needed.