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Utah Light & Traction Co.

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on July 28, 2019.

(Return to the Salt Lake City streetcars index page)

(This is a work in progress; research continues.)

Maps

Salt Lake City streetcar Routes -- Scanned maps of the routes of streetcars in Salt Lake City.

Streetcar Routes in 1921 -- A PDF of the Salt Lake City streetcar routes. Produced in 1921 by the Utah Light & Traction company, the booklet shows each of the 26 routes in detail (map and text, with times), along with an over-all system map. (PDF; 19 pages; 10.5MB)

Overview

(Read more about the history and background of Utah Light & Traction and the streetcars of Salt Lake City)

Timeline

September 12, 1914
Item about financial matters of the Utah Light and Traction. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 44, Number 11, September 12, 1914, page 500-501)

Utah Light & Railway Company, Salt Lake City, Utah. -- The Utah Power & Light Company has applied to the Salt Lake City Commission for permission to purchase the Utah Light & Railway Company, which owns and operates an electric railway and electric light and power system in Salt Lake City and adjoining towns, as well as a gas, electric and power system in Ogden. This is merely a formal step. As noted in the ELECTRIC RAILWAY JOURNAL of Sept. 6, the Salt Lake Light & Traction Company has been incorporated by officials of the Utah Power & Light Company to take over the Utah Light & Railway Company, and if the plan is successful this new company will own the 98 per cent interest in the common and preferred stocks of the Utah Light & Railway Company, which is now owned by the Union Pacific interests through the Oregon Short Line. The stockholders of the Utah Light & Railway Company are to vote on Sept. 18 on the question of approving the sale of their properties. The Utah Power & Light Company, the issued stock of which is owned by the Utah Securities Company, is to own all the outstanding stock of the Salt Lake Light & Traction Company and will finance the acquisition of the Utah Light & Railway Company by means of its own treasury and securities now on band. The acquisition will give full control of the electric business in both Salt Lake City and Ogden to the Utah Power & Light Company.

Utah Light & Traction was organized as a subsidiary of Utah Power & Light, to consolidate its interests in Utah Light & Railway and Salt Lake Light & Traction. (R. W. Edwards Notes)

September 18, 1914
From Poor's Manual of Railroads, 1917, pages 256-257, Union Pacific entry:

Utah Light and Traction Co. -- The Oregon Short Line RR. Co., owned for a number of years $995,000, face value, of the bonds 99.47% of the preferred, and 95.42% of the common stock of the Utah Light and Railway Co., which owned and operated street railways and an electric light and power system in Salt Lake City; and in addition to its investment in stock, the Oregon Short Line had advanced from time to time money for the reconstruction, extension and improvement of the electric properties, so that on Sept. 18, 1914, its total investment aggregated $9,931,119. The electric properties were prosperous and in good condition, but had not proved of value to the Union Pacific System as a traffic connection or otherwise than as an investment. Advantage was therefore taken, in September, 1914, of an opportunity to settle the entire stock, bonds and debt of the Utah Light and Railway Co., held by the Oregon Short Line, for $930,010.09 in cash and $11,661,000, face value ($12,591,010 total), of 30-year first and refunding mortgage 5% bonds, secured by a mortgage (subject only to $3,816.000 underlying bonds) on tho street railways, the electric light and power system and all other properties of the Utah Light and Railway Co. The bonds and mortgages were executed by the Utah Light and Traction Co., which took over the properties of the Utah Light and Railway Co., and the bonds were guaranteed as to principal and interest by the Utah Power and Light Co. The bonds received were taken into account and are included in the assets as reported in the general balance sheet, at the amount of the investment in the old company, less the cash payment of $930,010.09. As an incident of the transaction, the Oregon Short Line RR. Co. agreed to purchase additional first and refunding 5% bonds of the Utah Light and Traction Co., similarly guaranteed, which should be thereafter issued against expenditures made prior to Sept. 1, 1915, for certain limited betterments and additions to the mortgaged properties. Pursuant to this agreement, $475,000 additional bonds have been acquired, making the aggregate amount of said bonds held Dec. 31, 1916, $12,136,000 face value. (accessed February 4, 2014 via Google Books)

September 18, 1914
An internal history of UL&T showed September 18, 1914 as the date that the property and interests of Utah Light & Railway Co. were taken over by Utah Light & Traction Co. (History of Utah Light & Traction Company, dated September 25, 1939; microfilm at University of Utah, research completed October 28, 1981)

October 24, 1914
The sale of Utah Light & Railway: "Local and eastern Capitalists associated with Utah Light & Railway Company of Salt Lake City, and Electric Bond & Share Company, of New York, have purchased from the Harriman system a controlling interest of the Utah Light & Railway Company and have organized the Utah Light & Traction Company to take over the property, the Utah Light & Railway Company passing out of existence by the transaction." (Electrical Review and Western Electrician, October 24, 1914, page 829, accessed via Google Books)

January 2, 1915
Utah Light & Traction Company leased all of its power generation and distribution systems to Utah Power & Light Company. (Utah PSC Case 6-A)

February 27, 1915
Item about control of Utah Light and Traction. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 45, Number 9, February 27, 1915, page 435)

May 7, 1916
Bettilyon Home Builders "announced several weeks ago..." that they would soon be selling one-acre lots in South Davis County, in the Val Verda development. Within 25 minutes of Salt Lake City by streetcar ride. After completion of a 250,000-gallon reservoir, the one-acre lots went on sale on May 27th. (Salt Lake Herald Republican, May 7, 1916; May 28, 1916)

(By the time the famous "Val Verda" electric sign spanning 52 feet across the entrance road was completed in the first week of September 1916, there were five homes under construction. The main road was graded and in use. The electric sign had letters that were 30-inches tall, and the sign was the only sign of its type in the Salt Lake City region. The first home was completed as a model home, and V. A. Bettilyon himself moved in as the first development's first resident. -- Salt Lake Herald Republican, September 3, 1916; Salt Lake Telegram, September 3, 1916; Salt Lake Tribune, September 10, 1916, "last week")

August 1917
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to change its schedule of rates and fares. The company had 165 cars in service and it was paying license fees on 112 cars. The following thirteen cars were obsolete and not in use: numbers 7-10 (4 cars); 84-87 (4 cars); and 150-154 (5 cars). Car numbers 119-132 (14 cars) were stored and not regularly being used. (Utah PSC Case 6-A, decided circa August 1917)

The application in Case 6-A showed the following mileage and number of cars for 1910 to the first six months of 1917:

At the time in mid 1917, the company had 165 cars in service, and it was paying license fees on 112 cars.

March 23, 1918
Item about Utah Light and Traction's own newspaper. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 51, Number 12, March 23, 1918, page 589)

September 21, 1918
News item about Utah Light and Traction falling revenue. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 52, Number 12, September 21, 1918, page 523)

September 1919
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to abandon part of its Center Street Line between Second North and Clinton Avenue, due to the city wanting to pave Second North. The Center Street Line ran from the D&RG depot at Third South and Fourth West, east to Main Street, then north to Center Street, then northerly to Warm Springs, then northerly to Beck Street to North Salt Lake. Application withdrawn for an unspecified reason. (Utah PSC Case 169)

August 7, 1920
Annual report of Utah Light and Traction comparing 1918 and 1919. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 56, Number 6, August 7, 1920, page 289)

January 18, 1921
The Utah Public Utilities Commission dismissed Utah Light & Traction Company's application to abandon and dismantle the line along Seventh South, from the east bank of the Jordan River, including the bridge over the river, to Eleventh West, then south to Indiana Avenue, then west to Cheyenne Street. The line was originally built by the Salt Lake Rapid Transit Company. The franchise was granted on May 6, 1890, and the franchise was extended on April 18, 1894. (Utah PSC Case 326)

September 3, 1921
Article, with photos and map, of Utah Light and Traction. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 58, Number 10, September 3, 1921, pages 347-351)

1922
OSL sold its interest in Utah Light & Traction Company, the streetcar line in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Poor's, 1929, p. 1051)

September 5, 1925
Item, with photo, of early mule-driven car for parade. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 66, Number 10, September 5, 1925, page 374)

September 19, 1925
Item, with photo, of Utah Light and Traction car specially painted to advertise Saltair. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 66, Number 12, September 19, 1925, page 451)

February 27, 1926
Item about Utah Light and Traction and Bamberger bus service petitions. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 67, Number 9, February 27, 1926, page 378)

May 4, 1926
Utah Light & Traction protested the operation of buses by the Bamberger Railroad that would parallel the Bamberger route between Salt Lake City and Ogden. Bamberger promised that they would not carry passengers on their buses between Salt Lake City and Centerville, thereby interfering with the business of the Traction company. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 4, 1926)

August 11, 1926
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 895, approved on August 11, 1926.

(The above change in August 1926 was the first abandonment of streetcar service on the Salt Lake City system.)

September 20, 1926
Utah Light & Traction Company discontinued streetcar service on the Centerville Line, between the Salt Lake/Davis county line and Centerville on Monday September 20, 1926. Utah Light & Traction shut down its Bountiful substation at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday September 22, 1926. The station had operated for 12 years. (Utah PSC Case 863, approval dated September 13, 1926; Davis County Clipper, September 24, 1926, page 5, "Bountiful Briefs")

October 16, 1926
Item about Utah Light and Traction replacing Centerville streetcar service with bus service. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 68, Number 16, October 16, 1926, page 747)

April 16, 1927
Article, with photos, of Utah Light and Traction work car no. 03. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 69, Number 16, April 16, 1927, page 697)

June 10, 1927
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 965, approved on June 10, 1927.

August 6, 1927
Article about Utah Light and Traction rebuilt cars, with photos and specifications. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 70, Number 6, August 6, 1927, pages 230-234)

September 14, 1927
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue North Yard Line, between North Temple and West Ninth North. (Utah PSC Case 977, approved on September 14, 1927)

September 21, 1927
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service on the Murray-Midvale-Sandy Line along State Street south of 48th South. (Utah PSC Case 982, approved September 21, 1927)

October 1, 1927
Item about Utah Light and Traction bus service to Sandy. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 70, Number 14, October 1, 1927, page 610)

October 2, 1927
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service on the Seventh South Line, along Seventh South from West Temple to Eighth West. The application was submitted because of heavy maintenance charges due to crossings over the steam roads. (Utah PSC Case 978, approved October 2, 1927)

October 15, 1927
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 979, approved on October 15, 1927.

On the same day, and in a separate case, the Public Service Commission gave Utah Light & Traction permission to operate a bus route along Highland Drive from Thirty-Third South to Holladay. (Utah PSC Case 981, approved October 15, 1927)

March 23, 1928
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1014, approved on March 23, 1928.

The Public Service Commission denied the traction company's request to discontinue service on the West Temple Line, which was single track along West Temple from Ninth South to Twenty-First South; 1.72 miles (9,093 feet) of single track.

The April 30, 1928 "Release of Mortgage" also included descriptions of the following lines:

July 9, 1928
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1038, approved July 9, 1928.

July 28, 1928
Item, with photo, of test of Salt Lake City trackless trolley in Cokes, New York on July 23, 1928. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 72, Number 4, July 28, 1928, page 167)

August 8, 1928
Utah Public Utilities Commission denied Utah Light & Traction Company's application to discontinue operation of the Mill Creek bus line. The bus operates along Thirty-Third South from Highland Drive to Twenty-Third East, then to the Mill Creek Ward House. (Utah PSC Case 980, denied August 8, 1928)

August 9, 1928
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to extend streetcar service along West Temple from Twenty-First South to D&RGW's Park City Branch, and to operate over D&RGW's tracks to Roper Yard at Fifth West and Twenty-First South. (Utah PSC Case 1056, approved August 9, 1928)

August 16, 1928
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1063, application dated August 16, 1928; canceled and dismissed by Case 1075 on April 5, 1929.

August 25, 1928
Item, with photo, about Salt Lake City trackless trolley test in Salt Lake City on August 20, 1928. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 72, Number 8, August 25, 1928, page 315)

September 8, 1928
Article, with photos, of Salt Lake City trackless trolley (photo of numbers 300 and 301). (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 72, Number 10, September 8, 1928, page 427)

February 9, 1929
Article, with photos and map, of Salt Lake City trackless trolley, including plans, specifications, and photo of no. 304 and photo of interior of car. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 73, Number 5, February 9, 1929, pages 232-236, 5 pages)

April 5, 1929
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to cut streetcar service back to Warm Springs during off-peak hours and provide streetcar service to Terminal only during rush hours. The motor bus for the Davis County Line was to connect with the streetcar at all times, either at Warm Springs or at Terminal. The motor bus service to Val Verda was to remain unchanged. (Utah PSC Case 1075, application dated November 14, 1928; approved April 5, 1929)

(Maps and photos show that "Terminal" was a wooden platform at the Salt Lake-Davis county line, which was also the north boundary limits of Salt Lake City.)

June 14, 1929
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service along Ninth East. Also to start electric coach service along First South from Main Street to State Street, then south along State Street to Third South, then east along Third South to Ninth East, then south along Ninth South to Parkway Avenue (about Twenty-Fifth South). (Utah PSC Case 1112, approved June 14, 1929)

December 19, 1929
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service along 15th East from 17th South to 21st South. Also to substitute motor bus service along the same route. Salt Lake City wanted to pave 15th East between 17th and 21st South, and Utah Light & Traction's share of the paving costs, along with the costs of rehabilitation of the streetcar line, would be $27,000.00. (Utah PSC Case 1123, application dated December 16, 1929; approved December 19, 1929)

August 1, 1930
The following comes from a supplement to Utah PSC Case 1038, approved on August 1, 1930 (unrelated to the route changes of Case 1038).

September 15, 1930
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1174, approved on September 15, 1930.

April 20, 1931
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1208, approved on April 20, 1931.

May 1931
Diagram of Utah Light and Traction Salt Lake City car barns with tracks converted for trolley bus use. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 75, Number 5, May 1931, page 248)

May 1931
Article about trolley bus maintenance for Salt Lake City. (Electric Railway Journal, Volume 75, Number 5, May 1931, page 249)

December 16, 1931
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1254, approved on December 16, 1931.

May 9, 1932
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1272, approved May 9, 1932.

July 9, 1932
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue motor bus service along Highland Drive to Holladay, from a connection with the streetcar at Sugar House, and to substitute Salt Lake City to Holladay direct motor bus service, but on a less frequent schedule. (Utah PSC Case 1284, approved July 9, 1932)

October 15, 1932
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue the Upper Road motor bus route, from 15th North and Beck Street in Salt Lake City north to Bountiful high School, at Fourth North and Main Street in Bountiful, by way of Val Verda. Motor bus No. 11 is used on the route because it has softer springs and the road is very bumpy. The Public Utilities Commission approved the application with the condition that Utah Light & Traction continue to provide motor bus service along U. S. Highway 91, north from Salt Lake City to Bountiful. (Utah PSC Case 1290, approved October 15, 1932)

December 1, 1932
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove the streetcar tracks from U. S. Highway 91 from Fifteenth North and Beck Street north to a point called Terminal, 200 to 300 feet north of the Salt Lake/Davis County line, consisting of 8,400 feet (1.59 miles) of trackage. Utah Light & Traction made the request because the Utah State Road Commission wants to widen the highway from 20 feet to 40 feet. The streetcar tracks have not been used since March 4, 1932. (Utah PSC Case 1297, approved December 1, 1932)

August 7, 1933
The Utah Public Utilities Commission dismissed Utah Light & Traction's request to discontinue streetcar service and to remove the tracks from Route No. 17, along 2nd South west from 8th West to Orange Street. The tracks were laid in 1911, with the bridge over the Jordan River put in by American Bridge Company in 1910. Car No. 11 is used on the route. Utah Light & Traction wants to discontinue the route because its crossing over the OSL is in need of repairs. (Utah PSC Case 1287, dismissed on August 7, 1933)

November 15, 1933
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to substitute gasoline motor bus service for streetcar service, to discontinue streetcar service, and to remove the tracks for Route 12, south along State Street from Ninth South to Regal Avenue in Murray. 5.57 miles of trackage. (Utah PSC Case 1432, approved on November 15, 1933)

December 1933
The crossing of Utah Light & Traction tracks along State Street with D&RGW's Park City Branch, at about 2200 South, was removed in December 1933. (D&RGW engineering drawing, dated October 9, 1944, in support of changes to Park City Branch tracks serving Bennion Gas and Oil Co., and P. V. Coal Yard No. 3, on the west side of State Street.)

October 19, 1934
The following comes from Utah PSC Case 1619; approved October 19, 1934.

The following compares Utah Light &Traction routes, as they were operated in 1933 and 1934 (From Applicant's Exhibit included with Case 1619).

(View the document; PDF; 2 pages; 1MB)

Railway (1933)
9th Ave. - 7th East
6th Avenue
3rd Avenue
East 1st South - 11th East - 15th East
East 3rd South - Capitol Hill
South 8th West - West 7th South - U.P. Depot
West 2nd South
Center St. - South 2nd West
Extra Saltair Depot
Extra Arena

Electric Coaches (1933)
9th East and 4th East
South West Temple - Wasatch Springs
West 4th North - North 5th West

Gas Motor Coaches (1933)
East South Temple
State Street
Bountiful
Holladay
15th East
West 7th South
West 2nd South
West 4th North
North 5th West
Hogle gardens (Zoo)

*****

Railway (1934)
9th Ave. - 7th East
6th Avenue
3rd Avenue
East 1st South - 11th East - 15th East
East 3rd South - Capitol Hill

Electric Coaches (1934)
9th East and 4th East
South West Temple - Wasatch Springs
Extra West 4th North (Fair Grounds)

Gas Motor Coaches (1934)
Extra Nibley Park
East South Temple
15th East - 21st South
State Street
South 2nd West - Center St. - Bountiful
South 8th West - West 7th South - West 4th North - North 5th West
West 2nd South
Highland Drive
Holladay
Extra Saltair Depot
Extra Zoo
Extra Circus

June 21, 1935
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove the streetcar tracks along Twenty-First South from Eleventh east to Fifteenth East. The tracks are no longer used because the streetcar service was replaced by gasoline motor bus service south along Fifteenth east to Twenty-First South, then west along Twenty-First South to Eleventh east. The Utah State Road Commission was making plans to widen, straighten, and resurface Twenty-First South. (Utah PSC Case 1773, approved June 21, 1935)

August 3, 1935
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service along Route 1 (Ninth Avenue Line), Route 2 (Sixth Avenue Line), and Route 3 (Third Avenue-Fort Douglas Line). The routes were described as:

August 3, 1935
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove the streetcar tracks from the following streets:

November 15, 1935
The Utah Public Utilities Commission dismissed Utah Light & Traction's request to discontinue gasoline motor bus service along Twenty-First South from Eleventh East and Twenty-First East, and along Fifteenth East from Seventeenth South to Twenty-First South. streetcar service was discontinued on March 25, 1930, as allowed in Case 1123 on December 19, 1929. (Utah PSC Case 1663, approved November 15, 1935)

July 16, 1936
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service on the combined Route 6 (East Third South) and Route 23 (State Capitol), and to substitute gasoline motor bus service on the same routes. The following description of the routes was given:

August 22, 1936
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove the streetcar tracks from former streetcar Route 1 (Ninth Avenue Line) and Route 2 (Sixth Avenue Line). Both routes were being operated with gasoline motor buses and the tracks were no longer needed. (Utah PSC Case 1888, approved August 22, 1936) (Read the application and PSC Order) (PDF; 4 pages; 1.8MB)

June 1, 1937
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove the streetcar tracks along West Temple, as follows:

July 22, 1937
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service along Routes 5, 8, and 10, all in the southeast sector of Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, described as follows:

July 22, 1937
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove the streetcar tracks along South Temple Street east from State Street to E Street, then north to Third Avenue, then east to and through Fort Douglas. Formerly used by part of Route 3 (Third Avenue-Fort Douglas Line). Street railway service had been discontinued and replaced by motor bus service in August 1935. (Supplement to Utah PSC Case 1783, approved August 22, 1937)

May 20, 1938
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to complete the following:

August 1, 1939
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue rush-hour streetcar service portion of Route 10, from Eleventh East and Twenty-First South, south along Eleventh East and Highland Drive to Twenty-Seventh South, and to remove the tracks south of Twenty-First South. Utah State Road Commission planned to improve Twenty-First South from State Street east to Eleventh East. (Utah PSC Case 2281, approved August 1, 1939) (Read the application and PSC Order) (PDF; 4 pages; 1.5MB)

May 1, 1940
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to remove streetcar tracks from Fifth South, from Thirteenth East to University of Utah stadium.

May 1, 1940
Utah Light & Traction Company petitioned the Utah Public Utilities Commission to discontinue streetcar service and remove tracks, poles and overhead wires from the following routes:

September 10, 1940
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to change Route 18 and Route 19 from streetcar service to electric trolley coach service.

November 1940
In Case 2426 the Utah Public Service Commission heard the complaint by Airways Motor Coach Lines against Utah Light & Traction Company over routing of each company's buses along Twenty-First East in the vicinity of Twenty-First South. Airways was operating a bus route from downtown Salt Lake City south along State Street to Twenty-First South, then east along Twenty-First South to Twenty-First East, then south along Twenty-First East to Thirty-Third South, then east along Thirty-Third South to Twenty-Third East, then south along Twenty-Third East to Holladay-Cottonwood. (Utah PSC Case 2426, approved circa November 1940)

Airways Motor Coach Lines filed its complaint with the Utah Public Service Commission on October 3, 1940. The complaint was to stop Utah Light & Traction from extending its bus service into Salt Lake County, beyond its existing route along 21st South between 15th East and 21st East. The complaint was approved and UL&T sued both the PSC and Airways. By December 1940 the case was pending before the Utah Supreme Court. The supreme court decided in favor of Airways on November 14, 1941, ending the monopoly held by UL&T for urban and suburban bus service. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 4, 1940; Murray Eagle, December 19, 1940; November 13, 1941; Salt Lake Tribune, November 15, 1941)

March 20, 1941
Utah Light & Traction Company received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to discontinue streetcar service on the last streetcar route. (Utah PSC Case 2449, approved March 20, 1941)

"That the abandonment of street railway service on Route No. 5 contemplated by the application, and the substitution in lieu thereof of gas motor bus service will complete the abandonment by applicant of its street railway operations insofar as the transportation of passengers is concerned."

(Read the application and PSC Order) (PDF; 12 pages; 6MB)

Utah Light & Traction had a total of 27 routes, all operated by gasoline buses, except as follows.

Also to remove tracks, poles and overhead wires from the following already abandoned routes:

Last Streetcar

February 20, 1941
The following comes from the February 20, 1941 issue of the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper.

Traction Firm Plans To Remove Rails On Seventh East Street. Announcement by the Utah Light and Traction company of plans to remove streetcar tracks from Seventh East street between Fifth South and Twenty-first South streets was seized upon Thursday by city officials as an opportunity to eliminate a traffic bottleneck on the street between Ninth South and Thirteenth South streets.

Spending $60,000 on the work this summer, George B. Thomas, Jed F. Woolley Jr. and Calvin Behle, representing the traction company, notified commissioners tracks on Third South street, between State and Tenth East streets and probably on Fifth South between West Temple and First West streets and on South Temple between Main and West Temple streets also will be removed.

Under the company's franchise, it is required to restore condition of the streets in harmony with surroundings. No obligation, it was believed by officials, will rest on the company to move the curb on the west side of Seventh East street and set it back to eliminate the traffic bottleneck between Ninth South and Thirteenth South streets.

Mr. Thomas and the others also announced plans to remove streetcars from the company's last remaining strictly passenger line about July 1. On that date 16 new 29-passenger buses will be placed in service on the line commonly known as First South and Thirteenth East streets route.

March 5, 1941
The following comes from the March 5, 1941 issue of the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper.

Bus Petition Hearing Held. Public service commission members conducted a hearing Wednesday (March 5, 1941) at the capitol on petition of the Utah Light and Traction company for a certificate of convenience and necessity to institute motor bus service east on First South street to Thirteenth East street, south to Ninth South street and return to the business district.

The utility also requested permission to abandon and remove tracks over an area covering 23 blocks, 16 of which would be between Fifth South and Twenty-first South streets on Seventh East street, four lengths of one block each from West Temple to Main street on South Temple street, from First West street to West Temple street on Fifth South street, on Main street from South Temple to First South streets, and Second South street from Main to West Temple street, and nine blocks of tracks from State street to Tenth East street on Third South street. The commission took the matters under advisement.

April 2, 1941
Utah Light & Traction was in the process of removing the streetcar tracks from the west side of Seventh East, along the edge of Liberty Park. (Salt Lake Telegram, April 2, 1941)

May 1941
The last run of the last remaining streetcar route was planned to be in May 1941, including a photograph that is on file with Utah State Historical Society.

May 22, 1941
The following comes from the May 22, 1941 issue of the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper.

State Orders Track Removal. The state public service commission Thursday (May 22, 1941) ordered the Utah Light and Traction company to complete the removal of streetcars from Salt Lake City streets by June 1, despite inability to get new buses before August.

The company reported that the Yellow Bus and Truck company, Pontiac, Mich., advised that delivery of 16 new buses could not be made before August, owing to defense activity.

The commission suggested that school vacation would free for general use buses now tied up in student transportation. The commission wrote to the Yellow bus company, asking that the commission be informed should delivery be further delayed beyond the August date.

The U L & T informed the commission that track removal on Seventh East street was complete between Seventh South and Thirteenth South streets, and under way from Fifth South to Seventh South streets. Removal from Thirteenth South street to the end of the line on Seventh East and on Third Smith streets is being delayed pending specifications on pavement.

May 31, 1941
"Streetcar Makes Last Run In S. L. Tonight." The last run of a streetcars in Salt Lake City was to take place on Saturday May 31st at 7:25 p.m., when the last car was to finish its run and head into the barn. The last route was Route No. 5, along First South and along Thirteenth East, and the streetcar was to be replaced by a motor bus. Sixteen new buses were to be delivered in August, giving the company a total of 118 motor buses and 26 trolley buses. (Salt Lake Telegram, May 31, 1941)

Although on July 28th work began removing tracks along several of the routes, the tracks along First South and Thirteenth East (Route 5) remained in place. After 16 new buses arrived in late July, the company stated that the streetcars might have to be put back into service because the buses were needed to serve the new munitions plant, where there were no tracks. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 27, 1941; July 29, 1941)

October 22, 1941
The streetcars returned to service for one day, on Wednesday October 22, 1941, to move attendees of the football game between East High and West High. streetcars held twice as many passengers as buses, and buses were needed elsewhere on the system. (Salt Lake Telegram, October 22, 1941)

February 2, 1942
The following comes from the February 2, 1942 issue of the Salt Lake tribune newspaper.

Beginning Monday, 14 of the 22 streetcars now owned by the traction company will start a trip to San Diego, Cal., to be placed in service by a transit company there to alleviate a travel problem caused by increased activity, in aircraft plants in the area.

The California transit line has purchased the cars for a nonstop express service to be established along an abandoned street railway line leading to a major aircraft plant. The line will be operated only during shift changes. Twenty-four other old streetcars have been purchased from Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Jed F. Woolley Jr., manager of the Utah Light and Traction company, said the streetcars will be loaded on railroad flat cars for their trip to the coast.

"Our streetcars could still be used to advantage in Salt Lake City but most of our tracks have been removed, leaving us without necessary facilities." Mr. Woolley said. "San Diego can certainly use them, however, so they're off for the coast."

The Utah traction firm will keep eight cars for emergency service in Salt Lake City.

August 12, 1942
There was just two scheduled streetcars in service along East First South and Thirteenth East, leaving downtown at 7:52 a.m., and 8:07 a.m. The other schedules along the same route were gasoline motor buses. The company was unable to obtain new motor buses, and had restored streetcars to limited service. The change had increased the company's capacity by 22-1/2 per cent. (Salt Lake Telegram, August 12, 1942; September 5, 1942)

October 7, 1942
Utah Light & Traction Company petitioned the Utah Public Utilities Commission for permission to expand its sole remaining streetcar line, Route 5, serving East First South and Thirteenth East streets. The petition was in response to a recent order of the Office of Defense Transportation (ODT) requesting full use of street railway lines. The expansion of streetcar service, replacing paralleling bus routes used during off-peak hours, would allow two bus routes to be shortened and connecting with the streetcar route at Ninth South and Thirteenth East, releasing two buses for use elsewhere, saving 120,000 bus-miles. Additional streetcars would be put into service along the route, with three connecting buses to be operated from Ninth South and Thirteenth East, along Thirteenth East, along Ninth South to Nineteenth East, and along Ninth South to Twenty-first East, all terminating at Twenty-first South. Streetcar service was to be expanded from the current hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The changed schedule went into effect on Sunday October 25, 1942. (Deseret News, October 7, 1942; Salt Lake Telegram, October 24, 1942)

The following comes from the October 7, 1942 issue of the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper.

Mr. Woolley pointed out in his request that the company now operates rail streetcars from Broadway and Main street, north to First South street, East to Thirteenth East street, and south on Thirteenth East street to Ninth South street. This service is provided from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is supplemented by three motor buses.

Under the new plan the streetcars will operate from 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. the following morning. Two motor buses will serve as "feeders," bringing passengers to the streetcar at Ninth South and Thirteenth East streets, meeting every other streetcar.

"We have ample streetcars to furnish all of the capacity that is needed to operate the line from Ninth South and Thirteenth East streets, including the loads brought in by the feeder buses, and there is no other place on the system where this available streetcar capacity can be used," Mr. Woolley said.

October 24, 1942
Streetcar service was expanded on Route 5 to run on 15-minute intervals, with connecting buses at East High School running on 30-minute intervals along the three routes to Twenty-first South: Thirteenth East; Ninth South/Nineteenth East; and Ninth South/Twenty-first East. During rush hours, the streetcars would operate on a 5-minute interval. There were eight streetcars available to operate on the new expanded schedule. Due to a shortage of men, the traction company had decided to employ and train women as bus operators. (Deseret News, October 24, 1942)

Utah Light & Traction advertised in the classified want ads for streetcar operators throughout February 1943.

April 14, 1944
Salt Lake City Lines, Inc., was incorporated in Utah on April 14, 1944.

July 13, 1944
Utah Light & Traction Company sold all of its transportation interests and transferred all of its rights to operate streetcars, electric trolley coaches, and gasoline motor buses to Salt Lake City Lines. Utah Light & Traction retained all of the electrical distribution system, including the overhead power distribution system for the Salt Lake City Lines' streetcars and electric trolley coaches. (Utah PSC Case 2814)

"On July 13, 1944 at 3 a.m., Salt Lake City Lines, a subsidiary of Pacific City Lines, took over the entire system. Jesse L. Haugh was president of the new company, and Glen L. Stanley, formerly manager of Pasadena City Lines, was general manager. The price paid was $675,000, and Salt Lake City Lines agreed to remove existing streetcar tracks and improve streets at a cost of $240,000. All other assets and liabilities of UL&T were taken over by Utah Power & Light on December 31, 1944. UL&T was another victim of the federal push at that time to separate transit operations from other utility functions, as well as the idea that once a system was headed toward 100 percent bus, there was no reason for utility companies to be involved any longer." (Motor Coach Age, Volume 29, Number 1, January 1987)

From the agreement between Utah Light & Traction and Salt Lake City Lines:

November 25, 1944
The Public Utilities Commission gave its approval for Utah Power & Light Company to assume the electric power interests of Utah Light & Traction Company. (Utah PSC Case 2814)

In case 2652 (file not examined), the Commission approved the consolidation of Utah Power & Light's and Utah Light & Traction's electric properties.

August 1945
Last streetcar route removed from service. Regulators had given their approval in March 1941, but the streetcars remained in operation due to World War II.

"Later in the year [1945] streetcar service came to an unplanned end. This occurred as the result of a heavy cloudburst on August 19th, which washed out some track. Since for all practical purposes the war was over, there seemed no real reason to repair the damage, and the eight remaining streetcars were retired. Route 5 buses returned to the downtown area." (Motor Coach Age, Volume 29, Number 3, March 1987)

(A review of available online newspapers does not find a reference to a severe storm in Salt Lake City that may have washed out the streetcar tracks. A storm did occur on August 19th, but the wash-out damage was reported as being near the Salt Lake City cemetery, several blocks above the streetcar tracks along First South. However, it is possible that storm damage may have occurred, and Salt Lake City Lines was looking for a reason to stop operating its last streetcar.)

(The more likely reason was that the federal Office of Defense Transportation lifted its order to end the substitution of buses for streetcars, effective on August 31st.)

Salt Lake City Lines

February 27, 1946
Salt Lake City Lines received Public Utilities Commission approval to purchase the stock, equipment, and interests of the Airways Motor Coach Lines.

Airways was incorporated in Wyoming, owned twenty-three buses, and provided all bus service south of Twenty-First South, east of Redwood Road, and west of Wasatch Boulevard to the south line of Salt Lake County. The shops were located at 29 East 900 South, between Main Street and State Street, on Ninth South.

At the time that Airways Motor Coach Lines, Inc., was sold to Salt Lake City Lines, on March 1, 1946, the Airways company owned a total of 23 buses and two trucks:

No. 1 -- 1937 Ford
No. 2 -- 1937 Ford
No. 10 -- 1937 Ford
No. 11 -- 1937 Ford
No. 32 -- 1940 Ford
No. 33 -- 1940 Ford
No. 34 -- 1940 Ford
No. 35 -- 1940 Ford
No. 44 -- 1943 Ford
No. 45 -- 1043 Ford
No. 46 -- 1045 Ford
No. 47 -- 1045 Ford
No. 53 -- 1941 Ford
No. 64 -- 1941 Ford
No. 77 -- 1942 Ford
No. 78 -- 1942 Reo
No. 84 -- 1938 Studebaker
No. 85 -- 1942 Ford
No. 86 -- 1942 Ford
No. 87 -- 1942 Ford
No. 88 -- 1942 Ford
No. 89 -- 1942 Ford
No. 90 -- 1942 Ford
Truck -- 1932 Dodge
Pickup -- 1935 Ford

Salt Lake City Lines was engaged in bus and electric coach operation in Salt Lake City. No mention was made in either application or approval of streetcar service.

The purchase price was $125,000.00 with the purchase agreement signed on February 4, 1946. The sale was finalized on March 1, 1946. (Utah PSC Case 2941)

Sources

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.

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