Oregon Short Line Railroad (1897-1936)

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Union Pacific's Subsidiary in Utah

This page was last updated on November 21, 2022.

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Oregon Short Line Railway (1881-1889) (Wyoming and Idaho only)

Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway (1889-1897)

OSL Corporate History

Oregon Short Line corporate history as of June 30, 1916 (PDF; 80 pages; 22MB)


The information presented here focuses on the railroad properties and tracks. Except for a brief period in 1897-1898, Union Pacific always held full control and almost complete ownership of OSL&UN and OSL.

(Read more about UP In Utah, 1900-1996)

Oregon Short Line Railroad (OSL) and its predecessor companies operated all UP lines in Idaho, Montana, and northern Utah.

OSL was incorporated in February 1897 as a reorganization of Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway, in receivership since October 1893.

Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway was incorporated on August 19, 1889 as a consolidation of the original 1881 Oregon Short Line Railway and six other railroads operating in Utah and Idaho.

The original OSL Railway began construction in July 1881 at a connection with UP at Granger, Wyoming and was completed across southern Idaho to Huntington, Oregon by November 1884.

The original OSL Railway (and later OSL&UN) operated the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company under lease between January 1887 and October 1893.

OSL Independent From UP

On March 16, 1897, the new Oregon Short Line Railroad took possession of bankrupt Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway.

On October 13, 1898, at its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, Union Pacific was able to vote in 10 of the 15 board members on OSL's board of directors (including E. H. Harriman as Chairman), putting UP in firm control of Oregon Short Line Railroad. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 13, 1898)

These dates in 1897 and 1898 mean that the Oregon Short Line was an independent railroad, away from Union Pacific control, from March 1897 to October 1898. And with separate receivers looking after OSL affairs as early as September 1894, the concept of OSL becoming, and remaining as an independent company was firmly in place, with Salt Lake City as the road's headquarters. W. H. Bancroft, OSL superintendent, was appointed as OSL receiver in June 1895, and the concept of an independent railroad began to solidify. In these days before Harriman's control, and as early as February 1894, less than five months after Union Pacific's bankruptcy, there were plans by Bancroft and others to change the junction point at Granger, Wyoming, with major shops and yards to become the major eastern terminus for OSL. Such a change would be a reflection of the importance of the traffic coming out of Idaho, and off the Oregon Railway & Navigation company. There were comments in the Salt Lake City newspapers about Union Pacific having to consolidate its shops and yards at Evanston, and at Green River, to a new location at Granger to accommodate the changes Oregon Short Line was about to make.

Research Notes

OSL In Utah, Notes -- Research notes about the mainline and branches of Oregon Short Line in Utah.


January 9, 1897
Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway was sold at a public sale to a committee representing the reorganization committee. The successful bid was $7,185,000 and assumed obligations, bringing the total amount to $30,000,000. (Davis County Clipper, January 15, 1897)

February 1, 1897
Oregon Short Line Railroad was incorporated in Utah; articles of incorporation filed in Utah on February 9, 1897. (OSL corporate history)

February 23, 1897
The property of old Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway was sold to the new Oregon Short Line Railroad, incorporated for the purpose in Utah on February 1, 1897. On January 9, the receivers had sold the property to the reorganization committee, who then sold it to the OSL. (OSL corporate history)

March 15, 1897
The new Oregon Short Line Railroad took possession of the old Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway on March 15, 1897. (OSL corporate history)

March 16, 1897
Oregon Short Line Railroad took possession of bankrupt Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway at 12:01 a.m. March 16, 1897 (Salt Lake Tribune, March 16, 1897, "System Transferred" "New Company In Possession Of The Short Line" "Change Made Last Night") (Trottman, p. 261, gives date as "early 1897".)

Independent From Union Pacific

OSL was independent from Union Pacific from March 1897 to October 1898.

The Salt Lake Daily Tribune of March 16, 1897 also showed that OSL's principal shops were at Salt Lake City and at Pocatello, with smaller shops at Shoshone, Eagle Rock, and Battle Creek, all in Idaho, Butte, Montana, and at Lehi, Logan and Ogden, Utah.

"All locomotives of the Short Line will be at once be renumbered by the class system in vogue amongst most of the roads." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 16, 1897)

March 17, 1897
"Mr. Dunn [J. F. Dunn, Superintendent of Motive Power & Machinery, Oregon Short Line] has decided upon the renumbering of the locomotives by classes. The former Union Pacific 500 class will now be changed to 200; the 700 to 300; the 900 and 1000 classes to 400; the 800 to 500; and the 1400 to 600." "Those of the Union Pacific 400 class are on the Shoshone sidetracks and will not be repaired. In this class are the 437 and 436, many years ago the 10 and 11 of the Utah Central..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 17, 1897)

March 19, 1897
The Oregon Short Line is painting its passenger cars in 'a dark Van Dyke brown'. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 19, 1897)

March 26, 1897
The O.S.L. has completed a new station building recently at Nephi. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 26, 1897)

April 1, 1897
The first locomotive repainted and renumbered by the OSL is old 734, now 308. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 1, 1897)

April 3, 1897
O.S.L. coach number 110 came out of the shops yesterday, painted in the Van Dyke brown color, with Roman lettering and numbers in gold leaf. Coach number 121, having received the same treatment, comes out of the shop today. Number 110's first use was on the train to Juab. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 3, 1897)

April 8, 1897
"All of the excursion cars of the K.C. initial used for years on the Garfield Beach run, have been returned to the Union Pacific, and the only cars left the beach branch are the five narrow-gauge coaches of the 140 series. If the lake traffic is to be inaugurated the Oregon Short Line will have to order a number of new cars." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 8, 1897)

April 15, 1897
In the OSL engine department, 731, is now 308; 589 is now 214; and the big 843 will soon be the 400. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 15, 1897)

May 12, 1897
"The 031, business car of the Oregon Short Line, is being fitted up for service on the Utah & Nevada district, narrow gauge. This is the car used many years ago by George Thatcher when superintendent of the Utah Northern." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 12, 1897)

May 14, 1897
"Preparing for Lake Travel." "Garfield Rolling Stock being Repaired." "When the lake season opens this year the Oregon Short Line will have its narrow gauge equipment in excellent shape. All the excursion cars have been brought in and are being overhauled and repainted, with 'Oregon Short Line' in yellow letters across the upper side board. The coach 125 has came out of the shop as No. 15, and yesterday Oregon Short Line locomotive No. 1 was turned out, having been entirely overhauled and looking like a new engine. The old Utah Western No. 12 tank engine is being completely overhauled, and in a few weeks will be transformed into a service engine to be known as No. 4." "No. 3 and No. 11 were both in service yesterday, the latter having been ordered to the shops to be rebuilt and make its reappearance as No. 2. This makes four engines ready for the Garfield service, all of them being nearly as good as new. No. 1 made a trial run to Garfield yesterday, and behaved splendidly on the trip." "The private car 031 was also in the narrow gauge shops yesterday. It has been set on new trucks and will be repainted and refitted so that the beach line will always have a car to be used by the officials and visitors. The retraining coaches will also be overhauled, and when the bathing trains are put on, the company will be in a position to handle the crowds." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 14, 1897)

June 5, 1897
Item says that the OSL sold 200 narrow gauge freight cars 'the other day' to the Sanpete Valley road (corrected to Sumpter Valley; next item). (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 5, 1897)

June 6, 1897
"The Sumpter Valley was made to read in the Tribune yesterday Sanpete Valley, the item referring to 200 cars purchased from the Short Line. The Sanpete Valley is now a broad gauge, but the Sumpter Valley is a narrow-gauge in eastern Oregon." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 6, 1897)

June 6, 1897
OSL Timetable No. 1, effective 12:05 am this date; printed by the Tribune's job printing office. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 6, 1897)

June 13, 1897
"The Garfield opening," in part; "Never before has the equipment on the railroad been in such good condition. The coaches, open cars and engines have all been overhauled, repainted and relettered, and the trains will be the first ones to be marked throughout, 'Oregon Short Line.' Engine No. 4 will be out of the shops July 1st. This will give four almost new engines to the Garfield line." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 13, 1897)

June 15, 1897
Garfield Beach opens for the season today. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 15, 1897)

August 20, 1897
Item that says OSL 101, 102 and 103 were 437, 435 and 436, and before that 8, 9 and 10, respectively. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 20, 1897)

September 22, 1897
The Oregon Short Line has built new business car number 5 at the shops in Salt Lake City; now they have cars 1, 2, 3 and 5; the 4 will be built soon. Item also says they have three half-length cars (1, 2, and 3), with the 5 being the first big car. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 22, 1897)

October 16, 1897
The OSL has painted up the 437 with No. 102; the builder's plate, still on the engine, apparently, says she was built by Schenectady in 1880. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 16, 1897)

November 1, 1897
Union Pacific Railway was sold to Union Pacific Railroad, incorporated for that purpose in Utah on July 1, 1897; UPRR took possession of UPRy on January 31, 1898 (Trottman, pages 268, 269)

November 6, 1897
"An inventory is being taken of the equipment of the Utah & Nevada district (Garfield line) by Oregon Short Line officials." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 6, 1897)

November 13, 1897
The OSL has purchased two switch engines, 107 and 108, from the Montana Union; the 107 is here and the 108 in Pocatello. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 13, 1897)

January 25, 1898
The 'Railway Age' printed a half-tone (picture) of No. 800, one of the O.S.L.'s new Cooke engines. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 25, 1898)

January 30, 1898
"Mountains and Coast" column: "O.S.L. at Pocatello" - it is stated that the shops there are building two locomotives, to a six-coupled design by Master Mechanic J. F. Dunn; boilers and frames were bought in the East, but the rest is being made at Pocatello. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 30, 1898)

January 30, 1898
Car No. 3 was in the O.S.L. yards last night; it is the new No. 3, being the old No. 31 of Pocatello, and is now going to Leamington with the Lake Bonneville party. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 30, 1898)

February 13, 1898
Reference to OSL timetable No. 4, apparently recent issue. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 13, 1898)

March 6, 1898
Specifications of O.S.L. engines 800 and 801 - 21x28" cylinders, 51" drivers, 185psi, BP, and weight of 271,000 pounds. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 6, 1898)

March 26, 1898
Another reference to the two locomotives built at Pocatello; one of them was in Salt Lake City the other day - they are the first ones built by the O.S.L., and are highly regarded. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 26, 1898)

April 28, 1898
The OSL has gotten its narrow gauge equipment into shape for the annual opening of the Garfield Beach line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 28, 1898)

June 1898
OSL completed the construction of a new depot building at Farmington, Utah. Cost was $1,675.00. (OSL Additions for Year 1898)

July 11, 1898
In a move to show its new independence, W. H. Bancroft, OSL's General Manager, put into effect a passenger service agreement with RGW for interchange at Salt Lake City that would "shut out the U.P." Bancroft and general Traffic Manager Eccles had just returned from a conference with Union Pacific at Chicago concerning traffic divisions, being disappointed to have not received the same divisions OSL&UN enjoyed with UPRy.

August 19, 1898
"Superintendent J. F. Dunn has put a straight stack and new smoke consumer on one of the Garfield small engines. It is to try and abate the annoyance of cinders and smoke for lake patrons, and if successful will prove a boon to the public." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 19, 1898)

August 1898
OSL completed the construction of a connecting track with Salt Lake & Ogden Railway. (OSL Additions for Year 1899)

Controlled By Union Pacific

October 13, 1898
At its annual meeting on October 13, 1898 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Union Pacific was able to vote in 10 of the 15 board members on OSL's board of directors (including E. H. Harriman as Chairman), putting UP in firm control of Oregon Short Line Railroad. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 13, 1898)

November 2, 1898
The OSL is repairing its postal 304, baggage 501 and coach 121. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 2, 1898)

November 22, 1898
OSL 802 now being built by Cooke. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 22, 1898)

December 16, 1898
"Engine No. 802 was finished for the Oregon Short Line on Monday and left Paterson, N.J., for the West. It will arrive in about a week." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 16, 1898)

January 1, 1899
Review of 1898: The O.S.L. bought 17 engines. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1899)

January 17, 1899
Ten new Pullman cars for O.S.L. service: Alcazar, Alcade, Algonquin, Alameda, Altamont, Alpine, Alexis, Algeria, and Alcatraz. Cars are 12 section, 1 drawing room and 1 smoking room, and are intended for the Chicago-Portland run. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 17, 1899)

February 27, 1899
There was a conductor on the O.S.L. who apparently had a flair for sending poetical reports of difficulties; this one made the papers:

"Engine 503 cut up a caper,
Two miles south of Draper.
It's nothing new, she burst a flue,
Engine is dead & can't get through."

The poetic fellow was Will Havenor. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 27, 1899)

March 7, 1899
Jacob Blickensderfer died on February 28, 1899 at his farm near Lebanon, Missouri, at age 83. He began working with the U.P. in the early 1860's. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 7, 1899)

Jacob Blickensderfer was Chief Engineer of the U.P., and his son Robert was Chief Construction Engineer of the Utah & Northern during August 1882, and later a Division Superintendent on both U&N, OSL&UN, and OSL.

March 7, 1899
Engine 802 on the OSL has an extension front end and a straight stack, the only engine so equipped on the OSL. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 7, 1899)

March 21, 1899
OSL engines 750-757, ten wheelers, are about to be received; have 20x28-inch cylinders and 57-inch drivers; built by Cooke. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 21, 1899)

March 28, 1899
The O. S. L. is removing the platforms from mail and baggage cars. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 28, 1899)

March 28, 1899
Tuesday; first two engines of 720 class left Paterson on Saturday for the O. S. L. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 28, 1899)

April 1, 1899
"Turtleback 551, from Pocatello, a switcher bought from the Montana Union, is in the Salt Lake shops for repairs." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 1, 1899)

April 3, 1899
Two of eight new 700 class engines for the O. S. L. left Paterson on Sunday, March 26th, and are expected in Pocatello by April 9th. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 3, 1899)

May 1, 1899
"New Engines are Beauties," being four of the eight due for the Oregon Short Line. They are numbered 720 through 723, built by Cooke, and came out in charge of M. J. McDonald, who is now setting them up for service. Labeled as being ten-wheelers, with 28x30" cylinders and 58" drivers. The item also discusses some of the older engines, such as 316, which was previously Utah Central Railway number 3, and which has now been brought from storage at Shoshone to Pocatello to be scrapped. The O.S.L. has in service eight engines 32 years old, being numbers 202 through 207, 213 and 214, all of which were built in 1867; the 203, 204 and 213 are the oldest of the old, having been built in April of 1867. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 1, 1899)

May 1, 1899
Another "Stories of the Rail," this one concerns itself with a pair of cars that John W. Young bought of Jackson & Sharp in 1874. The plan of the cars was apparently the same, with an observation end, state room in the center and regular coach seating at the other end, the cars being fitted out with sofas, desks, easy chairs and the like. One of the cars was done up in leather, and the other in red plush. The cars were named Mauch Chunk, which was used on and the property of the Utah Western; and the St. George, which the report has it was a gift by John W. to his father, Brigham Young. When the U. P. took over the line (1881), the St George became 144, and the Mauch Chunk an ordinary coach. The 'st George' later used as a division superintendent's car; on hand in 1896 to be used by the Queen of the Midsummer Carnival; still on hand in 1897 when OSL created. In early 1897, a visiting Canadian railway official, connected with the then-new Columbia & Western, saw the car while on the way east to arrange for equipment for his road, liked the car, and bought it. It was therefore sent to Trail, British Columbia and used on that road. As that road is now about to be made standard gauge, the car is again excess. Sir William Van Horne, who was here lately and is in charge of the Canadian Pacific, which has acquired control of the Columbia & Western, says that the old car is to be sent to Montreal as a relic of pioneer railroading in the West. (Note: I suspect that there is a good deal of reality behind this interesting tale. There was a car St. George, that apparently was kept at Salt Lake for President Young's use; mention of it occurs rarely, and no information otherwise have I found on what happened to it. I believe, however, that assigning it the number 144 would be an error. Consult roster of U.W. passenger equipment.) (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 1, 1899)

May 5, 1899
"First Car Finished" OSL mail car 311 has had its platform removed, now making it 60'10" over end sills, and it is painted a rich Van Dyke brown, lettered in gold leaf. 'Chicago - Portland Special' is on the center of the letterboard, with 'Oregon Short Line' in smaller lettering at the ends of the letterboard, same as on the Union Pacific and related lines. All head-end cars are to be so rebuilt and painted. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 5, 1899)

May 8, 1899
Oregon Short Line engine number 720 visited Salt Lake City yesterday, being brought down from Pocatello for the locals to view. While always referred to as 'ten wheeler,' these engines seem in fact to be of the 2-8-0 pattern, as are freight engines. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 8, 1899)

May 9, 1899
The Oregon Short Line is planning to rebuild four of the 600 series engines (of which there are 42) to fast passenger engines, with 26" stroke and 62" drivers. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 9, 1899)

May 10, 1899
Robert Blickensderfer left the Union Pacific on June 1st, 1895; on September 1st, 1895 he became General Superintendent of the Wheeling .& Lake Erie; and was appointed Receiver thereof on 15 January 1897, and is now to be president of the reorganized W. & L. E. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 10, 1899)

May 22, 1899
The Oregon Short Line is building 40-ton capacity coal cars, matching RGW's new number 1201 and OSL's number 5000 built last fall. OSL number 5001 is about to come out. The road is also getting 250 box cars, of 30 ton capacity, and numbered in the 8000 series. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 22, 1899)

May 31, 1899
The Oregon Short Line has added a new pile driver, number 621, from the Industrial works, Bay City, Michigan. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 31, 1899)

June 12, 1899
The O. S. L. has begun to put automatic couplers on the pilots of its engines. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 12, 1899)

June 22, 1899
Garfield Beach opens today for the season. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 22, 1899)

July 4, 1899
"M. J. McDonald of the Cooke Locomotive works has returned to Paterson, N. J. His next visit west will be to accompany a number of new consolidation engines to the Short Line."(Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 4, 1899)

July 5, 1899
The OSL loaned engine number 208 to the Salt Lake & Los Angeles for yesterday's traffic to the Saltair resort. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 5, 1899)

July 8, 1899
OSL's 720 class of engines have all been received. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 8, 1899)

July 16, 1899
The OSL's Salt Lake shops have turned out their engine 1029, as Boise, Nampa & Owyhee engine number 3, named 'Col. W. H. Dewey'. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 16, 1899)

August 9, 1899
"Short Line's New Engines" are briefly summarized; eight of the 720 class are now running; eight of the 750 class are in transit; and seven of the 900 class and four of the 1000 class are now being built by Cooke, at Paterson, New Jersey. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 9, 1899)

August 23, 1899
Two of 750 class engines have arrived at Pocatello. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 23, 1899)

December 10, 1899
Pullman private car 'Mascot' has been bought for the use of the Horn Silver Mining Co. directors and OSL Utah Division superintendent. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 10, 1899)

December 1899
OSL completed the construction of a new depot at Kaysville, Utah. Work was begun in September 1899. Cost was $2,386.77. (OSL Additions for Year 1899)

January 1, 1900
"S. H. Dunning, representing the Cooke locomotive works, is back at Pocatello, where he will superintend the breaking-in of the four new 1000 class engines just received by the Short Line. These engines are of the same type as the 900's, but are much larger in their dimensions." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1900)

January 1, 1900
A new depot has been built at Kaysville by the O.S.L., one block to the south of the old one, which puts it at the foot of Maple Street. The new Kaysville depot is the same architecture as the one at Farmington, completed two years before. The new depot sits at the southwest corner of Maple and First streets, and the move to a new depot was due to making both Maple and First streets through-streets. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1900; Salt Llake herald, January 1, 1900)

January 6, 1900
"The weight of the new 1000- and 900-class engines, with loaded tender is 301,000 pounds (150 1/2 tons), as against 70,000 pounds (35 tons), the weight of No. 2 narrow gauge, or 63 tons for No. 100, the lightest broad-gauge. The increased weight represents the advances made in railroading in thirty years, number 100 being of the year 1870, and number 1000 of 1900." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 6, 1900)

July 20, 1900
"The Rio Grande Western borrowed some of the Utah & Nevada narrow gauge cars for a Park City excursion. To get them to and from their own track the cars had to be placed on broad-gauge trucks. The old Ramsay transfer was used, the one that used to be so busy in Utah & Northern days. It was an interesting sight to see the cars go down the slide with broad-gauge trucks and come up the other side on narrow-gauge trucks. It was a reminder of old days." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 20, 1900)

March 13, 1900
"The Railroad Gazette devotes a column with half-tone cut, of the 903, the new Oregon Short Line 100-ton freight engine." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 13, 1900)

April 4, 1900
"The Oregon Short Line will have 18 new passenger cars from the Pullman works the last of this month." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 4, 1900)

April 12, 1900
"The Short Line's new passenger cars will all be here this week." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 12, 1900)

April 14, 1900
"The Railway Age has illustrations and descriptions of the new 900 and 1000 class engines of the Oregon Short Line." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 14, 1900)

April 22, 1900
Oregon Short Line timetable Number 12 in effect today. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 22, 1900)

April 25, 1900
"The Oregon Short Line 1002, new consolidation locomotive, is pictured and described in the Railroad Gazette." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 25, 1900)

9 May 1900
The O.S.L. has just received from Pullman seven new passenger coaches, two of which are for the Cache Valley branch run. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, 9 May 1900)

May 19, 1900
O.S.L. timetable Number 13 went into effect on May 13th -- and this is too many 13's for some of the boys! (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 19, 1900)

June 8, 1900
"Engine 650, one of the older, heavy freighters on the Oregon Short Line, has been rebuilt in the Pocatello shops. It is now a fast passenger, with a 69-inch driver and increased stroke, and equipped with extensive front and straight stack. The mechanical work has been very fine, and the engine is being tried, with success. Other 600's will be similarly changed." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 8, 1900)

June 8, 1900
"The Oregon Short Line's new passenger equipment, three diners, two mail and three baggage cars, have left the shops." "The mail and baggage cars have the stub vestibule to conform with the full vestibule, but at the same time saving length by not having platforms." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 8, 1900)

June 11, 1900
"The Coupler Fight" over the Sams coupler. After August 1, 1900 the Union Pacific will NOT accept as an automatic coupler on cars of foreign roads - and most of the RGW's cars are equipped with the Sams coupler. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 11, 1900)

June 19, 1900
O.S.L. number 650 (see 8 June) is in town, "just to look down on 102, 210, 300 400 and the other little old-timers,..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 19, 1900)

June 29, 1900
Oregon Short Line engine number 650 was "totally demolished" in a head-on collision at Medbury, Idaho, yesterday morning. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 29, 1900)

July 11, 1900
O.S.L. timetable Number 14 in effect today. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 11, 1900)

July 30, 1900
A Union Pacific inspection special is in town, with engine 836 and business cars 04, 013 and 014. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 30, 1900)

August 21, 1900
"Business car No. 6, formerly the Mascotte, is soon to emerge from the Short Line shops in a new dress." "Going through Beaver Canyon many grades of the old Utah & Northern are seen, relics of a famous narrow gauge." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 21, 1900)

October 16, 1900
"The Oregon Short Line has under consideration again the broadening of the gauge of the Garfield branch but nothing has been decided upon as yet. The matter was brought and seriously considered last spring, but when the Saltair people paid the Short Line $4,500 to keep Garfield Beach closed, the latter dropped all plans for bettering the line and resort." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 16, 1900)

November 8, 1900
O.S.L. timetable Number 16 in effect 12:05am today. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 8, 1900)

December 6, 1900
Item, "End Of Narrow Gauge", in that an order issued yesterday by Bancroft that the Garfield line to be widened at once; 37 miles to Stockton, and a 2.5 mile branch to Saltair, the last narrow gauge in Utah (except, of course for the RGW tramways). (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 6, 1900)

December 11, 1900
The OSL yards still equipped with a working Ramsey Transfer device; used yesterday in transferring outfit cars to the Garfield line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 11, 1900)

December 11, 1900
"Steel Gang Arrives." "The outfit cars of the steel-laying gang of the Short Line came down from the north yesterday, and the cars were 'Ramseyed' to the Garfield branch so the men can be staked out along the line and commence to lay track. This, by the way, will probably be the last change over the Ramsey car transfer which has been a curiosity in the Short Line yards for so long but which is rendered useless when the Garfield branch is made standard." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 11, 1900)

December 11, 1900
"A constant reader takes The Tribune to task for stating that the Garfield branch on being made standard will end narrow-gauge railroads in Utah, etc. He cites the Rio Grande Western Alta and Bingham spurs, which are narrow gauge. They are not operated as railroads but as tramways. The one at Bingham is now being rebuilt so that it can be operated. The Wasatch - Alta tram is to be torn up, so the Garfield branch is the last narrow-gauge railroad in the State." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 11, 1900)

January 25, 1901
"Officials in a Wreck" on the O.S.L. - Superintendent J. H. Young of the Utah Division and others hurt slightly when a Southern Pacific train hit O.S.L. car 6 this morning in the Ogden yard. Car 6 was formerly the Pullman "Mascotte," and it will take several weeks to repair the car, the expense of which is to be borne by the S.P. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 25, 1901)

February 11, 1901
Item on new Baldwin compound engines, on the OSL, in the 950 series; says that it has been 20 years since the road got any new Baldwin engines, and "The last lot has but two representatives left the 11 and the 21, now in service on the narrow-gauge Garfield Branch,..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 11, 1901)

February 15, 1901
The Oregon Short Line has received:

February 18, 1901
Two old O. S. L. engines of the 600 series being rebuilt at the Pocatello shops, having Richmond compound cylinders installed. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 18, 1901)

February 18, 1901
OSL received yesterday 15 new cabooses from AC&F, numbers 680-694. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 18, 1901)

February 18, 1901
"Performance of New Engines." comments upon the relative merits of several classes of O.S.L. motive power - the 1898 600 class, the 1899 720 class, the 1900 900 class, and the 1901 950 class, which last are the new engines referred to above, from Baldwin. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 18, 1901)

February 22, 1901
Two of the new O.S.L. switch engines have arrived in Salt Lake, they being numbers 576 and 587; yesterday. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 22, 1901)

April 4, 1901
After ten days of talks that took place in UP's New York City offices, the Utah & Pacific Railroad was sold to UP's subsidiary Oregon Short Line Railroad on April 4, 1901. The purchase price was set at $1.5 million. (Arrington, Eccles, pages 230-232)

(Utah & Pacific was incorporated on August 20, 1898; construction began at Milford in early October 1898; construction ended at the Nevada state line at Uvada, 75 miles from Milford, on July 31, 1899)

April 4, 1901
"Buys Utah & Pacific" is the header of an item dated at New York on the 4th; the Oregon Short Line has exercised its option, and bought the 25 percent of Utah & Pacific stock held by McCune; also bought the 24 percent held by Eccles, Nibley and others. Eccles, in interview, said that the O.S.L. did not own any stock before this, but held options on that noted above, as well as an option on the 51 percent of the road's stock held in escrow, which 51 percent the O.S.L. has also bought, giving them 100 percent of the Utah & Pacific stock issue. The O.S.L. did have some $279,000 in Utah & Pacific bonds, which it took as payment for rails and equipment delivered to the U&P. Yesterday, the O.S.L. bought an additional $393,000 in U & P bonds. The stock is given as being 8,250 shares, all of which is now owned by O.S.L. A brief history of the Utah & Pacific says that the road was chartered on August 19, 1898, construction began in September of 1898 and was completed in May of 1899. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 5, 1901; Deseret News, April 5, 1901)

E. H. Harriman rode the Utah & Pacific to Uvada "a year ago." A. W. McCune, U&P president predicted "six months ago" that U&P would be extended to Los Angeles. The Eccles and Nibley holdings were sold at $80 per share, for a total stock purchase bing $1,050,000. OSL took the option in U&P bonds in 1898 when they purchased $279,000 (of the $672,000 in original bonds) in return for rolling stock, steel and ties sold to U&P by OSL. (Deseret News, April 5, 1901)

April 30, 1901
OSL Mechanical Superintendent J. F. Dunn has gotten out a pictorial history of OSL motive power; among the photos are narrow gauge No. 1, new engines of the 900, 1000 and 1100 classes, and so forth. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 30, 1901)

July 17, 1901
" ... and at Garden City are sidetracked narrow-gauge equipments, all being relics of a past activity." Last line of an item on OSL track relocation in regards to the Leamington cutoff line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 17, 1901)

July 30, 1901
Oregon Short Line Railroad was completed to Caliente; train service began on August 1, 1901. (Union Pacific internal history of LA&SL, on file in Salt Lake City public relations offices; copied on January 20, 1978)

August 1901
OSL ordered a 65 ton Shay locomotive for the New East Tintic Railway. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 2, 1901) (New East Tintic 11 was delivered in January 1902.)

August 11, 1901
OSL engine 103 scrapped at Pocatello; was built by Taunton in 1868. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 11, 1901, news item lifted from the Pocatello Advance)

September 10, 1901
The records of the Oregon Short Line Railroad were destroyed in an explosion and fire at the Salt Lake City headquarters on September 10, 1901. The entire offices of the Oregon Short Line were wiped out of existence. "It had many valuable records stored in different parts of the burned building upon which no money value can be placed. They were records of the company from its very beginning - records which represented the company's entire history and holdings. They are gone, and gone forever." General Manager W. H. Bancroft was asked what was lost. His reply was, "What have we lost? Why everything we had. We have not as much as a scratch of a pen left. Everything is gone; everything." The cause of the explosion was said to be improper storage of various chemicals in the basement, which was occupied by the Mine and Smelter Supply Company. The first alarm was sounded at 3:34 a.m. Burned fragments of OSL records were found as far away a one and a half miles, on the grounds of the St. Mark's hospital. Included in the destruction was the Chief Engineer's vault, which contained the plans for the Salt Lake City to Los Angeles extension. (Deseret News, September 10, 1901; Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 11, 1901)

By mid November 1901 the railroad had located new offices in the just completed Deseret News Building. (Deseret News, November 18, 1901) Mr. Bancroft occupied his new offices on April 7, 1902. The railroad occupied three full floors. (Deseret News, March 29, 1902; April 7, 1902)

The original OSL building that burned in 1901 was located on West Temple Street between 2nd and 3rd South. The Deseret News Building was six stories high and was located on the southwest corner of South Temple and Main streets. By 1907 the railroad was occupying all floors of the Deseret News Building except the ground floor. The newspaper had moved directly west to the adjacent "Annex" building. By the time of the modernization of the building's facade in 1964, the Union Pacific had taken over both the original building and the annex to the west, with matching names: Union Pacific Building and Union Pacific Annex. (Deseret News, April 1, 1964)

In April 1977 Union Pacific moved its offices to the old Post Office Annex building, located south of its Salt Lake City depot. What was called the Union Pacific Building at 10 South Main then became known as the Zion Securities Building, named for its then-current owner. The Zion Securities Building was demolished in October 1995 to make way for an entirely new 18-story office building and underground parking terrace called Gateway Tower West. The new building's first tenant moved in during the second week of July 1998. (Deseret News, September 21, 1995; October 6, 1995; June 13, 1996; September 13, 1996; July 9, 1998)

January 30, 1902
OSL received its new Shay locomotive. An item in the Deseret News revealed that "The Oregon Short Line has received the largest Shay locomotive ever built. It is now being coupled up at the shops and will be used on the Tintic branch in handling the ore shipments of the Star Consolidated." (Deseret News, January 30, 1902)

March 1902
OSL completed the spurs to the Kaysville Cannery and the Elgin Creamery, both at Kaysville at the present site of the Deseret grain elevator. (UP engineering drawings)

March 8, 1902
"A dozen or so of the old narrow-gauge cars of the Oregon Short Line are being broken up at the yards." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 8, 1902)

April 13, 1902
"Very little work is being done at the Garfield shops, as the narrow gauge equipment will not be needed after this fall, and the company will make only necessary repairs. The old equipment will all be sold or sent to the scrap pile, which already has many relics of the Garfield line." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 13, 1902)

May 13, 1902
Mr. Ashton hopes that the new standard gauge line, the Leamington cut-off, will be done by August, so that the narrow-gauge can be torn up. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 13, 1902)

June 20, 1902
"All the narrow-gauge equipment of the Garfield line not in use will be removed from the yard. A lot of it has already been scrapped." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 20, 1902)

July 9, 1902
Harriman and Clark reach agreement that ended the rivalry for the route between Uvada and Caliente and south through Meadow Valley Wash in Nevada. (SPLA&SL corporate history)

September 7, 1902
"One of the narrow-gauge engines on the Garfield run was formerly a Utah Western engine." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 7, 1902)

September 10, 1902
"The Oregon Short Line will shortly have some narrow-gauge equipment to dispose of. The lot consists of three Mogul locomotives, six coaches, twenty-three excursion cars, two baggage cars, 151 revenue freight cars and nine non-revenue freight cars." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 10, 1902)

September 16, 1902
Three miles of the narrow gauge track, this side of Garfield, is already gone, and the narrow gauge is running on a third rail; this because the new standard gauge line could not be built without disrupting the narrow gauge; for a space of about four miles, the two alignments are on top of each other, or nearly so. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 16, 1902)

September 26, 1902
The old narrow gauge line is abandoned from a point about 1/2 mile west of Saltair Junction, the narrow gauge running west of there on a third rail in the standard gauge line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 26, 1902)

November 15, 1902
Last OSL narrow-gauge train operated. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 16, 1902) OSL was building the Leamington Cut-off and since September the narrow-gauge trains had been operating on about eight miles of three-rail trackage because some portions of the two alignments were the same. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 16, 1902) Approximately 2.36 miles of the roadbed and right of way of the "Terminus Line" from Mile Post 1.28, at the west bank of the Jordan river, to Buena Vista and 4.91 miles of the right of way near Garfield were utilized in the construction of the Leamington Cut-off. (SPLA&SL corporate history) On April 10, 1903 David Eccles' Sumpter Valley Railway lumber line in Oregon bought all of the remaining OSL narrow-gauge equipment. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 10, 1903)

November 15, 1902
"The Oregon Short Line has for sale a lot of narrow gauge equipment." Also, the last regular narrow gauge train was to be "today." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 15, 1902)

November 15, 1902
"The train on the new broad gauge road of the Oregon Short Line will leave in the morning at 7:45, returning in the evening at 5 o'clock. The train for the present will consist of a combination baggage and smoker and a day coach." (Salt Lake Herald, November 1902)

November 16, 1902
"END OF NARROW GAUGE" "When the little Mogul pulled the narrow gauge train into the city last night ...," "... her trip was the final one over the narrow gauge, which will at once be abandoned." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 16, 1902)

November 18, 1902
Narrow gauge Engine number 3 is sidetracked, in the roundhouse; negotiations are already under way for the sale of the narrow gauge equipment. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 18, 1902)

December 10, 1902
In the OSL yards, the Ramsey Transfer device is gone, as are the tracks for it, and the other narrow gauge yard tracks; standard gauge yard tracks have been laid already in their place. "All the narrow gauge equipment has disappeared and the rails are almost obliterated." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 10, 1902)

December 31, 1902
The current Railway Age magazine has an article on recent OSL improvements, at Pocatello and at Garfield, particularly, with photographs. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 31, 1902)

The Utah Sugar Company completed the construction of a sugar factory at Garland in 1903 and in July 1907 the plant came under the ownership of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. (Arrington: Great Basin, pp. 391, 407, 408) Union Pacific bought the 1.55-mile Corinne Junction to Corinne portion of the old Central Pacific from SP on November 14, 1947 after the Southern Pacific Promontory Branch was abandoned.

January 1, 1903
Review of 1902: O. S. L. lost 39.5 miles of line, "by the abandonment of the old narrow-gauge,..." on, it says, November 15, 1902. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1903)

April 10, 1903
"ECCLES BUYS THE LOT" "Garfield Line Equipment Goes to Sumpter Valley Road." "Shipping Cars Today" "Engines and All Other Equipment Sold by O. S. L." "There Are in all 191 pieces and the Lot Will Be Used on the Oregon Line."

"The Sumpter Valley railway, of which Messrs. Eccles and Nibley are the leading spirits, has purchased from the Oregon Short Line all the narrow-gauge equipment of the latter company and the same will begin to move to Oregon today. This is quite a large addition to the equipment of the Sumpter Valley, as the Short Line had on hand three Mogul engines, 158 freight, outfit, water and wrecking cars, thirty passenger, baggage and excursion cars, making a total of 191 pieces. The Sumpter Valley people, however, realizing that they could get the equipment at a reasonable price and that it would all be needed when their line was extended, took the entire lot at a figure something like $40,000."

"Since the road was broad-gauged and the narrow-gauge equipment laid aside the company has been deluged with offers for the cars and engines but the average prospective purchaser was of the opinion that the lot could be secured for next to nothing, and the Short Line refused all offers until the Sumpter Valley came along with quite a liberal offer and took the goods. The Moguls will find a long lost brother when they reach Baker City, as the Sumpter Valley bought all the Sanpete Valley equipment when that line was made standard. In the lot was an engine that formerly ran on the Utah Northern and later on the Garfield line before it was bought by the Sanpete road. It was in the same class as the engines which now go to Oregon." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 10, 1903)

April 19, 1903
Huge headline says "SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES & SALT LAKE ROAD BUYS ALL OREGON SHORT LINE SOUTH OF SALT LAKE CITY," which is self explanatory. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 19, 1903)

May 3, 1903
"Ho for Stockton!" "Broad Gauge Line Open to New Station Tomorrow" for regular traffic, there being a fine new station building at Stockton now. U. S. Ragland, the agent at Terminus, in a box car, on the narrow gauge, also goes to Stockton tomorrow. He had been the entire population of "Terminus City," and the box car its only building; "...for the present Terminus will retire to its desert solitude." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 3, 1903)

June 20, 1903
OSL completed the 117-mile Leamington Cutoff, between Salt Lake City and Leamington Hill Spur (later Lynn Junction, later Lynndyl). (SPLA&SL corporate history)

June 23, 1903
At the time that the new SPLA&SL time card goes into effect, on or about July 1st, Leamington Hill station was to be renamed as "Lynn Junction." (Deseret Evening News, June 23, 1903)

(Read more about the Leamington Cutoff)

Sale To San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake

July 7, 1903
SPLA&SL purchased all OSL lines south and west of Salt Lake City. (SPLA&SL Corporate History)

Lines of railroad purchased by SPLA&SL included:

The connection on the new Leamington Cut-off was at the west bank of the Jordan River, 1.78 miles west of Salt Lake City, at SPLA&SL Mile Post 781.56 (from Los Angeles, via Leamington Cutoff) and OSL Mile Post 1.23 (from Salt Lake City).

Separation on Provo line was just immediately south of Sandy at OSL milepost 49.98 (from Ogden), and later LA&SL milepost 786.35 (from LA).

(Sandy was likely chosen as the point of separation because OSL(UP) wanted to retain the smelter traffic. At this time, Salt Lake City was the smelting center of the west, with numerous smelters at Murray, Midvale, and Sandy.) (Read more about the smelters at Sandy)

Under a 99 year lease dated June 18, 1903, SPLA&SL was granted trackage rights over 18.74 miles of the two OSL lines into Salt Lake City; from Sandy on the Provo line and from the Jordan River bridge on the Leamington Cutoff. Also included was a 99-year joint use agreement for SPLA&SL to use OSL's facilities and yards in Salt Lake City. The line between Salt Lake City and Sandy was within the yard limits of the OSL/LA&SL joint Salt Lake City yard. (SPLA&SL corporate history)

Included in the sale were 17 OSL locomotives (15 rod locomotives for mainline use and two Shay locomotives for switching at Tintic). (Deseret News, July 21, 1903)

July 8, 1903
"The Salt Lake Route -- The formal transfer of the property included in the recent deal between the Oregon Short Line and San Pedro railroads was made Wednesday morning. The lines of the former road south of Salt Lake, which included the Tintic branch and the new Leamington cut off, was included in the deal and hereafter Eureka and other Tintic points are on the San Pedro Los Angeles and Salt Lake City railroad instead of the Oregon Short Line. Agent Stack at this place has been selling tickets bearing the stamp of the new road since last Wednesday morning and the old Oregon Short Line paste boards have been returned to the Salt Lake office. Wednesday morning the passenger train made the trip over the Leamington cut off from Salt Lake to Tintic for the first time. The Tintic trains now run around by way of Stockton instead of past Fairfield and Lehi Junction. A mixed train makes daily trips between Tintic Junction and Fairfield. The time table on the Tintic branch is practically the same but it is quite probable that we will have both a morning and afternoon train to Salt Lake in a short time." (Eureka Reporter, July 10, 1903; "Wednesday" was July 8th)

July 11, 1903
The first official time table for San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake was published on July 11, 1903. Trains were operated between Salt Lake City and Tintic Junction on the Leamington Cutoff; between Salt Lake City and Tintic Junction, by way of Lehi and Fairfield (for Mercur); and between Salt Lake City and Calientes, by way of Lehi, American Fork, Provo, Juab, and Milford (for Frisco). (Salt Lake Tribune, July 11, 1903)

OSL North Of Salt Lake City

July 16, 1903
Malad Valley Railroad completed 14.57 miles of line from Corinne and Garland. (OSL corporate history)

July 26, 1903
OSL and Central Pacific signed a trackage rights agreement that allowed OSL to operate trains over the 1.55-mile section of the Central Pacific's main line between Corinne Junction and Corinne. (Also in July 1903, the SP began operating over the new Lucin Cut-off, directly across the Great Salt Lake, making the Promontory line a secondary one.) On July 1, 1903 OSL began service to Garland sugar factory, operating over their own line between Brigham City and Corinne Junction, over the Central Pacific between Corinne Junction and Corinne, and over the Malad Valley Railroad between Corinne and Garland. (OSL corporate history)

August 1903
OSL completed a 710-foot spur at Layton, Utah to serve the Layton Canning Company. Approved on May 6, 1903; work begun in May 1903. Second-hand material was used. (OSL AFE G.M.O. 4965)

May 24, 1904
OSL and Utah Sugar Company signed an agreement for OSL to operate the sugar company's 7.04-mile branch from Tremonton west to Thatcher. The line was operated as OSL's Thatcher Branch. (OSL corporate history)

August 1904
OSL completed the branch to the United States smelter at Midvale, south of Salt Lake City, called the U. S. Smelter Spur, from Atwood on the Provo line. The road also completed the branch to the Highland Boy smelter, by building north from the U. S. smelter, along the west side of the RGW main line.

August 12, 1904
An announcement mentioned the planned move of the OSL paint shops from Salt Lake City to the then-vacant roundhouse at Ogden. (Deseret News, August 12, 1904)

October 11, 1904
UP announced that their "old" roundhouse in Ogden would be outfitted as a paint shop, to handle all painting for all UP divisions near Ogden. The old carpenter shop was to be moved from its location 400 feet away, and would be outfitted as an upholstery shop for passenger equipment. (Ogden Standard Examiner, October 11, 1904)

March 3, 1905
"Improvements In North Salt Lake -- Out at North Salt Lake the big roundhouse is completed and painted, with all tracks laid in it and to it. The turntable has not been received, however. The great bents and other materials for the elevated coal-chute have been received, and work will soon commence on this feature. The big steel tank is also on the ground, and will soon go up and the ash-pits will go down at the same time." (Ogden Standard, March 3, 1905)

June 5, 1905
OSL completed the new roundhouse at 900 North and 500 West. The last locomotives were moved from the old roundhouse to the new roundhouse on Sunday, June 5, 1905. (Deseret News, June 9, 1905, "Old Roundhouse Now Demolished)

On February 17, 1905, the Deseret News carried an item that the new roundhouse would be completed about March 1. (Deseret News, February 17, 1905, "Spike and Rail")

OSL and SPLA&SL had shared the original OSL roundhouse at Salt Lake City at North Temple and 400 West, and would continue to share the new roundhouse.

(Read more about the joint OSL-SPLA&SL Salt Lake City roundhouse)

June 1905
OSL completed the spur to the Kaysville Milling Company, at Kaysville (now the Deseret Mills grain elevator). (UP engineering drawings)

December 22, 1905
Malad Valley Railroad completed the 31.83-mile extension from Garland to Malad, Idaho. The entire 46.38-mile Malad Valley line from Corinne to Malad was formally leased to OSL for operation on July 1, 1906, although they had been operating the line since its completion to Garland in June 1903. (OSL corporate history)

In 1906, OSL completed the construction of a new line into Ogden from Salt Lake City. The new line left the original Utah Central 1869 main line at Roy and connected with the western leg of the OUR&D wye, at 30th Street, completed in 1889. The construction of the new OSL line included the bridge over the Weber River, and the connection with the OUR&D was named Bridge Junction. The original Utah Central line remained in place as a secondary main line, until the second track between Salt Lake City and Ogden was completed in 1912. At that time the original line became the Evona Branch.

OSL completed its new depot in Brigham City. "The Brigham City Depot was built in 1906 by the Union Pacific-owned Oregon Short Line Railroad Company, under the design and direction of architect A.C. Rainey and a staff of 22. Rainey used 80 tons of concrete in the foundation alone, providing a firm structure that stands strong today. The 38-foot-by-90-foot building was built in the Hudson Bay Gothic style and included all of the modern amenities of the time: indoor plumbing, electricity, steam heat and lavatories. The depot opened for business in 1907 and quickly became a bustling hub of activity. Fruit growers shipped their goods out to the rest of the region, while coal was brought in to heat local homes and businesses. By 1916, 13 passenger trains went through the depot each day. When the United States entered World War II, that increased to 17 with soldiers traveling to and from the war front or to the Bushnell Army Hospital in Brigham City." (Standard-Examiner, Ogden, June 25, 2010)

January 12, 1906
Oregon Short Line engineers are at work surveying what is known as the 'Logan Cut-off Line,' direct from Cache Junction to Logan. This line, when done, will shorten the route by about eight or nine miles. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 12, 1906)

January 1906
OSL completed the construction of a one-story section house at Kaysville. Approved on July 21, 1905, work begun in August 1905. Cost was $1,033.03. (OSL AFE G.M.O. 6591)

March 1906
OSL retired and removed the western half-mile of the Syracuse Branch, west from Mile Post 4.7 at Syracuse, including the wye track at the end of the branch. (ICC 1912 Valuation drawing)

July 1, 1906
The lease of the Malad Valley Railroad, Corinne to Malad, was put into effect, becoming the OSL's Malad Branch. (OSL Corporate History, page 57)

September 12, 1906
OSL completed the 14.53-mile Wellsville Branch between Mendon and Logan Junction, through Wellsville and Hyrum. The line began in March 1901 as an industrial spur from Logan to the Logan sugar factory of the Logan Sugar Company (later, in July 1902, the Amalgamated Sugar Company) which had begun construction of its factory in December 1900. In September 1905 work was started on the extension of the spur to the west, reaching Hills Spur, just east of Wellsville and nine miles south of Logan Junction, on December 11. Work was halted for the winter. Construction started again in the spring, with the line being completed to Mendon in September. (Arrington: Eccles p. 243; OSL corporate history) The original, direct line between Mendon and Logan, built as the narrow-gauge main line in 1872 and 1873, became the "Old" Cache Valley Branch. (ICC Financial Docket 15790, 267 ICC 639)

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)

May 8, 1907
New coal chutes were to be constructed at Cache Junction "in keeping with the increasing demands of the engines." (Logan Republican, May 8, 1907)

July 1907
OSL completed a new 650-foot spur at Syracuse Junction (Clearfield), Utah to serve the cannery of Clearfield Canning Company. Approved on May 29, 1907, work begun in June 1907. (OSL AFE G.M.O. 7758)

July 1907
SPLA&SL and OSL completed the major portion of their new joint passenger depot and freight yard in Salt Lake City. The new roundhouse adjacent to the new freight yard (known as North Yard) was opened in June 1905, and the new passenger depot was opened in July 1909. (Railway Age, July 12, 1907)

(Read the Railway Age article about the new joint facilities at Salt Lake City -- PDF; 6 pages; 2.4MB)

(Read more about the joint OSL-SPLA&SL Salt Lake City freight yard)

OSL completed construction of the spur to serve the cement plant of Ogden Portland Cement Company, located near Brigham City. The 1.1-mile line connected with the OSL main line at Bakers and ended at the cement plant, called Opco by the railroad. (ICC Financial Docket 15740, 267 ICC 633) By February 1910 the cement plant was in full production. (Salt Lake Mining Review, 2/30/1910 p. 23)

(The semi-demolished hulk of the cement factory still stands adjacent to Interstate Highway 15, about three miles north of the Brigham City exit.)

July 1909
OSL and SPLA&SL completed the new Union Depot at Salt Lake City. Construction was begun in November 1906, and the depot was partially occupied in 1908. (Salt Lake City, Past and Present, published in 1908)

August 24, 1909
OSL's first McKeen gasoline motor car arrived on the morning of August 24, 1909 for service on the Ogden-Malad branch. The car was first demonstrated to OSL officials and newspaper men that same afternoon on a run between Salt Lake City and the United States smelter at Midvale. A second demonstration for newspaper men was run that same evening between Salt Lake City and Saltair resort on the south shore of Great Salt Lake. The car was No. 480, and was 72 feet in length, seating 65 persons. The car was to enter service between Ogden and Malad on the morning of August 25, 1909. A second car was to arrive within a week, and was to be used as a standby car for the first car on the same run. (Salt Lake Tribune, August 25, 1909)

September 9, 1909
Edward H. Harriman died. (See also: Trottman, p. 362)

(Read the Wikipedia article about E. H. Harriman)

On Sunday September 12, 1909, at the same time as Mr. Harriman's funeral in Arden, New York, all trains on the Harriman system of railroads were stopped for one minute in his honor. (Deseret News, September 10, 1909)

April 1910
OSL completed the construction of a second track between North Salt Lake and Woods Cross. Approved on January 25, 1909, work begun in December 1908. (OSL AFE G.M.O. 8483)

July 1910
OSL completed the construction of a second track between Woods Cross and Farmington. Approved on October 5, 1909, work begun in August 1909, additional note reading "In operation July 1910," with formal completion date for AFE recorded as March 1911. (OSL AFE G.M.O.9073)

October 31, 1910
Oregon Short Line took possession of its seven branch feeder lines, comprising 390.5 miles of trackage, mostly in southern Idaho. Included was the 46.4-mile Malad Valley Railroad, which had completed its line from Corinne, Utah to Malad, Idaho in 1905. The Malad Valley Railroad corporation was dissolved on June 24, 1911. (Poor's, 1929, p. 1051; OSL corporate history)

Took title to the following companies on 31 October 1910:

(The Malad Valley Railroad became OSL's Malad Branch.)

December 21, 1910
OSL announced that the railroad would build a new depot at Murray, Utah, at a cost of $10,000. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 25, 1910)

Fall 1910
In what was called the "Saline Cut-off," OSL began grading a new line between from Saline, a station on SP's Lucin Cut-off, north to Burley, Idaho. By July 1912, work had been completed over the 59.5 miles between Burley and Kelton Summit. Work was to continue on the remaining 125 miles from Kelton Summit to Saline. A suit to stop work was filed by the federal government's Reclamation Service. The suit was settled in July 1912. OSL had objected to some of the stipulations made by the government, including the government saying where bridges and crossing were to be located, at OSL's own expense. The July 1912 settlement reversed some of the stipulations, and work was to proceed. (The Evening Standard [Ogden], July 20, 1912)

July 1911
OSL began using a 100-passenger motor car for service on the Cache Valley branches. To connect with through trains that ran through Cache Junction, one round trip was made between Cache Junction and Preston, Idaho, each day, and two round trips were made between Cache Junction and Logan each day. The motor train operation was in addition to regular steam trains which continued to make their scheduled runs. (Box Elder County News [Brigham City], July 27, 1911)

In 1912 OSL completed the construction of the second track between Salt Lake City and Bridge Junction in Ogden. The construction included major line changes that were completed in May 1911. The longest was between Layton and Clearfield, from OSL Mile Posts 9 to 15. The original Utah Central 1869 main line had been located adjacent to Territorial Highway 1, later to become U. S. Highway 91. The business section in each of those two town's was developing along the same route, giving the towns a main line railroad down its main street. The line change moved the line about 500 feet west to its present location. A short section of the original track was left in place along Layton's Main Street, until at least 1930, to allow access to shippers, including Layton Milling Company and the Layton plant of the Woods Cross Canning Company. (UP valuation drawing; Layton history)

Another line change, called the Shepherd Lane Line Change, was completed in August 1911 and was for an easier curve between Farmington and Kaysville, between OSL Mile Post 18 and Mile Post 21, now Mile Post 799 and Mile Post 803, respectively. There was also a minor line change at Roy, at OSL Mile Post 5, now Union Pacific Mile Post 814. (UP valuation drawing)

August 1912
OSL completed the construction of a new depot building and mail crane for second track at Layton, Utah. Approved on November 9, 1911, work begun in November 1911, no ledger entry after August 1912, formal completion was recorded as June 1913. Cost was $6,567.20. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10150B) Electric lights were added in May 1916, at a cost of $39.75. (OSL Work Order 2077-C-3)

"Oregon Short Line Railroad Depot, 23 North Main Street. The railroad moved their main line west of town in 1912. The old depot [built in 1892] was moved to the east side of the new tracks, 600 feet south of Gentile Street, for a section house. It was torn down about 1965." (Layton, Utah: Historic Viewpoints; Kaysville-Layton Historical Society, 1985, page 292)

"1912 - Oregon Short Line Railroad Depot, 160 West Gentile Street. The railroad built a new, large depot beside their new double track line replacing the old depot in the center of town. The new depot served Layton until it closed about 1960. The depot was moved to 200 South Main Street. It is now a restaurant." (Layton, Utah: Historic Viewpoints; Kaysville-Layton Historical Society, 1985, page 302)

September 1912
OSL completed the construction of a new depot building at Roy, Utah, including adding a second mail crane and moving existing mail crane to a new location. Approved on November 9, 1911, work begun in December 1911, formal completion recorded as June 1914. Cost was $6,804.19. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10152B)

October 1912
OSL completed the construction of a new depot building at Clearfield, Utah (replacing an existing depot building), including adding a second mail crane and moving existing mail crane to a new location. Approved on November 9, 1911, work begun in December 1911, formal completion recorded as June 1914. Cost was $6,348.16. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10152B)

The old depot at Clearfield was converted in June 1914 into a bunk house, and moved to a new location at Clearfield. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10151E)

October 12, 1912
OSL completed the 8.13-mile Benson Branch between Ballard Junction (3.53 miles south of Cache Junction) and Benson Junction, at Logan. Construction began on June 1. (OSL corporate history) (The line was sometimes called the "Ballard Cut-off".)

December 1912
OSL completed the construction of a station platform for the second track at Kaysville, Utah, including adding a second mail crane and moving existing mail crane to a new location. Approved on November 9, 1911, work begun in December 1911. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10149B)

January 1913
OSL acquired Idaho Northern Railway.

March 1913
OSL completed the construction of 1,733 feet of second track at Bridge Junction, near Ogden. Approved on November 9, 1911, work begun in September 1911. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10154A and 10154B)

April 1913
OSL completed the construction of a second track at Roy, Utah. Approved on November 9, 1911, work begun in December 1911. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10152A)

April 1913
OSL installed 20.53 miles of automatic block signals for double track between Farmington and Ogden, Utah. Approved on July 26, 1911, work begun in October 1912. (OSL AFE G.M.O.10161B)

July 1913
At the time of a conference at Salt Lake City of all of the Harriman system railroads, to discuss standardization in operating, purchasing and engineering, the system of railroads consisted of the following:

"In the future, all passenger cars will be 70 feet in length, instead of 60 feet, which had been the standard length for years." (Salt Lake Tribune, July 17, 1913)

August 1914
OSL acquired the following railroads:

April 1915
OSL completed the spur to the Layton Sugar Company's sugar factory at Layton; the sugar factory was also completed in 1915. In December 1917, additional trackage, joint with D&RGW, was completed.

June 1916
OSL awarded a contract for the expansion of Brigham City yard to the Utah Construction Company. (Salt Lake Mining Review, June 15, 1916, p. 33)

August 1916
OSL announced that it would install a block control system between Cache Junction, Utah and McCammon, Idaho. LA&SL would also install a block control system between Salt Lake City and Lynndyl. (Salt Lake Mining Review, August 15, 1916, p. 33)

The amount of traffic was increasing for businesses in Logan and northern points in Cache Valley. With the construction of the Wellsville Branch in 1906, all of the Cache Valley traffic was being routed away from the "Old Cache Branch" (originally the 1873 Utah Northern narrow-gauge main line) and on to the new line through Wellsville and Hyrum.

August 1916
The trackage for the Wellsville passed through the Logan sugar factory and was becoming a bottle neck for the other Cache Valley traffic. To remedy the problem OSL completed, during August 1916, a two-mile direct connection which by-passed the sugar factory. The new line connected with the Wellsville Branch on the south at a point called Sugar Factory Junction. The connection to the north was named East Logan Junction.

The name Logan Junction was retained for the connection between the Old Cache Branch and the north end of the line that still served the sugar factory. In 1932, with the abandonment of the west end of the Old Cache Branch, East Logan Junction became Logan Junction, and the old Logan Junction became College Junction, because the Old Cache Branch then ended at College and was renamed the College Branch. The Wellsville Branch became the new Cache Valley Branch at the same time. The old line through the sugar factory became the 1.89-mile long Logan Sugar Factory Branch, between Sugar Factory Junction on the south and Logan Junction on the north.

OSL completed the 10.6-mile Bear River Branch, from the sugar factory at Garland, on the Malad Branch, south to Bear River City. (Railway Age, January 13, 1919, p. 95)

The Bear River Branch was announced in mid December 1916. Oregon Short announced "that it will build a spur from Garland to Bear River City. The rails to be laid along the canal bank which provide a grade already made and the road will be operated by the Oregon Short Line railroad company. Engineers are now at work on the surveys and it is estimated that the spur will cost $100,000. The distance to be covered will be nine miles and the sugar company is taking this action in order to improve the loading facilities of the beet growers along that stretch of country who in the past have been compelled to make long wagon hauls in order to get their beets delivered to the sugar company. It is the purpose or the sugar company to have the road built and ready to take care of the beet crop of 1917 which is expected to be a bumper on account of the increased price the sugar company has announced. It is estimated that the present beet acreage will be tremendously increased next year and with a railroad traversing the heavy beet growing section, which that part of the valley has developed into, the incentive to plant beets to the limit of the capacity of every farm will be stimulated." (Box Elder News, December 15, 1916)

(Built to transport sugar beets, grown in the region west of the Bear River, to the sugar factory at Garland.)

March 21, 1918
The United States Railway Administration (USRA) took over the operation of America’s railroads (including UP and its OSL subsidiary) on March 21, 1918 to improve the efficiency of America’s railroads during World War I. It continued to operate and “administer” the railroads until March 1, 1920. One review has stated that over 100,000 freight cars and over 1,900 steam locomotives were built for the USRA, at a cost to the government of $380 million.

May 1918
OSL completed the 4.9-mile Urban Branch, by constructing a 3.8-mile line to Urban, as a extension of the spur to the cement plant at Opco. (Railway Age, January 3, 1919, p. 95) The branch was built to transport the sugar beets from the region along the east bank of the Bear River. (ICC Financial Docket 15740, 267 ICC 634)

July 18, 1918
OSL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to close the agency at Mendon, on the Cache Valley Branch. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 66)

August 1918
OSL retired and removed the one-mile long spur to the Highland Boy smelter, which connected with the U. S. Smelter Spur near Atwoods. (OSL Work Order 6324) The trackage was joint with D&RG and had not been used since the smelter was closed in December 1907. The right of way was retired in October 1943. (OSL Work Order 759)

May 1919
The headquarters of the Oregon Short Line were moved from Salt Lake City to Omaha. It was the influence of W. H. Bancroft that had kept the headquarters in Salt Lake, where he had lived since 1883. Bancroft died in April 1915, and his associates who had worked to keep the headquarters in Salt Lake had themselves either resigned, passed away, or had been promoted to other locations within Union Pacific's management. (Ogden Standard, May 28, 1919)

March 1, 1920
The United States Railway Administration (USRA) returned control of the nation's railroads (including UP and its OSL subsidiary), from government control due to World War I, back to the railroad companies. Included in the enabling Esch–Cummins Act was a provision to allow the ICC to control the railroads profits and rate of return for investments.

(Read more about the USRA and Utah Railroads, and the period of control from March 1918 through March 1920)

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

July 22, 1927
"Start Friday On New Track -- The Utah Construction company will start work Friday on the new track of the Oregon Short Line, extending from the Sand Ridge cut-off to the vicinity of the Twenty-fourth street viaduct. By plac1ng a bridge across the Weber river south of the viaduct, a way will be provided for handling through freight trains without passing through the crowded portion of the yards. At the start there will be much brush and trees to be cleared away and then some grading. No boarding house will be used, as the men will live in the city. (Ogden Standard Examiner, July 21, 1927; "Friday" was July 22, 1927)

October 26, 1927
Some of the stalls of the Salt Lake City roundhouse were made longer to accommodate the larger and longer locomotives being used. The Salt Lake City building inspector issued a building permit in the amount of $22,000 to Lynch-Cannon Engineering to complete the contracted work for Union Pacific (OSL). (Salt Lake Tribune, October 26, 1927)

December 31, 1931
OSL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to close the agency at Hot Springs. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1245)

June 1932
Public Utilities Commission gave its approval for the OSL to close the agency at Willard. The depot grounds were actually located about a half-mile west of town and the Utah Idaho Central interurban operated through the center of town along Second West. The closure of the depot was protested by the citizens of Willard because they had donated the depot site in 1890 for the purposes of OSL providing freight and passenger service to the town. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1275, 1311)

October 25, 1932
OSL retired and removed the western 2.78 mile portion of the College Branch, from College, at Mile Post 3.14, to Mendon, on the main line of the Cache Valley Branch, Mile Post 5.92 and end of the College Branch. (OSL work order 258; ICC Financial Docket 9518, approved August 25, 1932, 187 ICC 329)

November 10, 1932
OSL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to close the agency at Roy. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1278)

October 19, 1934
OSL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to close the agency at Collinston. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1610)

September 9, 1935
OSL received Utah Public Utilities Commission approval to close the agency at Dewey. Approval to take effect on September 14. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1762)

November 1935
The State Road Commission began construction of a concrete subway for U. S. Highway 30 under the Union Pacific and Utah Idaho Central tracks, north of Brigham City. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 1807, approved November 9, 1935)

January 1, 1936
Union Pacific leased the Oregon Short Line Railroad for operation, along with the Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, and the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Company. ("Union Pacific Unification", ICC Finance Docket 9422, dated July 26, 1935, in 207 ICC 543.)

"Lease Of Properties Of Subsidiary Railroad Companies. For many years the properties of the Union Pacific Railroad Company and those of the Oregon Short Line Railroad Company, Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Company, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Company and The St. Joseph and Grand Island Railway Company have been operated under one control and management but the operations of the properties of each company were for its account and it was necessary to keep accounts and statistics and make separate reports to regulatory commissions and others for each company. Effective January 1, 1936, the properties of the other companies were leased to and are being operated by the Union Pacific Railroad This made possible the centralization at Omaha of all accounting and treasury work in connection with the railroad operations and the discontinuance of the separate Accounting and Treasury Departments which had been maintained by the lessor companies at Salt Lake City, Portland, Los Angeles and St. Joseph, with a resultant saving in expense (after the first year) estimated at $472,000 annually." (Union Pacific Annual Report for 1936)

The visible evidence of the 1936 merger was that Union Pacific lettering was placed on the sides of the tenders, while ownership initials were placed on the rear of the tenders and in smaller letters on the cab side below the locomotive numbers.

One of the measures that helped Union Pacific survive the 1930s was a consolidation of UP with its subsidiary roads, which was first proposed by the road's Chairman, Judge Lovett who had controlled the company since Harriman's death in 1909. Lovett's proposal for consolidation was presented to the Interstate Commerce Commission just before his death in June 1932, but was not approved until July 1935, and took effect on January 1, 1936.

This consolidation brought together Union Pacific Railroad, Oregon Short Line Railroad, Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Company, and Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, along with several smaller railroad companies. Because of a wide variety of collateral and bonding arrangements, the component companies remained as separate corporations, and leased their railroads to Union Pacific for their operation thereby allowing much needed economies of scale that cut costs and helped the railroad's bottom line ($472,000 in the first year alone).

(Read more about Union Pacific's lease in 1936 of its OSL, OWRR&N and LA&SL subsidiaries)

The story of OSL after 1936 continues as part of Union Pacific in Utah.

(Read more about OSL in Utah after UP's lease of OSL in January 1936)


OSLRy - OSL&UN - OSL Locomotives

More Information

Wikipedia entry for Oregon Short Line Railroad

Klein, Maury. Union Pacific, Birth of a Railroad, 1862-1893 (Doubleday & Company, 1987)

Klein, Maury. Union Pacific, The Rebirth, 1894-1969 (Doubleday, 1989)

Trottman, Nelson. History of the Union Pacific (Augustus M. Kelley, 1923, reprinted 1966)

Oregon Short Line Railroad Company. Corporate History of Oregon Short Line Railroad Company, As of June 30th, 1916