Utah Railway Cabooses
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This page was last updated on July 1, 2022.
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|Utah Number||Type||Date Acquired||Notes|
|50||Wood||1917 (built in 1913)|
|51||Wood||1917 (built in 1913)|
|52||Wood||1917 (built in 1913)|
|53||Wood||1917 (built in 1913)|
|54||Wood||1918||UP CA-1 style|
|55||Wood||1918||UP CA-1 style|
|56||Wood||1920||UP CA-1 style|
|57||Wood||1923||UP CA-1 style|
|58||Wood||1923||UP CA-1 style|
|59||Wood||1924||UP CA-1 style|
|60||Wood||1924||UP CA-1 style|
|61||Wood||1927||UP CA-1 style|
|Utah Number||Type||Date Acquired||Notes|
|62||Steel||Feb 1971||Ex UP 25344 (CA-6)|
|63||Steel||Feb 1971||Ex UP 25250 (CA-5)|
Sources include "Official Manual of Utah Railway Company, No. 2" dated January 1, 1937, updated through May 1, 1944.
Utah Railway has operated coal trains from mines in east central Utah to a connection with Union Pacific at Provo, Utah, since 1917. Many writers over the years have assumed that since Utah Railway operated Union Pacific-design locomotives, cars, and cabooses, Union Pacific must have been either full or part owner of this coal hauling line. This has never been the case. Utah Railway was organized in 1912 as the Utah Coal Railway, and construction began immediately. Utah Railway's parent company was United States Fuel Co., a subsidiary of United States Smelting, Refining & Mining Co., which owned extensive coal lands in east central Utah. The line was completed in 1914, and between 1914 and 1917 the railroad was operated under contract by Denver & Rio Grande.
In 1917, Utah Railway took over its own operations due to the company's dissatisfaction with the level of service that D&RG was providing. The main difficulty was D&RG's inability to provide sufficient empty coal cars to fill the shipping needs of Utah Railway's parent company, United States Fuel Co. Union Pacific's involvement came because Utah Railway was a major source of interchange traffic for UP subsidiary San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake at Provo, Utah. To replace the D&RG operations, Utah Railway approached Union Pacific for help in setting up its operational and maintenance organizations, including designing and purchasing rolling stock.
When Utah Railway began operating its own trains on November 1, 1917, after giving a one year notice as required under the D&RG contract, its new operating department put into use six 2-10-2 and three 2-8-8-0s of Union Pacific design. The new equipment also included 1,500 Utah Coal Route drop bottom gondolas, jointly owned between Utah Railway and the newly renamed Los Angeles & Salt Lake (then still jointly owned by UP's OSL subsidiary, and the line's original organizer, Senator William Clark).
Included in the initial car fleet were two wooden cabooses, Utah numbers 54 and 55, with steel underframes, built to UP's CA-1 design by Mount Vernon Car. These locomotives, gondolas, and cabooses were purchased through the Union Pacific Equipment Association, which had been organized in October 1905 by the Harriman interests for the purpose of purchasing equipment for use by Union Pacific and its affiliated companies. (Utah Railway also operated four earlier cabooses from predecessor road Southern Utah Railroad. Numbered as Utah 50 to 53, these cabooses were different from UP's CA-1 design, and were not purchased through the Union Pacific Equipment Association.)
A very large majority of Utah's traffic was interchanged with LA&SL at the also-new-in-1917 joint Utah/LA&SL yard in Provo. Over the next nine years, Mt. Vernon furnished another six identical cabooses to Utah Railway, numbered as Utah 56 to 61, making a total of eight cabooses that were almost identical to UP's CA-1 cabooses. Number 56 was delivered in 1920, 57 and 58 were delivered in 1922, 59 and 60 were delivered in 1924, and number 61 was delivered in 1927. Additional steam locomotives and 700 additional jointly-owned Utah Coal Route cars were also purchased in later years. Dispositions for Utah Railway cabooses include Utah 58 being destroyed in a wreck on D&RGW in February 1945, and Utah 59 being destroyed in a wreck on D&RGW on November 11, 1941.
Utah Railway changed the color of its caboses from box car red, to a "a new coat of Vitralite Mahogany" which was "pleasing to the eye" and had better wear qualities. (Ax-I-Dent-Ax, September 1930, page 12)
Utah 50 - Received second-hand from Southern Utah Railroad, purchased on September 14, 1918. The Southern Utah caboose was purchased second-hand from Yawkey Bissell Lumber company at Vitas, Wisconsin, on March 31, 1913, and was a former CM&StP caboose built by National Railway Equipment Co. Converted to Utah Railway outfit car 06 on January 31, 1927. (The )
Utah 51, 52, 53 - Received secondhand from Southern Utah Railroad; delivered to SURR on June 13, 1913.
- Utah 52 rebuilt by Mt. Vernon Car Co., in 1920 after a wreck on June 20, 1920.
- Utah 52 destroyed on D&RGW on September 19, 1922.
- Utah 53 sat at Martin until the late 1960s or early 1970s, when it was sold to H-E Lowdermilk Co., a construction firm located at Spring Glen, Utah, between Helper and Price; moved to their equipment yard at Spring Glen, Utah. Moved from Spring Glen in about 1973, to Heber, Utah, for service on the Heber Creeper tourist excursion train. Later removed from service and displayed near the original D&RGW depot at Heber, which became private property after 1990. Moved in February 2021.
Utah 54, 55 - (UP CA-1 style) Delivered on February 26, 1918, purchased through Union Pacific Equipment Association.
- Rebuilt with steel sheathing
- Photo of Utah 55 in Rio Grande in Color, Vol. 2, page 49
- Utah 55 is now displayed at the Western Mining and Railroad Museum, Helper, Utah
Utah 56 - (UP CA-1 style) Delivered on June 20, 1920, purchased through Union Pacific Equipment Association.
Utah 57, 58 - (UP CA-1 style) Delivered on May 12, 1923, purchased through Union Pacific Equipment Association.
- Utah 57 was retired in March 1981.
- Utah 58 was "demolished at Martin, Utah February 11, 1946." "Cost of repairs was prohibitive." (Utah Railway AFE 981, dated February 26, 1946)
"Caboose badly damaged about 10 p .m. February 11, 1946, on westward main track about M.P. 1.2 when struck by locomotive 106 backing up to engine house after pulling train of empties into North 1 track. Not much damage to tender of locomotive 106 - No fatalities - Conductor Mertsheimer shaken and badly bruised but no bones broken apparently." (Utah Railway AFE 981, dated February 15, 1946)
"Cabooses 57 and 58 were purchased in 1922 under A.F.E. 161 Eq. A.F.E. shows total ·cost of $2933 each." (Utah Railway AFE 981, dated February 15, 1946)
Utah 59, 60 - (UP CA-1 style) Delivered on July 10, 1924, purchased through Union Pacific Equipment Association.
- Utah 59 destroyed on D&RGW on November 11, 1941.
- Utah 60 was in Utah Railway's Provo yard for several years. The caboose was retired at sometime in the 1970s and sold H-E Lowdermilk Co., a construction firm located at Spring Glen, Utah, between Helper and Price; moved to their equipment yard at Spring Glen, Utah. Lowermilk displayed the caboose with the Vanderbuilt tender from retired Utah Railway 2-8-8-0 steam locomotive number 201.
Utah 61 - (UP CA-1 style) Delivered on September 18, 1927, purchased through Union Pacific Equipment Association.
Utah 62, 63 - Purchased second-hand from Union Pacific. The two cars remained in service on Utah Railway until the early 1990s.
February 2, 1971
The two Union Pacific cabooses were purchased on February 2, 1971, under AFE 1321, with a cost of $10,450.00. (Information from Jim Taylor, Utah Railway dispatcher at Martin, March 22, 1993)
Utah 62 was ex UP 25344, a Class CA-6, retired by UP in December 1970.
Utah 63 was ex UP 25250, a Class CA-5, retired by UP in June 1970.
Utah Railway caboose 62 was donated to Boy Scouts of America, and used at Camp Jeremiah Johnson BSA, Springville Utah. (Mike Hansen, email dated July 7, 2013)
Utah Railway caboose 63 was traded to Heber Valley Railroad, Heber, Utah; moved to Heber on December 16, 2011; repainted in November 2015 to its 1952-as-delivered UP 3950 number and paint. The caboose interior was in its orginal configuration, and was not changed or restored.
Heber Valley Railroad (HVRR) and the Genesee & Wyoming worked out a deal to trade HVRR's ex-Mopac caboose. The ex MP caboose was refurbished and painted for the Buffalo & Pittsburgh, another of G&W's regional railroads. In return the HVRR would get the Utah Railway snow spreader and Utah Railway caboose 63. The ex MP caboose (MP 13754) was completed as B&P caboose 1004 on April 1, 2011, departed Heber for Buffalo & Pittsburgh on May 21, 2011, and was stored briefly at Utah Railway's Provo yard during June. It arrived on B&P rails in Butler, Pennsylvania by August 2011. (Trainorders.com, April 2, 2011, detailing the trade that brought Utah 63 to Heber)
Utah 70 - In 1959, Utah Railway was to receive its first steel caboose, as part of a group of steel cabooses being built by D&RGW in its Burnham shops in Denver. It was to be numbered as Utah no. 70. D&RGW was building what would become its newest, and last group of its steel cupola cabooses, numbered as D&RGW 01480-01489. For unknown reasons, the caboose was not delivered to Utah Railway, but instead was completed on August 31, 1959 as D&RGW 01490. (John Tudek, via emails dated May 27, 2013)