Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad (1872-1881)

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on September 28, 2016.

(Return to Utah Railroads Index Page)

(Return to Rio Grande in Utah Index page)


The Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad, incorporated September 10, 1872, held a ground-breaking ceremony on October 24, 1872. The day was also Superintendent (and owner) Hugh White's 27th birthday. Within a month, about six miles had been graded, and ties began to appear. Research shows that the entire line was about 16 miles length and had been graded, ties placed, and the Jordan River bridge built, but no iron laid, when the company was sold by White and his associates in June of 1873 to Charles W. Scofield, William B. Welles, B. W. Morgan, and others. The new owners kept White (as an employee) to complete the railroad.

The first delivery of rail arrived by late August 1873, and scheduled trains began running on Thursday, October 16, 1873. The line was completed to a point in Bingham Canyon near the Winnamuck smelter, just short of Bingham town, on November 22, 1873. The end point was out of necessity due to the change in slope of the canyon floor. Beyond, and into Bingham town itself, the slope was found to be too steep. It would very soon be built on by a tram company that used horses as motive power. The horse tram used a switchback and steeper grades to go beyond the Winnamuck, and continued its line for another 3.5 miles to reach the mines of the U. S. Mining Company.

The completion of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd to the Winnamuck gave the railroad 16 miles of line from Sandy station, on the Utah Southern Railroad, west to Bingham station, just below Bingham town proper. The track from Sandy station to the Jordan River bridge, three miles, was laid as three-rail for both BC&CF's three-feet narrow gauge trains, and Utah Southern's standard gauge trains, for the convenience of the Utah Southern Railroad in reaching smelters in that vicinity.

Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad's first locomotive was an 0-6-0 with tender, from the works of Porter, Bell & Co., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received sometime between August 27th and September 13th, 1873. Over the next six months or so, two more very similar locomotives were received, also from Porter & Bell, with a fourth and final locomotive arriving sometime in early 1875, likely in March. These four locomotives, all 0-6-0 engines with tenders, all from Porter, Bell & Co., constitute the entire locomotive roster of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd, all four of which became D&RGW engines when that company officially took over the BC&CF on September 1, 1881.


Summer 1872
During the summer of 1872, while Denver & Rio Grande was being completed to Pueblo, the mining industry was growing rapidly, including the new West Mountain Mining District, which encompassed Bingham Canyon, located twenty miles southwest of Salt Lake City. The Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad was organized in September 1872 to build west from the Utah Southern at Sandy to the mines in Bingham Canyon. A month later, in October, the Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad was organized to build east from Sandy to the mines and granite quarries in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Both roads were completed and operating by December 1873.

September 10, 1872
Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad was organized by Hugh White and a group of Salt Lake City businessmen with interests in local mines and smelters. This was Utah's third narrow gauge railroad to be organized, with Utah Northern Railroad at Logan being the first in August 1871, and the second being the American Fork Railroad in April 1872.

September 10, 1872
Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad was incorporated in Utah to build from Sandy, on the Utah Southern, to Bingham Canyon in the West Mountain Mining District. (Utah corporation index 4291)

September 28, 1872
"Railroad Progress." "[Another] enterprise, which will soon be under way and completed probably before snow flies, will be the Bingham Canyon narrow gauge road, about 17 miles in length." (Utah Mining Journal, September 28, 1872)

September 28, 1872
"Local Brevities." "The Bingham Narrow Gauge Railway is a new enterprise fairly under way. We understand that the company has already organized and the surveyors will be put on the line next week. Work will at once be inaugurated, and by winter it is expected the road will be completed. It is in energetic hands." (Utah Mining Journal, September 28, 1872)

October 24, 1872
A letter, dated October 24, says that ground was broken "today" on the Bingham Canyon railroad. Hugh White is the Superintendent of the railroad, and the 24th was his 27th birthday. The survey of the route was done by a Mr. Smith, who with his crew came over from the American Fork railroad, and the survey is now about completed. (Salt Lake Herald, October 26, 1872)

November 11, 1872
"Local Brevities." "The first five miles grading on the Bingham Canyon narrow gauge R.R. was completed to-day." (Utah Mining Journal, November 11, 1872)

November 29, 1872
Six and one-half miles of the B. C. & C. F. line have been graded, the ties are all contracted for, and are now being delivered. (Salt Lake Herald, November 29, 1872)

December 1872
Construction started on the smelting works of Galena Silver Mining Company at the point where the new railroad was projected to cross the Jordan River.

December 1872
Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd began construction of their line. (Reeder, p. 152)

December 14, 1872
Hugh White, superintendent of the Bingham Canyon railroad, says that two miles more of the grading done, making 7-1/2 miles at present; ties are being delivered, timbers for the Jordan River bridge are on the ground, and he is about to head East in search of iron and rolling stock. (Salt Lake Herald, December 14, 1872)

January 15, 1873
"Local Intelligence." "The Bingham Canyon narrow gauge railroad is expected to be in running order by the 10th of next month." (Utah Mining Journal, January 15, 1873)

June 5, 1873
Item on the sale of the Bingham Canyon Railroad to 'Eastern parties', and some others, including B. W. Morgan, of Salt Lake City, and later of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. (Salt Lake Herald, June 5, 1873)

June 1873
C. W. Scofield took control of Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd. Because of a lack of cash, Hugh White was forced to sell the stock and control of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd to investors in Salt Lake City and in the east, led by Scofield. (Reeder, p. 155)

Charles W. Scofield of New York. Scofield had extensive mining interests in Utah and was beginning to invest in Utah railroads as well. In making the sale of the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Railroad to the Scofield group, Hugh White agreed to remain with the company and direct the completion of the roadbed. (Salt Lake Herald, June 28, 1873; Corinne Daily Reporter, June 28, 1873)

June 28, 1873
An item in greater detail on the sale of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad by Hugh White and his associates, to Charles W. Scofield, William B. Welles, B. W. Morgan and their associates. (Salt Lake Herald, June 28, 1873)

July 1, 1873
To finance construction of BC&CF, $240,000 of first mortgage 8 percent bonds were sold on July 1, 1873, immediately after Scofield purchased control of the company. These bonds carried a maturity date of July 1, 1903. Additional funds for construction were realized from $45,000 cash paid on stock. (Letter, C. W. Scofield to Secretary of Interior, July 10, 1873, National Archives, Social and Economic Records Division, Records of the General Land Office, Records Group 49, Division F, Box 3)

July 3, 1873
"Bingham Canyon Railroad." "Mr. Scofield, president, and Mr. Wm. B. Welles, secretary and treasurer of the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd railroad company, left on Tuesday for the east to complete the purchase of iron and rolling stock for their road. A portion of the iron is already on the way, and the road will be fully equipped and running from Sandy to Bingham within sixty days." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, July 3, 1873)

August 10, 1873
"Bingham Items." "The rolling stock for the Bingham narrow-gauge has arrived, and the iron was expected yesterday." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 10, 1873)

August 27, 1873
"Twelve cars of iron, twelve flat cars, two passenger and one baggage cars, and one locomotive have been shipped for the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Railroad; and, part of the iron having arrived, tracklaying will commence immediately." (Salt Lake Herald, August 27, 1873)

August 30, 1873
"Our Bingham Letter." "Bingham Canyon, Aug. 26th, 1873" "Your correspondent to-day enters upon his duties as chronicler of events ... in this flourishing mining camp. Upon my way up by coach, to Bingham, from Sandy station, I had a fine view of the track of the Bingham Canyon branch of the U. C. Railroad. Its length is fifteen miles; the grading is all done and the ties laid on the track ready for the iron. There is a hitch somewhere, or the directors of this road would not let the weeds grow on their fine grade, until in some places they have nearly obscured the ties." (Utah Mining Gazette, August 30, 1873)

August 30, 1873
"Local Summary" "Twelve car loads of iron, two passenger, one baggage, twelve flat cars., and a locomotive for the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Railroad, have been shipped. Track laying will be commenced immediately." (Utah Mining Gazette, August 30, 1873)

September 6, 1873
"Resources of Utah." "Statistics of Progress during the Year 1873 -- Summary for Six Months ending June 30th." (Utah Mining Gazette, September 6, 1873)

March -- "The Bingham Canyon railroad, ten miles of grading completed and seventeen thousand ties laid down."

June -- "Bingham Canyon Railroad." "This railroad was sold by Hugh White & Company, to a body of capitalists in Detroit, Michigan, with a covenant to finish tieing, bridging and completing the road-bed, forthwith, ready for iron."

September 17, 1873
In reporting on an excursion over the W.& J.V. on the 16th, the paper says that the excursion party, on approaching Sandy, "noticed that track-laying was being prosecuted on the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad, and saw a locomotive, two passenger cars, and several flats already on the track...". (Salt Lake Herald, September 17, 1873)

September 27, 1873
A lull in tracklaying on Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd on account of no rail. (Salt Lake Tribune, September 27, 1873)

October 6, 1873
"For the Bingham Railroad -- A gentleman just in from the East says that on Thursday he passed, at Pine Bluffs, on the Platte, two passenger cars and several trucks, on their way west for the Bingham Canyon Railroad." (Deseret Evening News, October 6, 1873)

October 16, 1873
Trains are to begin running on regular schedule on the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd railroad "this morning." (Salt Lake Herald, October 16, 1873)

October 18, 1873
"On Thursday morning trains commenced running on the Bingham Canyon Railroad, and it is now running two trains daily, connecting with the Utah Southern Railroad at Sandy." Thursday was the 16th. (Utah Mining Gazette, October 18, 1873)

October 19, 1873
More iron is en route for the B. C. & C. F., and 40 passengers rode over the road on the 17th. (Salt Lake Herald, October 19, 1873)

October 27, 1873
Scofield and his associates took control of Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd railroad at their first annual stockholders meeting on October 27, 1873. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 30, 1873)

November 8, 1873
Between 16 October and 1 November, some 643 passengers took passage on the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Railroad. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 8, 1873)

November 12, 1873
The long-delayed iron for the B. C. & C. F. is finally arriving, and the road will be completed as quickly as possible. More than 600 passengers have so far ridden over the line, 60 of them on Saturday, the 8th. (Salt Lake Herald, November 12, 1873)

November 14, 1873
The BC&CF track is completed to the mouth of Bingham Canyon, some 10 miles; grade is complete for another six miles, to near the Winnamuck works, and most of the ties are down. Twenty cars of iron arrived yesterday and the day before. (Salt Lake Herald, November 14, 1873)

November 15, 1873
"The Bingham Railroad." "A week more of good weather will insure the completion of the Bingham Canyon Railroad to its terminus for the winter. The iron has arrived, and the work is being pushed forward with the utmost diligence." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 15, 1873)

November 15, 1873
"Iron for the completion of the Bingham Canyon Railroad is now arriving, and it is expected that this much-needed road will be completed in a few days." (Utah Mining Gazette, November 15, 1873)

November 15, 1873
Another 14 car loads of iron for the B. C. & C. F. are at Ogden, with five or six more yet en route. (Salt Lake Herald, November 15, 1873)


November 23, 1873
"Completed." "Yesterday afternoon the last rail was laid and the Salt Lake and Bingham Canyon railroad pronounced ready for through traffic. The first train will leave this morning, and from this time forth will run on schedule time in connection with the Utah Southern." (Salt Lake Tribune, November 23, 1873)

November 23, 1873
"Bingham Canyon Railroad. -- We are informed by Mr. Scofield, president of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd...". that 16 miles of the road are now in operation, end of track at Winnamuck being reached last night. Scofield claims two engines, four passenger cars and 38 freight cars, but Engine No. 2 will not arrive until January. (Salt Lake Herald, November 23, 1873)

November 23, 1873
The non-Mormon officers of the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd railroad felt that the actions of the Mormon-controlled Utah Southern were serious enough to prompt them to make plans to build their own narrow gauge line to connect with Salt Lake City. Accordingly, on November 23, 1873, President C. W. Scofield and the other officers of the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd road filed articles of incorporation for the Salt Lake City and Bingham Railroad Company to accomplish that purpose. (Salt Lake and Bingham Railroad, Articles of Incorporation, November 25, 1873, Utah State Archives; Salt Lake Tribune, November 26, 1873)

This threat of a competitive road was apparently effective enough to cause all parties to discuss and solve their differences and the new road was never built, and complaints about the lack of cooperation disappeared from the newspapers.

November 29, 1873
"Railway Building," being a half-column letter on the building by Alex McClellan of the Bingham Canyon railroad; 16 miles of track, one mile of which has a third rail for standard gauge cars; four bridges, the one over the Jordan being about 300 feet long; a substantial station; an enginehouse; two water tanks; a well, about 100 feet deep; and about 14 miles of sidings. All of this he is said to have done for $7,000 for labor and materials, cost of ties and iron excepted. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 29, 1873)

December 1, 1873
Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd was completed to Bingham. (Poor's Railroad Manual, 1876-77)

Service was begun with one locomotive. (Salt Lake Herald, January 23, 1874)

A one-mile extension was completed into the business center of Bingham Canyon a year later. (Reeder, p. 157, 159)

This extension later became part of the horse tram, which was rebuilt in 1900 as part of the Copper Belt Railroad.

December 6, 1873
"The Bingham Canyon narrow gauge railroad now being completed as far as its terminus, near the Winnamuck smelter,..." (Utah Mining Gazette, December 6, 1873)

(The spelling of Winnamuck changed over the years. In earlier times, the newspapers and other paper work usually used "Winamuck" as the spelling. The later mine and mill, from the 1880s on, was usually spelled as "Winnamuck.")

The fourteen claims of the Winnamuck mining group "takes in nearly all the ground on which the Rio Grande depot and yards are located." (Salt Lake Herald, February 14, 1896)

The location of the Winnamuck mill is shown on sheet 3 of the 1907 Sanborn fire insurance map of Bingham. The mill was located almost directly across the tracks from the D&RGW Bingham depot.

(Read more about the Winnamuck, or Winamuck, mine, mill and smelter)

January 1874
A second locomotive for BC&CF arrived in January 1874. (Salt Lake Herald, January 23, 1874)

January 3, 1874
An accident yesterday on the Bingham Canyon railroad, in that some of the cars broke off of a freight train and rolled rapidly back down the hill, hitting a passenger car at the depot, causing thereby considerable damage to same. No injuries reported. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 3, 1874)

January 17, 1874
The Bingham Canyon railroad will add another train to its schedule on and after the 19th of this month. (Salt Lake Herald, January 17, 1874)

January 18, 1874
Fare Salt Lake City to Bingham is $1.50; two trains daily. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 18, 1874)

January 23, 1874
"Bingham Canyon Railroad." "The following figures exhibit the amount of freight transported over the narrow gauge railroad during the month of December, as shown by the agent's books at Bingham Junction: Down freight, received 2,149,160 lbs. Up freight, forwarded 2,020,671 lbs. "This business was done with but one locomotive, which was also required to do the necessary switching, and making-up of all trains in addition to making two round trips each day over the line of the road." (irrelevant material omitted.) "A new engine has just been added to the motive power of the road, and the third locomotive and fifty more freight cars are being built and will soon be here,..." (Salt Lake Herald, January 23, 1874)

January 23, 1874
Freight hauled in December 1873 on the BC&CF was 4,169,831 lbs., and "This business was done with but one locomotive, which was also required to do the necessary switching and making up of all trains in addition to making two round trips each day over the line of the road." "A new engine has just been added to the motive power of the road, and the third locomotive and fifty more freight cars are being built and will soon be here,.:." (Salt Lake Herald, January 23, 1874)

February 5, 1874
Item on "A Dangerous Bank Check", which is essentially a $5 bill being issued by the BC&CFRR; dated January 15, 1874, redeemable at the Salt Lake City National Bank on June 17, 1874. (Salt Lake Herald, February 5, 1874)

February 7, 1874
"Freight Traffic of the Bingham Canyon Railroad." "The business of this new narrow gauge road is evidently improving. For the month of January 5,234,507 pounds of freight were received at the Junction, and 910,131 pounds forwarded, making a total of 6,144,638 pounds." per the agent at the Junction. (Utah Mining Gazette, February 7, 1874)

March 3, 1874
B. C. & C. F. freight business for February, at Junction: received, 4,728,545 lbs.; forwarded, 3,891,749 lbs. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, March 3, 1874)

March 21, 1874
Resources of Utah - Statistics for 1873: "Narrow Gauge Railroads." "Bingham Canyon Railroad - officers are C. W. Scofield, Pres.; B. W. Mann, V.P.; W. B. Welles, secretary; and G. W. Goss, superintendent. The railroad runs 'nearly' to Bingham City; gauge from Sandy station to the Jordan river is 4' 8-1/2", with a third rail for narrow gauge; west of the Jordan river it is narrow gauge only. "From W. B. Welles, Secretary, we have the following:..."The Bingham Canyon Railroad Company have three engines, four passenger cars and about 100 freight cars; a large proportion of the latter being dump cars,..." (Utah Mining Gazette, March 21, 1874)

March 31, 1874
Ore cars for the BC&CFRR are arriving daily. (Daily Ogden Junction, March 31, 1874)

April 25, 1874
An item on the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd says they have three 'locomotive engines,' four passenger cars, one baggage & express, and 100 flat and dump cars. (Utah Mining Gazette, April 25, 1874)

June 5, 1874
Runaway ore car on the BC&CF smashes a coach and a 'baggage caboose'. The cars now being repaired. (Salt Lake Herald, June 5, 1874)

June 6, 1874
"Accident at Bingham" "On Wednesday two car loads of bullion ran Saturday into the passenger train on the Bingham Canyon Railroad at the depot in Bingham, smashing a passenger car and a baggage caboose. No other damage was done." (Provo Daily Times, June 6, 1874)

June 16, 1874
"A Visit to Bingham", the editor went up "upon the elegant new cars of the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd road,...behind the powerful little locomotive, 'Argenta',...". Ties on the road are hard pine, laid on 18" centers; rail is 30 pound iron. The bridge over the Jordan River has 12 x 15 inch pilings, iron capped, eight feet apart and driven in 14 to 18 feet deep; cap timbers are 12-inches square; stringers are 14x16"; and one-inch diameter bolts used throughout the bridge. (Salt Lake Herald, June 16, 1874)

June 26, 1874
Tracklaying on the line above Bingham, to the Utah Company's works, has been commenced by the B. C. & C. F. (Salt Lake Herald, June 26, 1874)

June 27, 1874
"Tracklaying has commenced on the tramway, running from the terminus of the Bingham Canyon road to the mines. The grading is nearly completed, and the road will be in running order by the end of next month." (Utah Mining Gazette, June 27, 1874)

July 10, 1874
Item on the tramway above Bingham on the BC&CF seems to indicate that it is of a gauge narrower than three feet. According to this item, the tramway goes up to the mines on Jordan Hill. (Salt Lake Herald, July 10, 1874)

Summer 1875
Service began during the summer of 1875 on a two-mile, 5.6 percent grade, mule tramway in Bingham Canyon to the Jordan mine of the Utah Mining Company. Construction began in June 1874, with delays because of disputes in the right of way over located mining claims. (Reeder, p. 160; Salt Lake Herald, June 16, 1874; June 26, 1874; November 25, 1874) The tramway was built with a gauge "narrower than three feet." (Salt Lake Herald, July 10, 1874)

June 1875
United States Circuit Court, Utah Third District, sitting at Salt Lake City:

Case No. 1934, BC&CF vs. Burmeister et al., June 1875, in which the said Burmeister, who was a constable, was ordered to take into custody BC&CF engine No. 2, the "Winnamuck". The railroad had a judgment against itself, in favor of Cereghino and Boitano (whoever they were); the railroad didn't think it should pay, so judge ordered the engine attached. Burmeister attached it on June 11, 1875, though what he did with it is not made clear! Engine was returned to the railroad on June 18th.

June 17, 1876
"The Bingham Canon and Camp Floyd Railroad Company, Utah, has a single track of twenty-two miles of main line with about three miles of side track and branches. The road commences at Sandy, a station on the Utah Southern Railroad, twelve miles south of Salt Lake City, and runs west up the Canon to Bingham City, in the vicinity of which are upwards of 5,000 located mines. The largest producing mines of this district have direct connection with the road by means of tramways and cars belonging to this road. The road was commenced in the Fall of 1873, but was not completed until the Spring of 1875. The equipment consists of four six-wheel locomotives, four passenger and one hundred and forty freight cars." (Engineering and Mining Journal, June 17, 1876, page 593)

December 14, 1878
"The Tax Cases", brought by the W&JV and the BC&CF, to obtain an injunction restraining the tax collector from selling railroad property for the payment of delinquent taxes. (Salt Lake Herald, December 14, 1878)

December 26, 1878
United States Circuit Court, Utah Third District, sitting at Salt Lake City:

Case No. 3887, BC&CF vs. Crismon, the assessor; a statement by said assessor, dated December 26, 1878, showing;

Four Locomotives, each worth $2,500.00 (total $10,000.00); three passenger cars, each worth $1,000.00 (total $3,000.00); 150 freight cars, each worth $150.00 (total $2,200.00); grand total $35,000.00. Again, this case is a matter of overdue taxes, and again the assessor's idea is that the railroad company can sell off the unused equipment to pay his tax assessments Just exactly who is going to buy the equipment doesn't come up.

February 6, 1879
Decision yesterday in the tax BC&CF and W&JV case; taxes for 1878 are to be paid, but the taxes for earlier years may be passed; injunction stopping the collector stands. (Salt Lake Herald, February 6, 1879)

Consolidation with Wasatch & Jordan Valley

April 29, 1879
Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd and Wasatch & Jordan Valley were consolidated to form a new Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad. (Reeder, p. 168, 169)

On April 29, 1879, Charles W. Scofield officially combined the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd Railroad with the Wasatch and Jordan Valley under the name of the latter. Charles W. Scofield, Charles Lockhart, Benjamin W. Morgan, J. G. Kennedy and George M. Young were elected directors. Scofield also served as president; B. H. Morgan, vice president; J. O. Kennedy, secretary treasurer; and G. M. Young, general superintendent.

C. W. Scofield had been president of both roads since 1875 and found that consolidation of the two lines was the only economically feasible way of continuing the operation of the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad to Alta, where the mines were failing.

(Read more about Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd after the April 1879 consolidation with Wasatch & Jordan Valley.)


(Read more about the locomotives used by Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad)

More Information

Reeder -- Clarence Reeder's research about Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad

Corporate Information for the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad

Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd entry from George W. Hilton's American Narrow Gauge Railroads (Stanford University Press, 1990)