Deep Creek Railroad, October 1938

This page was last updated on March 3, 2007.

From Ogden Standard Examiner, October 7, 1938:

Creaking One-Man Line Sends Wheezing Engine To Ghost Town Weekly

By Jack Beardwood

Wendover, Utah, Oct. 7 (AP) This is the story of a one-man, one-train railroad that's as colorful as the desert and mountain through which its 45-mile single track runs.

It's a railroad that runs but one train a week and that during last month carried but three paying passengers and 9,053 pounds of freight.

For six days each week, the Deep Creek railroad's faded red, wooden combination passenger-mail coach stands, morosely on the Western Pacific railroad siding at this tank town on the edge of Bonneville salt flats; the Deep Creek's 1890 coal-fired locomotive is stuck deep in the Western Pacific roundhouse.

But each Friday evening, the old locomotive is fired, the kerosene lamps in the ancient red - plush seated coach are lighted and, with perhaps a single boxcar in tow, train wheezes off to Gold Hill, Utah, an isolated ghost mining town 45 miles south of here.

The populations of both Wendover and Gold Hill wouldn't add to more than 300 persons and there are no settlements between the two towns.

Moore, manager of the railroad for the past 19 years, likes to reminisce.

"I remember the time," he says, "when George and Mary Lee, who live down the line, had their new twins. Their nurse flagged the train and asked me for some badly needed hot water. I got the water for her - drew it from the locomotive's boiler.

"We commonly stopped the train to allow passengers to shoot jack rabbits and coyotes. Even today, we have a few antelope that keep the train company in the spring."

Once, old-fashioned train robbers held up the Deep Creek train and took the copper company's payroll. One passenger was shot.

The company's locomotive - a tiny, thin stacked engine stands rusting beside the Western Pacific roundhouse. It was condemned recently by the Utah state public service commission because of a faulty boiler. The company now rents an old locomotive from the Western Pacific.

Majority stock in Deep Creek is held the Western Pacific.

The train's engineer - Percy T. Hewitt - has held this job since Deep Creek began operating. Except for his Friday night trip to Gold Hill, Hewitt works, in the yard here - operating a "clam shell"", a steam shovel-like affair used to load coal.