Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway
Salt Lake & Ogden Railway

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This page was last updated on April 13, 2022.

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George Pitchard described the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs as follows:

Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway was incorporated in November of 1890, sold to the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway in October 1896, and name changed to Bamberger Electric Railroad in August of 1917. The SL&O had been created in March 1896 specifically to purchase the GSL&HS.

The GSL&HS started out small, having just a mile of track when it began operations in 1891. The little road's initial plans were a bit grandiose. Newspaper accounts reported that a route had been surveyed from the Utah-Wyoming line to the Utah-Nevada line, via Ogden and Salt Lake City. Reorganized in August 1908 as the Salt Lake & Ogden, being the two end points of the completed railroad. Planning was already in hand for the electrification of this road, which began electric operations between Salt Lake City and Ogden in May of 1910. Steam was retained as freight motive power for several years thereafter, and there were still steam locomotives in use in 1916; the carcasses and hulks of steam locomotives seem to be on the property well into the 1930s.

Electrified passenger operations began in May of 1910, with 10 rather classic-looking cars, built by the Jewett Car Co., 40-ton baggage-smoking-passenger cars, 55 feet long overall, designed to run a schedule speed of 30 mph, but capable of speeds in excess of 50 mph A 'builder's photo' exists, of car number 307.

Freight operations clearly continued under steam power for some time after the passenger operations became electrified; but that was only a temporary thing, and electric freight locomotive "A" was shipped September 27, 1911 from the McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Co., for which the Salt Lake & Ogden Ry. paid $8,550.00.

The GSL&HS started out in 1891 with two 'dummy' engines of the 0-4-2T wheel arrangement, both purchased new from Baldwin. No new engines were to be acquired until the electrics arrived in 1910-1911. All later steam locomotives for both GSL&HS and the S.L.& O. were purchased second-hand from a rather obscure dealer. As a result of the second-hand nature of the locomotive fleet, an accurate is somewhat impossible to assemble.

The following comes from Ira Swett's Interurbans of Utah, 1974, page 14:

The Bamberger Railroad was operated by steam from 1896 to 1910, and freight continued to be hauled by steam locomotives until 1914. Few people today can remember those little steam locomotives, but the cars they hauled are recalled by many, for they saw many additional years of use as trailers on the electrified Bamberger Railroad and many of them served still longer as maintenance-of-way cars

Those steamers were of the familiar dummy type -- a wooden car body completely enclosing the boiler and cab. The dummies were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, and were similar to those operated by the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad of that era. They were of the 0-4-2 wheel arrangement with water and coal being carried on the locomotive itself. Although small and light, the dummies were efficient and made fairly high speed.

As the railroad grew and trains became heavier, it was necessary to purchase larger locomotives. These were acquired from various sources, some new and some used. By 1910, the company was operating steam locomotives which weighed up to seventy tons. These large engines were retained until 1914 in freight service.

Steam locomotives of the lighter type were scrapped when electric operation took over. The heavier engines were sold to various railroads, usually industrial roads. One, No. 26, was reportedly sold to the Salt Lake & Utah and was used in constructing that interurban line, after which it was scrapped.

The steam-era passenger cars were purchased used from the Brooklyn Rapid Transit and were closed coaches with open platforms, forty in number. Some open cars were also operated in steam trains. After electrification, some of these closed coaches were equipped with electric lights and used as trailers. Later these trailers were rebuilt into express trailers and were used through World War 1. The rather light construction of these cars made it necessary to restrict their speed; in the days of steam operation, this was no problem -- but with the advent of the much faster electric interurban service the company was forced to purchase interurban trailers which could safely operate at high speeds.


(Timeline for the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs, as part of the Bamberger Railroad timeline)


The greatest portion of information in this roster is based on the research of George Pitchard.

Builder Builder
Date To
1   0-4-2T Baldwin 11336 6 Nov 1890 10x14 35   14 Jul 1891 1
2   0-4-2T Baldwin 10951 1890       Sep 1891 2
3   0-4-2T Baldwin 12011 1 Jul 1891 10x14 35   Sep 1891 3
9 CVRR 9 4-4-0 Porter 396 1 Dec 1880 13x18 48 43,000 ca. Mar 1893 4
(11) CVRR 11 0-4-2T Baldwin 5258 Sep 1880 15x18 36   ca. May 1893 5
15 CVRR 16 4-4-0 Porter 473 Jan 1882 13x18 48 43,000 ca. Mar 1893 6
17   4-4-0 Brooks 345 Jul 1879 17x24 56 77,100 Apr 1899 7, 8
18 (NP 847) 4-4-0 (Baldwin) (5883) (Oct 1881) 17x24 56   (Apr 1899) 8
19 (NP 855) 4-4-0 Baldwin (6118) (Mar 1882) 17x24 56 77,100 Apr 1899 8
20   4-4-0 C&A RR   1882 17x24 57 86,600 Jun 1908 9
21   0-4-2T Porter     ?     ? 10
22   4-6-0 ?     ?     ca. Mar 1907 11
24   0-4-0 TH&I RR   Feb 1887 ?     ca. Oct 1908 12
26   4-4-0 C&A RR   1886 17x24 57 86,600 May 1909 13

General Notes:

  1. C&A RR = Chicago & Alton Railroad
  2. TH&I RR = Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad
  3. The 0-4-2T locomotives were built with wooden bodies to simulate street car appearance; known as "Dummies"; the wooden bodies were later removed.
  4. Salt Lake & Ogden numbers 1 and 3 were purchased new, via a dealer in railway equipment, M. M. Buck & Co. Numbers 1 and 3 were Baldwin class 6/14-1/3C-73 and -74, respectively, and cost $3,850.00 each, and were to be painted Cadmium Yellow, with gold striping and lettering, "G. S. L. & H. S. Ry." above the windows (both of these were, of course, 0-4-2T street railway 'dummy' engines, or 'motors'.
  5. The three ex Connotton Valley Railroad (CVRR) locomotives shown above were actually sold to John W. Young's projected Utah Western Railway, and prior to their sale to Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs, may or may not have operated on his other narrow gauge roads in the Salt Lake City area, including the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas and the Salt Lake & Eastern, or the later consolidated Utah Central.


  1. GSL&HS no. 1 was built for the Ogden City Railway, no. 6, but not delivered; diverted by Baldwin to GSL&HS no. 1 on June 6, 1891.
  2. GSL&HS no. 2 was built in 1890 as Ogden City Ry. no. 101; sold to Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Ry. no. 2. (Connelly Baldwin List) (ed. note: Salt Lake Tribune of September 11, 1891 mentions the arrival of a second "motor" for Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs.)
  3. GSL&HS no. 3 was built in July 1891 as Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Ry. no. 3, ordered on June 6, 1891; railroad to Salt Lake & Ogden Ry. (Stanley Baldwin List)
  4. GSL&HS no. 9 was built in 1880 as a three-feet narrow gauge 2-4-0 for the Connotton Valley Railroad no. 9, "Mogadore,"; rebuilt by CVRR to 4-4-0; sold to dealer New York Equipment Co., New York, New York, in 1889; sold through the New York Equipment Company to John W. Young in 1889 for his projected Utah Western Railway (possibly as no. 13); never entered service; repossessed by OSL&UN for freight charges owed, circa March 1893; sold to Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs; converted to standard gauge, ca. March 1893.
  5. Porter specification book 'B' shows that Porter c/n 396 ended up in the hands of the Salt Lake & Ogden Ry., as a 56-1/2-inch gauge locomotive.
  6. The Salt Lake Herald of April 1, 1893 has an item headed "A Hot Springs Locomotive," which reads: "The Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs road has added a thirty-five ton Porter locomotive to its equipment. The engine, which has been in use before, was converted from a narrow to a broad gauge and thoroughly overhauled, the work being done in the company's shops in this city. It will be used in the freight service, the business of the little road having grown to such proportions that something heavier than the motors is required, about twelve carloads of brick being hauled daily."
  7. From Board of Equalization reports, it was the only 'real' locomotive (i.e., the only one not built to look like a street car, sometimes known as a steam motor, or a dummy, prior to the arrival of numbers 17 and 19 in April of 1899; it was rebuilt/overhauled again in 1898-1899, and got new cylinders, etc., from Porter in June of 1906. The engine was sold on February 14, 1911, for $1,500.00 to an unknown purchaser.
  8. GSL&HS no. 11. Little is known of GSL&HS no. 11, other than a photo in Ira Swett's Interurbans of Utah, page 15, showing that it was a small 0-4-2 saddle tank engine. George Pitchard believed that it was the former Utah Western Railway no. 11, a three-feet narrow-gauge engine repossessed by OSL&UN in March 1893 for unpaid freight charges. Pitchard speculated that the GSL&HS may have bought the little engine as parts, although actual ownership and disposition is unknown after being repossessed by OSL&UN.
  9. GSL&HS no. 15 was built as 3-feet narrow gauge in January 1882 as Connotton Valley no. 15 "Connotton", Canton, Ohio; to Cleveland & Canton no. 15, Carrollton, Ohio, in 1885; to Mineral Range no. 1, Houghton, Michigan, in November 1886; sold to dealer New York Equipment Co., New York, New York, in November 1888; sold to John W. Young in 1889 for his projected Utah Western Railway (possibly as no. 14); sold to Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs no. 15, in March 1893; converted to standard gauge; railroad changed to Salt Lake & Ogden Ry. in March 1896; railroad converted to electric operation in May 1910 (Robert Lehmuth Porter List) (GSL&HS no. 9 was rebuilt from narrow gauge in March 1893; at least two very good photos of 4-4-0 No. 15 exist, clearly a Porter)
  10. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 17 was built in July 1879 as Texas & St. Louis no. 3  "J W Paramore"; to St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas no. 5, January 1886; sold to dealer Lock, Moore & Co., June 1887; sold to Connotton Valley & Straitsville  no. 17 (2nd) "Oscar Wilde"; sold to dealer New York Equipment Co.; sold to Salt Lake & Ogden no. 17, in April 1899; sold to dealer Lock Moore & Co. (Robert Lehmuth Brooks List)
  11. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 17 last appears on the Equalization report for 1908, and none thereafter.
  12. Salt Lake & Ogden numbers 18 and 19 were acquired together, and arrived on the property in April of 1899. The Salt Lake Tribune, April 8, 1899, wrote that two locomotives had arrived "yesterday." They are identified as being 50- and 55-ton engines specifically for the Lagoon resort traffic.
  13. In an email dated January 29, 2015, Doug Cummings put forth a case that two, or possibly all three (SL&O 17, 18, 19) were purchased second hand from New York Equipment Co. in 1899, and that two were likely former Northern Pacific locomotives. He further remarked that the photo of no. 19 shows that it has a definite NP look to it.
  14. George Pitchard wrote that at least two photos of the 19 have appeared, and that it was a Baldwin 4-4-0, and an old engine, as it has beaded domes, not used after 1882-1883, and an 'omnibus' cab roof, the sort that curves up in the center, which was not used after sometime in the 1870s.
  15. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 18 appears for the first time in the report for 1909, which may be the 17, renumbered. Either that, or the 17 goes away, and another engine appears as the 18. Less is known of this 18 than of the 17. The confusion between 17 and 18 was reinforced in a letter dated October 5, 1910, offering 17 (or 18) for sale, along with engines 20 and 26, "owning to the recent electrification of the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway Co." The listed specifications show "17 & 19," while the letter itself mentions "Engines 18 and 19..."
  16. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 19 last appears on the Board of Equalization report for January 1, 1914, the last report to show any of the steam locomotives, but is apparently on hand at least into 1916.
  17. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 20 was built as Chicago & Alton no. 32, via James T. Gardner; No. 20 - appears to be former Chicago & Alton Railroad No. 32, an engine built (or more likely rebuilt) by that railroad in its shops in 1882, and one of several 4-4-0 engines disposed of by that road in the early years of the past century, this one being sold to James T. Gardner, Chicago, who in turn sold it on June 2, 1908 to the Salt Lake & Ogden Ry. It is also one of the eight engines listed by number on the last Board of Equalization report to show steam locomotives on the S L & O, that of January 1, 1914; and this one, too, seems to be on hand at least into 1916.
  18. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 21 was a "steam motor", also known as a "dummy." Little is known about SL&O 21, other than George Pitchard describing it as a Porter 0-4-2T, with a home-made saddle-tank. An illustration in the Salt Lake Tribune, of April 17, 1899, shows a very small locomotive named 'Morning Side'. The text accompanying the illustration reads, "One of the funniest-looking engines was found on the sidetracks of the Salt Lake & Ogden. This is a dummy, or motor, and is called 'Morning Side.' It is an interesting relic in several ways, having been formerly run on the line from Kansas City to Independence, Mo. President Bamberger bought it when the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs was first built, but the suburban line on which it first operated is now a part of the Kansas City, Pittsburgh & Gulf. Mr. Bamberger is going to have the dummy painted and put under a shed at Lagoon as a curiosity." Pitchard wrote that in the January 1, 1914 Board of Equalization report, No. 21 is valued at $250, whilst the other engines are valued at $200 each, or in the case of dummies 3 and 11, 'no value' whatever.
  19. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 22 - of this engine, little is known, beyond its acquisition around March of 1907 and that it was a 4-6-0 with a Belpaire firebox. Simon Bamberger fronted the money to acquire this engine, and nothing appears in the letters and such that survive to indicate from or through whom the thing was acquired. This engine, too, is listed in the January 1, 1914 Board of Equalization report, and seems to be on hand into 1916. No other reference has yet come to light.
  20. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 24 was built as TH&I no. 147, Vandalia 476; via James T. Gardner; No. 24 - a 'typical' 0-4-0 switcher-type engine, complete with the slope-back tender, bought October 27, 1908 via James T. Gardner. It had been built in the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad's shops in February of 1887 (or 1889), as St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute No. 147 (perhaps it may have been a rebuild of an older engine); it became Vandalia Railroad No. 203, No. 402, and No. 476, in succession, then passed to James T. Gardner, and on to the S L & O. This engine appears on the list of the Board of Equalization's January 1, 1914 report, and likely was still on the property into 1916, after which nothing is known.
  21. Salt Lake & Ogden no. 26 was built as Chicago & Alton no. 26, via James T. Gardner; No. 26 - the last steam locomotive acquired by the Salt Lake & Ogden, even as planning for electrification was well in hand, and yet another locomotive acquired through James T. Gardner; this one was formerly Chicago & Alton No. 26, purchased by the SL&O on May 21, 1909. As with No. 20, this engine was built (or rebuilt) by the Chicago & Alton in its own shops, in 1886, and like No. 20, more likely a rebuild of an older engine than an entirely new construction.
  22. This engine was not on the January 1, 1914 Board of Equalization report, having been sold on December 31, 1913 to the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad, which was under construction at the time, between Salt Lake and Utah counties.

Reports from the Utah State Board of Equalization show the following:

Date of
March 1894 the road added one 'dummy' and one locomotive, the dummy of uncertain origin, but the locomotive clearly being the widened-out Porter 4-4-0, No. 15.
March 1897 the road added one 'dummy' engine (from where?)
February 1899 another dummy was added (see Salt Lake Tribune, March 21, 1898 for probable arrival), and that the one "Locomotive" (No. 15) had been rebuilt (again).
February 1900 two locomotives were added, the report itself giving these additions the numbers 17 and 19.
1901 three 'Locomotives', numbers 15, 17 and 19
1906 one dummy was removed from equipment (which, and why, is of course not stated)
1907 another dummy was dropped from the equipment. The dummies are not shown by number, but the locomotives are, still as numbers 15, 17 and 19. There are three of the dummies on this report, which may be numbers 3, 11 and 21.
1908 one locomotive was added, being No. 22
1909 one dummy was dropped, and two locomotives were added - numbers 20 and 24; also, No. 18 appears, and 17 does not, so either 17 became 18, or 17 left and 18 came in, two entirely different engines.

report shows two dummy motors, numbers not given, and six 'engines, including tenders,' numbers 15, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 24. 15 and 24 are valued at $800 each, the other engines at $1,500 each. The dummies are valued at $400 each.
1910 one 'engine with tender' was added; it is not identified by number in the report, but clearly it is the No. 26.
1911 a total of three (3) dummy engines, classes as one 3rd class at $300, one 4th class at $200, and one 'scrap' at $50.00. The now-electrified road did not acquire yet another dummy at this point, but the one sitting around since being dropped between 1908 and 1909, was almost certainly the 'scrap' dummy.
1912 one 'engine with tender' was dropped; No. 15 was sold in February of 1911, and the 1912 report does show numbers, and 15 is missing. This report shows six 'engines including tenders,' numbers 18, 19, 20, 22, 24 and 26; and, for the first time, numbers the dummies - No. 21, 3rd class, at $250, and numbers 3 and 11, no class or value given.
January 1913 No changes since 1912 report
January 1914 the last report to list steam locomotives of any sort on this road, shows that in 1913 one locomotive (or 'engine including tender) was dropped, and the report specifies that it was No. 26 that was sold. The remaining five (5) 'engines including tenders' are shown as numbers 18, 19, 20, 22 and 24, at a value of $200.00 each; and three (3) Dummy engines, No. 21 at a value of $250.00, and the numbers 3 and 11 at "no value" each.
1915 The report for 1915 shows no steam power of any sort on the SL&O Ry.

Other information indicates that seven of the steam engines are still on the property into 1916 (accrued depreciation exceeding $27,000.00 appearing in the accounts in December), and that perhaps No. 21 was sold in 1919; and then we have the recurring tales of derelict locomotives of the steam sort abandoned to weeds and rust well into the 1930s - maybe so.

More Information

Bamberger Railroad -- Information about the Bamberger Railroad, which was renamed from the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway in August 1917, which in turn was reorganized from the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway in October 1896.