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Logan Rapid Transit Company

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This page was last updated on July 29, 2019.

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Overview

Logan Rapid Transit Company operated street cars in the city of Logan, Utah.

The following comes from Ira Swett's history of Logan Rapid Transit Company, published as part of his book "Interurbans of Utah."

The Logan Rapid Transit Company was organized on January 29, 1910 and was capitalized at $500,000. At the time of consolidation (in 1914) it operated 11.9 miles of electric railway in Logan and Cache County. (from Smithfield on the north, to Providence on the south)

An excellent picture of the company is to be found in the annual report of its secretary for the year ending December 31, 1913, from which we quote:

"This company has served the public well and given its stockholders dividends from year to year of 8%. Its lines have been extended as far north as Smithfield and as far south as Providence (this branch has been a paying proposition from the start).

"Your company has in operation three fully equipped cars of modern type and also a trail car.

"During the life of the Logan system the company's cars have traveled a distance of 102,200 miles and carried 1,146,617 passengers who have paid the sum of $57,330.

"The system known as the 'Interurban' operating between the towns of Smithfield and Providence has paid the company $23,042. Its cars have traveled 58,660 miles and have carried 181,864 passengers."

The cars mentioned were Nos. 1 and 2, built by Cincinnati in 1910 for ORT, and #38, also from Ogden, and built by St. Louis in 1910. The trailer was #101, built by American in 1910 and purchased from ORT when new. It completed the passenger car roster, but there were also a work car (#302), a flat car and two gravel cars, both from ORT.

The car barn was a frame building 28 by 100, with a 50 foot pit, two tracks in barn, one along the outside. A brick substation 14 by 17 housed an Allis-Chalmers motor-generator which took AC current at 2300 volts (three phase) and converted it to 600 v. DC.

The local line started at the Oregon Short Line Depot (Union Pacific) and ran 18 blocks to the Utah Agricultural College, a little more than two miles. There were two sidings, one at either terminus, while at the OSL Depot there was a track connection with the steam road.

The Smithfield Line ran from 6th East and 4th North to Smithfield, 7.4 miles.

The South Main St. line consisted of about 5-1/2 blocks of track.

Trolley wire and feeders were both 0000 on the interurban, while the city line used 00 wire for trolleys and feeders.

Comparison of Lines: The two lines of LRT were officially known as the "Logan Branch" which was the line in Logan, and the "Smithfield Branch" which was the interurban line between Smithfield and Providence via Logan. The Logan Branch comprised the entire operation prior to September 1912, but the Smithfield Branch from its first complete month of operation (October, 1912) surpassed the local line in receipts consistently. The Logan Branch averaged in the neighborhood of $1,200 monthly, while the Smithfield Branch jumped to a solid $1400 per month. For some obscure reason, Loganites' riding fell off badly every August; in 1912, the net earning for August was but $72.38, a drop of $600 from the previous month and $900 less than the following month. This interesting quirk failed to repeated on the Smithfield Branch; its riders apparently saw no reason for not patronizing the cars in August just as in every other month.

LRT was quite a profitable undertaking for the Eccles interests. In the four year period ending December 31, 1913, the net yearly earnings were: 1910, $8,180; 1911, 7,1.43; 1912, $10,923; 1913; $1,4,388. Total dividends for this period were $10,356!

In late 1914 and in 1915 rails were extended south from Providence to Wellsville, 11.5 miles from Logan, and north from Smithfield to Preston, 27 miles north of Logan. This gave the Logan operation a main line of 38.7 miles, serving a population of less than 23,000 people.

The building of the connection between Wellsville and Brigham was completed in 1915, and on October 27th of that year through interurban service was inaugurated between Ogden and Preston. In as much as the interurban was operated at a 1500-v. pressure, certain changes had to be made in the substation and city cars. Each car received two Westinghouse 543-A-6 750-1500 volt motors, connected permanently in series and controlled by R-200 double end equipment.

City car #2 on May 11, 1916, ran away while its motorman was in the station. He chased the car but failed to catch it, and the only passenger jumped without injury. Near the end of track the car jumped the rails and ended up on a lawn against a large tree, pulling down considerable trolley wire. For several hours interurban trains through the area were hauled by steam engines.

The automobile killed off patronage of the local line to such an extent that by 1924 UIC gave up and substituted two gas buses.

Lines operated by the Logan Rapid Transit Company at the time were:

  • City line, from 6th West St. and Center via Main, 4th North, Sixth East (one block) -- 2.3 miles
  • Logan to Providence (south) -- 1.5 miles
  • Logan to Smithfield (north) -- 7.4 miles
  • Total Mileage -- 11.2 miles

Timeline

August 28, 1909
"Logan, Utah.—David Eccles, president of the Ogden (Utah) Rapid Transit Company, has applied to the City Council for a franchise for the construction of a street railway system in Logan. The proposed extension, which is to run from Ogden to Logan via the Cache Valley, 60 miles distant, has already been constructed as far as the Ogden Valley, a distance of 15 miles." (Electric Railway Journal, August 28, 1909, page 338)

September 11, 1909
"Logan Utah.—The City Council has granted to David Eccles, president of the Ogden (Utah) Rapid Transit Company, a franchise to extend the street railway from the Logan depot to the Agricultural College, a distance of 3 miles." (Electric Railway Journal, September 11, 1909, page 418)

October 12, 1909
One of Logan Rapid Transit's new street cars was exhibited at the annual convention of the American Street and Interurban Railway Association in Denver. The car was 46 feet long, five feet longer than the cars running on Ogden Rapid Transit's canyon line. The car was one of several that had been purchased for the Logan company. (Deseret News, October 12, 1909)

January 29, 1910
Logan Rapid Transit Company was incorporated in Utah "To construct, etc., street railways within the city of Logan and in the future to expand throughout Cache County and into the State of Idaho." (Utah corporation index number 13794)

May 10, 1912
Cache County passed an ordinance allowing the construction of Logan Rapid Transit, north from Logan to Hyde Park and Smithfield, and south from Logan to Providence. (Logan Republican, May 11, 1912)

July 15, 1912
The first rail was laid for Logan Rapid Transit's line to the Agricultural College. (Logan Republican, July 16, 1912, "yesterday")

July 20, 1912
Property was being purchased to extend the street car tracks north to Hyde Park and Smithfield. (Logan Republican, July 20, 1912)

September 17, 1912
The tracks from Logan to Hyde Park were completed. (Logan Republican, September 19, 1912, "Tuesday")

May 20, 1913
The extension from Logan south to Providence was completed. (Logan Republican, May 20, 1913)

Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway

May 1914
The streetcar lines of Logan were included in the merger with Ogden Rapid Transit company that formed the Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway in May 1914.

(Read more about Ogden, Logan & Idaho Railway)

Abandonment

The following comes from the application in 1926 for Utah Idaho Central to abandon the Logan street car lines, and substitute bus service along the same routes.

Case 902 -- Utah Idaho Central Railroad

To abandon street car line in Logan.

Operated by two cars, #211 and #212.

Route was along Center Street from 6th West to Main Street, then north along Main Street, over the interurban tracks, to 4th North, then east along 4th North to 6th East, then north along 6th East to 9th North. Also a one block line along 7th East from 4th North to 5th North.

Approved September 8, 1926.

Buses

The following comes from Motor Coach Age, Volume 29, Number 3, March 1987 (Part Two of a four-part series about bus transit in Salt Lake City and northern Utah):

In order to forestall possible competition, the U-IC began bus service between Ogden and Preston on August 5, 1924. Two small Fageols operated the route which paralleled the rail line except between Brigham and Wellsville where the road via Mantua cut 16 miles off the trip. City streetcars in Logan were replaced by two model AB Macks in 1926. The buses proved more economical to operate and three small Superiors were added in 1935 and 1936.

Expenses were barely covered in 1938, but several small Crown intercity coaches were bought for the interurban line, and at least one Yellow Coach model 733 and (in 1940) a TG-2101 were bought for the Logan city service. The situation grew worse since most passenger traffic was along the road and 90 percent of the rail passenger revenue was from school service; freight revenue had also declined due to a coal strike. In 1945, the deficit was $245,000.

(The GM TG-2101 was the first series of a popular Transit, Gas bus, 21 feet long; this TG-2101 was GM serial 89773, built in October 1940.)

Equipment Listing

As mentioned above, there were three cars, and a trailer, dedicated to Logan service. All were purchased from Ogden Rapid Transit, which had been in operation since 1900.

Maps

Logan Rapid Transit -- Google map of Logan Rapid Transit street car line.

Logan Street Car Lines -- Map showing all the Logan street car routes in about 1915

More Information

Logan Rapid Transit Corporate Information -- Utah corporation index number 13794, incorporated January 10, 1910.

Interurbans of Utah -- The Utah Idaho Central chapter from Interurbans of Utah by Ira Swett.

Utah Idaho Central Railroad Corporate Information (four corporations with the same name, includes 1914 name change from Ogden Logan & Idaho, and 1918 merger with Cache Valley Railroad, plus the 1926 and 1939 reorganizations)

Ogden Logan & Idaho Railway Corporate Information

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