New East Tintic Railway (1896-1900)

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This page was last updated on May 21, 2019.

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The New East Tintic was originally the private property of James A. Cunningham, who appears to have sold the road to the Oregon Short Line in November 1900, per an entry in the OSL journal. The Salt Lake Tribune of November 28, 1900 wrote that on November 26, 1900, Cunningham was paid $37,000 in OSL securities for the road. The OSL continued to operate the road under the New East Tintic name until 1903 when all OSL lines south and west of Salt Lake City were sold to the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake, which in 1916 dropped the 'San Pedro' from the name. The SPLA&SL did not operate the N. E. T. under its old name, but merged it and the equipment into their own system. (George Pitchard)


February 20, 1896
"One of the most important enterprises about to be inaugurated at Mammoth is a standard gauge railroad from the present Union Pacific track terminal at the mills, to continue up to the Mammoth mine, a distance of more than a mile. A branch will be run to the Ajax, and in all probability to the Sioux and other of the near-by mines later. Work will begin very soon upon the roadbed and it is expected that within thirty days thereafter the track will be down and cars running. A locomotive of the Shea cog pattern, similar to that in use on the Salt Lake & Mercur road, will furnish the propelling power. J. A. Cunningham, one of the principle owners of the Mammoth mine, is the promoter, and we consider it an excellent business proposition." (Salt Lake Tribune, February 20, 1896)

May 20, 1896
The New East Tintic Railway was organized by James Cunningham and his associates to build a rail line from Mammoth Station, on the OSL&UN, east up Mammoth Hollow, past the Mammoth Mill, the Sioux Mill, the Ajax Mine, and the Mammoth Mine to the Sioux Mine at the east end of the Hollow. The corporation was filed on the May 22nd. (Utah corporation number 1439 and 4368)

From the articles of incorporation: "To construct, equip, maintain and operate a line of railroad from a connection with the lines of railway of the Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway and the Rio Grande Western Railway, at Mammoth Station near Mammoth Mill at the mouth of Mammoth Hollow in the Tintic Mining District, Juab County, Utah, and running thence in a general easterly course up Mammoth Hollow by way of the Mammoth Mill and the Sioux Mill, the Mammoth Mine and the Ajax Mine, to the Sioux Mine, east of the head of said hollow, in the same mining district, and also a switch of spur therefrom to the Grand Central Mine on the southerly side of Eureka Peak, in the same mining district, a total length of about five miles."

Of the 500 shares of the company issued, Cunningham held 494 shares, with six other individuals each holding one share, in accordance with Utah law. Directors of the company were Cunningham, his son J. A. Cunningham Jr., Frank B. Cook, Hyrum S. Young, and William H. Bradley. These last four persons also held four of the six qualifying shares of stock in the company.

(SPLA&SL corporate history says that the company was incorporated on May 23, 1896.)

May 24, 1896
New East Tintic filed incorporation papers yesterday; its Shay (construction number 511, built in June 1895) will be received next week. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 24, 1896)

September 17, 1896
The New East Tintic Railway is in operation for some 2- 1/2 miles, and the alignment of the road includes 6 percent grades and 30 degree curves. The road apparently began operating just this past week. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 17, 1896)

During 1896 and 1897 the New East Tintic Railway completed their 1.99-mile line from the Mammoth station, near the Mammoth Mill, to the Mammoth Mine, by using a switchback, 6 percent grades, and curves as sharp as 30 and 31 degrees.

January 1, 1897
New East Tintic built initial 2-1/2 miles of railroad. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1897)

James Cunningham had earlier been involved in the East Tintic Railway of January 1894, which was an earlier attempt at organizing, together with Samuel and William McIntyre, a company to build a rail line along the same route. (Utah corporation number 1408) Cunningham and the McIntyre brothers were also involved in the Tintic Railway of January 1891 that was projected to build from Provo to the Tintic mining district. (Utah corporation number 820 and 4356) The plans for the Tintic Railway were abandoned because in May 1891 the Rio Grande Western organized its Tintic Range Railway and completed the line between Springville and Silver City in early 1892.

December 31, 1899
New East Tintic -- the private property of J. A. Cunningham; has one Shay engine; about 2-1/2 miles long. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 31, 1899)

Samuel McIntyre offered to buy J. A. Cunningham's interest in the Mammoth Mine and the New East Tintic Railway. The offer was refused and the Mammoth mine commenced to survey and build a tramway to replace the New East Tintic Railway from the Mammoth Mine to the Mammoth Mill. (Salt Lake Mining Review, Volume 2, number 7, July 15, 1900, p.7)

November 28, 1900
"Short Line Gets It." "New East Tintic Line Bought and Will be Extended." "J. H. Young, Division Superintendent of the Oregon Short Line, was down today to Robinson and he closed up the deal to buy the New East Tintic Railway from McIntyre." "The price was $30,000, payable in securities of the company." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 28, 1900)

December 1, 1900
The New East Tintic road is now being operated by the Oregon Short Line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 1, 1900)

December 1900
New East Tintic Railway had finished surveying spurs to serve the Lower Mammoth, Grand Central, and Star Consolidated mines. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 22, 1900)

December 11, 1900
"Supt. J. H. Young of the Oregon Short Line was out to Robinson Tuesday (December 11, 1900), accompanied by Master Mechanic Tollerton and Road Master Dwier. While out Mr. Young examined the New East Tintic Ry. and closed the deal whereby the O.S.L. acquires the property for $30,000. The road will be extended to the Grand Central, Star Cons., Dragon iron mine and other properties, all of which can be reached by an easy grade. It has been believed for some time that the Rio Grande Western would become the purchaser of the New East Tintic under an option secured by A. E. Hyde and Jesse Fox, but the option expired before the deal was closed and the Short Line stepped in and gobbled it up. The road will be a valuable feeder for the Short Line. (Salt Lake Mining Review, December 15, 1900, page 13, citing the Tintic Miner newspaper)

August 2, 1901
OSL ordered a 65 ton Shay for the New East Tintic Railway. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 2, 1901) (New East Tintic no. 11 was built in January 1902.)

January 30, 1902
OSL received its new Shay locomotive. An item in the Deseret News revealed that "The Oregon Short Line has received the largest Shay locomotive ever built. It is now being coupled up at the shops and will be used on the Tintic branch in handling the ore shipments of the Star Consolidated." (Deseret News, January 30, 1902)

January 1918
Mammoth Mining Company was complaining of the high rates that LA&SL was charging to ship the ore from the Mammoth Mine down to Mammoth, via the former New East Tintic Railway. In 1917 LA&SL had charged $7,500 to move 40,000 tons of ore in 840 cars over the two-mile line. The mining company threatened to build an aerial tramway from their mine down to the D&RG at Mammoth. (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 30, 1918, page 40)

James A. Cunningham Biographical Note

James A. Cunningham (of New East Tintic Railway) was born in 1842 in Quincy, Illinois and came to Utah in an ox-cart party in 1848. He had five children, of which James, Jr. was the oldest. Cunningham died in late March 1918 at age 76. (Salt Lake Mining Review, Volume 20, number 1, April 15, 1918, p.33)


New East Tintic Railway -- A Google Map of the New East Tintic Railway, purchased by OSL in 1900 and the home of UP's Shay locomotives.

More Information

Corporate information -- Basic corporate history of New East Tintic Railway.

UP's Tintic Subdivision -- Information about the railroads that served the Tintic Mining District, including the New East Tintic Railway.

UP's Shays -- Additional information about Union Pacific's Shay locomotives