Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railway
Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway

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This page was last updated on January 31, 2023.

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This road was incorporated in September of 1891 as the Saltair Railway. The name being changed to Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway in June 1892, and again changed in October 1916 to Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railway. The name change was to avoid confusion with the Union Pacific subsidiary Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, which itself had been renamed from San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake RR in August 1916.

Starting out as a steam railroad, it electrified in 1919 (the date most often used being August 4, 1919). Electric passenger operations ended in 1952. In its steam years, the railroad owned a total of three (3) steam locomotives, two bought new in the early days of the road, the third bought second-hand in 1906; all were of the 4-4-0 type.

Steam Locomotives (Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway)

Builder Builder
Date To
Saltair Route
1 4-4-0 Rhode Island 2650 May 1892 May 1892 1 Jul 1919 1
2 4-4-0 Rhode Island 2930 Apr 1893 6 May 1893 8 Aug 1921 2
3 4-4-0 Pittsburgh 732 24 May 1884 22 May 1906 8 Aug 1921 2

General Notes:

  1. SL&LA No. 1 was purchased new in May 1892. (16x24 cylinders, 62 inch drivers, engine weight 114,600 pounds, locomotive and tender 154,600 pounds)
  2. No. 1 had been ordered by late March of 1892 (Salt Lake Tribune, March 29, 1892), and had been received in Salt Lake City by May 23rd, 1892 (Salt Lake Tribune, May 23, 1892), and set up; however, since the SL&LA did not yet have track, this engine's trial trips were run on the Rio Grande Western Ry. (George Pitchard)
  3. An item in the Tribune of May 28, 1892 reports the engine as having 17x24-inch cylinders and 62-inch drivers, which were painted red. (George Pitchard)
  4. SL&LA No. 2 was purchased new in May 1893. (16x24 cylinders, 62 inch drivers, engine weight 114,200 pounds, locomotive and tender 154,200 pounds)
  5. SL&LA No. 3 was built new as Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad No. 37, later "Vandalia" No. 404; sold May 18, 1906 to James T. Gardner, a dealer, for $900; sold by Gardner to SL&LA for $2,800, it arrived in Salt Lake City on May 22, 1906. (18x24 cylinders, 64 inch drivers, engine-only 123,000 pounds)
  6. Source: ICC Form 51, Valuation of Steam Locomotives, and from Poor's 1896 Manual of Railroads, page 346.


  1. SL&LA No. 1 was scrapped by April 1920.
  2. "Final Report Loco. No. 1 Permanently Retired From Service Account Of Defective Boiler And Will Not Be Used By This Company Again. Dated At Salt Lake City July 1st, 1919." (ICC Final Report, August 15, 1919; research by George Pitchard)
  3. "Final Report Locomotive No. 1, Boiler No. 2650 Permanently Retired From Service Date Retired, July 1, 1919 Account Of Defective Boiler Locomotive Has Now Been Scrapped And Sold For Junk. Dated At Salt Lake City, Utah, April 7, 1920." (ICC Final Report, April 9, 1920; research by George Pitchard)
  4. SL&LA No. 2 and No. 3 were burned in a fire in SL&LA's car barn on August 8, 1921, and retired.
  5. "Final Report - S.L.G.& W. Locomotive No. 2 and No. 3 - permanently retired from service August 8, 1921 account of fire and will not be used again by this company. Dated at Salt Lake City, Utah, August 20, 1921. Locomotives to be sold for junk." (ICC Final Report, August 20, 1921; research by George Pitchard)
  6. "The fire in question was the one big fire in this road's history, at the Salt Lake car barn, on August 8, 1921; four of the road's new electric motor cars were destroyed or severely damaged, as well as six coaches, five open cars, the barn, and scads of smaller items common to a shop facility. The loss exceeded $65,000, and some of the rolling stock was never actually replaced. Engine No. 3 was not in service at the date of the fire, and, obviously, never saw service again. No. 2 also appears not to have been in actual service at August 8, 1921, but was probably serviceable when needed - until the fire." (George Pitchard)

Electric Car Roster (As of 1946)

Car Number Builder Date
Date To
1, 2 St. Charles Car Co. 1893 1918 1
201 SLG&W 1922   2
301-313 SLG&W 1922   3
501-505 McGuire-Cummings Car Co. 1918   4
M. C. 3 Motor Car 1935 1951 5


  1. SLG&W 1 and 2 -- Ex-Michigan Central open vestibule cars; scrapped SLG&W.
  2. SLG&W 201, passenger trailer; built 1922 by SLG&W; scrapped 1945.
  3. SLG&W 301-313; built by SLG&W in 1922. These were the unique open-air cars with full-length side steps to allow rapid loading and unloading.
  4. The following comes from Interurbans of Utah. "Continued excellent business caused the company in 1922 to construct in its shops the novel open-air trailers which have been a trademark of the Saltair line ever since. Thirteen of these were built, along with one closed trailer. These trailers seated about a hundred people each, and carried train lines permitting them to be sandwiched in between motor cars. For some reason, these open trailers were not equipped with lights, a fact which seemed to add considerably to their appeal on moonlit nights."
  5. Four cars survived. Two were donated to the Sons of the Utah Pioneers in 1959 and displayed at their museum in Corinne, Utah. In 1979 the collection was donated the Heber Creeper group, and the collection was moved in 1980 to Heber, Utah. In 1993, the car marked as SLG&W 306 went to the Western Railway Museum, Rio Vista Junction, California. The other car remained on the old Heber Creeper property and remained in Heber until its condition was reported as beyond restoration; the car was burned (date?) and the metal parts sold for scrap.
  6. The other two were donated by the SLG&W to the Promontory Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, which then donated both cars to the Utah State Railroad Museum, Ogden, Utah. These two remaining cars are, as of late January 2023, still stored unprotected within Ogden City's Business Depot Ogden.
  7. SLG&W 500-505 (six cars) were products of the McGuire-Cummings Car Company; they were ordered in 1917 and delivered the following year. In appearance they were perhaps the plainest of all Utah interurban cars, possessing a short high body with a heavy monitor deck roof. Windows were paired with green glass upper sash. The car bodies and underframes were steel, with wood and canvas roofs. Length of body over buffers was 56'-0". Electrical equipment was by General Electric while brakes were Westinghouse. The cars were double-ended and were geared for a balancing speed of about 45 mph. They originally had a tasteful exterior paint job of dark green trimmed with gold, but in later years this gave way to a garish green body, silver roof, and "Saltair" spelled out in huge orange letters.
  8. Six 'steel passenger motor cars' were acquired in mid-1919 from McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Co., built at its Paris, Illinois, plant; they were shipped via the 'Big Four' road to St. Louis, thence via Missouri Pacific to Pueblo, and Rio Grande to Salt Lake City. Their exact date of arrival in S.L.C. is not known, but it would have been sometime in late May or early June of 1919. These cars were numbered 500-505; three of them, Nos. 501, 504 and 505, were 'destroyed' in the August 8, 1921 fire, and No. 500 damaged. All were eventually rebuilt. (George Pitchard)
  9. Cars 501 and 502 were given flat arch roofs in 1950; perhaps this saved them from being scrapped. Their motors were removed and the cars were converted to trailers, being hauled by diesel locomotives. Cars 500, 503, 504 and 505 were scrapped in July 1953 at the American Foundry & Machine Co. in Salt Lake City, along with locomotive 401, the tank car and five open trailers.
  10. In the mid-1980s, cars 501 and 502 were sold to Hoskings Helicopter Service.
  11. SLG&W 501 and 502 were sold to the new Saltair interests and were on display near the new Saltair resort, near the original Saltair resort on the south shore of Great Salt Lake, at the former wye track near the abandoned substation. Both were in place by the time of a photo taken in April 1991. The 501 was scrapped on the site of the new Saltair on October 10-11, 2006. Over the next few years, it became the target of wedding photographers and graffiti artists. On February 18, 2012, SLG&W Coach 502 was loaded on a truck and moved to a local metal salvage yard to be scrapped. The move was at the urging of Salt Lake County officials, who wanted to clean up the area and discourage the rising number of uninvited visitors. The adjacent concrete substation was demolished and cleared from the site in April 2012.
  12. SLG&W M. C. 3 was built by American Car & Foundry in 1935, order Number 1432 as Seaboard Air Line Railroad 2026, part of a three car order. Sold to the Aberdeen & Rockfish, renumbered 106. To Salt Lake, Garfield & Western in 1951, number M.C.3; sold in 1963 to California Western; numbered as M-300 and is still in operation, as of November 2016.
  13. Sources include information published by Ira Swett, and comments by Stan Jennings, George Pitchard, and Gilbert Rattenbury in Germany.

Passenger Equipment

SLG&W 711 -- In addition to the equipment from the former interurban era, SLG&W purchased a retired Union Pacific heavyweight, modernized lounge car. The SLG&W number 711 for the passenger car was reportedly picked because Don "Huck" Hogle was going to make it a gambling car. (Railway Preservation News discussion forum, January 31, 2007, reported by Stan Jennings.)

(Previously shown as ex UP 1505 [UP 904530], which is at the Oklahoma Railway Museum in Oklahoma City.)

SLG&W 711 is the former UP 4052, built as UP Diner 325 in 1929; renumbered to UP 36-seat Diner 3625 in May 1940; remodeled to UP Buffet Lounge 4052 (2nd) in May 1964. Retired by UP in January 1972.

UP 4052 was one of five Buffet Lounge cars converted by UP in 1964 from 3600-series 36-seat Dining cars, which had already been modernized as what some call "Streamlined Heavyweight."

It has been reported that Hogle was under the impression that he could run a gambling operation, and an over-the-counter liquor service from this railroad car because railroads were under federal ICC jurisdiction, and not subject to State of Utah restrictions of such things.

There is a report that SLG&W 711 was sold to someone in Washington state, and renumbered to SLG&W 100. Photos of what is now identified as Mount Rainier (MSRX) 481, as late as 2018, appears to be the former SLG&W 711. But without documentation of sales between Utah and Washington, it will be difficult to say for certain.

Freight Equipment

Car Number Notes
100 Box car, built for Salt Lake & Utah in 1924; one of a number of cars never received by the SL&U.
102, 103 Tank cars acquired 1946 from Chicago.
104 30-foot flat car.
106 Line car, built on old 30-foot flat; not motorized.
107, SL&U 1005 Flat cars.
--- Water car, for Pavilion and salt factory; ex-UP tender.

The following information was posted by Stan Jennings to Railway Preservation News on January 31 and February 2, 2007:

Type Notes
50 Caboose Former Union Pacific CA1. Sold by SLG&W, now in Sandy, Utah
100 Box Car (note 1)
102 Tank Car Scrapped SLG&W
103 Tank Car Scrapped SLG&W
104 Flat Car Scrapped SLG&W
106 Line Car Built on 30 ft Flat Car; scrapped SLG&W
107 Flat Car Scrapped SLG&W
108 Box Car Outside Braced; unknown origin; scrapped by the SLG&W after 1983
401 Locomotive (note 2)
1005 Flat Car Ex-SL&U; possibly the car scrapped by the SLG&W after 1983
507188 Box Car Ex-UP; 50 Ft., sliding door; on SLG&W property as of early 2007
??? Water Car Ex UP tender; scrapped SLG&W
??? Flat Car Ex UP; 50 ft., cast frame; on SLG&W property as of early 2007
??? Caboose (note 3)

Note 1:

Box Car Double Sheathed -- The boxcar was built as one of an order for the Salt Lake & Utah interurban railroad in 1924. (The Salt Lake & Utah Railroad ran from Salt Lake City, Utah to Payson, Utah. It was abandoned in 1946.) The cars were held on the property of the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railroad until paid for, but the Salt Lake & Utah could not pay for the boxcars, so they were eventually resold with the SLG&W purchasing one, the 100. The SLG&W used the car between its station on 1000 West South Temple and Saltair. At the end of service on the SLG&W it had been reduced to hide storage. (Sheep hides were stored in the car until the hides were sold. A very smelly business, the lowest job a boxcar is subjected to.)

In 1979 the boxcar was sold to a Western-theme amusement park near Las Vegas, Nevada. The park was not successful. It was closed in 1986 and the property sold to a real estate company. Salt Lake, Garfield & Western boxcar Number 100 sat abandoned on the property until 1999 when the property was sold again The new owners were going to destroy the historic car but the Heber Valley Railroad rescued it and shipped to Heber City, Utah.

Once on the Heber Valley Railroad property, some work was performed on the car then in 2001 an Eagle Scout project was initiated to repaint and reletter the car to the colors and lettering it had in Las Vegas. The lettering has not been finished.

This new paint is only the third paint and lettering job the car has ever had. The Number 100 was originally painted by the SLG&W with a very large, yellow "SALTAIR" on the left side, all other lettering was gray. Prior to 1963, while in hide service, windows had been cut in the walls and the lettering was all yellow with a small "The SALTAIR Route" on the right side. After the car was in Las Vegas, blue was added around the "Saltair".

The car has no brakes and, while it has been used on some photo freight specials in the past, it is now on static display only.

Note 2:

Electric Freight Locomotive. Built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in June 1920, #53288, as Salt Lake & Utah 104. Purchased by SLG&W in March 1946 when SL&U closed. SLG&W reversed the number. Scrapped in July 1953.

Note 3:

Morrison Knudsen 5235901. Originally Northern Pacific, then MK. To Promontory Chapter, NRHS. Donated to SLG&W for restoration, which never happened. Sold, now restored and on display in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

View a roster of SLG&W diesel locomotives