Interurbans of Utah

(Return To Utah Railroads Index Page)

By Ira Swett

Interurbans Special No. 55, published by Interurbans, Cerritos, California, 1974 (no ISBN).

(Text scanned in 1993 by Don Strack, as the first effort of digital preservation of information about railroads of Utah.)


By Ira Swett

Our Special 15, "Interurbans of Utah," was published in August of 1954. Consisting of 96 pages, it was our largest Special up to that time and presented the histories of the five Utah interurban companies in concise form. In due course, Special 15 sold out and has since been unavailable.

Now [in 1974] we present a new "Interurbans of Utah, " incorporating 93 pages of the original plus additional pages to allow the presentation of many excellent photos omitted from the earlier book in modern, enlarged form. Since much of this revised work is new, it has been decided to designate this book Special 55.

Utah's five interurban companies appear on the map as an inverted cross, with Salt Lake City the point of intersection. To the north went the Bamberger Railroad to Ogden, there to connect with the cars of the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad which continued northward to Preston, Idaho. South from Zion went the Salt Lake & Utah Railroad to Payson.

These were the "Big Three" of Utah's interurbans, and several efforts were made (the first as early as 1914) to forge them into one great system.

East from Salt Lake City into the fabled everlasting hills coursed the Emigration Canyon Railroad -- quitting before the fifth company, the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western, electrified its steam line from Zion to the Saltair Pavilion on Great Salt Lake. Thus at any one given time there were but four operating interurban companies in Utah.

These companies are taken up herein in the order they began operating with electricity. A short section on the impressive Salt Lake Terminal is inserted in its proper place.

Interurbans of Utah -- PDF version of the 1974 edition. The original 96-page edition was published in 1954, and this reprint from 1974 added 46 pages of additional photos. (PDF; 147 pages; 97.8MB)


Emmigration Canyon Railroad

Bamberger Railroad

Salt Lake & Utah Railroad

Salt Lake Terminal Company

Utah Idaho Central Railroad

Salt Lake, Garfield & Western