Utah Central Railroad (1897-1908)

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Utah Central Railroad of December 1897 (controlled by Rio Grande Western Railway), through to the end of narrow gauge operations in 1900, and consolidation with D&RG in 1908.

By the end of 1897, the Utah Central Railway was made up of its main line to Park City, which ran from the R.G.W. connection, easterly along 8th South and 9th south, southerly along 10th East and 11th East, easterly up Parleys Canyon to Park City, along with the Mill Creek branch. Not much else, except a few minor spurs here and there.

In early 1898, the R.G.W. officially leased the Utah Central Railroad for a period of 49 years. Plans were already in process for the widening of the 'Utah Central branch,' which work began in 1899 and was completed in mid-1900. The R.G.W. was taken over operationally by the D & R G in 1902, but certain legalities delayed actual merger until July 31, 1908. The next day, August 1, 1908, lease of the Utah Central RR ended with the sale of the U.C.RR. to the D.& R.G.

At an as-yet-uncertain date, but known to be before the R.G.W. took control in early 1898, a third (standard-gauge) rail was laid on the line along 8th South, et cetera, and on into the Sugar House district, for the benefit of the several lineside industries in that district. In 1900, the entire remaining line was widened by the R.G.W., which necessitated several new bridges and trestles, as well as a tunnel through Parley's Summit, at the station known as Altus. The entire line over the worst part of the summit was almost entirely relocated, to reduce grades from more than 6 percent. Shortly after the widening project was completed, a new standard gauge line was built, at the request of Salt Lake City, more or less along what is now 21st South into the Sugar House district, which made necessary some rearrangement of tracks in that area, and allowed the abandonment of the old 8th South-10th East line. This work being completed by mid-1901.

Only minor changes to the remaining trackage occurred over the next 45 years. In 1946, most of the Park City line was abandoned, leaving only a few miles in operation up to quarries at Shale, in lower Parley's Canyon, and a bit of the former Mill Creek branch, down to Brick Yard. That portion from Sugar House to the quarry in Parleys Canyon was removed in 1956, leaving the spur to end at the mouth of the canyon at a truck dump used to load limestone for the cement company. The spur east from Sugar House to the truck dump at the mouth of the canyon was removed in 1962, leaving only the that portion between Roper and the west side of the 13th East fill intact. This change in 1962 was due to preparations for the construction of Interstate 80, and its interchange with 13th East.

The track between Roper and Sugar House was officially removed from service in 1995 by Southern Pacific, as successor to D&RGW. In 2002, Utah Transit Authority purchased the line from Roper to Sugar House from Union Pacific, as successor to Southern Pacific. A street car route using the same right-of-way was announced in 2008, and ground was broken in May 2012. Service started on what UTA calls its 'S' Line in December 2013.


Continued from the Utah Central Railway of 1890-1897...

(Read more about the construction and operation of the Park City Branch by the Utah Central Railway)

December 28, 1897
Utah Central Railroad was incorporated in Utah for the purpose of "buying, owning, maintaining, operating, and further extending...the railroads, rights, properties and franchises recently belonging to the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway Company, the Salt Lake & Eastern Railway Company and the Utah Central Railway Company...which have recently been sold under judicial proceedings..." The incorporators are the same names as local officers of the Rio Grande Western Railway. (Articles of Incorporation, Utah Central Railroad Company, dated December 28, 1897)

The described routes include the following:

In a separate "indenture", in return for the value of one dollar and other considerations, three residents of New York City (Henry Graff, Anthony J. Dittmar, and his wife Lizzie Dittmar) conveyed to Utah Central Railroad the same railroad properties. One item of note from this document comes from the description of the lines being duplicated between the Salt Lake & Eastern Railway, the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway, and the Utah Central Railway, as if the three companies were separate and still in existance. This likely was the result of the tangled set of mortgages and bonds previously sold by the predecessor companies. (Indenture, dated January 3, 1898)

January 1, 1898
Rio Grande Western Railway and Utah Central Railroad signed a lease agreement for RGW to lease Utah Central for a period of 49 years. All of the stock of the Utah Central, along with the subject lease, was to serve as security for the payment of principle and interest for a series of 650 first mortgage bonds, each with a face value of $1000.00, dated January 1, 1898. Payment due in 20 years, with semi-annual payments of 4 percent interest on the bonds. RGW agreed to hold all of the leased property and to operate Utah Central and its own railroad as a single company for the period of 49 years. (Rio Grande Western Treasurer's Contract Number 2393, dated January 1, 1898)

January 16, 1898
"Loomis Discharged." "Receivership of the Utah Central Terminated." "The final report of George D. Loomis, receiver of the Utah Central Railway Company, was yesterday approved by Judge Hiles, and the receiver ordered discharged. It was ordered that the receiver pay out of the fund of $1,699.30 in his hands, counsel fees, $400; fees to Special Master George E. Blair, $215; and that the receiver retain in his hands $100, pending the determination of a claim presented by one Bramley, and that the balance be paid to Graff and Dittmar, the purchasers of the road." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 16, 1898)

January 16, 1898
"Receivership Ends." "Final Report in Utah Central Case Approved by Judge Hiles." "Judge Hiles yesterday afternoon approved the report of George D. Loomis as receiver and special master of the Utah Central. The receiver was discharged. C. S. Varian was allowed $200, Dey and Street were allowed $200, and George E. Blair was allowed $215. The receiver was ordered to hold $100 to cover certain claims, and turn the balance over to Graff and Dittmar. This balance was $1,699.30." "Attorney Frank Pierce, when seen last evening, stated that there was nothing new in the Central matter, that the Court orders were but a part of the final legal business surrounding the recent foreclosure sale. The road will run on as it has before, no developments having arisen in the matter of transferring it to the Rio Grande Western. "The Utah Central receivership ended on December 31st, and the papers approved yesterday also include Mr. McGregor's term as receiver. Mr. Loomis is still in charge of the property pending the expected and final transfer of the road." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 16, 1898)

January 18, 1898
RGW "secured" the deeds to Utah Central. (Salt Lake Tribune, January 1, 1899)

February 1, 1898
"Utah Central Change." "The Road Now Operated by the Rio Grande Western." "With the ringing of the bells last midnight the Utah Central passed into the hands of the Rio Grande Western." That is, at 12:01am, February 1, 1898. At present, the only real change is to be the arrival and departure of Utah Central trains from the R.G.W. depot on Second South. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 1, 1898)

February 2, 1898
The first Utah Central passenger train arrived at the RGW depot last evening; the platform has been extended for this purpose. The old U.C. depot at Eighth South and Main Street to be abandoned and all work heretofore done at Sugar House is to be transferred to the big shops at the station. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 2, 1898)

July 9, 1898
"Switch Back to Go," in reference to the arrangement at Lamb's Canyon on the Utah Central narrow gauge, which the R.G.W. proposes to replace with a large trestle and some realignment. Yesterday, General Passenger Agent Wadleigh went up over the line, with photographer C. R. Savage, who "took views of all the points of interest." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 9, 1898)

July 16, 1898
"Branch Line Improvement." "Equipment of the Park City road to be Overhauled..." "Regarding the equipment of the narrow gauge line, Mr. Welby states that it is now being overhauled and all the old or unserviceable equipment will go to the scrap heap, while the serviceable engines and cars will be gradually put through the shops for repairs, new paint and lettering." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 16, 1898)

September 27, 1898
The trestle across the mouth of Lamb's Canyon is now being erected; and the editor of the Park City paper wants the railroad to hurry up and build the promised depot. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 27, 1898)

October 8, 1898
"A crew of surveyors finished putting in mile posts between here and Salt Lake over the R. G. W. railroad Thursday. The distance from depot to depot is some 2000 yards over thirty-two miles." (Park Record, Park City, October 8, 1898)

November 1, 1898
The RGW has secured a right-of-way across the electric light company's works to the new depot site, in Park City. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 1, 1898)

November 3, 1898
The RGW train down from Park City made the initial trip over the new trestle in Lamb's Canyon. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 4, 1898, "yesterday")

November 5, 1898
"Trains over the R. G. W. now cross the new trestle at the mouth of Lamb's Canyon." (Park Record, Park City, November 5, 1898)

November 19, 1898
"A party of R. G. W. surveyors were out Tuesday to line up and stake out the new piece of track that is to be built from the present depot on the flat to the ground recently purchased for depot purposes between the electric light works and the Hopkins Coal Company's place of business. Whether the new depot is to be built at once or not agent Hedges did not know. Section hands have been putting in new rails, leveling up and cleaning between the track at the depot this week." (Park Record, Park City, November 19, 1898)

December 3, 1898
"The bad weather of the past few days has caused the R. G. W. to take off the construction crew which has been engaged in laying and bedding the track from its present depot on the flat below town to the new depot site next to the Hopkins Coal Company's office, and all hope of a new depot before spring has vanished." (Park Record, Park City, December 3, 1898)

February 4, 1899
"Park City people are complaining bitterly of the R. G. W.'s train service between here and Salt Lake. The company, they declare, is indifferent as to whether the train ever reaches here or not after once leaving the city. They say the service is worse than it ever was when the old Utah Central outfit was at the helm." (Park Record, Park City, February 4, 1899)

February 27, 1899
"Stories of the Rail", an occasional column, devoted most of this one to Utah Central Railway (the old one) Engine No. 5, more recently known as No. 319, built in 1873. The 319 arrived in Pocatello last week, dead, in a freight train; had been sitting on a sidetrack at Shoshone for several seasons. Tender already gone to water car service. The article says that the 5 became the 319 on 30 June 1890, 'according to the assignment made by the Union Pacific'. The engine was taken to Pocatello to be scrapped, and the boiler to stationary service some where. There are other engines at Shoshone, U.C. No's 16, 3, 6, 7 and 4; some old engines still in service are: UC 8 to UP 435 to OSL 103; UC 9 to UP 436 to OSL 102; and UC 10 to UP 437 to OSL 101. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 27, 1899)

March 11, 1899
"The R. G. W. was 'hung up' Saturday and Sunday, the first train coming in Monday afternoon. There has been more snow to 'buck' this winter than any winter since the road was built. Last Sunday five engines and 150 men were fighting the 'beautiful."' (Park Record, Park City, March 11, 1899)

March 31, 1899
"Utah Central narrow-gauge passenger equipment is being overhauled and repainted in the Western shops." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 31, 1899)

May 13, 1899
"The local branch of the R. G. W. is doing an immense business these days." "This is the first freight train for over a year and the daily programme will be to take down fifteen or more cars of ore from this end and bring up about as many from the other end loaded with merchandise, building material, etc." (Park Record, Park City, May 13, 1899)

May 21, 1899
"The Utah Central has a coach, 101, just out of the shops." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 21, 1899)

June 3, 1899
"From one high in railroad circles, the Record learns that within sixty days the new R. G. W. depot will be completed. We hope this will prove true for the present shack is a disgrace to the company and an eyesore to the town." (Park Record, Park City, June 3, 1899)

June 10, 1899
In Park City, "The first consignment of material for the new R. G. W. depot arrived yesterday, and workmen are expected next week to commence work on the structure." (Park Record, Park City, June 10, 1899)

June 24, 1899
"Our New Depot" upon which work began on Tuesday, and is to be completed in three weeks. Frank L. Chaffin of Salt Lake City is in charge. The plans were shown to 'a Record man;' in Eastlake style, and is 24' by 48' in size. Waiting room is 16'x 22', office is 12' x 22', and the baggage room also 12' x 22'. The freight house is to be 24' by 110', with five large sliding doors - "The roof and sides of this building will be covered with corrugated iron." "Just what will be done with the old dilapidated car that for so many years served as a depot is not known--but it would be a good idea to frame it and store it away as a relic of ancient railroading in Park City." (Park Record, Park City, June 24, 1899)

July 15, 1899
"It is expected that trains will run into the new R. G. W. depot one week from tomorrow. A gang of men will be up Monday to lay the new tracks, etc." (Park Record, Park City, July 15, 1899)

July 29, 1899
"The old car that has so long been used for a depot by the Utah Central and Rio Grande Western has been abandoned. Agent Hedges and operator Warren are now located in the new depot and trains unloaded their passengers there for the first time yesterday morning. It is a neat structure and fills a long-felt want for the traveling public." (Park Record, Park City, July 29, 1899)

August 5, 1899
The new depot is being wired for lights. (Park Record, Park City, August 5, 1899)

August 15, 1899
"The Western is rebuilding a Utah & Northern caboose for the U. C." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 15, 1899)

September 3, 1899
Item, 'Laying Third Rail' to Shale, location of Portland Cement Co's quarries, some 12 miles from the SLC depot up Parley's Canyon; item specifically mentions that engine 6 to be used in shuffling cars between the quarry and the plant, at about 8th South and 5th West, and that "Engine 6 and others used in switching service are narrow-gauge widened to broad-gauge. They can do good service on the Parley's Canyon third rail, and will help out the three narrow-gauge engines which have more than they can do at present in taking care of through trains." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 3, 1899)

September 4, 1899
The RGW, when it took over the Utah Central, did away with the switchbacks and put in the long trestle at the mouth of Lamb's Canyon. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 4, 1899)

September 15, 1899
"The Rio Grande Western is making the old Utah Central broad gauge as far as the quarries at Shale, which will eventually be extended the entire length of the line. This is the only narrow gauge in the state." (Davis County Clipper, September 15, 1899)

September 16, 1899
Third rail on the Utah Central is laid to a point three miles above the conduit in mouth of Parley's Canyon. (Park Record, Park City, September 16, 1899)

September 19, 1899
"Engine 8 of the Western, formerly a narrow-gauge, but changed to broad-gauge for service on the Sanpete and Sevier run, is having its frame narrowed again for service on the Utah Central." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 19, 1899)

September 19, 1899
The third rail on the Utah Central has reached Shale quarries. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 19, 1899)

October 19, 1899
"The Utah Central is doing more business in a week these days than it used to do in a month." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 19, 1899)

October 28, 1899
"A new passenger engine, No. 08, was put on the Rio Grande Western and made her maiden trip from the City on Tuesday. This will release one engine to do the increasing freight business. Engineer Billy Chatterton says his new buggy is a daisy and he is as proud of it as possible." (Park Record, Park City, October 28, 1899)

November 7, 1899
"The Rio Grande Western has bought from the Rio Grande Southern a narrow-gauge engine, which will emerge from the local shops Thursday as Rio Grande Western No. 04, and will go on the Park City branch. With the No. 08 recently re-narrowed from switch engine 8, the branch will be well supplied with power. The 04 is a trim little machine, but when placed beside the 202 the contrast between the days of 1882 and 1899 is brought vividly to mind." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 7, 1899)

November 17, 1899
"Rio Grande Western narrow-gauge engine 04 has been placed in service. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 17, 1899)

November 22, 1899
"When the Utah Central is broad-gauged the six small engines will be widened and used for switchers and on rough work." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 22, 1899)

November 23, 1899
In an article on the tunnel work at Altus - "In the local yards the old baggage car 5 of the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas has been fixed up for the winter home of the telegraph operator, and it will be placed at Altus during the construction work." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 23, 1899)

November 25, 1899
"R. G. W. Broad Gauge." "A train of several cars loaded with men, scrapers, etc., came up Sunday as far as Barclay, where they made camp, and have started in on the work of lightening the grade for the purpose of laying the broad gauge track to Park City." "Six more carloads of men, supplies, etc., arrived Wednesday and quite a large sized white city has sprung up at that point." "The contract was let to Cory Bros. of Ogden,..." (Park Record, Park City, November 25, 1899)

November 25, 1899
The RGW has put a telegraph station at Altus at Parleys Summit on the Utah Central. (Park Record, Park City, November 25, 1899)

November 29, 1899
"Narrow gauge Engine 01 of the Central is in the shops for heavy repairs." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 29, 1899)

December 2, 1899
"The New Grade." "Dirt is flying at a lively rate at Altus, the scene of operations at present on the R. G. W. railway, where over 100 men are now at work reducing the grade... Some alterations in the former plans have been made and the contractors have decided to commence the tunnel at a point lower down. This will make the tunnel 1,100 feet long instead of 800, but the grade will be materially improved... New broad gauge ties are being strewn along the track from Salt Lake this way, and will be put in at once." (Park Record, Park City, December 2, 1899)

December 2, 1899
"The old Utah Central car, which had been used so long for a depot in Park City, being one of the old landmarks, was on Tuesday put on board the cars and taken to Altus, where it will serve as a station house again." (Park Record, Park City, December 2, 1899)

December 16, 1899
Three engines are kept busy at Park City on the RGW alone, shifting the freight around, and frequently the passenger engine is drafted into the freight business upon its arrival in Park City. (Park Record, Park City, December 16, 1899)

RGW built a new two-mile line from Roper station east to Sugar House to connect with its Utah Central line to Park City. This new line was owned by the Utah Central Railway. (LeMassena, p. 109)

The new line replaced the old Salt Lake & Fort Douglas/Salt Lake & Eastern line along 8th South, which was removed when the new line from Roper to Sugar House was completed.

RGW completed the rebuilding, and conversion from narrow gauge to standard gauge, of the former Utah Central line from Sugar House (Mill Creek) to Park City. (part from Wilson, p. 97)

Nine miles of the line, from Barclay to Gorgoza, over the summit, was built by way of a new alignment and included a new tunnel under the summit. The original narrow gauge line between Barclay and Gorgoza was removed at the same time. (part from LeMassena, p. 109)

Also in 1900, RGW completed a new two-mile spur south from Park City to the Ontario Tunnel. (LeMassena, p. 109)

January 13, 1900
"The R. G. W. tunnel at Altus is now in 200 feet. The workmen are now in soft dirt and the tunnel is being substantially timbered as work progresses." (Park Record, Park City, January 13, 1900)

January 17, 1900
The new "Utah Central" line is to be laid with 65 pound steel rails for the entire length, the rail to come from the line between Salt Lake City and Ogden, which is being relaid with 75 pound steel. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 17, 1900)

January 27, 1900
"Carpenters were at work yesterday cutting down the width of the platform at the Rio Grande Western, as it was too close to the track to allow the larger engines to come up." (Park Record, Park City, January 27, 1900)

February 24, 1900
"The R. G. W. Broad Gauge." A contract of about $35,000 value has been let to Utah Construction Co., of Ogden, for new grade east of the tunnel down to a point a short distance east of Gogorza. None of the old narrow gauge grade is to be used, and work is to begin at once. (Park Record, Park City, February 24, 1900)

February 26, 1900
The people along 8th South, etc., want the RGW/Utah Central line taken up and moved much farther south. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 26, 1900)

March 6, 1900
An item on "Citizens Hold Meeting" "Want to have Utah Central Tracks Removed" from 8th South. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 6, 1900)

March 9, 1900
Item on the tunnel work at Altus; the headings have about 170 feet separating them; most of the new grade from Barclay's to the tunnel is completed, but the new grade on the east side has only just been started. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 9, 1900)

March 14, 1900
"As many as three freights a day are now run on the Utah Central." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 14, 1900)

March 17, 1900
Ten cars of standard gauge ties have arrived at the depot. (Park Record, Park City, March 17, 1900)

March 24, 1900
Sixty-five pound steel rail will be used on the new standard gauge line. (Park Record, Park City, March 24, 1900)

March 26, 1900
A very long and uninformative item on the line change, Utah Central; the 'Railroad Notes' column informs that Colorado & Northwestern cars are in use on the Utah Central at present. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 26, 1900)

March 30, 1900
"The ancient Salt Lake & Fort Douglas coach No. 1 is now in use as a section house at Altus." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 30, 1900)

March 31, 1900
The Utah Central tunnel has but 40 feet to go before the headings meet. And, there has been a minor realignment at milepost 11, new line being swung to the right, avoiding several curves in the process. -- Salt Lake Tribune, Monday the 26th. (Park Record, Park City, March 31, 1900)

April 1900
Residents of Salt Lake City's Eighth South Street petitioned the Salt Lake City Council for their assistance getting Rio Grande Western to move its tracks to Park City, along Eighth South and Ninth South, to a new location outside the city limits. A total of 450 property owners had signed the petition that had already passed the council's finance committee, with the property owners offering to pay the cost of purchasing new land for the new line. The city council approved a resolution that the move would be for the benefit of city residents, and the council directed the city attorney to draft a resolution with the proper language requesting that the railroad company move its tracks. The railroad company admitted that it would benefit from the move by reducing the danger posed to streetcars and other vehicles along the route. On June 8th, the council voted to contribute $3,000 to the cost of purchasing the needed property for the new line, if the residents directly affected contributed $2,000, making the total $5,000, which was the railroad's estimate for the purchases needed. In July, the railroad raised its estimate from $5,000 to $8,000, and Judge LeGrand Young, the chief mover of the proposed move, was attempting to have the city pay the additional $3,000. During October 1900, Rio Grande Western had at least one property condemnation suit in the courts, condemning the needed right-of-way for the new line that was to be located along Twelfth South (today's 2100 South). On October 13, 1900, the railroad accepted the city's offered bonus of $5,000 to have a new line built outside the city limits. (Salt Lake Herald, April 4, 1900; April 7, 1900; June 9, 1900; July 11, 1900; October 13, 1900; October 14, 1900)

April 7, 1900
City will request of the railroad that the track on 8th South be removed to another location; however they cannot force the railroad to move, as they have a valid franchise to be on 8th South for as long as they wish. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 7, 1900)

April 12, 1900
"Both Gangs Meet." "The heading of the Altus tunnel on the Utah Central has been cut through,... The next work will be to remove the bench..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 12, 1900)

April 18, 1900
The laying of the 65 pound rail, second-hand, on the new line of the Utah Central began on Monday the 16th. The rail came from Spanish Fork canyon. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 18, 1900)

April 24, 1900
"Engineer's Awful Death." RGW engine 37 on train 1 ran in on a side track at the cement works at 8th South; the engineer, William Konold, jumped, and was run over by one of the cars and killed; all the cars but the Pullman came off, but there were no serious injuries apart from the engineer. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, April 24, 1900)

April 28, 1900
"The work of laying the standard gauge track on the Park City line of the Rio Grande Western is being pushed as rapidly as possible. The new track is now within four miles of the summit." (Park Record, Park City, April 28, 1900)

May 8, 1900
"After June 1st the narrow-gauge equipment of the Utah Central will be stored at Sugar House ward." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 8, 1900)

May 10, 1900
Railway and Engineering Review has an article on the Park City line change, with maps. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 10, 1900)

May 21, 1900
The standard gauge track has reached Barclays. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 21, 1900)

May 22, 1900
"The Utah Central tunnel is about completed. The line change, however, will not be completed on June 1st, as originally planned." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 22, 1900)

June 18, 1900
"Finish Altus Tunnel" at noon yesterday, and rails laid to the west portal of same. Item has map which locates mileposts on the narrow gauge line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 18, 1900)

June 23, 1900
"The New standard gauge." There was a cave-in at the tunnel on Wednesday, and it is already nearly cleared; "Since last Monday, and until this cave-in occurred, standard gauge cars were running through the tunnel,..." (Park Record, Park City, June 23, 1900)

July 1, 1900
"This is probably the last Sunday of the Utah Central narrow gauge." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 1, 1900)

July 3, 1900
"Jumped the Track" "In celebration of its declining days as a narrow gauge, the Utah Central had a wreck yesterday." Near 9th East and 9th South, at about 4:30pm, a light narrow gauge engine went off, no one was hurt, apparently. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 3, 1900)

July 4, 1900
"The Utah Central will begin to operate broad-gauge trains next Tuesday." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 4, 1900)

July 5, 1900
"Rushing Central Line" "In addition to the five narrow gauge engines in regular service on the Utah Central, there are three broad gauge, the big 116, and the 3 and 12, the two last named being set-out engines. The three are used on work trains, while the five others are in regular service." "The broad gauge rail is now laid nearly to Gogorza, and from that point all that remains to be done is to pull the narrow gauge rail out to standard width. The ties are all ready for it,..." "After next week there will be stored in the R.G.W. yards in this city considerable narrow-gauge rolling stock. Much of this will go to the scrap pile, but several of the best locomotives will be set-out to continue in service as switchers or on the south end of the Sevier railway. There is no demand nowadays for narrow-gauge equipment ." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 5, 1900)

July 13, 1900
"Broad Gauge Sunday" "The Utah Central will be made standard gauge on Sunday, and broad gauge trains will run on Monday." Sunday was the 15th. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 13, 1900)

July 15, 1900
"Postpone Broad-Gauging" "The final act of broad-gauging the Utah Central, set for today, has been indefinitely postponed. The reason is on account of delay in getting concrete to finish lining the tunnel where necessary to protect the structure." "Narrow gauge trains will continue to run." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 15, 1900)

July 20, 1900
"The Rio Grande Western borrowed some of the Utah & Nevada narrow gauge cars for a Park City excursion. To get them to and from their own track the cars had to be placed on broad-gauge trucks. The old Ramsay transfer was used, the one that used to be so busy in Utah & Northern days. It was an interesting sight to see the cars go down the slide with broad-gauge trucks and come up the other side on narrow-gauge trucks. It was a reminder of old days." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 20, 1900)

July 28, 1900
"The Utah Central extra coaches are being placed on broad gauge trucks to be used temporarily after the change." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 28, 1900)

July 28, 1900
An accident last Tuesday on the Utah Central line, in which engineer J. E. Ferguson was killed and fireman George Wiseman was injured. They were running a helper engine, light, back to Salt Lake from Altus, and the engine ran away, overturning near milepost 14. Ferguson was a new man, unfamiliar with the road, on which the accident is blamed. (Park Record, Park City, July 28, 1900)

July 28, 1900
Editor asks 'When??' will the broad gauge begin operating; also notes that "... several narrow gauge cars and Engine No. 2 were put on broad gauge tracks for temporary use Friday,..." (Park Record, Park City, July 28, 1900)

July 29, 1900
"Change Gauge Today" on the Park City line; "When the Utah Central train No. 41 leaves Park City this afternoon it will be the last narrow gauge train over the road. Immediately after its passage the line will be changed to broad-gauge and tomorrow morning the trains will run over the new line and through the tunnel." Item comments that the use of the Utah Central name on the narrow gauge in 1890 "caused considerable trouble and mistakes." Also, that the RGW began to operate the property on June 1, 1898. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 29, 1900)

July 30, 1900
"Now Broad Gauge" "The Utah Central was made a standard gauge last night. When the morning train left for Park City about 150 extra men were aboard. These were distributed along the nine miles from Gogorza to Park City, that stretch being the only piece to be widened. At noon the narrow gauge freight engines pulled out of the Park all narrow gauge equipment which was brought to Sugar House and this city and side-tracked. The men had pulled some of the spikes and driven outside guide spikes for the broad-gauge. At 4:30pm No. 41 left the Park with its load of passengers. As it moved away the men would commence to pull spikes and move rails, and by midnight the whole job was completed. (30 July 1900 was a Monday.) "The narrow gauge from Barclay's to Gogorza will be abandoned and this morning's train will run over the new line. The old narrow-gauge line will be pulled up between those points." "The inside rail from here to Barclay's will be pulled up also, leaving only the broad gauged track through to the Park." "It will be some days yet before the heavy rail can be substituted on parts of the line not already served. Until that time the light passenger cars will be used." "The Colorado & Northwestern narrow-gauge cars will be sent back to Denver at once, and a dozen cars leased from the Oregon Short Line will likewise be returned." "The freight transfer between broad and narrow gauge cars at the cement works switch will be hereafter abolished." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 30, 1900)

July 30, 1900
RGW operated first standard gauge train to Park City. The new line was built from Lambs Canyon over Parleys summit, gauge widened from Gorgoza to Park City. The last narrow gauge train was operated on the July 29th. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 30, 1900; Park Record, August 4, 1900)

July 31, 1900
"Hog engine 116, standard gauge, of the R. G. W., pulled the freight train to Park City and return on the first trip yesterday." The train was one of nine cars and a caboose; "Set-out engine No. 3 pulled the passenger with ease,..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 31, 1900)

July 31, 1900
"Railroad Coup d'Etat," which gives a very brief economic history of Utah railroading in the 1890s. About 1890, when the Utah Central was completed to Park City, the Union Pacific had a pretty firm grip on the Park City traffic; the Utah Central was unable to cut into it to any appreciable extent, and was unable to come to any sort of a traffic arrangement with the R. G. W. It seems that the RGW and the U. P. had their own agreement, which was that the RGW would not make any sort of traffic arrangements with either the Utah Central or the Salt Lake & Ogden, provided that the U.P. would do nothing whatever to develop their interest in the San Pete Valley Railroad. This put the Utah Central in a poor place, and prior to the receivership, efforts were made to sell the U. C. to either of the big roads, but neither was interested - for obvious reasons. However, situations change, and with the Utah Central in receivership, the RGW was able to work out a deal to acquire the control of the road, after the reorganization, without unduly ruffling the U. P.'s feathers. This was done, and at present (i.e., 1900), the Utah Central still exists and is leased to the Rio Grande Western Railway. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 31, 1900)

August 1, 1900
"Owing to heavy passenger travel on the Utah Central the company has had boxcar No. 216 fitted up and painted as a baggage car and set on broad gauge trucks. With this two straight coaches can be used. It is but a temporary arrangement until the new broad-gauge train can be put on." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 1, 1900)

August 4, 1900
"The Broad Gauge." The first train on the standard gauge arrived Monday morning, 30 July, at 10:30am, engine No. 3, engineer Billy Chatterton, which was the morning passenger train; this was the first 'official' train, but actually the second, as Charles Williams with the 115 and the freight train had arrived a few minutes ahead of the passenger. The last narrow gauge train out of Park City, the passenger job on Sunday afternoon, the 29th, was followed by crews spreading the narrow gauge rails, which are to be used for now; by 9:00am, the .narrow gauge was gone, just in time for the passage of the first two trains, as above. The new line is 1.9 miles longer than the old narrow gauge line. Note that Billy Chatterton was engineer on the last narrow gauge train out of Park City. The present standard gauge train consists of narrow gauge cars on standard gauge trucks. (Park Record, Park City, August 4, 1900)

August 5, 1900
Col. D. C. Dodge comments made last night in car A: On the business of relocating the Park City line off of 8th South, Dodge says the city received $6,000 for the franchise permitting the railroad to be there, and he doesn't think it unreasonable to get the $6,000 back if the railroad is to be moved. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 5, 1900)

August 18, 1900
About 20 feet has been taken off the rear end of the RGW enginehouse, to make more room for the larger standard gauge wye. (Park Record, Park City, August 18, 1900)

August 18, 1900
"The inside rail of the Utah Central in the city is being taken up. At the cement works a new broad gauge curved track from the main line is 'being built. This will be a great improvement." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 18, 1900)

August 21, 1900
"The inner, or narrow gauge, rail of the Utah Central was taken up yesterday along Eleventh East street." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 21, 1900)

August 24, 1900
"Laying Track to Marysvale. -- Tracklaying on the Marysvale extension of the Rio Grande Western is progressing nicely. About four miles are already down below Belknap. The extra rail of the Utah Central has all been taken up between Salt Lake and Barclays and is being sent to Bleknap as quickly as possible." (Salt Lake Tribune, August 24, 1900) (Utah Central is RGW's line between Salt Lake City and Park City, by way of Parleys Canyon, having been converted from narrow gauge to standard gauge on July 29th.)

August 27, 1900
"A heavy broad-gauge flanger is being built in the Rio Grande Western shops for use on the Utah Central." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 27, 1900)

August 27, 1900
"New Utah Central Engine." "Engine No. 1, Rio Grande Western, is out of the shops ready to go on the Park City run. This is the engine rebuilt for passenger service on the Utah Central. It is the 01 of the Central set-out, and in its new dress and glittering paint is as pretty a locomotive as could be desired, although somewhat small as compared to the 402, which stood near it yesterday in the roundhouse. The 1 is the best of the Utah Central engines. It weighs thirty tons on the drivers, and weight of engine and tender is 58 tons. It has 16 x 20 cylinders and eight 36-inch drivers. It will be just right for the Park City passenger." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 27, 1900)

September 1, 1900
Engine No. 1, engineer Chatterton, brought in this morning first passenger train of real standard gauge cars, not narrow gauge cars on standard trucks. (Park Record, Park City, September 1, 1900)

September 2, 1900
"Silver King Limited" "The R. G. W. yesterday placed in service the "Silver King Limited" between here and Park City, and it is the prettiest little local train ever operated in this state. Engine No. 1 in jet black, with gold leaf lettering and borders, pulled the train, which consisted of a combination baggage and smoker and a chair car. Both cars are newly painted in the dark standard color, with 'Colorado-Utah Line' style of lettering. The chair car also has a smoking compartment." Also, the wye at the cement works is completed, so that the passenger train to Park City no longer has to back out of the Salt Lake City depot to head up the line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 2, 1900)

September 15, 1900
Building of the Silver King ore bins (66 feet square by 80 feet high) next to the RGW depot will begin next week. (Park Record, Park City, September 15, 1900)

September 20, 1900
"Secures Right of Way" the R.G.W. has bought property along 12th South (now 21st South) for a new line to replace the trackage along 8th South, etc.; Chief Engineer Yard has run a survey and the new line is to be built soon. Additonal property for the new line was purchased during mid October 1900. Other land parcels were condemned by the local courts to allow the railroad build its line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 20, 1900; October 21, 1900; Deseret Evening News, October 20, 1900)

October 9, 1900
"Graders have started to work at Elgin on the main line below Twelfth South (today's 21st South) upon the cut-ff of the Utah Central." (Deseret Evening News, October 9, 1900)

October 9, 1900
"The Rio Grande Western has commenced grading for the cut-off of the Utah Central. Graders are at work at Elgin Station on the main line below Twelfth South, putting in a Y and starting the straight line east. It will take only thirty days to build the grade, but sixty days will be required before the line can be operated." (Salt Lake Tribune, October 9, 1900)

October 16, 1900
"Engine 13 now pulls the Park City train." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 16, 1900)

October 20, 1900
"The framework for the ore bins and loading station for the Silver King aerial tram at the Rio Grande Western depot has been raised and the work is being rushed along as fast as possible." (Park Record, Park City, October 20, 1900)

October 22, 1900
"Sells Equipment. Western Narrow Gauge Engines Go to Sumpter Valley. The Rio Grande Western is selling most of its serviceable narrow-gauge rolling stock to the Sumpter Valley road of Oregon. Engine No. 7, formerly No. 04, is now newly-painted in the yards ready to ship to Baker City, and No. 02 will soon be finished. Most of the Utah Central freight cars were unfit for service and were sent to the scrap pile after the road was broad-gauged, but the best coaches were kept to be used for special stock cabooses and one for a car for the engineering department. The two best narrow-gauge engines were set-out as No. 1 and No. 13, and the balance will go to the Sumpter Valley." "The latter road, by the way, has many pieces of Utah equipment, its owners, being Utah men, seem to look to their State to supply equipment. The Garfield Beach, the Utah & Northern, and the San Pete Valley roads have supplied the Sumter Valley with cars and engines, and now the Rio Grande Western has added its quota." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 22, 1900)

October 25, 1900
"Engine 7 of the Sumpter Valley was hoisted onto a flat car yesterday in the Rio Grande Western yards and shipped to Baker City. No. 8 is soon to be ready." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 25, 1900)

October 31, 1900
Grading on the new "Twelfth South Cut-off" would be complete by "the end of this week." (Salt Lake Tribune, October 31, 1900)

November 5, 1900
"More cars of the Utah Central have been sent to the Sumpter Valley road." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 5, 1900)

November 5, 1900
A wreck yesterday afternoon, about 5:00pm; Extra west 147 from Park City, engine 147, off on 9th South curve; train had 18 cars and caboose, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th cars came off, they being PRR 83596, CB&Q 30112, RGW 697 and 704; PRR car caused it. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 5, 1900)

November 10, 1900
At Park City, work began Tuesday on a new enginehouse for the R. G. W., just a short distance from the site of the former one, which has just been torn down. (Park Record, Park City, November 10, 1900)

November 13, 1900
"Tracklaying has commenced on the Utah Central cut-off." (At 12th South, now 21st South). (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 13, 1900)

November 14, 1900
"The last relic of the Utah Central narrow-gauge came down from Sugar House last night. It was a broad-gauge train loaded with narrow-gauge cars for the Sumpter Valley road. The train was pulled by set-out engine No. 5, and altogether it was a combination train worth looking at." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 14, 1900)

November 16, 1900
"Another train of narrow-gauge equipment came down from Sugar House last night to be sent to the Sumpter Valley road." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 16, 1900)

November 17, 1900
"Another train of narrow-gauge cars came down from Sugar House last night." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 17, 1900)

November 19, 1900
"Building Snowsheds" "Utah Central Preparing to Overcome Delays to Trains" "The Rio Grande Western is still further improving the Park City line, Utah Central railway. A large force of men is now engaged in erecting 600 feet of snowsheds at Altus. The approaches to the tunnel are to be covered, as the snow is very heavy when drifting over the divide. Snowsheds will also be erected in the long cut this side of Gogorza, a point where the drifts have always been very bad. Other sheds will be erected where necessary, the effort of the company being to do away with all delays on account of snow on the high line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 19, 1900)

November 19, 1900
"The Utah Central flanger has been set out, and is now on the siding ready for instant use. The snow fences are likewise being rebuilt." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 19, 1900)

December 8, 1900
In Park City, "Surveyors have been at work this week laying out the line for the changes in the tracks at the Rio Grande Western depot. These changes are made necessary for the service to the aerial tram ore house, the track scales for which are being put in as rapidly as possible." (Park Record, Park City, December 8, 1900)

December 15, 1900
RGW started work removing its tracks along Eighth South and Ninth South, to a point in Sugar House just south of Twelfth South (today's 21st South) where the old line meets the new line. (Deseret Evening News, December 15, 1900)

December 30, 1900
Review of 1900: "The Utah Central was changed to broad gauge. To accomplish this the line had to be rebuilt and the cost of the change was $266,379.45. The new line necessitated a tunnel at Altus and two double S lines, one on either ascent and the engineering work attracted attention from all technical railroad journals." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 30, 1900)

January 10, 1901
In an item commenting upon the extension of the Sumpter Valley line: "The Sumpter line is owned by David Eccles, C. W. Nibley and others of Utah, and they have had the foresight to greatly add to their equipment by purchasing at a reasonable figure all the rolling stock of the Sanpete Valley and Utah Central roads as soon as they were broad gauged." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 10, 1901)

January 17, 1901
Engineering News had an article about RGW's Park City line, and all the improvements made.

(Read the text of the Engineering News article)

January 22, 1901
"Double-headers go up on the Utah Central each morning. About 1000 cars of ice have so far been brought down from Parleys Park." (Salt Lake Tribune, January 22, 1901)

January 26, 1901
In Park City, the Rio Grande Western is grading for a connection with the Union Pacific, so that the R. G. W. can get to the Daly West property. (Park Record, Park City, January 26, 1901)

February 1, 1901
RGW (as the Utah Central Railroad) and Union Pacific signed an agreement for the joint construction, ownership and operation of the 1.57-mile Ontario Spur, running from Park City, to the mouth of the Ontario mine. The spur was built by Union Pacific, and Utah Central reimbursed UP for the its half of the cost. Operation of the spur was alternated on an annual basis, with UP operating the spur until June 30, 1902. It then changed each year on July 1st. (D&RGW Treasurer's Contract No. 1941, dated February 1, 1901)

February 2, 1901
In Park City, "The R. G. W. cross track at the depot which will allow them to run up to the tunnel for Daly-West ores, is expected to be ready for use by Thursday." (Park Record, Park City, February 2, 1901)

February 12, 1901
"Will Lay Track Next Week." "It is expected that the steel gang will commence laying track on the Twelfth South street cut-off of the Park City line next week, as the work at Bingham will be finished. It will only take a week or ten days to finish the cut-off, and in a very short time the track will be taken up from Eighth and Ninth South and along Eleventh East streets." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 12, 1901; this issue not available in online sources)

February 16, 1901
"Trains 41 and 42 on the Park City branch are to be changed to 11 and 12 when the main line is used as far as Elgin." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 16, 1901)

February 16, 1901
The R.G.W. made first run Monday to the mouth of the Ontario tunnel, to receive Daly-West ores. (Park Record, Park City, February 16, 1901)

February 26, 1901
"Work will be commenced in a few days on tracklaying for the Utah Central cut-off. The steel is piled up at Roper, where the cut-off leaves the main line." (Salt Lake Tribune, February 26, 1901)

March 1, 1901
"Up To Ninth East. Utah Central Cut-Off Track Is Nearly All Laid. The work of track-laying on the Utah Central cut-off from Roper to Sugar House is nearing completion. The track was up to Ninth East and Twelfth South yesterday, an engine appearing at the corner and creating considerable interest. As soon as the track is connected at Sugar, the present line along the canal will be taken up." (Salt Lake Tribune, March 1, 1901)

March 1, 1901
"The work on the Utah Central cut-off south of this city is nearly completed. Track laying is now down to a point just beyond the junction of Ninth East and Twelfth South." (Deseret Evening News, March 1, 1901)

March 2, 1901
"Features of New Line." The cut-off to be completed tonight; meets present line in back of the prison, about 1/2 mile east of 11th East street. New line crosses 11th East 1/2 block below Smoot's corner. The line is laid with 65 pound steel. "The present narrow gauge track to Mill Creek will be torn up and a broad-gauge line substituted." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 2, 1901)

March 4, 1901
Track laying on the Utah Central Twelfth South cut-off was completed on Monday March 4, 1901. A ballast train would be operated over the line for another week, and the line aligned for good operation, including filling in the sags, then No. 42 could use the new line to Park City. (Salt Lake Tribune, March 2, 1901)

March 16, 1901
The Silver King ore bins at the depot were completely enclosed yesterday, so all work now is inside and protected from the weather, and completion is expected in six weeks. (Park Record, Park City, March 16, 1901)

March 19, 1901
"Last Trains Today" over the old 8th South line; once the morning passenger train to Park City (Train No. 42) passes, the line will be cut, and the new line connected, behind the prison. The old line, along 8th South and down 11th East as far as Garfield Ave, will be taken up at once. Trains have heretofore stopped at Liberty Park, but now, quite obviously, will no longer do so. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 19, 1901)

March 23, 1901
Tuesday, 19th, was last day of use for the old line along 8th South in Salt Lake City; after the morning trains to Park City had passed, the new line was cut in back of the penitentiary, and trains since Tuesday afternoon have been using the new line along 12th South. The old line will be torn up soon. (Note: 12th South then is 21st South now.) (Park Record, Park City, March 23, 1901)

March 23, 1901
The Salt Lake City Land and Water Commissioner reported to the city committee on irrigation, that the Rio Grande Western has stopped the removal of its old line along Eighth South and Ninth South at a point just north of the crossing of the city canal at Garfield Avenue, providing a short spur north of the Sugar House station. The commissioner recommended that the full city council request that the railroad shorten its line between Garfield Avenue and Sugar House by a few rods, and remove the bridge across the canal. (Salt Lake Herald, March 23, 1901)

March 28, 1901
The old Utah Central line, from the connection with the cut-off east of the penitentiary, westward to Sugar House, "has been torn up." A second track is being added between the cement plant at Ninth South, and the Twelfth South Junction for the Utah Central. This second track would allow the Utah Central to be run as a separate railroad, without concern by main line dispatchers, and without the Utah Central crews having "to register in." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 28, 1901)

March 31, 1901
"Narrow Gauge equipment has about disappeared from the Western's yard." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, March 31, 1901)

April 30, 1901
Ownership of the Utah Central Twelfth South Cut-off, was filed on as collateral

June 7, 1901
The old Utah Central track in the city along 8th South is being torn up. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 7, 1901)

July 1901
"Old Utah Central" track east of thre penitentiary, to the connection with the new cut-ff, was "Taken up July 1901." (D&RGW engineering drawing of Sugar House)

July 13, 1901
A cave-in at the Altus tunnel a couple of days ago has quite expectedly interrupted train service, which should be cleared up by Monday. (Park Record, Park City, July 13, 1901.)

September 21, 1901
"The network of tracks and switches that have been put in at the Rio Grande Western since the grading out of the area back of the Silver King terminal, gives the yards a metropolitan appearance." (Park Record, Park City, September 21, 1901)

December 7, 1901
"The Rio Grande Western has made a decided improvement at the depot here by raising the platform and placing a large timber across the end to prevent transfers from backing on the walk, etc." (Park Record, Park City, December 7, 1901)

August 10, 1902
A reference to RGW engines 1 and 13, in an item on some new standard gauge engines a-coming, the 'set-out' engines going into retirement and being set aside on the dead track. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 10, 1902)

July 13, 1903
Obituary of Henry Wagener, who died on the 12th at 43 South 3rd East in Salt Lake City. Born 30 August 1838 in Elneshorn (?), Holstein; married 27 June 1863 at Carson City, Nevada, to Margarethe Englebrecht. He built his brewery at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in 1864 or '65, and retired from that line of work in 1896. " (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 13, 1903)

The story continues as the Park City Branch of the Denver & Rio Grande of 1908-1921, and the Denver & Rio Grande Western of 1921-1988...

(Read more about D&RGW's Park City Branch)


Utah Central Railroad, 1897-1908, Locomotives

More Information

Utah Central Railroad, 1897-1908, Corporate Information

Utah Central Railroad, 1897-1908, Engineering News article

John W. Young's Railroads -- An index page for all of John W. Young's railroads.