This is a work in progress and is in no way final

History

The Utah Coal Railway was incorporated on 24-Jan-1912 to build and operate a standard gauge line from the coal mines near Mohrland, UT? and Hiawatha, UT? to a connection with the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad (later the Los Angeles & Salt Lake, eventually the Union Pacific?). The line was intended to replace poor service to the mines by the Southern Utah Railroad? and Castle Valley Railroad?. Within four months, the line's name was shortened to the more modern Utah Railway.1

The final route chosen led from Spanish Fork? over Soldier Summit, roughly paralleling the Denver & Rio Grande's mainline (but often on very different alignments) as far as Utah Railway Junction?, just beyond Castle Gate. The line would then cross over the D&RG line to the mines at Hiawatha? and Mohrland?.

The D&RG began reconstructing their Soldier Summit route in November 1912 with dual main tracks, in order to improve operations over the steep grades. The planned double track progressed from Utah Railway Junction? towards Thistle, which was intended to be the western end of the improvements. Considering that the Utah Railway was trying to build a parallel alignment, the D&RG approached the Utah about operating the pass as a joint operation. On 1-Nov-1913, the parties agreed to jointly operate 51 miles of D&RG track over Soldier Summit, to have the Utah Railway construct a single track line from Provo to Thistle, and then jointly operate both roads' single track between those points as well.

The Utah Railway between Provo and Thistle was completed and went into service in late June 1914.

The Hiawatha? engine facilities (enginehouse and coaling tower) burned in 1922 and were rebuilt. They were later abandoned in 1939.

The Martin? locomotive service facilities were built in 1914. They also burned in 1922 and were replaced with the steel engine shed that continues to serve the railroad today.

The line from Utah Railway Junction? to the mines at Black Hawk and Hiawatha? was completed on 1 Aug 1914, and all the way to Mohrland? was completed by 21 October 1914.

The D&RG initially operated the line upon its completion.

The United States Fuel Company provided notice that they were assuming operation of the line on 1 Nov 1916 due to unsatisfactory service by the D&RG. Reportedly it was due to D&RG financial problems, and their inability to provide enough motive power or empty cars to move all of the coal loads available. To do this, they purchased six new locomotives and assumed operation of the line as of 1 Nov 1917.

In March of 1917, the LA&SL and the Utah began constructing their new Provo Joint Yard, which was completed sometime around late October.

Utah Railway passenger service ended in 1926.

Provo's engine house was torn down in 1981.

United States Fuel Company become United States Smelting, Refining & Mining, which became UV Industries in 1972. UV Industries was sold to Sharon Steel Corp in 1979. Sharon Steel Corp went bankrupt in 1990. Mueller Brass was spun off as Mueller Industries, and took the assets of the former US Fuel Corp with it (including the Utah Railway).

The Utah had partial ABS? signaling, and received permission to abandon it from milepost 1.4 to milepost 4.3, near Martin, and from milepost 17.8 to milepost 18.4, near Wattis, on 4 Aug 1995. Consisted of the removal of nine signals. The reason given was that the signals were obsolete. 2

The Spring Canyon Branch from Jacobs to Spring Canyon was approved for abandonment on 1 Dec 1995. 3

The Wattis Branch from milepost 0.0 at Wattis Junction to milepost 2.4 at Wattis was approved for abandonment on 1 Dec 1995 as well. 4

As a result of the 1996 SP/UP merger, the Utah Railway was given haulage rights from Utah Railway Junction? to Grand Junction, CO, and access to the Savage Coal Terminal near Wellington? and the Cyprus Amax Willow Creek Mine at Castle Gate. BNSF then contracted with the Utah Railway to operate its coal and local trains on this segment (and additionally between Ogden? and Provo), as well as provide helper service to BNSF trains over Soldier Summit.

The Utah Railway purchased the Salt Lake City Southern? Railroad from RailTex on 1 Sep 1999 for the sum of $675,000. The SLCS operated 24.95 miles of Utah Transit Authority? track (part of the former Union Pacific? Provo Subdivision) from milepost 798.74 (900 S in Salt Lake City?) to 775.19 at Mount, UT?. Union Pacific? had retained freight rights to this line when it was sold for commuter rail service, and had assigned their rights to the SLCS. On 15 Oct 1999, the UP also assigned the SLCS trackage rights over 2.1 miles of former D&RGW track between milepost 735.8 and 737.9, allowing access from the Utah's Midvale? Yard to the former SLCS yard at Pallas, UT?. 5

On 28 Aug 2002, the Utah Railway and the Salt Lake City Southern subsidiary were sold by Mueller Industries to Genesee & Wyoming, a large shortline railroad operator.6

Current Operations


1 Strack, Don - Utahrails.net "Utah Railway History"

2 DOT-FRA Block Signal Application BS-AP 3359, service date August 4, 1995, published in Federal Register, August 9, 1995

3 ICC Docket AB-310X, service date October 26, 1995, published in Federal Register, November 1, 1995

4 ICC Docket AB-310, sub 1X, service date October 26, 1995, published in Federal Register, November 1, 1995

5 STB Finance Docket 33808, service date 18 Oct 1999

6 STB Finance Docket 34235, service date September 16, 2002

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  Last modified on October 25, 2011, at 03:35 PM
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