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History of the Railroad in Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The growth of a network of railroads in Utah began with the completion of the Utah Central between Ogden and Salt Lake City in January 1870, and with the start of construction of the Utah Southern south from Salt Lake City in May 1871. Brigham Young viewed the completion of these railroads more as a benefit to the communities they served rather than as profit-making enterprises. These "Mormon Roads," as some historians have called them, radiated like spokes of a wheel from Salt Lake City and Ogden. They made the movement of goods and people easier within the territory, and included, in addition to the Utah Central and the Utah Southern, the Utah Western, built west from Salt Lake City, and the Utah Northern, which was built north from Brigham City and later connected with Ogden.

Also among the Mormon Roads was the Summit County Railway, completed between Echo and Coalville, and extended to serve the silver mines in Park City in 1880. At the same time that the railroad was being completed into Park City, it was also being converted from narrow gauge to standard gauge. In 1881 the line was sold under foreclosure to the Echo and Park City Railroad, a Union Pacific subsidiary.

Other railroads were planned in the region to move Coalville coal to the Park City mines, as well as furnish competition to Union Pacific's monopoly in moving Wyoming coal to Salt Lake City. The first company to construct a line was the Utah Eastern Railway, completing its narrow-gauge line between Coalville and Park City in 1880. Both the Summit County and the Utah Eastern companies reached Park City on the same day over virtually parallel routes. Union Pacific soon gained control of the Utah Eastern company, however, and shut it down in December 1883. Much to Union Pacific's chagrin, another local road soon was successful in reaching Park City. This time it was the Salt Lake and Eastern Railway, completed up Parley's Canyon from Salt Lake City in 1890. Just before its track reached Park City, the company was reorganized as the Utah Central Railway. The Rio Grande gained control of this line in 1898, realigned and rebuilt the worst parts of it, made it standard gauge, and operated the route as its Park City branch until 1946, at which time most of the line was removed. Union Pacific operated its Park City Branch, originally the Summit County Railway and later the Echo and Park City Railroad, until late 1987. The line was removed during the summer of 1989.


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