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History of the Railroad in Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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By the end of 1891 the Rio Grande-controlled Tintic Range Railway had completed its line into the Tintic District from Springville and gave the Union Pacific line some needed competition. Other railroad lines built to serve the mines around Eureka were the Eureka Hill Railway, the Goshen Valley Railway, and the New East Tintic Railway. Both the Eureka Hill and the New East Tintic roads used Shay locomotives, which are a special type of gear-driven locomotive designed for use on railroads with steep grades and sharp curves. The New East Tintic later came under Union Pacific control, and its two Shay locomotives, along with a third purchased later, were the only ones of their type on the Union Pacific lines.

Other mining districts in the state attracted other railroad companies. The Deep Creek Railroad was built to serve the copper and gold mines in the Deep Creek District along Utah's western border. The Los Angles and Salt Lake Railroad built branches in Iron County to move iron ore from the mines to steel mills in Utah County as well as in California and Colorado. The St. John and Ophir Railroad was completed between the Union Pacific tracks at St. John and the silver mines in Ophir, along the western slope of the Oquirrh Mountains.

Just south of Ophir was the fabulous gold-mining district of Mercur. In 1895 the Salt Lake and Mercur Railroad completed its line into Mercur from a connection with Union Pacific's former Salt Lake and Western line at Fairfield. The track was constructed along some of the most tortuous curves and grades of any railroad track in the state. This line was among those in the state that used Shay locomotives as their sole source of locomotive power; the other railroad lines included the New East Tintic; the Eureka Hill; the Logan City Transit; the Copper Belt; the Kenilworth and Helper; the Crescent Tramway; the Newhouse, Copper Gulch and Sevier Lake; and the Salt Lake and Alta.


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