opening of these plants has been called the single greatest stimulus
to the dairy industry in northern Utah. In 1933 milk was collected from
nearly three thousand dairy farms and delivered daily to the condensing
plants, mostly using the trains of the Utah-Idaho Central interurban
railroad and those of the Oregon Short Line's Cache Valley Branch. Between
1926 and 1930 the dairy industry was the third largest farm-based industry
in the state, and half of the dairy production came from the annual
production of sixty million cans of condensed and evaporated milk.
story of Utah's railroads includes the completion of electric railroads,
including the electric interurban lines and the electric streetcar lines,
for the movement of passengers. Between 1890 and 1920 Utah's population
more than doubled, from 210,779 to 449,396. Most of that growth was
in the urban areas and nearby farming communities along the Wasatch
Front. By the turn of the century, the steam railroads were straining
to provide the local populace with transportation to local destinations.
To fill this need for additional local passenger transportation, several
local electric interurban railroads were organized between 1900 and
1910. This group of companies developed into what became one of the
largest electric railroad systems in the nation.
1910 and 1920 four separate railroads completed either the electrification
of their lines or the actual construction of their lines as electric
railroads. The Salt Lake and Utah Railroad was begun in 1914 as an electric
line south from Salt Lake City to Provo, and was completed to Payson in 1916.
Salt Lake, Garfield and Western began in 1891 as the Saltair Beach Railway,
running from Salt Lake City west to the new Saltair Resort. Construction
began in 1892, at which time the name of the line was changed to the
Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railway to show that the company had larger
plans. In 1916 the company was reorganized as the Salt Lake, Garfield
and Western Railway and made the announcement that the line would be
electrified, a process completed in 1919.