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To Move A Mountain

Railroads and Mining in Utah's Bingham Canyon

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on July 11, 2014.

(This is a work in progress; research continues.)

Historical Timelines

Years of Discovery, to 1863 — A narrative history of the early years of discovery in Bingham Canyon, using Daughters of Utah Pioneers and other sources, including H. H. Bancroft, Orson Whitney, B. H. Roberts, Edward Tullidge, and Stenhouse.

Gold and Silver Era, 1863-1900 — A narrative history of the of the railroad and mining activities in Bingham Canyon during the years that gold and silver were being mined, including history of the pioneering Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd narrow gauge railroad, and the narrow gauge mule tram.

Copper Era, 1900-1914 — A narrative history of the railroad and mining activities in Bingham Canyon after copper began to be mined in larger quantities. Coverage includes the construction of the Copper Belt Railway to replace the original mule tramway, and the consolidation of the mining companies into the United States Mining, Boston Consolidated, and Utah Copper companies.

During the early years of copper production in Bingham Canyon, several mining companies used either railroads or aerial tramways to transport their ore. In the 1895-1910 period, these included the following (in roughly chronological order):

Copper Era, 1914-1936 — A timeline of the events for railroads and mining in Bingham Canyon in the years of 1914 to 1936, the years of Utah Copper Company.

Copper Era, 1936-1981 — A timeline of the events for railroads and mining in Bingham Canyon in the years from 1936, when Kennecott bought control of Utah Copper Company, to 1981 when Kennecott was sold to Sohio and British Petroleum.

Kennecott Copper's Utah Mine in 1976 — An article about Kennecott Copper's Bingham Canyon electric locomotives, from Traction & Models magazine, March 1976. Covers the last operations of electric locomotives at the Bingham Canyon mine. (PDF; 5 pages; 7.4MB)

Copper Era, 1981 to 1989 — A timeline of the events and dates of railroad and mining activity in Bingham Canyon in the Sohio and BP years after 1981, to 1989 when Kennecott was sold to Rio Tinto.

Copper Era, 1989 to today — A timeline of the events and dates of railroad and mining activity in Bingham Canyon after 1989 when Kennecott was sold to Rio Tinto.

Garfield Smelter — Information about the smelters at Garfield, including the ASARCO (later Kennecott) smelter.

Roster Listings and Equipment

Kennecott Utah Diesel-Electric and Electric Locomotives — An index page for a full all-time roster of Kennecott's diesel and electric locomotives.

Utah Copper Steam Locomotives — A full all-time roster of Utah Copper's and Bingham & Garfield Railway's, steam locomotives.

Bingham Ore Cars — Information about the ore cars used by Utah Copper and Bingham & Garfield Railway.

Equipment Diagrams — An index page for equipment diagram books of Bingham & Garfield and Utah Copper.

Modeling Kennecott — Information about the paint schemes and lettering of KCC electric and diesel locomotives, along with measurements of a high-cab GP39-2

Other Kennecott Divisions

Chino — A brief history of rail operations at Kennecott's Chino Mine Division copper mine at Chino, New Mexico.

Ray — A brief history of rail operations at Kennecott's Ray Mines Division copper mine at Ray, Arizona.

Nevada — A brief history of rail operations at Kennecott's Nevada Mines Division copper mine at Ely, Nevada.

Other Information

Bingham & Garfield Railway — A separate page for the railroad between Bingham Canyon, and the mills and smelter at Garfield.

Trucks and Shovels at Bingham — Information about the large haul trucks, and steam and electric shovels used in Kennecott's Bingham Canyon mine.

Bingham Canyon Railroads and Steam Shovels — An article from Salt Lake Mining Review in October 1911.

Central Power Station — Information about Kennecott's Central Power Station, located at Magna.

Garfield Switching Contract — Information about the changes to how Kennecott switches rail cars at the north end, after rail operations between the mine and the mill ended in 2001.

The Trains That Moved A Mountain — Blair Kooistra's article from the March 1989 issue of Train magazine. (presented here with author's permission)

Kennecott Corporation History — A 1999 history of Kennecott Corporation, lifted from International Directory of Company Histories.

Kennecott History — A well-written history of Kennecott Corporation, at Answers.com

Kennecott Parent Companies — Information about the parent companies of Kennecott Utah Copper, including Kennecott Copper Corporation (1936-1981), Sohio (1981-1989), and Rio Tinto (1989-present)

Bingham Canyon Railroads Map — A Google Map of the railroads of that served Bingham Canyon and the copper mills at Great Salt Lake, including Utah Copper, Kennecott Copper, Bingham & Garfield, and D&RGW.

Bingham Canyon Visitors Center — Information about the many visitor centers and observation points for the public to view the Bingham copper mine.

Salt Lake Valley Smelters — A narrative history of the smelters located in the Salt Lake Valley, including those of the pioneer era, from 1867, to the famous smelter case that closed all but the lead smelters at Midvale and Murray. The others were either consolidated at either Garfield or Tooele, or closed altogether.

Bingham Mine Levels — Information about the levels of the Bingham Canyon mine on which railroad track was laid.

Aerial Tramways — Information about the aerial tramways used by mining companies at Bingham, to get their ore from mine to rail car, then to mill and smelter.

Elton Tunnel — Information about the Elton Tunnel of National Tunnel and Mines Company, a subsidiary of Anaconda's International Smelting and Refining Company. The tunnel was 4.5 miles long, running between the underground mines in Carr Fork, and an outlet about one west of the International smelter.

Mascotte Tunnel — Information about the Mascotte Tunnel between Bingham and Lark, the site of the U. S. Mining complex.

D&RGW Trackage Agreements — Information about joint trackage agreements between D&RGW and Utah Copper, transcribed from Agreement cards on file at D&RGW Utah Division offices in August 1983

Miscellaneous Notes — Information about Bingham Canyon that does not fit anyplace else.

Wikipedia entry for Bingham Canyon.

Bingham Bibliography

Book: Bingham Canyon Railroads

Bingham Canyon Railroads (Images of Rail)
(Arcadia Publishing, 2011) (ISBN 9 78-0-7385-8489-4) (Now Available) (Front Cover) (Back Cover)

The Bingham Canyon Railroads book can be ordered either directly from Arcadia, or from Amazon (with page preview).

Video: Copper Canyon, American Dream

An 80-minute video produced by KUED, the local PBS station, and first aired in February 2003. (link to buy DVD)

UtahRails Bingham Canyon Photos

Other Bingham Canyon Photos

Other Bingham Web Sites

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