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Oregon Short Line Railway (OSLRy) (1881-1889)

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Union Pacific's Subsidiary in Utah

This page was last updated on September 13, 2013.

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Overview

Timeline

General timeline for route completion (westward - Granger, Wyoming to Huntington, Oregon):

The OSL Ry was incorporated under the general laws of the Territory of Wyoming on April 14, 1881, and by Act of Congress on August 2, 1882, it was made a railway corporation in the territories of Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.

April 14, 1881
The Oregon Short Line Railway was incorporated in Wyoming. Construction of the line began in May at a connection with Union Pacific at Granger, Wyoming. The tracks were completed to Montpelier, Idaho on August 5, 1882 and to Pocatello during the fall of the same year. The tracks between McCammon, Idaho and Pocatello were used jointly with the Utah & Northern by laying a third rail along side the narrow-gauge U&N rails. (OSL corporate history)

(Trottman, p. 180, says that Oregon Short Line Railway was chartered by an act of Congress.)

July 11, 1881
E. E. Calvin drove the first spike on the Oregon Short Line Railway at Granger, Wyoming: "Special to the Tribune - Granger, Wyo., July 11 - Track laying on the Oregon Short Line began at this point today. The first spike was driven by E. E. Calvin, operator at Granger." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 12, 1881)

(Edgar E. Calvin was later vice president and general manager of Oregon Short Line Railroad, replacing W. H. Bancroft in that position in 1914. He was named Union Pacific president in May 1916, a position he held until his manadatory retirement at age 70 in 1928.) (New York Times, May 31, 1916; Maury Klein, Union Pacific, 1894-1969, page 246)

August 2, 1882
Oregon Short Line Railway was approved by an act of the United States Congress as being a railroad corporation in the territories of Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, with the same rights and privileges allowed it by its Articles of Incorporation as filed in the Territory of Wyoming. (OSL corporate history)

October 11, 1882
The Oregon Short Line is about completed between Granger and McCammon; the line north to Pocatello has not yet had the third rail added to it. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 11, 1882)

October 17, 1882
The Oregon Short Line track running some 45 miles west of Pocatello, built in advance of the arrival of the standard gauge line, was built to narrow gauge, and is now about to be widened to the standard. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 17, 1882)

December 14, 1882
The Oregon Short Line has issued its first timetable. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 14, 1882)

December 21, 1882
The Pullman sleeper 'Oriole' is in service on the O. S. L. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, December 21, 1882)

January 1, 1883
The O.S.L. runs on the U&N, McCammon to Pocatello, about 22 miles. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1883)

February 23, 1883
"The Oregon Short Line passenger coaches are beginning to arrive." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 23, 1883)

March 10, 1883
OSL completed to Shoshoe, Idaho and a connection with the new Wood River Branch. (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, March 10, 1883; City Gleanings: "The station at Shoshone, the present terminus of the Oregon Short Line railroad, and the junction of the Wood River branch, was opened today for all business connected with the road.")

March 14, 1883
An item says that the first timetable on the Oregon Short Line (the old original company) was in effect on March 14, 1883, covering Granger to Shoshone only. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, November 4, 1899)

October 28, 1883
"Ten more new engines…" ordered for the Oregon Short Line. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 28, 1883)

November 1883
OSL received its first locomotives built specifically for the road, numbered as OSLRy 30-35; the previous 29 locomotives, numbered as OSLRy 1-29 were transferred from Union Pacific during 1882 and 1883.

November 11, 1884
ORy&N completed to Huntington, Oregon, and a connection with OSL; opened for traffic on December 1, 1884 (Asay, page 42)

Huntington is just inside Oregon, 2.25 miles west of the Idaho-Oregon line. OSLRy built the large bridge that allowed it to cross the Snake River, which forms the line between Idaho and Oregon.

November 20, 1884
OSL completed to Huntington, Oregon. (OSL corporate history for ICC, page 25)

November 25, 1884
Last spike ceremony for OSL and ORy&N at Huntington, Oregon was on November 25, 1884. Present were officials of both OSL and ORy&N, along with members of the press and local citizens. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 30, 1884).

February 13, 1886
Depot and other buildings at Montpelier, Idaho, burned to the ground. (Ogden Herald, February 13, 1886)

January 1, 1887
In Pocatello on the OSL, the U. P. built a new depot, two stories, 50x100, cost of $10,945; the Pacific Hotel was raised one floor, and other improvements made $6,000 spent there; six tenement houses built at cost of $6,508; a storehouse of 30x75 cost $1,500. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1887)

February 6, 1887
The Oregon Short Line has just received the new steam snow plow, referred to some weeks ago in the Tribune, when ordered from Paterson, New Jersey. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 6, 1887)

August 27, 1888
OSL's Pocatello freight office and sheds burned, at about 2:00am this date; a total loss. As there was no wind, no other buildings burned. (The Utah Journal, Logan, August 27, 1888)

July 27, 1889
Oregon Short Line Railway was part of the consolidation that formed Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway.

Oregon Short Line & Utah Northern Railway was organized by merging the following companies: Utah & Northern Railway, the Utah Central Railway, the Utah & Nevada Railway, the Salt Lake & Western Railway, and the Ogden & Syracuse Railway (all in Utah), the Oregon Short Line Railway and Idaho Central Railway (both in Idaho), and the unbuilt Nevada Pacific Railway in Nevada. (OSL corporate history)

The lease of ORy&N to OSLRy (dated January 1, 1887) continued after the consolidation that formed OSL&UN.

Locomotives

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