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Southern Utah Railroad
Castle Valley Railroad

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Before Utah Railway

The years of joint operation by Southern Utah Railroad and Castle Valley Railroad of the Southern Utah line between Hiawatha and Price.

Because the mines of both the Consolidated Fuel Company and the Castle Valley Coal Company were so close and their two respective railroads were both bound for Price, a joint ownership agreement was signed that allowed the Castle Valley company half ownership in the Southern Utah tracks from Price, south to a junction near the mouth of Miller Creek Canyon. The Southern Utah Railroad was completed in late December 1909 and the Hiawatha mine began shipping in early January 1910. The Castle Valley Railroad was completed in February 1910 and the Castle Valley mine at Mohrland went into production at the same time.

On July 20, 1909 James H. Mays, of Castle Valley Coal, for the amount of $125,000.00, purchased a half interest in Southern Utah Railroad line and telephone line between Price and a junction to be built near Miller Creek Canyon, to be called Castle Junction. The Castle Valley Railroad was not in existence but was contemplated upon the agreement and would be incorporated as soon as convenient. The Southern Utah line was only graded at the time. The $125,000 purchase price was to be paid in five installments, with the last installment of $25,000.00, scheduled to be due on upon actual completion of the new joint line, projected to be on October 1, 1910. The joint track was to be built to include two side tracks with the capacity of at least twenty cars each. Each railroad was to operate its own trains over the joint track at its own expense. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, pages 33-37)


August 31, 1907
The Southern Utah Railroad was organized by a group of investors to haul their coal from their new Miller Creek mine twenty‑three miles north to Price, where the new railroad would connect with the Denver & Rio Grande. (Utah corporation number 6549)

October 16, 1907
The Consolidated Fuel Company was incorporated by the same persons who had organized the Southern Utah Railroad. (Utah corporation number 6618)

(More information about Consolidated Fuel Company, and its mine in Miller Creek Canyon)

Early press reports misnamed the railroad, calling it the Utah Southern Railroad, after the pioneering railroad of the 1870s and 1880s that operated south of Salt Lake City. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, June 6, 1907; June 13, 1907; June 20, 1907)

Work began on developing the mine in Miller Creek as soon as the coal company was organized in October 1907. In February 1908, work was halted and the coal stockpiled until the railroad reached the mine. (Zehnder, p. 34)

Originally the route for the railroad was to be constructed to connect with the D&RGW at a point about four miles north of Price (near today's Spring Glen), which would have shortened the length to about twenty miles. The connection was changed to Price after the citizens showed that they would support the direct connection between Price and the Miller Creek area. Officers of the Southern Utah Railroad stated that the railroad would build from Price rather than Helper if Price puts up approximately $8,500.00. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, March 12, 1908, p. 1. "Is Now Up To The People Of Price")

The land for the new depot was donated by the publisher of the local newspaper, R. W. Crockett. (Eastern Utah Advocate, May 13, 1909, "Work On New Road Progresses")

November 5, 1908
During early November 1908 the Southern Utah began construction. The work at the southern-most seven miles, beginning at Miller Creek, was being done by three separate grading crews of the Ely Construction Company of Springville, at a reported cost of $25,000.00. Ely's manager was C. L. Crandall. At the same time, there were three crews of surveyors out on the line. (Eastern Utah Advocate, November 5, 1908, "Down To Actual Work...")

November 19, 1908
By mid November there were 150 men and 85 teams working at grading the Southern Utah. The contract for the grading of the final eight miles into Price had not yet been let. (Eastern Utah Advocate, November 19, 1908)

December 10, 1908
During early December 1908, the contract for the remaining eight miles of the line into Price was let also to the Ely Construction Company, making them the sole contractor for the entire job. C. L. Crandall was the president in the Ely company. Arthur A. Sweet was the general manager of the Southern Utah Railroad. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 10, 1908)

February 4, 1909
By the first week of February 1909, bad weather was delaying work all along the line, with work almost being at a standstill. Work was progressing at a point eight miles north of Miller Creek. A week later, a bad storm hit and brought work to a near complete halt. While waiting for better weather, the horses of the contract graders were pastured at Huntington. There were some delays in the acquisition of a right-of-way between the Price River, requiring condemnation proceedings in the courts. The route from the crossing of the Price River into Price had been surveyed and staked out. Chief Engineer of the road was named Williamson. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 4, 1909, "Bad Weather Is Delaying Work")

February 11, 1909
Only a crew of forty Greeks were working in a cut eight miles north of Miller Creek. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 11, 1909)

February 18, 1909
In mid February 1909, general manager Sweet purchased twenty-one miles of 56-pound rail in Chicago for use in the construction of the Southern Utah Railroad. He also made arrangements for the purchase of the road's Shay and one other locomotive. Construction work was at a complete standstill because of the bad weather. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 18, 1909)

April 29, 1909
In April 1909 the railroad's general manager, F. A. Sweet, announced on the 26th that the company had purchased an eighty-ton, consolidated, direct connected locomotive and that it would be delivered in about seventy-five days. The company had also purchased a six-passenger gasoline passenger car to run between Price and the mines for the convenience of the officers and to carry the mail and express. Construction work on bridges was to begin the next week, using a home-made pile driver. Switch stands, frogs, and turnouts, along with other needed construction tools and equipment were ordered and were to be delivered within a week. Ties for the connection with D&RG were being laid. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 29, 1909, "Engine And Materials For Southern Coming")

May 20, 1909
By mid May 1909 the connection with the Denver & Rio Grande at Price was complete and the rails were being laid in the direction of the Price River. Also the contract for the construction of the depot in Price had been let. The depot was to be thirty by sixty feet in size. (Eastern Utah Advocate, May 13, 1909, "Work On New Road Progresses") (A line drawing of the new Southern Utah depot front elevation was printed in Eastern Utah Advocate, May 20, 1909)

June 3, 1909
Ties and timbers for the road and its bridge work were being taken from Miller Creek. The government stopped the work of cutting timbers, causing some delay, and the timbers may be taken from Cedar Creek. The bridge over the Price River is complete and the pile driver had moved on to Drunkard's Wash, the site of the next bridge, of eight more to be completed. (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 3, 1909, "Southern Utah Work Goes On")

July 20, 1909
James H. Mays, of Castle Valley Coal, for the amount of $125,000.00, purchased a half interest in Southern Utah railroad line and telephone line between Price and a junction to be built near Miller Creek Canyon, to be called Castle Junction. The Castle Valley Railroad was not in existence but was contemplated upon the agreement and would be incorporated as soon as convenient. The Southern Utah line was only graded at the time. The $125,000 purchase price was to be paid in five installments, with the last installment of $25,000.00, scheduled to be due on upon actual completion of the new joint line, projected to be on October 1, 1910. The joint track was to be built to include two side tracks with the capacity of at least twenty cars each. Each railroad was to operate its own trains over the joint track at its own expense. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, p. 33-37)

July 29, 1909
In July 1909 Southern Utah leased D&RG 4-6-0 number 503 for use in the construction of its line. The delivery of their own locomotive had been delayed due to the builder having a large backlog of orders. F. A. Sweet, general manager, just returned from the East where he had purchased all the machinery and equipment for the Miller Creek mine, stating that everything would be electrical and would be the best coal mining machinery ever brought into the state. The Price River bridge was being strengthened after being weakened by a recent flood. (Eastern Utah Advocate, July 29, 1909, "Southern Utah Pushing Along")

August 5, 1909
By the end of the second week of August, eighty to a hundred men were laying track on the Southern Utah Railroad, installing culverts and bridges, and surfacing the line. Steel rail had been laid beyond the irrigation canal of the Irrigated Lands Company, a distance of about five miles. Tracklaying would progress from then on at about a half mile per day. The Price depot had been completed and was being used as a company headquarters. F. S. Hadley, formerly of the Kenilworth company, was the chief clerk and J. H. Riddle was the new general superintendent of the railroad. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 5, 1909, "Southern Utah Is Now Making Half Mile Or More Every Day")

On August 7, 1909, with about five miles of Southern Utah's track laid the road's bridge over the Price River was washed out, stranding the leased D&RG engine on the other side. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 12, 1909)

August 10, 1909
Castle Valley Railroad was incorporated by the owners of the Castle Valley Coal Company to build a forty-mile railroad from Price to their mines in Cedar Creek canyon. All shares in the railroad, except for qualifying shares, were owned by the Castle Valley Coal Company, incorporated in Utah on August 9, 1909. The coal company had been organized in Wyoming on July 12, 1909, and incorporated in Wyoming on July 19, 1909. (Utah corporation number 7906)

(More information about the Castle Valley Coal Company, and its mine in Cedar Creek Canyon)

August 19, 1909
By mid August 1909 seven miles of track had been laid for Southern Utah Railroad. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 19, 1909)

August 24, 1909
The Ely Construction Company filed a lien against the Southern Utah Railroad in the amount of $7,175.38 for construction work completed between December 8, 1908 and June 29, 1909. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, p. 29)

August 25, 1909
Southern Utah Railroad agreed to lease its road number 100, a direct locomotive, with construction serial number 1088, from the Lima Locomotive & Machine Company. The lease was for the period of one year while the purchase price of $11,000.00 was being paid off in four equal payments of $2,750.00. The lease started on November 9, 1909. The locomotive was fully paid for by May 18, 1912. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, p. 376)

August 26, 1909
By late August 1909, the Castle Valley line had been surveyed. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 26, 1909)

August 31, 1909
A flood damaged the Southern Utah's bridge over the Price River on August 31, 1909. (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 2, 1909)

September 29, 1909
James H. Mays, as trustee for the Castle Valley Coal Company, assigned his half interest in the Southern Utah Railroad to the Castle Valley Railroad, for the sum of $1.00. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, page 38)

September 23, 1909
By late September, there was eleven miles of track completed for Southern Utah Railroad, reaching the Miller ranch. (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 23, 1909)

The joint operating agreement called for the Southern Utah line to be completed by October 1, 1909, and for the equal division of all costs involving the joint line. Also stipulated was the division of revenues. The handling of the United States Mail, all passenger traffic, and any traffic originating in Price would be divided equally, after subtraction of a ten percent handling fee by the handling road. Any traffic originating at Miller Creek would be exclusive to the Southern Utah Railroad, and any traffic originating at Cedar Creek would be exclusive to the Castle Valley Railroad, with no division of revenues. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, pages 33-37)

October 7, 1909
During early October 1909 the Castle Valley Railroad began construction of its new line. The grading work was contracted to the Ely Construction Company of Springville, managed by C. L. Crandall, with work beginning on October 4th, just as the Ely company was finishing the grading to the adjoining Southern Utah railroad. The first phase of grading kept twenty-five teams busy, with wages for teams being five dollars for nine hours of work. Laborers received two and two and quarter dollars per day. If "Americans" were not available, foreigners would be hired. Work was being rushed to complete the grading before the ground froze. The site for the coal company's tipple and new townsite was selected in late September 1909 by James G. Berryhill, of Des Moines, a director of the coal company who was on site at the time, along with J. K. Seifert, a consulting engineer from Chicago. The original name of the townsite was to be Connellsville, after the noted town in Pennsylvania. The original name of the railroad was the Utah & Southwestern. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 7, 1909, "Cedar Creek Railroad Graders Are Working")

October 14, 1909
By mid October, the deadline of the joint operating agreement, twenty miles of line was laid with track, with just a half mile of rail remaining to be laid. The completion of the line to Miller Creek included a connection with the tramway from Consolidated's Hiawatha mine, two miles further on, along with laying ties for the connection to the Castle Valley line. Also during mid October a sample car of Hiawatha coal was shipped to Salt Lake City. All that remained to complete the line was some surfacing and to complete the bridge at the mouth of Miller Creek canyon. Many cars of machinery were in the Price yards, at the end of track, and on the two sidings along the line. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 14, 1909, "Twenty Miles Of Rails Are Down")

October 15, 1909
In an inspection trip in October 1909 with some of his Salt Lake City friends, general manager Fred Sweet rode out to the end of track in mid October, using the gasoline motor car. He was "well satisfied" with the road's progress. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1909, p. 23, from the Advocate, Price, Utah)

October 21, 1909
The Southern Utah Railroad received its first locomotive, number 100, a 2-8-0 from Lima Locomotive Company in Lima, Ohio. The new locomotive was delivered on Wednesday, October 20, 1909. During late October 1909, a large force of carpenters, masons, electricians and laborers were at work at the tipple and mine. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 21, 1909, "Southern Utah Engine Arrives")

October 28, 1909
In late October 1909 the Southern Utah completed its line to East Hiawatha, the site of the under-construction, loading tipple for Consolidated Fuel's Hiawatha mine. The bridge over Miller Creek at the mouth of the canyon was not yet completed. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 28, 1909, "Order Is Placed For New Engine")

Also mentioned in the same newspaper article, in late October 1909, the Castle Valley had ordered a new locomotive. By that time, about two miles of line had been graded by the Ely Construction company. A sawmill had been installed at Cedar Creek to cut ties for the railroad and timbers for the mine. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 28, 1909, "Order Is Placed For New Engine")

November 25, 1909
Tracklaying for the Castle Valley Railroad began in late November at the connection with the Southern Utah's line at Castle Junction, near the mouth of Miller Creek Canyon. The laborers working for the Ely construction company consisted mostly of about equal numbers of Japanese, Greeks, Italians, and Austrians obtained from the labor agencies at Salt Lake City, Ogden and elsewhere. There were rumors that the coal company would purchase more coal lands south of Cedar Creek, and that the railroad would be extended to Huntington and further south. (Eastern Utah Advocate, November 25, 1909, "Pushing Work On New Road")

D&RG began operation of both Southern Utah Railroad and Castle Valley Railroad, using their own equipment. (LeMassena, p. 123)

January 4, 1910
Castle Valley Railroad's first locomotive, with road number 1, arrived at Price and was sent on to D&RG's shop Helper to be made ready for service. The line was projected to be complete by early February. The eight miles of line had been graded, but tracklaying had not yet begun. The rails were all available and on the ground, waiting only for the arrival of tools for work to begin. Work had been severely delayed due to extreme cold weather. (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 6, 1910, "Tuesday afternoon")

Castle Valley number 1 was a Lima 2-8-0 and was a duplicate to Southern Utah's number 100. "The Castle Valley Coal company have also ordered from Lima Locomotive and Machine company and placed in commission a consolidation locomotive, a duplicate of the one now in service by Southern Utah." (Eastern Utah Advocate, March 24, 1910)

(The Castle Valley's 2-8-0 was later renumbered from number 1 to number 101 to be in the same road number series as the Southern Utah's locomotive.)

January 13, 1910
"This evening's train from Hiawatha will bring out the first coal to be shipped from that new camp via Southern Utah railroad, and destined for Salt Lake City." "The shipment was loaded yesterday, consisting of several cars, but a derailment this side of Hiawatha caused the trainmen to leave the shipment on a sidetrack." "This delay overcome, there will be daily output from now on of five hundred tons or more, which will increase right along as mine development progresses." (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 13, 1910, "First Coal Out of Hiawatha")

February 17, 1910
By mid February 1910 the rails of the Castle Valley line had reached the midway point between Castle Junction, where the eight-mile Castle Valley line left the Southern Utah line, and its terminal at Mohrland. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 17, 1910)

Also by mid February the Southern Utah Railroad was shipping ten cars (about 300 tons) per day from the Hiawatha mine. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 17, 1910)

February 27, 1910
Castle Valley Railroad operated its first train from Mohrland to Price. "The first train went over the road on February 27th." (Eastern Utah Advocate, March 17, 1910)

March 24, 1910
By early March, the Hiawatha mine was shipping twelve cars a day. The Hiawatha mine was, in March 1910, the only mine in Utah to be equipped with electric shaker screens, providing a clean coal, free from dust and slack. (Eastern Utah Advocate, March 24, 1910, "One Of Carbon County's Greatest Coal Camps", with photograph of Southern Utah number 100, courtesy of Lima)

March 24, 1910
The following comes from the March 24, 1910 issue of Eastern Utah Advocate (with photographs):

"One Of Carbon County's Greatest Of Coal Camps -- Twelve Cars Or More Coming Out of Hiawatha Daily Into Price -- Cedar Creek the Next Big Shipper On the List -- The Consolidated Fuel company owns the stock of the Southern Utah Railroad company, which connects the mines at Hiawatha with the main line of the Denver & Rio Grande at Price. This Line is twenty and a half miles long, and of slight grade, and constructed on standard gauge, so that the company will have no difficulty in delivering its product to the Denver & Rio Grande at Price, one hundred and twenty miles from Salt Lake.

"At this time about twelve cars of coal is daily coming out of the mines of the Consolidated Fuel company at Hiawatha, but of course this is being gradually increased as development progresses. General Superintendent Robert Howard, who has been with some of the best properties in the country, states that about a hundred men are now employed underground and at surface work, while some seventy-five are with the railroad company surfacing the tracks under the direction of ( ) E. Groves, the general superintendent, and by early spring will have the roadbed of the Southern Utah in as good shape as any new road in the entire west.

"To the Locomotive World at Lima, Ohio, (we) are indebted for a picture of the Southern Utah's locomotive, as well as the article reproduced below:

Among the prominent achievements in Utah during 1909 none are of more far reaching importance or of more lasting benefit than the success of the Consolidated Fuel company, composed of Salt Lake City men. The company owns several thousand acres of coal lands in Carbon county in the very midst of one of the most extensive coal fields yet discovered in any Western state. These coal lands contain five large veins of coal of superior quality, the veins being separated by massive sand stones, roof and floor, precluding the possibility of explosion and obviating the necessity of timbering.

The lower vein is eighteen feet thick, clean, pure coal and lies nearly flat, making the operation of extraction a simple one, consisting entirely of drift mining. The dip of the veins being less than 2 per cent offers an ideal condition for electrical motor haulage. This eighteen foot vein has already been opened and developed by one and a half miles of underground workings, all thoroughly ventilated by parallel tunnels and the latest mine fan ventilators. Two large mines are being opened by the company, one on either side of the canyon, which will afford an output of four thousand tons per day when fully developed, and give employment to eight hundred men.

This coal property has every natural advantage possible. The coal will be known as the Hiawatha, named after the new town and post office at the coal mines of the Consolidated Fuel company, 18 miles southwest of Price, formerly Miller Creek. The company owns all water of the three forks of Miller Creek, insuring an abundant supply of pure spring water for domestic, steam and cooking purposes. Ten thousand dollars has been expended upon this gravity water system which connects all parts of the mine and town and affords excellent pressure.

Price is situated on the main line of the Denver & Rio Grande railway, and 121 miles east of Salt Lake City. The Consolidated Fuel company in the past few months have constructed and now have in operation, twenty miles of standard gauge railroad running from Price, in a southwesterly direction to Hiawatha where the mines are located. For fourteen miles out of Price the road traverses a comparatively level country, adapted to agriculture and stock raising, and further along towards the mineral district is an abundance of timber and water and an unlimited quantity of building stone equal to the stone used in the City and County building in Salt Lake City. This railroad is known as the Southern Utah railroad. The company has expended four hundred thousand dollars on the railroad line and mine equipment, which is the finest modern equipment which skill and money can buy.

Everything will be run by electricity, including motor engines for mine haulage and the operation of the shaker screens. This is the only coal company in Utah equipped with shaker screens, which will enable the company to produce a clean coal free from slack. The town of Hiawatha will be electrically lighted and also the main haulage avenue in the mine, thus reducing the liability of accidents.

The magnitude of this property may be imagined when it is stated that should ten thousand tons of coal be produced daily for fifty years, its resources would not be exhausted. Hiawatha coal has been pronounced by some of the best authorities of the United States as superior to any coal now upon the local market, and equal to Connellsville, Pa., coal in every respect and excelling Connellsville coal for coking purposes, as the Hiawatha coal contains but one-half the sulphur and no phosphorus.

The Southern Utah Railroad company, which is controlled by the Consolidated Fuel company, has recently purchased from the Lima Locomotive & Machine company of Lima, O., and placed into service, a consolidation locomotive, a photograph of which is shown herewith. This locomotive is of modern construction, cast steel used in the driving wheels, boxes and frames, and the eccentric straps are fitted with bronze creeper rings, the Stephenson link motion, with plain flat balanced valves, is used.

Shipments of coal on the Southern Utah started January 1st, and as soon as there is a sufficient amount of car equipment available the road will be taxed to its capacity. While much the larger part of the traffic will be the movement of coal, considerable revenue will also be derived from passengers and supplies to the several growing settlements in Carbon and Emery counties to the south of Price, which up to this time could only be reached by wagon haul.

It is evident that good judgment was exercised in locating the new line, from the fact that while the country is considerably broken in approaching the southern terminus the curves have been contained to a maximum of twelve degrees and the grades not over 4 per cent. On the steepest grades and sharpest curves, they have recently ordered from Lima Locomotive & Machine company a heavy Shay geared locomotive which is expected to be engaged in handling the tonnage on the new line.

About four miles from the property of the Consolidated Fuel company, in a like range of country, is located the mines of the Castle Valley Coal company. The latter company have now under construction eight miles of track in order to form a junction with the Southern Utah at a point fifteen miles from Price, from which place the Southern Utah is expected to serve the purpose of both companies during the early stages of shipment. The Castle Valley Coal company have also ordered from the Lima Locomotive & Machine company and placed in commission a consolidation locomotive, a duplicate of the one now in service by the Southern Utah.

The completion of the Southern Utah road exemplifies the perseverance of some of the Salt Lake City citizens, and links with bands of steel the largest coal fields of the highest quality ever discovered, with the vast and ever growing market of Utah and the West. Numerous substantial buildings have been erected at Hiawatha, among which is a two-story hotel now in service, an elegant stone store building, forty by sixty feet, a stone hoist building, a stone power house, and many other stone buildings erected at a cost of twenty thousand dollars.' (Eastern Utah Advocate, March 24, 1910)

April 3, 1910
On Monday evening, April 3, 1910, the Southern Utah Railroad received its Shay locomotive number 50. The new locomotive was taken out on the line for the first time on April 6th. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 7, 1910)

The 70-ton Shay locomotive, construction serial number 2274, was ordered on December 28, 1909. The railroad leased the locomotive from Lima Locomotive & Machine Company of Lima, Ohio, for the period of a year, while the purchase price of $10,810.00 was paid off, in four equal payments of $2,702.50. The lease was dated February 23, 1910, and began on April 20, 1910. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, pp. 98,99) The locomotive was fully paid for by May 18, 1912, when the title was formally released to the railroad. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, p. 376)

The construction records of the Lima Locomotive & Machine Works show the Southern Utah Shay as being given construction serial number 2274, and a completion date of March 15, 1910. (Koch, builder's record)

(The Shay locomotive may not have operated away from the East Hiawatha vicinity, with two photos published in contemporary sources (1910 and 1911) showing the Shay switching cars at the East Hiawatha tipple. Note was made in 1910 that the Shay was also used to take cars of materials directly up to the mine, over the center rails of the nine percent gravity tramway. No mention of the Southern Utah Shay is made in any sources after the photo in 1911. It is not shown as being part of the Southern Utah at the time its locomotives were leased to the Utah Railway in 1917. The locomotive was sold, on an unknown date, to Booth-Kelley Limber Company in Wendling, Oregon, as their number 5.)

(RESEARCH: Check the ICC valuation equipment records for either Southern Utah or Utah Railway ownership of the Shay.)

The grades of the Southern Utah varied from 0.54 and 4.9 percent; all downhill towards Price. Mile post distances on the Southern Utah were measured in miles from the mine opening at the Hiawatha mine. The first two miles were those of the gravity tramway, and had a downward grade of 9.1 percent. The line from Mile Post 2 at the East Hiawatha loading tipple down to Castle Junction (Mile Post 3.25) was 4.9 percent down. The seven miles from Castle Junction down to Mile Post 11 was 3.8 percent. The two miles from Mile Post 11 down to Mile Post 13 was almost level at 0.54 percent. The next two miles from Mile Post 13 down to Mile Post 15 was an even 2 percent. From Mile Post 15 down to Price (Mile Post 19.5) was 2.6 percent. (Condensed Profile of the Southern Utah Railroad)

Stations served by the Southern Utah Railroad included, Price, Gaylord, Millerton, Franklin, Castle Junction, and East Hiawatha. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 314)

On April 20, 1910 the Ely Construction Company filed a lien against the Castle Valley Railroad for right-of-way construction work commencing on October 19, 1909 and completed on February 23, 1910. Wages for workmen included: $5.40 per day for a man and a single team; $8.50 per day for a man and two teams; $2.00 per day for laborers, for a nine hour day; $3.50 per day for a foreman, for a nine hour day; $175.00 per month for the superintendent; $125.00 per month for the walking boss; and $0.25 per day for each cart. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, page 89)

The lien by Ely Construction was in the amount of $9,280.17. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 28, 1910)

May 19, 1910
In mid May 1910 the two companies announced that passenger service to both Hiawatha and Mohrland would begin within thirty to forty-five days, and that a smaller locomotive was to be ordered for that service. (Eastern Utah Advocate, May 19, 1910)

June 9, 1910
During June 1910, Consolidated Fuel was shipping 800 tons (about 26 carloads) of coal per day. (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 9, 1910)

June 9, 1910
In early June 1910 the Castle Valley purchased an old coach passenger car from the Bamberger Electric Railroad. Upon its arrival at Price on June 5, 1910, the local press jokingly suggested that the car "looks like it crossed the plains with the handcart brigades." (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 9, 1910)

June 23, 1910
With the delivery of the second-hand Bamberger car, the Castle Valley began operating a mixed train between Price and the Cedar Creek mines, on a loose schedule of about every other day. The new mixed train service lasted only about three months, when the car was destroyed in a wreck. The coal company paid $2,000.00 worth of coal for the old Bamberger passenger car. (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 23, 1910)

(The "Bamberger" was the informal name of the Salt Lake & Ogden Railway for its line between those two cities. It had been completed in 1908, and was converted to electrified operation in May 1910. This car was likely an excess piece of equipment from the lines earliest days when it was completed to Farmington in 1896.)

August 4, 1910
A third locomotive was ordered for the Southern Utah in early August 1910. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 4, 1910)

September 15, 1910
On September 11, 1910, a Sunday evening, the old Bamberger car was totally destroyed in a run-away accident after its coupling broke. (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 15, 1910)

September 22, 1910
In mid September, A. L. and George Fullmer of Orangeville filed a lien against the Castle Valley line in the amount of $7,470.67. (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 22, 1910)

(The Fullmer brothers may have acted as a subcontractor to the Ely Construction company in the construction of the Castle Valley line between Miller Creek and Cedar Creek.)

October 6, 1910
A second locomotive for the Castle Valley was ordered in early October 1910. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 6, 1910, page 5)

October 13, 1910
The two railroads had recently ordered two additional locomotives, to be delivered about the first of November. The daily output of the mines was reported as 1,800 tons, with that number to be doubled by the first of December. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 13, 1910)

December 22, 1910
Southern Utah Railroad ordered two new locomotives, one locomotive from Lima weighing 91 tons, and another from American weighing 160 tons. These two new locomotives for the Southern Utah would bring the road's total to four. The Southern Utah also ordered thirty-seven coal cars made of rolled steel, each with a capacity of fifty tons. Fifty additional cottages were to be built at the Hiawatha mine, joining the nineteen already completed. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 22, 1910, "Two New Engines For The Southern")

December 29, 1910
On December 27, 1910 a locomotive for the Southern Utah Railroad, and a locomotive for the Castle Valley Railroad, arrived at Price. (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 29, 1910, page 5)

(These two locomotives would have been Southern Utah 102 and Castle Valley 103.)

Southern Utah Railroad leased its locomotive, road number 102, a direct locomotive, with construction serial number 1127, from the Lima Locomotive & Machine Company. The lease was for the period of one year while the purchase price of $13,155.00 was being paid off in four equal payments of $3,288.75. The lease was dated November 30, 1910, and started on January 12, 1911. The locomotive was fully paid for and title of ownership passed to the railroad by May 18, 1912. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, page 376)

The Castle Valley Railroad leased locomotive 103, with construction serial number 1211, a "direct" locomotive (compared to a non-direct Shay locomotive), from Lima Locomotive & Machine Company on January 8, 1911, in the amount of $14,562.97, the cost of the locomotive. The locomotive was ordered on October 19, 1910. The lease was for a period of one year, while the locomotive was being paid for. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-B, page 354)

(This last locomotive, Castle Valley 103, brought the total up to four locomotives, Southern Utah 100, Castle Valley 101, Southern Utah 102, and Castle Valley 103. Southern Utah also had Shay 50 operating at the East Hiawatha tipple and Hiawatha mine.)

February 2, 1911
The continuing problem of the coal monopoly by the Denver & Rio Grande came to the front again in early 1911. The Consolidated Fuel and Castle Valley coal companies both depended on reliable rail service from the D&RG to ship and sell their coal. The quality of D&RG's rail service was always suspect because it also controlled the competing coal company, Utah Fuel Company, whose coal was also shipped over its line. In an attempt at fair treatment, during the first week of February 1911, the Consolidated and Castle Valley companies filed a complaint about unfair discrimination with the Interstate Commerce Commission. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, February 2, 1911, "Claim Rates Too High")

The complaint with the ICC asked for a through rate from the mines to the customers for shipment of their coal over the D&RG. The use of a through rate would keep the D&RG from having two coal rates, one for Utah Fuel's coal, and another for everyone else's coal. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 9, 1911)

During the ICC hearings in Salt Lake City, Southern Utah stated that the combined railroads charged forty cents per ton to haul coal, which was less than two cents per ton-mile. They also stated their earnings from other than coal. (Eastern Utah Advocate, July 27, 1911)

ICC ruled in favor of the coal companies. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, July 4, 1912)

(RESEARCH: Find minutes to the ICC hearings for Consolidated Fuel and Castle Valley Coal's complaint for through rates.)

August 24, 1911
By mid August 1911, the two railroads were running four trains every day in and out of Price. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 24, 1911)

Planned improvements for the combined railroads and joint operation were announced in August 1911. The Southern Utah would be adding a second water tank, and the combined Southern Utah and Castle Valley railroads would be building a joint machine shops and roundhouse in Price. The Castle Valley began using its own depot in Price, located about two blocks east of the Southern Utah depot. The Castle Valley agent was at the depot between 3 and 6 p.m. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 24, 1911)

December 7, 1911
The local press announced in early December 1911 that two new locomotives from Lima Locomotive Works were due for the Castle Valley, bringing its total up to four. "Two new engines for use in coal and passenger traffic are expected any day now by Castle Valley railroad. They come from Lima, O., and make a total of four engines for the line. The Castle Valley is now using its own depot recently completed, and located about two blocks east of the Southern Utah depot. Thomas Fouts is agent for the line at Price and is at the company's depot in person from 3 o'clock in the afternoon until 6 o'clock in the evening each week day to receive and bill out freight and express." (Eastern Utah Advocate, December 7, 1911, page 5, "any day now")

(Apparently only one of the two locomotives ordered by Castle Valley actually arrived, as Castle Valley number 103. The planned fourth locomotive (Castle Valley 104?) may have been the light engine mentioned for passenger service earlier in 1910, and may have either been wrecked or otherwise disposed of by May 1912 when the Southern Utah received its own number 104, an American 2-8-0 which later became Utah Railway number 4. Only Castle Valley 101 and 103 were on the railroad at the time of its sale to the Southern Utah Railroad in 1914, later becoming numbers 1 and 3 of Utah Railway.)

The New Castle Valley Railroad

On August 16, 1912 Castle Valley Railroad contracted with Utah Railway for the construction of a new 3.51 mile line between the Mohrland mine and Black Hawk, called the "Black Hawk-Mohrland Cut-off Line". The work was included in Utah Railway's August 21, 1912 contract with Utah Construction Company for the construction of its own new 22.27 mile line between Hiawatha and Utah Railway Junction. (Utah Railway: Manual, page 22)

Construction, by Utah Railway, of the new Castle Valley Railroad, called the "Black Hawk-Mohrland Cut-off Line", commenced on September 7, 1912 and was complete on July 1, 1913. (141 ICC 567)

September 12, 1912
On September 10, 1912 work began on Utah Railway's new line between the mines and Castle Gate, including the new line between Hiawatha and Mohrland. The contract with Utah Construction Company was for the construction of twenty-eight miles of grade between Mohrland and half way to Helper and Castle Gate. The construction was to be completed within ninety days. The survey of the line beyond Castle Gate was not yet completed. As part of the construction of the new line for Castle Valley Railroad, four carloads of equipment and one steam shovel were already in place at Mohrland. (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 12, 1912)

September 26, 1912
By September the combined Southern Utah and Castle Valley railroads were shipping about fifty cars per day. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, September 26, 1912, page 5)

January 2, 1913
The coal from the United States Smelting's mines was used in their own furnaces at Midvale, Bingham, and Tintic. The coal was also sold to markets in Utah. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, January 2, 1913, page 6)

April 17, 1913
With the anticipated completion of the Utah Railway, changes were made to the operational patterns of the combined Southern Utah and Castle Valley railroads. In mid April 1913, the center of operations for the two roads shifted from Price to East Hiawatha, where the train crews began "tieing up". Conductor J. B. Darrah of Southern Utah Railroad received a new red caboose. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 17, 1913, page 5)

(Darrah Siding on the Utah Railway may have been named for conductor J. B. Darrah. The timing of his receiving his new caboose doesn't match the arrival of the new Utah Railway cabooses from Mt. Vernon Car.)

(QUESTION: Did the Castle Valley Railroad ever have a locomotive shop? Did they use the Southern Utah shop at East Hiawatha? Did they ever complete their announced joint machine shop at Price?)

In July 1913 the new Black Hawk-Mohrland Cut-off was completed, replacing the old Castle Valley Railroad. The completion of this line was the first portion of the new Utah Railway, the rest of which was completed about thirteen months later, in August 1914. Work on the cut-off was begun in September 1912, at the same time as construction on the other portion of the new line between Hiawatha and Castle Gate. (141 ICC 567)

February 26, 1914
In February 1914, D. D. Houtz, attorney for Southern Utah Railroad and Consolidated Fuel Company, had stated that upon completion of the Utah Railway, the line from Price to Castle Junction would be abandoned by the coal company and its rails taken up. (Eastern Utah Advocate, February 26, 1914)

August 6, 1914
The operation of the passenger and express business of the Southern Utah Railroad was leased to N. A. Williams in August 1914, to begin September 1, 1914. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 6, 1914, page 1)

November 19, 1914
During mid November 1914, both Castle Valley and Southern Utah railroads laid off almost all of their trainmen. (Coal Index: Carbon County News, November 19, 1914, page 3)

Upon the completion of the new Castle Valley Railroad (called the "Black Hawk-Mohrland Cut-off Line"), Utah Railway bought the new line on October 31, 1914, at a cost of $246,911.42. James H. Mays was shown as the president of Castle Valley Railroad. (Utah Railway: Manual, page 22; Carbon County Deeds Book 5-G, pages 143-145, recorded on November 28, 1914)

November 26, 1914
The newspaper account of the sale Castle Valley's new line to Utah Railway stated that the sale took place on November 21st and that Utah's operation of the new cut-off would be assumed on January 1, 1915. The newspaper put the sale price at $154,000.00, being the cost of construction, plus interest. (Eastern Utah Advocate, November 26, 1914)

During November 1914, the Southern Utah Railroad formally purchased the remaining interests and assets of the Castle Valley Railroad from the Castle Valley Coal Company. Included in the sale was Castle Valley's original 1910 line from Castle Junction to the mine at Mohrland, along with the Castle Valley's two locomotives, road numbers 101 and 103, bringing the Southern Utah motive power roster up to four locomotives. The sale also included the Southern Utah buying back the half interest in itself, sold to the Castle Valley in 1909. (Utah Railway: Manual, pages 27,28)

August 13, 1915
During mid August 1915, E. L. Carpenter, president of Southern Utah Railroad, Castle Valley Railroad, and United States Fuel, assured all that the railroads would not be abandoned, although they were not "paying". (The Sun, August 13, 1915)

All coal was being shipped over the Utah Railway, except "what little coal is used in Price and east of here". All local freight, passenger, express and mail business was going out of Price by way of the Southern Utah and Castle Valley roads. (The Sun, August 13, 1915)

January 16, 1916
In January 1916 the D&RG operation of joint Southern Utah/Castle Valley included passenger trains: No. 1 operated between Mohrland and Price in the early morning, from 7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. No. 2 returned from Price to Mohrland in the late morning, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:01 p.m. (The Sun, January 16, 1916, page 7)

February 20, 1916
Southern Utah 2-8-0 number 100 (its first locomotive) was shipped from Salt Lake City to another United States Smelting operation in northern Mexico, after being "thoroughly overhauled" by D&RG in the Salt Lake shops. There were motive power shortages in Mexico due to the revolution there, making it necessary for the smelting company to furnish its own power for its trains, between the mines at Pachuca (in central Mexico) and the smelter in Laredo, Texas. (The Sun, February 25, 1916)

April 14, 1916
During the spring of 1916 the Southern Utah was losing $10,000 a year. An official of the company stated that the steam locomotives may be replaced by "gasoline motor service" or that the Southern Utah may be electrified. (The Sun, April 14, 1916, page 1)

January 4, 1917
On January 1, 1917, the Southern Utah received its new McKeen gasoline motor car, with road number 100. The "Gasoline Car" arrived under its own power from Omaha on Monday, January 1, 1917. It stood at Price all day Monday and ran out to Hiawatha on Tuesday the 2nd. Mr. Riley was the engineer. (News-Advocate, January 4, 1917, "Gasoline Car Here")

(More information about Southern Utah's McKeen motor car -- which was a failure of the railroad's steep grades.)

On June 1, 1917 the Denver & Rio Grande ended its operation of the Southern Utah Railroad. (The Sun, July 13, 1917)

On June 25 1917, hurried and inadequate engineering of an earthen dam forty miles upstream from Price brought about a disaster that would affect railroad transportation in Carbon County for the next six months and cause the abandonment of the Southern Utah Railroad. The Southern Utah's wooden bridge over the Price River at Price was also washed out, effectively shutting down the railroad. (Kleinschmidt, pages 52-56; The Sun, June 29, 1917, page 1, "Mammoth Dam Is Gone")

(More information about the Mammoth dam break)

On July 11, 1917, sixteen days after the Mammoth dam break that washed out its Price River bridge, the Southern Utah Railroad ended the operation of its line. All trains were operated over the Utah Railway, using Southern Utah and Castle Valley steam locomotives for the freight and coal traffic. The passenger, mail and express traffic was handled by the Utah Railway between the coal camps and Utah Railway Junction on the D&RG (where a boxcar served as a temporary depot) using the Southern Utah McKeen motor car. Immediately after the Price River bridge was washed out, all freight traffic was transferred to the Utah Railway. All of the coal traffic was already going out over the Utah Railway. (The Sun, July 13, 1917, page 1, "last Wednesday", "Southern Utah Tied Up"; News-Advocate, July 12, 1917, "Price Loses The Hiawatha Train")

(QUESTION: How was the Southern Utah operated between June 1st and the bridge wash-out in late June? Were the four 2-8-0s the only motive power used? Were UP or D&RG engines leased? Had Utah Railway by this time hired its own train crews?)

The residents of Mohrland, Black Hawk, and Hiawatha soon began complaining of the roundabout way of getting into Price. By late July nothing had been done towards the repair of Southern Utah's Price River bridge, and it was thought that the Southern Utah would most likely be abandoned due to its financial condition. The Castle Valley Railroad was noted as being "a thing of the past". (News-Advocate, July 20, 1917; The Sun, July 20, 1917, page 5)

On December 1, 1917, Utah Railway began the rental of the four Southern Utah Railroad 2-8-0s, including the two former Castle Valley Railroad locomotives purchased by Southern Utah in 1914. The rental came to an end on July 1, 1918 when Utah Railway formally purchased all four of the remaining locomotives from the two earlier roads. (Utah Railway: Manual, page 23)

On November 25, 1919 the Southern Utah Railroad recorded with the county recorder that it had bought back the half interest in its line from the Castle Valley Railroad, which that road had purchased in 1909. The Castle Valley also sold to the Southern Utah its property in Price. The record does not state if the property had trackage located on it. (Carbon County Deeds Book 5-G, page 290)

On August 19, 1920 the Southern Utah Railroad received permission from the Public Service Commission of Utah to abandon its line between Price and Hiawatha. The application was made on April 22, 1920. A public hearing was held on July 16th in Price. Included in the application was the request that the application be approved early enough to allow the railroad to be dismantled during the summer of 1920, through the use of a light engine operating over the much dilapidated track. To wait another season would not allow use a locomotive in the dismantling due to deterioration of the track, and would preclude salvage of any of the track and materials. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 314)

In 1920, the Southern Utah Railroad owned no equipment, except one motor car. (Public Service Commission of Utah, case 314)

(QUESTION: Was the "motor car" referred to above the McKeen car? Recent research has discovered that when the McKeen car was delivered in January 1917, it was actually a demonstration. The grades on Southern Utah were found to be too much for the gasoline car and it was removed from service. At the same time, the McKeen Motor Car Company stopped doing business and was taken over by Union Pacific. The McKeen car at Hiawatha apparently sat unused until the unique, six-wheel power and 300-hp gasoline engine were reclaimed by UP. The steel car body was apparently turned over to Utah Railway as scrap metal.)

Six years later, on November 26, 1920 the Castle Valley Railroad dissolved its corporation, having sold all assets. (Utah corporation, index number 7906)

(The old, original Castle Valley Railroad, cheaply built with its five-percent grades and sharp curves, was abandoned and reverted back to public lands. The abandoned roadbed later became the county road between Hiawatha and Mohrland.)

Between January and May 1921, the Southern Utah Railroad sold its property in Price to several private individuals. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-F, pages 529-545,595; Book 3-G, page 41)

In April 1921 the Denver & Rio Grande bought the Southern Utah's wye tracks at Price. (Carbon County Deeds Book 5-H, pages 201,202)

The remaining Southern Utah trackage and right-of-way between Price and Hiawatha was relinquished to the U. S. Land Office. (Bureau of Land Management records)


Southern Utah McKeen Car


More Information