The Sanpete Valley Railroads

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Title Saga of the Sanpitch Vol 07
Subject Pioneers
Description Stories and poems about early Southern Utah Pioneers
Publisher Snow College
Date 1975
Type Text
Format application/pdf
Language eng
Rights Management Snow College
Holding Institution Snow College
ARK ark:/87278/s6154f64
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-26
Date Modified 2005-02-26
ID 325315
Reference URL

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Title The Sanpete Valley Railroads
Description Green to Wales. In 1884 the track was continued through Moroni and on to Chester. This move away from the coalmine changed the nature of teh train's freight from coal to farm produce. (At this time Sanpete was called the "granary of Utah.") In 1885, Moroni became the center for the shipping of livestock from Sanpete and southern Utah. A stockyard and a scales for weighing, were installed by the railroad. Some days in the fall or early winter a trainload of cattle or sheep would be loaded. A trainload meant 10 carloads or more. While Chester was the southern terminal of the railroad (1884-1893), coal was discovered near Sterling. This discover acted very much like a blood transfusion for the Sanpete Valley Railroad. The hope of coal to be freighted to Salt Lake was resurrected. The railroad company was reorganized and refinanced. The dream of extending the road to Parowan for coal was recorded by Theodore Burback, the new president. Late in 1892, "old" Henry Beal of Ephraim contracted to build the Sanpete Valley Railroad line from Chester to Manti. This was done in 1893. The first train reached Manti on Thanksgiving Day. Manti now became the main office, terimnal, roundhouse, and the "all" for the rolling stock. To turn the train around so it could begin its trip back to northern Utah, the "Y" belonging to the D 8 RG railroad was probably used2 as the Sanpete Valley had neither a "Y" nor a turntable, and the D 8 RG was just a few hundred yards distant. The track was extended to the Morrison mine in Sterling Canyon during 1894. In 1896, the Sanpete Valley tracks, which were narrow gage (four feet, rail to rail), were changed to standard gage (five feet, rail to rail). The D & RG RR that reached Manti January 1, 1891 must have been narrow gage, if the Sanpete Valley train used its "Y" to turn on. Nearly all western railroads were making the change from narrow to standard gage in the late 1890's. The dip of the coal vein at Morrison was not great but was enough that, within a very short time, underground water became troublesome, and it was necessary to install pumping machinery. A train by tunnel was driven from the bottom of the canyon to intercept the mine. This resulted in a gravity flow of between 2 and 5 CFS. Hydrogen suifide gave the water a peculiar odor and taste. The date of this tunnel is about 1899. DENVER AND RIO GRANDE RAILROAD Prior to 1883, the town of Springville, Utah had constructed 53 miles of the main line of the D & RG through Spanish Fork Canyon as far as the Pleasant Valley mines. In 1890, the Sanpete branch of this railroad route from Thistle to Manti was completed. (January 1, 1891). A big cele- 2Ray P. Cox, Manti, Utah. 3Manti Lake Company and Gunnison Irrigation Company records 4See D & RG, p. 1 -53-
Format application/pdf
Identifier 062_The Sanpete Valley Railroads.jpg
Source Saga of the Sanpitch Vol. 7
Setname snowc_sts
Date Created 2005-02-19
Date Modified 2005-02-19
ID 325311
Reference URL