Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railroad

One of the many interesting records that the Archives maintains is the Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railroad Company’s Right-of-Way and Track map, which documents the railway as it existed in 1916.  It has been digitized and will be available on our website in the near future.

For staff to initially review the railroad map, it was unrolled to its full length of 35 feet, almost the entire length of our processing area (and, yes, the floor WAS cleaned prior to this map touching it!).

Originally incorporated under the name of the Saltair Railway, this railroad officially opened in 1893 with the name Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad.  It extended over 14 miles west from Salt Lake City to the Saltair resort on the Great Salt Lake.  The track was built right out into the Salt Lake itself, depositing passengers at the Saltair pavilion.  Steam operated, the trains regularly carried hundreds of people across the salt flats to bathe, dance, ride the (shaky) wooden roller coaster, and basically have great fun at the resort.

In 1916, the railroad’s name changed to the Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railroad and in 1919 the railroad was electrified.  The railroad company purchased the Saltair resort and eventually added a line to Garfield (Garfield was a community close to Magna).

Excerpt from map, showing the Saltair Resort and the end of the railroad track itself.

Sources:

Salt Lake, Garfield, and Western Railroad Company Right-of-Way and Track Map, 1916. Salt Lake County Archives, series RM-020.

Hilton, George W. and John F. Due.  The Electric Interurban Railways in America. Stanford University Press, 1960.

Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railway.”  UtahRails.net. Web. Accessed 8/8/2012.

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