Ogden to Woods Cross

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  • States: Utah   
  • Railroads: D&RGW, SP   
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Note: This line is included as part of the feature in the March 2003 issue of Trains Magazine

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The former Denver, Rio Grande & Western branch from Salt Lake City to Ogden was embargoed in 1983 due to rising lake levels. Except for the paved-over grade crossing, it looks like it could still be in service. Rails have since been removed. Photo by Mike Palmer.

The Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) extended as far north as Ogden, Utah. That line, from Salt Lake City, ran parallel to (and west of) the Union Pacific (UP) main line. Due to rising lake levels on the Great Salt Lake, the section between Cecil Junction (Ogden) and Woods Cross was embargoed in 1983. D&RGW trains used UP rails between 1983 and 1996 north of Woods Cross under an agreement between the D&RGW and UP. In exchange for these trackage rights, UP gained trackage rights to the D&RGW between Salt Lake City and Provo. The D&RGW merged with the Southern Pacific (SP) in ~1988, and the SP merged into the UP in 1996.

The right-of-way on the abandoned section has been given to the State of Utah and subsequently turned over to Utah Transit Authority (UTA). UTA has pulled most of the rails up and it is marked for trespassing. This will be a future light rail route. (Thanks to Kirk Rogers for this updated information.)

The rails in the Wood Cross area still get some local trains, mostly with tank cars.

Meanwhile, there is a chance that this line could come back as a through route for commuter trains in the future.

Towns and locations along this former ROW are:

  • Roy
  • Clearfield
  • Layton
  • Kaysville
  • Farmington
  • Lake Part Junction
  • Spur to Lake Park

There was also a spur from Roy to Kingsville Junction, with one line diverging south to Kingsville and Farnsworth, and another continuing west to Hooper and Cox.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

I believe most of this track has been converted into either the Frontrunner track, or Trax itself.

Kibu Fox
Salt Lake City, UT
5/9/2015

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