The Trolley Cars of Ogden, Utah
Ogden area residents loved the Ogden Canyon enough to warrant a railroad there, so the Ogden Rapid Transit Company trolley line opened in July of 1915. The Ogden Rapid Transit Company provided reliable transportation into Ogden Canyon, and for 17 years it traveled from the Ogden Depot to Huntsville by way of Eden. The railroad was quite the engineering marvel, having to hug the canyon walls and rock cliffs.
The Standard of July 18, 1912 reported that the Ogden Rapid Transit Company had decided to change its route from the south side of the canyon’s river to the north side. This route change opened the Ogden Valley to a much larger farming population. For the Ogden Rapid Transit Company, it meant new business shipping beets, hay, grain and dairy products to Ogden.
The trolley line carried some 7,000 passengers during the 4th of July Holiday in 1910. The first trolley cars used carried 46 passengers and had both smoking compartments and toilets. By 1913, several trolleys were modified to be open roof observation cars. Through the warm weather season, the trolley cars to the Hermitage ran hourly.
The line weathered lots of snow slides over the years. The Standard on Feb. 18, 1926 reported that three avalanches had buried the tracks in Ogden Canyon. It took almost two full days to clear the tracks and restore full service again. However, it wasn’t snow or even the advent of the automobile that doomed the Ogden Canyon line. It was the severe flooding in the canyon during 1932 that badly damaged the tracks.