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. 

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Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

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That is an interesting signal in the photo. Is there any info as to what railway this is, and the location of this scene? My guess judging by the car, the year us about 1935 - 1938.

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

The Harmony Line of Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler and New Castle Railway, commonly called the Harmony Line, was a broad gauge interurban streetcar line connecting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States to Butler and New Castle via Harmony and a split at Evans City. There was also an extension that was later added to the line from Ellwood City to Beaver Falls.

The Harmony Line was developed by business partners Russel H. Boggs and Henry Buhl as an adjunct to their department store in Pittsburgh. Mr. Boggs already had a business relationship with many of the farms between Evans City and Pittsburgh and proposed exchanging the right of way across their land for one dollar, a guaranteed trolley stop and an electricity supply. The Butler and New Castle Railway was formed in 1906 by consolidating 11 small railways that ran into Harmony.

The first trolley ran to Ellwood City on July 2, 1908. At the southern end of the Harmony Line, the run into Pittsburgh was via the Pittsburg Railways. In 1914 an extension along the Beaver Valley opened leaving Ellwood City heading south west, and crossed the Beaver River on Koppel Bridge which was built for the purpose. This bridge also carried vehicle and pedestrian traffic and was subject to a toll.

In 1917 the railway amalgamated with the Pittsburgh and Butler Street Railway that operated the Butler Short Line between Pittsburgh and Butler. The new company became the Pittsburgh, Mars and Butler Railway. Combined the new system had a length of 118 miles. In 1922 the railway formed the Harmony Short Line Motor Transportation Company to carry freight between Bakerstown, and Butler.

In April 1931, the company went into receivership. The Butler Short Line was closed on April 22, 1931 as it was in poor condition. Services were absorbed into the PA 8 bus service. Beaver Falls – Ellwood City – New Castle services were replaced by buses on June 15, 1931. The remaining lines were replaced by buses on the same day, with the final trolley running on August 15, 1931. The stub of the Butler Short Line continued to be used by Pittsburgh Railways until its closure in 1952.

Car 115 avoided being burnt when the line closed because it had mechanical problems and was abandoned where it failed. Car 115 then became The Dew Drop Inn, a roadside diner, but is was later recovered by the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum where it awaits restoration. In this way Car 115 avoided being burnt twice, as the inn was destroyed by fire in 1995. In addition to Car 115, the museum also has the original Harmony dispatch board and a shelter from both the Harmony and Butler lines.

The station building in Ellwood City was retained as commercial premises. In 2007 it reopened as a donut shop and was renamed Ellwood Station as a reference to its origin. Rails remain in situ under part of the building. Koppel Bridge, which was built for the Beaver Valley extension in 1915 still exists and carries PA 351 over the Beaver River between Ellwood City and Koppel.

 

Harmony interurban trolley lineHarmony LineHarmony115Harmony115atBarnBy 1920, films were shown for the entertainment of the line's passengers

By 1920, films were shown for the entertainment of the line's passengers

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Attachments

Photos (5)

There are two good books about these lines written b Wayne Cole. Lots of photos & maps. I scouted out some of what remains since I lived in the area for50 years. There is a restored shelter in Mars, Pa. with a small museum  and a power house building still stands near Renfrew, Pa.

The Oregon Electric Railway

James J. Hill who was known as the Empire Builder, purchased the Oregon Electric railway in 1910. Hill added the line to a corporate family that included the Spokane, Portland & Seattle (SP&S), the Great Northern, and the Northern Pacific Railways.

On New Year’s Day 1908, Oregon Electric trains began operating between Portland and Salem. Branch lines were built to Forest Grove that year and to Woodburn in 1909. On the Fourth of July, 1912, Albany welcomed the Oregon Electric to town; and on October 17, 1912, the mainline was completed to Eugene. A final branch line between Albany and Corvallis went into service on March 25, 1913.

By 1912, the Southern Pacific Railroad was converting branch lines to electric operation in competition with the Oregon Electric. As part owners of Portland’s Union Station, the Southern Pacific blocked Oregon Electric trains from terminating there. Instead, the Oregon Electric used the North Bank Depot four blocks to the west, as did the SP&S, United Railways, and the Oregon Trunk Railroad.

The Oregon Electric’s 122-mile Willamette Valley route was Oregon’s longest electric interurban railway, and many of its trains served Portland suburbs. A dozen trains a day catered to commuters, students, and shoppers in Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton, Wilsonville, and Tualatin. On weekends, reduced-fare excursions operated between Portland and Salem. Four to five trains ran through to Eugene each day.

To compete with major steam railroads, the Oregon Electric ordered the highest quality interurban cars available. Their "traction orange" color, a bright orange that had become a trademark of the industry, was changed to Pullman green after the Hill interests took control. Rolling stock included combination baggage, smoking, and passenger motorcars; observation-buffet cars; and elegant passenger trailers. For a few years, there were also specially built interurban sleeping cars. Because it did not take all night to make the trip between Portland and Eugene, these cars were shunted onto side tracks so patrons could sleep until morning.

In the beginning, operating costs were reasonable, but reductions in service had to be made when passenger volume did not develop as expected. After a peak year in 1920, competition from automobiles, trucks, and buses steadily eroded revenue. Passenger service to Corvallis was discontinued in 1931 and to Forest Grove in 1932. All passenger service ceased on May 13, 1933. The Oregon Electric survived as a freight railroad into the 1990s. Electric locomotives were used until July 10, 1945.

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Oregon Electric Railway parlor observation Champoeg

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Attachments

Photos (7)

Buffalo & Lake Erie


You know, when a tomato grows out of your forehead, it gets you thinking. What do we know about anything? Life is just a big, wild, crazy tossed salad. But you don't eat it; no sir! You live it! Isn't it great? Isn't it great?

 

 

 

 

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The Youngstown & Southern of Ohio began operations in 1904 as a 16-mile steam line between Youngstown and Columbiana. In 1907 the line was electrified with overhead wires and extended 3 miles to Leetonia on the Youngstown & Ohio River Railroad. In addition to carrying passengers as an interurban railway, the company handled freight, primarily coal from the electric Youngstown & Ohio River Railroad and the steam Pittsburgh, Lisbon & Western Railroad. After the Youngstown & Southern entered receivership in 1915, a 1916 reorganization produced the Youngstown & Suburban Railway.

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Attachments

Photos (11)

19WASB~1

Mason City & Clear Lake Car 19 was built by Pullman as New York & Brooklyn Bridge 97. It was purchased in April, 1909 as a trailer. It was later motorized and converted to a freight motor. Car 19 was retired in the late 1930s, but it was not scrapped until 1963.

I could not find any information about Car 97 or others of its type on the New York & Brooklyn Railway. Could Car 97 have been a cable car trailer that operated on the Brooklyn Bridge?

Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern Traction Company of Indiana

The Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern Traction Company (THI&E) was formed on 1 March 1907. The Indianapolis and Western Railway, the Indianapolis and Eastern Railway, the Richmond Street and Interurban Railway, and the Indianapolis Coal Traction Company were predecessor companies. On 25 March 1907, the THI&E acquired the Terre Haute Traction and Light Company and in 1912 it purchased the Indianapolis, Crawfordsville and Danville Electric Railway. The company also controlled the Indianapolis Street Railway. Profits from the street railway and the power company assured the survival of the THI&E through the 1920s, but the company went into receivership on 2 April 1930.

The Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern Traction Company was the second largest interurban in Indiana at the height of the "Interurban Era." The system had over 400 miles of track, with lines radiating from Indianapolis to the east, northwest, west and southwest as well as streetcar lines in several major cities. The THI&E was formed in 1907 as a combination of several predecessor interurban and street car companies and was operated independently until its incorporation into the Indiana Railroad in 1931. The THI&E served a wide range of territory, including farmlands in central Indiana, the mining region around Brazil, and numerous urban centers.

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Bobby Ogage

"I hear that train a coming,

it's Long Island No. 39 rolling

around the bend"

 

Attachments

Photos (5)


You know, when a tomato grows out of your forehead, it gets you thinking. What do we know about anything? Life is just a big, wild, crazy tossed salad. But you don't eat it; no sir! You live it! Isn't it great? Isn't it great?

 

 

 

 

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