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The Railroad

After the opening of the Golden Pass Road through Parley’s Canyon, the canyon became more accessible for the cutting and hauling of wood to be used in construction of homes and industrial ventures. Lamb’s Canyon, near the top of the canon was a prime source for these materials. However, it was soon discovered that the developing industries needed more than wood fuel and water power. Pioneers were sent in various directions to attempt to locate coal deposits. Those sent to the area of the present location of Coalville, Utah, found a brown coal called lignite, east of the townsite up Chalk Creek. Brigham Young immediately formed a coal operation at the site. The coal was dug and hauled by wagon over Silver Creek and Kimball’s Junction, over Parley’s Summit and down the canyon into the valley. A ton of coal then cost $8.00 and the hauling charge was $1.50.

Shortly after the coming of the railroad to the west in 1869, a railroad line connecting Salt Lake and points south was installed from Corinne, in 1869. In 1871, a branch railroad line going north connecting Coalville to the main line at Echo was begun by Summit County Railroad. It was a narrow gage line which served, starting in 1873. The coal was there transferred into the standard gage cars of the UP Railroad which continued thence through Corinne and Ogden, into Salt Lake.

On June 11, 1874, the Eastern Utah Railroad was incorporated to build a narrow gage rail line from Coalville south to the Park City mines. In 1880, the Union Pacific Railroad Co. obtained the lines from Park City north to Echo and replaced them with a standard gage line, which was finally completed in 1888. About this same time, the Salt Lake & Eastern Railroad Co. completed the narrow gage line from Salt Lake City to Park City Mines in 1890. In 1900, the Rio Grande Railroad Co. took over the lines through Parley’s Canyon to Park City and changed them to standard gage. They also acquired the lines from Park City north to Echo. The line through Parley’s Canyon continued not only as a freight train, but carried passengers as well until the service was discontinued from Sugar House through the canyon in the 1940s. Freight service to Sugar House continued for some years after this date.

This is SUP Marker #78, to see the other SUP Markers visit this page.  This marker is located in Parley’s Historic Nature Park along with 4 others (listed on the park’s page).

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