Moab, mile marker none. Moab is not a railroad town per se. Now if you want to see the Potash Turn that runs from Grand Junction, Colorado, you have to go to Moab. The end of the line is at Moab Salt Inc., west of Moab. The line goes into a 7050' tunnel just north of town and jurns west to the plant. You can get to the plant by taking SR 279 just north of town and head west along the Colorado River.
Moab was incorporated as a town in 1903 and became a third class city in 1936. Moab's economy was based on farming, ranching and fruit growing until the early 1950's.
In the 1950's, Moab became the "Uranium Capitol of the World". The population increased from 1200 in 1950 to 4500 in 1960. During the boom, the nations second largest uranium processing mill was completed. The tailings from the mill are still visable from the highway just north of Moab before you cross the Colorado River.
Uranium was extracted from near Moab as early as the first decade of the twentieth certury, and in 1911 the first attempt to drill a comercial oil well between Thompson and Moab was undertaken. Oil promised to enrich the Moab economy during the 1920's, but it was not until 1957 when three oil producing fields were opened near Moab, the mini oil boom hit the area. That boom lasted into the 1960's.
As the demand for uranium began to decrease also in the 1960's, potash became the most recent boom industry to hit Moab. A modern potash plant was built in 1963 and a railroad spur completed from the D&RGW at Crescent Junction (Brendel, mile post 533.8) to the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company, now Moab Salt, outside of Moab.
Moab is booming again. The locals now call it Mob. The attraction is the huge tourist industry in the area. Why a page on Moab? First off, that was where I married my first wife. Second, after I got divorced, I spent 7+ years in the Navy Nuclear Power Program as a Machinist Mate, primary systems operator.
Last Update 07/22/01
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