The OSL was incorporated on April 14, 1881 in the Territory of Wyoming. There were very strong ties with the UPRR. Construction began on July 11, 1881 with a ceremony at Granger, Wyoming. Construction crews drove steadily westward, conforming closely to the Oregon Trail. On August 2, 1882, it was made a railway corporation in the territories of Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.
By 1884, a connection was made with the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company (OR&N) at the Idaho-Oregon border and halting its continued eastward expansion. Ultimately the OSL assumed control of the OR&N, thus giving the UP its desired outlet to the Pacific.
In 1889 the UP consolidated the control of its interest in Utah and Idaho through the organization of the Oregon Short Line and Utah Northern Railway.
In 1893, Union Pacific was forced into bankruptcy along with its subsidiary railroad companys. The OSL emerged from the bankruptcy in 1897 as an independent company, and the reorganized UP emerged from bankruptcy in 1898. The former OSL had controled much of the traffic that the UP depended on, and the new situation was no different. Within two years, the new OSL was again under full control of the reorganized UP.
The OSL also purchased the Utah Central/Utah Southern line between Salt Lake City and Milford along with the Utah and Pacific Railroad which ran from Milford and the Nevada state line. These were sold to the LASL in 1903. Also included in this sale was the OSL's new standard gauge line west of Salt Lake City, called the Leamington Cut-off. Completed in 1903, the new line ran to Lynndyl via Tooele where it connected with the former Utah Southern.
Last Update 01/30/01
This page and its underlying code, © 2000-2002, Utah Rails. All rights reserved.