The Salt Lake & Utah RR ran from Payson to Salt Lake City. The line was built in 1914 as an electric interurban. On 3 April 1914 it reached as for as Pleasent Grove. By 1916, the line reached Payson. It was unofficially called the "OREM" after A. J. and W. C. Orem, who arranged the corporate financing to build the line.
When the line was constructed as far as Provo, new, especially built cars began running. They were dark red, thirty six passanger capacity cars, each divided into a freight compartment and two passanger compartments, smoking and non smoking. Each car was heated, lighted and powered by four 110 horsepower Westinghouse motors, which drew electricity from overhead cables.
The Salt Lake & Utah RR also carried the United States mail and news papers. Other freight included milk and produce along with regular every day commodities.
A spur in Pleasent Grove ran to a loading station under a dumping ramp where ore and fire clay were loaded. The clay came from natural deposits on the hills east of town, mined there in two locations, the Homer/McFarland and the Wadley pits. The ore was hauled from mines in American Fork Canyon.
Ridership was lively before the family car became popular in the mid 1920's. During the depression, and through WWII when gas was rationed, people again patronized the convenient rail system, which, due to its deterioation, was referred to as "The Red Heifer" or "Leaping Lena". The line was closed in 1946, just after the war.
Last Update 01/30/01
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