Salt Lake City Railroad
Salt Lake Rapid Transit Company
Utah Light and Railway Company
Utah Light and Traction Company
Utah Power and Light Company
The streetcar lines in Salt Lake City were by far the most extensive in the state, beginning with those of the Salt Lake City Railroad in 1872 and the Salt Lake Rapid Transit Company in 1890. These two companies built a large network of streetcar lines throughout the city and outlying area. Other companies also were organized in the 1890s and built lines into other parts of the city. All of the lines were merged in 1901 as the Utah Light and Railway Company and again in 1914 as the Utah Light and Traction Company. The Utah Power and Light was formed in 1912 and later bought Utah Light and Traction Company.
The Utah Light and Railway Company was approved by the Bountiful City Council to install an "Electric Trolley," which would run from Salt Lake City to Centerville through Bountiful. The trolley was completed in December 1913. Expansion of the "light rail" was debated some, but never completed because of a lack of interest.
After acquiring the Utah Light and Railway Company in 1906, E. H. Harriman transformed the property into the finest electric utility and street railway operation in the country. In the process, Harriman left an indelible imprint on the urban landscape of Salt Lake City.
Modernization of U.L & R.Co. included underground conduits for power lines in the central business district, new steam and hydroelectric power plants, eighty miles of new streetcar lines, fifty new steel streetcars and a massive state-of-the-art car house complex.
Now known as Trolley Square, The Utah Light and Railway Company Car House incorporated the latest advancements in industrial construction, safety and labor practice. Trolley Square remains an enduring part of the Harriman legacy and an outstanding example of industrial site adaptive reuse.
The streetcar system in Salt Lake City reached its peak in 1918 with over 146 miles of tracks, including a line south of Holladay and another line north to Centerville. Beginning in the late 1920s buses began to replace the streetcars, and slowly over the next twenty years the individual lines were abandoned. The last streetcar ran in Salt Lake City in 1946. Now fifty three years later we have TRAX, a light rail system, which started in 1999.
Last Update 01/30/01
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