The Saltair Railway, and the Forgotten Amusement Resort on the Great Salt Lake

The original Saltair Resort was built on a pier of the Great Salt Lake in 1893, and was primarily accessed by a railroad line, the Saltair Railway, which extended out to the pier and into the water. 

Much of The Saltair Railway is still in existence today as the Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway, although it no longer transports passengers to Saltair Resort on the Great Salt Lake, since the resort was burned down. 

A new Saltair Resort exists at a location south of this original site. Both the original resort and the railway began operating in 1893.

Saltair Resort Postcard

The resort was known for its scenic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, and offered a variety of attractions and activities, including swimming, boating, and dancing. It was one of the largest and most popular entertainment venues in the region and was a popular destination for tourists and locals.

Over the years, Saltair Resort went through several periods of expansion and renovation, adding new attractions and facilities to keep up with the changing tastes and interests of its visitors. Despite its popularity, however, the resort struggled financially in the mid-20th century and eventually closed in the late 1950s.

The remnants of the former tracks which led to the resort are quite visible on satellite imagery on the far southeast corner of the Great Salt Lake. The line diverges from currently existing Union Pacific Railroad tracks about 8 miles west of Salt Lake International Airport, where I-80 curves southwest.

A single car from this railroad survived up until 2012. It was burned by arson in 2009, and thus left impossible to preserve. Further compound matters was that Salt Lake County wanted the area clean and the car removed. 

Thanks as always for reading!


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