The Idaho Southern Railroad

The Idaho Southern Railroad connected Gooding, ID and Jerome, ID, with construction being completed in 1909. (Right of Way

Idaho Southern Steam Locomotive. Image: Gooding County Historical Society

The line ran round trip service daily along the 22 mile route, supplanted by service on either end by the Union Pacific Railroad's predecessor, the Oregon Short Line Railway. Nonetheless, it remained independent throughout its short life, as UP had no interest in acquiring the right of way, as it already served each of the towns along the route, albeit connecting via Bliss, ID to the west.

Between Gooding and Wendell, the road acted as sort of a shortcut that bypassed Bliss, but beyond Gooding, the line curved east and largely paralleled the still-existing UP line. 

A Gooding County Situation Analysis described the road as follows, "Gooding County can boast of its railroad, Idaho Southern Railroad, that was incorporated for $250,000 and made its first run December 28, 1908. The first run was made on a trip from Gooding to Wendell and on to Jerome. The train made daily runs from Gooding to Jerome for eight years before the strengthening of the Oregon Short Line and the Automobile finally eroded its business away. The rails were not removed for several years and were used by Charles Young as he ran his “Galloping Goose,” a Stanley Steamer, on the rails. Finally the rail bed was used to build a highway between Wendell and Gooding that now has been replaced by a newer, wider highway."

With no interest from third parties, and facing bankruptcy and stiff competition, it was allowed to be abandoned in 1916.

Thanks as always for reading!


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