The Ogden Logan & Idaho Railway

The Ogden Logan & Idaho Railway was formed from a merger between the Ogden Rapid Transit and Logan Rapid Transit companies in northern Utah in 1914. (Right of way)

Photo: Fellows, Fred , “O.L.I. Freight Train #901 stops on Main Street in Logan, Utah” USU Digital Exhibits, accessed Oct 4, 2020.

Among three proposals for routes between the two cities, the longest, a 64 mile line via Collinston, UT, was chosen, as it already held a roadbed for the unbuilt Utah Northern Railroad, and also served the most agricultural land. In 1915, the system ran from Ogden to Logan, before a northerly extension began the following the year.

Image: J.R. and H.C.E. , “Map of Interurban Lines in Utah, 1916” USU Digital Exhibits, accessed Oct 4, 2020.

A second merger between the OL&I and the Cache Valley Railroad would commence in 1918, and the entire line became the Utah Idaho Central Railroad. This added some smaller routes to the Interurban, and created a mainline from Preston, ID to Ogden, UT; meaning one could travel 127 miles on interurban routes from Preston to reach Salt Lake City via the Bamberger Railroad at Ogden.

Image: "A steam engine delivers dirt and gravel for the construction of O.L.I. tracks over the Collinston Divide, 1916" (University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Digital Library, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah-Idaho Central Railroad p.1)

Unfortunately, the peak mileage of the interurban would only last five years, as the first reduction in service for the company came in 1923, when bus lines replaced the line from Brigham City to Logan by using the route through Mantua, UT within the canyon. This is along present-day US-89.

A proposed 1932 extension of the line would have reached Gooding, ID, but these plans did not come to fruition. While the interurban increased access to education, agricultural interests, and commerce in the Cache Valley Region, it, like many other interurbans ultimately could not compete with the automobile, and the line was abandoned around the end of World War II.

Further reading, "Interurbans of Utah: Interurbans Special No. 55"

Thanks as always for reading!

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