US Steel's Atlantic City Mine Railroad

One of the longest industrial railroad operations in the United States was the Atlantic City Mine Railroad, owned by the US Steel Corporation, and sometimes simply referred to as the US Steel Railroad. Operations began in 1962. (Right of way)

Atlantic City Mine Railroad in 1981. Photo: B. Kooistra

The line ran 76.7 from a junction with the Union Pacific Railroad known as Winton Junction, north of Rock Springs, WY, north to Atlantic City, WY to serve an iron ore mine near that location. At South Pass City, the road crossed the Continental Divide, contradicting a 1947 Trains magazine article that held that no more railroad lines ever would be built to cross the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains.

US Steel was looking for a far inland location to secure mineral rights in case of attack, and discovered the existence of iron ore at the Atlantic City location that would serve the Geneva Steel Works in Vineyard, UT, about 300 miles away.

According to Trains magazine, "In 1983, U.S. Steel no longer found it financially feasible to continue mining the relatively low-grade iron ore at the Atlantic City mine, which was expensive to operate., and thus ended operation, including of the railroad, in October of that year. Recently, talk of reopening the mine has been floated, although a new railroad would be built along a new right of way if mining operations ever began again.

Here's a YouTube video of the line in action near South Pass City, WY


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