Ascape Tennsion & Sulphur Gulch RR
The Ascape Tennsion & Sulphur Gulch Railroad is a little known branch line from the town of Ascape to the mining town of Park City. It connects with the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad through the Wasatch mountains West to Provo and again from Echo Junction East to Grand Junction.
The ATSG branch line originated at the turn of the last century. There were two primary needs for this railroad: Hauling coal from Castle Coal mines in Coalville to the iron and steel plant in Provo and bringing silver ore from the Silver king mine in Park City to the processing plant in Provo. The biggest challenge in getting through Whetstone Ridge to Ascape was to cross the deep canyon known as Sulphur Gulch. Building the large wooden trestle at Sulphur Gulch enabled access to the coal and silver. The coal mines at Castle and the ore at Park City justified the expense and effort to construct this structure. Because of its significance to the construction of the railroad, and because the Upper and Lower Cadi Falls on Lost Creek is such an attraction for tourists, Sulphur Gulch was included in the name of the railroad. The wooden structure was constructed during the peak of the ore production at the Silver King mine and has never been replaced with a more modern trestle.
At the current time, 1937, while the major silver mining activity has declined significantly, there is still sufficient ore being processed to justify a string of hoppers to the Silver King Tipple several times week. This ore is shipped to Provo for processing. Castle Coal is still very active and produces a significant number of car loads of coal every day.
The railroad has considerable business hauling cattle from the Smellie Cattle Ranch to the meat packing house in Ascape and to markets in the East by way of Echo and on to Grand Junction. The small farming community of Tennsion has also proved to be a major supplier of hay, grain and fruit especially to markets int he East. As the road made its way across Pine Mountain on its way to Park City it spawned a small lumber camp that supplied logs to the sawmill at Tucker Junction. The resulting lumber is shipped to Western markets via Prove and Eastern markets via Grand Junction.
Two D&RG rains pass through Ascape each day. The East bound train delivers supplies and empties from Provo and picks up Eastbound traffic for Grand Junction and destinations East. The Westbound train delivers supplies and empties from the Grand Junction connection in the East and picks up traffic bound for the West via the Provo connection. The railroad has petitioned the D&RG for a daily Eastbound and Westbound passenger train. It is hoped that this route will be approved in the near future.
For a small railroad, during the depression, the AT&SG is remarkably active. The railroad and its associated industries own several locomotives which are serviced at the railroad's facilities in Ascape and the small engine shop in Park City. The amount of traffic justifies two local trains daily, which deliver goods to the several industries serviced by the railroad in Ascape, Tennsion, Smellie Cattle, Tucker Junction, Coalville, Echo Junction and Park City. A local passenger train delivers milk, mail, and passengers to destinations along the route both morning and evening.
The original AT&SG RR was located in Logan Utah but a move to St. George Utah required the reconstruction of this railroad.Welcome to this blog which will document this reconstruction effort. Your comments are welcome. If you are in the St. George area you are welcome to visit this railroad. The blog will indicate the progress on the reconstruction so you can determine whether or not a visit is worthwhile. The photos in this post are from the Logan location prior to the move.
Thanks for your interest. AT&SG Railroad stock is available. Its value has been considerably reduced by the depression (remember 1930s) but if you believe this railroad will continue to thrive this may be a good time to invest.
History updated January 10, 2010 (revisionist history).