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Gallery of Union Pacific Railroad train pictures in Idaho

Picture of Union Pacific Railroad train near Bancroft, Idaho

For this series we will follow Union Pacific trackage form Nampa, ID east to Kemmerer, WY. This is just backwards to the way the railroad was built, but most of my trips were shot going in this direction, so this is the way the pictures are presented. The UP started building the Oregon Short Line (OSL) at Granger, WY in May 1882 and crossed into Oregon near Huntington in February 1884. In 1909 the Oregon short Line installed automatic block signals between Reverse and Nampa, ID (66 miles), between Pocatello and Ticeska, and between Ogden and Cache Jct. 49 miles. In 1913 the railroad installed 12 miles of double track between Diamondville, WY (south of Kemmerer) to Fossil and converted the single track signals to double track directional automatic block signals. It also installed an 8 lever interlocking at McCammon, ID that same year. In 1916 it installed GRS model 2 automatic block signals Cache Jct. to Dayton, ID (27 miles). In 1918, it was installing automatic block signals Pocatello, ID to Fort Hull (17 miles). In 1922, UP installed 33 US&S style B lower quadrant semaphore signals between King Hill, ID and Glenns Ferry 7.6 miles of double track. At the beginning of 1923, it was adding 30 similar signals between Glenns Ferry and Hammett on nine miles of double track. It planned to continue adding 42 more signals up the hill from Hammett to Reverse on nine miles of double track. At the end of 1923, it had completed Glenns Ferry to Hammett 9 miles and Chalk to Reverse 5 miles. The Chalk to Hammett section was under going a line relocation and was still under construction at the end of the year. Around 1924, it added 115 signals between Orchard and Nampa on the passenger line through Boise. I think there was a track realignment between Dietrich, ID and Shoshone in 1927 and the UP installed 17 US&S semaphore signals and moved 13 signals between Dietrich, ID and Kimma 10 miles in 1928. Also in 1928, it added 18 semaphore signals between Ticeska and King Hill on 10 miles of single track. It also added 72 US&S color light signals for Fort Hall, ID to Idaho Falls 37 miles. At the time the line had a few freight trains and normally 10 passenger trains a day. However, this rose to 23 per day in the Summer.

In 1945, UP was installing CTC between Pocatello and Glenns Ferry. 1952 UP was replacing semaphore signals and lengthening sidings between Glenns Ferry and Huntington. Scheduled completion in late 1953. In 1956, major work was done between Granger and Pocatello during the CTC installation plus an 8.5 mile line change between Moyer Jct, and Fossil. Many old sidings were removed and the following sidings lengthened to at least 8,100ft: Granger, Moxa, Nutria, Opal, waterfall, Orr, Leefe, Beckwith, Pixley, Cokeville, Marse, Broder, Montpelier, Georgetown, Manson, Alexander, Bancroft, Pebble, Broxon, McCammon, and Inkom. The interlocking at McCammon was updated. By the end of 1956 CTC had been installed between Granger and Montpelier 108 miles of single track and seven miles of double track using 48 power switches and 278 signals plus Pocatello to McCammon on 22 miles of double track using nine power switches and 25 signals. In 1957 it installed US&S CTC McCammon to Montpelier 156 miles of single track and 20 miles of double track using 32 switches and 201 signals. In 1958 it installed US&S CTC Mountain Home to Huntington 138 miles using 49 switches and 258 signals.

When most people think of Idaho, they think of potatoes. Roughly one-third of all potatoes grown in the US are grown in Idaho. In 2006, Idaho harvested 328,000 acres of potatoes, yielding nearly 12 billion pounds of potatoes. So you will see lots of mechanical reefers on trains traveling across Idaho. Many of these are hauling frozen french fries.

All pictures in this series are on disks 16, 17, and 18. You can purchase a disk and printout any of the pictures for your own use to dress up your train room or add color to a house that just cries out for more train pictures.

Glenns Ferry
King Hill
Pocatello Junction
Lava Hot Springs
Soda Springs
Kemmerer, WY