An old train engine



Associated with Washington County


The transcontinental railroad was completed when in 1869 tracks from the east and the west met at Promontory Point, just west of Ogden, Utah. From there, tracks were run down to Salt Lake City. And even later, a line was from from Salt Lake City all the way to San Pedro, California.

When the railroad reached south to Lund in northern Iron County, cattle from this area were driven up there for shipment to other parts of the country. Other products could be shipped in and out to the rest of the country. That was the closest railhead to Washington County until 1923.

Later, Modena became the railhead of choice for Washington County. There was a rough 65-mile stage road from St. George to Modena.

Also, a spur was run from Lund to Cedar City to provide tourist access to Zion National Park. This may have been used for some product shipping???

Between 1903 and 1911, there were a number of proposals for railroad lines into the county. In spite of the enthusiasm for those prospects, none ever materialized. See the many Washington County News articles in the References section below.

There were rails used in the various mines to move material in and out of the various mines, but those were just short localized narrow-gage tracks.


Union Pacific Railroad

Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad

Utah & Southwestern Railway Co.
See the 6/4/1908, 4/15/1909, 5/6/1909, and 4/22/1909 articles in the Washington County News




A History of Washington County from Isolation to Destination
Book by Douglas D. Alder and Karl F. Brooks
Pages xvii, 35, 88, 91, 110, 164, 201-3, 207, 216-17, 262, 266-67, and 299

Notes for a Washington County Historical Society field trip to Barclay, Nevada 5/4/2013
by Richard Kohler

Washington County News Articles
1908-03-05: Electric railroad from the Muddy Settlements to St. George and New Harmony
1908-05-28: New Harmony looks for a railroad spur from Lund
1908-06-04: New Harmony hears about a delay in their railroad spur from Lund
1908-06-04: Data requested for the Utah & Southwestern Railway Co.
1908-06-11: Railroad to Virgin
1908-07-02: Data on produce that might be shipped my rail
1908-07-16: Working on getting a railroad through this area
1908-11-19: A Railroad Much Needed
1908-12-24: Proposal to build a railroad from Hurricane to Acoma via St. George
1909-01-06: Journalist's description of a trip from Modena by stage to Dixie
1909-01-20: The Salt Lake Route coming through Dixie
1909-04-15: New Railroad Will Get Big Amount of Tonnage
1909-04-22: Railroad Will be Built to St. George, No Doubt
1909-05-06: Work on railroad to start within a few weeks
1909-06-24: New Harmony Railroad Encouragement
1909-08-19: New railroad being surveyed from Yuma may come through St. George