Sego, Utah - Railroad


The closest railroad connection to Sego was the Denver & Rio Grande Western in Thompson Springs. Because of this, a new railroad was incorporated on July 15, 1911 to connect the town of Sego with the D&RGW. Called the Ballard & Thompson Railroad, the 5.25-mile (8.45 km) line never owned its own equipment, and relied on the Rio Grande for all motive power. Later on, in 1913, the railroad fell into the ownership of the D&RGW.

The branch starts at the D&RGW tracks on the northwest end of Thompson, enters Thompson Canyon, and veers through a cut along Sego Wash up Sego Canyon to the townsite. A wye was built at Thompson Springs to facilitate the turning of the steam locomotives, the grade of which is still visible.

Passenger service to Sego was almost nonexistent, although a small gas-mechanical railbus, which was owned by the coal company, was used for a short time. The train would pause in front of the Sego schoolhouse before continuing on to the mine, which considerably disrupted scholarly activities when school was in session.

At the height of coal production, from 1920 to 1947, 800 tons of coal were being mined per day, with the D&RGW making as many as nine round-trips a month to the town.

When the railroad was abandoned in 1950, the owners of the Sego mine constructed a truck ramp in Thompson to load coal directly into the railroad cars. The ramp and much of the grade, as well as three of the many single-span trestles crossing the wash, still exist, the first two miles being paved for use as an access road to Thompson's water supply. The trestles are in a dangerous condition and cannot be crossed.

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