The Cache Valley Branch
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The Cache Valley Branch runs 51.1 miles northward from
Cache Junction Utah to Preston Idaho.
All movements are governed by Track Warrant issued by the dispatcher in Omaha. Radio
display 2525. Due to so really bad track conditions, speeds on the branch are low, maximum
speed is 40 MPH, but they run a lot slower due to many speed restrictions. Yard limits are
in effect from mile post 0.0 to 1.0, which is the Cache Junction yard limits. Logan which has
a small yard, does not show any yard limits & must be switch with a track warrant. They is a
turning wye in Logan & at the ends of the line in Preston & Cache Junction. Even thou this
line runs North from Cache Junction, you will find it headed South from there for about 14 miles
to Wellsville, where it turns east to run to Hyrum, then turns north to run to Logan & on to
Preston in in a northward direction. This is the story of the Cache Valley Branch Today, in the
past it was a lot more busy place & had many more siding & industries. Lets look at the line
from Mile Post 0.0 in Cache Junction to mile post 51.1 in Preston.
Click here for A history of Cache Junction Utah.
The train will normally run as follows on the Cache Valley branch, switching industries along the
way. Monday from Cache Junction to Logan, Tuesday, Logan to Preston back to Logan, Wednesday
Logan to Cache Junction back to Logan, Thursday Logan to Preston back to Logan, Friday, Logan
to Cache Junction. The power will tie up at Cache Junction for the weekends & at the Logan
Depot on weekdays. This can change depending on what the railroad needs to do or because of
equipment problems. They start work on the Cache Branch at 8:00 am in the morning, so you have
to railfan this line when most folks would be at work.
Cache Junction seen from the south. Maintenance sheds seen here are no longer in place.
This was once a vary busy railroad junction with a Depot, stockyards, ice house, "Beanery,"
loading dock, & a full engine service facility with roundhouse & coal chute. Today only
the unused grain elevators stand as a reminder of the glory days gone by. Now it's a quit
place that sees the local three times a week & trains running by on the RailWay In Northern Utah.
This is the one place on the line that a "No Fitter" can be passed in the siding. A No
Fitter is a train so long that it won't fit into any of the siding on the RailWay In
Northern Utah between McCammon & Ogden.
The Power for the Cache Valley Local is now provided by four axle diesel-electric locomotives.
Most are of the Electro-Motive Division GP type. Models seen by myself are the GP38-2, GP39-2
& GP38M-3, but my guess is that any of the lighter power can run the line, but the power for
the branch most times is a GP38 type locomotive. This was also one of the last places to use
a Caboose on a train, but now that too is gone.
After about a week of trouble with the Power on the branch, Some one sent this new rebuilt
GP38M-3, UP 2580 to work the branch. I could still smell the paint from 50 feet way. The
UP2520 was one of those that quit while working the branch, & then the next day, the
replacement loco, UP 2353 die in route to Trenton. Once in a while they wuold have Two
Units powering the Cache Valley Local like the units seen here on June 28, 2002.
On the Days that the local works Cache Junction, they also work out on the RailWay In Northern Utah to
switch the Trenton Feed Elevator in Trenton Utah. On the day these photos where taken the power
quit running, & this was replacement power for a loco that had died the day before. They coasted
into Trenton with a dead power as it was down hill.
Next to the in Petersboro is tis old warehouse, the olny thing left
standing here. It's now used as a home.
Right Next to the road from Mendon to Logan at the crossing, is this nice pipe use to get water
under the rails, try this on a model layout & see what kind of a reaction you get from nitpickers.
Also you can see whats left of the Mendon Siding from here,
just a few long ties where
the switch stand was & the turn out. For a zoom in photo click on the name
The track on the branch is in poor shape, it's still the old bolted together type of track-work.
This track work shows how farmers get water to their fields. This example is in Mendon, & is
just one of many I have seen. The Railroad does maintain the track & a weed sprayer from Dakota
Helicopters was seen on the line not to long ago.
The line makes a curve in Wellsville to head east & that is a plant here that has had a siding
removed. The UP 2580 come through one of the more scenic spots on the line headed
Southbound where it crosses thru intersection from the southeast corner to the northwest corner.
This spot on the line is just outside the City Cemetery.
UP 2046 at Wellsville headed northbound to Hyrum.
Hyrum Utah is home to E.A. Millers meat packing plant & stockyards. This must have been a busy
place for the railroad at one time, but now most every thing is hauled in or out on trucks.
The train still switches here & will spend about an hour doing their work when work is needed.
I'm working on getting more photos here. The line made a northward curve on the east side of
the packing plant & heads north for the first time since leaving Cache Junction.
The Logan Yard is a small three track yard, & I have only seen the train parked here for overnight
layovers, usually Tuesday to Thursday. You can see maintenance equipment here from time to time too.
The Train departs the depot in the morning around 8:00 am. The local gets ready in the Logan Yards
for it's biweekly trip to Preston & back.
The Logan Depot has been restored & has been used as a restaurant. It was
used by the
UP for the Logan office at one time, they now have a trailer out behind the depot.
The only activity I have seen on the Cache Valley Branch on weekends is the Track Inspector making
his rounds to ensure that the train can made it's trip with out too much trouble. Just north of
the Logan yards you will find the Logan wye, this used to be the connection to the Ballard Junction
& was a short cut to Cache Junction in the days gone by. There was a few spurs in Logan but now
most all have been removed.
On this day by the time the local got to Smithfield they had picked up a box car, there is a spur in
Smithfield that leads over to the old Del Monte Plant, now use by Icon Health & Fitness.
UP use this spur to store cars tell they are need on the line elsewhere.
There is an old huge plant in Richmond right next to the tracks, but the siding has been taken up.
The next road north use to have an old Wig Wag style crossing singal, but it is now gone too.
Note the working on the crossbuck, "Railroad Crossing, Look Out FOr The Cars".
The signal at Richmond was removed in the summer of 1998.
The Presto Spur
Just before reaching the Presto, the train crosses the small bridge at Cove, Utah.
Also just to the south of the spur is a IFA feed mill.
They had no work here this day out on the spur, other then a they a car they kicked out on
the Presto spur. The Spur runs back about a mile to the Presto plant, & there is a
nice wooden trestle here.
Franklin is the oldest town in Idaho, settled in 1860 by Mormon pioneers, the town was once
a busy terminus for the Utah Northern Railroad, where freight for Montana mines was off
loaded to be hauled north by wagons. This the first town along the line in Idaho, & the
railroad crosses the Cub River on a Bridge in the north end of Franklin.
This Line at one time had two operating Wigwag signals, The signal at Whitney was moved off the
line but still can be seen now at a home near by. The first photo is of the signal while still
in operation along the line. Also near by is a big old abandoned factory of some kind,
that I'm sure had a rail connection.
The train enters Preston Idaho & turns on the wye, then works the feed mills there. There are
some large farm tractor dealers here too & new equipment could be brought in on flatcars.
The Franklin County Grain Growers has a large elevator here, & there is also a siding by the
wye were hopper cars of plastic pellets are unloaded on to trucks, the cars are moved by
the Preston Switcher, an old crawler tractor. There is also a old wooden gain elevator here.
The Preston Station is still standing at track side,
however it is no longer in use by the railroad.
© Jolly Goodfellow 1996-2006 -- Last Updated March 9, 2006