This monograph presents a history and description of a segment of the first transcontinental railroad completed on May 10, 1869, and owned, in Utah, by the Central Pacific Railroad Company. A portion of the original grade, now abandoned, follows a route eastward from Lucin, Utah, around the northern end of the Great Salt Lake over Promontory Summit to Ogden. The completion of the Lucin Cutoff between Lucin and Ogden, in Utah, diverted rail traffic from the original route. This original route then became known as the Promontory Branch and received only sporadic use after 1904. Soon the railroad facilities were removed and the dependent towns abandoned. The rails of the Promontory Branch were finally taken up in 1942.
This study concentrates on the continuous segment of the abandoned grade, traversing considerable portions of public land, between Lucin and Promontory Summit. Recognizing its role in the management and protection of America's cultural heritage, the Bureau of Land Management initiated the study that has culminated in this monograph.