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A weblog by Laura Moncur


The Train Tracks

Filed under: Art and Photography,Living in SLC, UT — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Train Tracks by Laura Moncur 11-08-05

They stick out of the ground like the bones of a long-dead animal. The trains used to run east to west in Salt Lake City. The tracks have been uprouted and paved over on the major roads, but we bounce over the unused skeleton on the minor roads. In the abandoned sections of the city, the track springs up from the ground.

I wonder about this track. Is this where the trolleys used to run? The only evidence that we used to have trolleys in this city is Trolley Square, the local “historic” shopping mall. There are a few obligatory pictures of the day when the trolleys were housed in the building instead of novelty shops and trendy art galleries. I know our town used to have trolleys, but the only proof I have are some black and white pictures on the wall of an old building.

What used to run on this track? Never once in my memory was there a train. It wasn’t until about five years ago that they even paved over the track. The buses used to stop at them, open their doors and wait as if it were an active line. I never saw the crossing bars go down, though.

Now, the track is rusted and protruding from the ground like something that was supposed to stay buried, but insists on announcing the crime that was performed on it. It’s a shame considering how much money was spent building the East-West line of Traxx right before the Olympics.



  1. Being slightly older than you, I grew up around trains as they ran close to my house (Boston and Maine Railroad.) I used to put pennies on the track and the big steel wheels would flatten them out to the size of a quarter.

    When I was older, I took the train to college in Boston. One day they stopped running from the station near my house. Slowly all of the small stations shut down. Leaving only a couple of big ones on the way to Boston.

    The old railroad bed is still there and you can find railroad ties and spikes scattered in the weeds. I wish I had one of those paper thin old pennies to show my kids.

    Comment by Gene M — 11/12/2005 @ 1:15 pm

  2. how very interesting honestly it is

    Comment by michel garcia — 2/23/2010 @ 1:04 am

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