Kenilworth Branch Facts
Kenilworth Branch History
The Kenilworth Branch was a five mile line constructed to standard gauge in 1926 in order to reach Independent Coal & Coke Company's Kenilworth Mine at Kenilworth, UT. While the Grande had acquired the right to operate the Kenilworth & Helper up to the Kenilworth mines in 1915, the route was excessively steep and required geared Shay type locomotives to operate. Thus, a replacement was built to a modest grade and reasonable curvature, so that even the largest of Rio Grande locomotives could make the run. The branch departed from the Soldier Summit mainline just north of Helper and followed the base of the cliffs up to Kenilworth.
The route is abandoned today, but I can't find an abandonment date. Presumably the branch was abandoned in early 1960 when the mine was connected to the Castle Gate mines via a long (5000 ft.) sloping tunnel, allowing coal to be taken out at the bottom end near the Soldier Summit mainline and eliminating the need for the branch.