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S&E Line will be Opened Soon

Written by Dick Perue

Severe snowstorms during the winter and spring of 1917 were some of the worst ever experienced in the Upper North Platte River Valley of south-central Carbon County. Inclement weather not only blocked roads and killed livestock, it created major problems for the Saratoga and Encampment Railroad, known locally as the “Slow and Easy.”

The March 29, 1917, issue of “The Saratoga Sun” reported:

U.P. Engine and Rotary Snowplow Now Working in the Vicinity of Pass Creek

A determined effort has been made the past few days to open up the local railroad line as far as Saratoga, and reports today are to the effect that good progress is being made, and the probabilities are that the line will be open to this point by tomorrow evening or Saturday, at the latest.

According to telephone reports from Rawlins today, General Superintendent Jeffers of the Union Pacific, who was at Rawlins yesterday, gave assurance that every effort would be made to open the line without delay to supply feed to local stockmen, and President Ira Casteel of the local stock association phoned from Walcott this morning that the work would be rushed with all possible speed, and he looked for the road to be open to this point within a very short time.

Considerable trouble was experienced Wednesday, when most of day was spent in bucking snow in the Crone cut near Pass Creek. Twice the rotary snowplow jumped the track, and from three to four hours was required each time to get it back on the rails. Another rotary was brought to Walcott and placed on the job this morning, and now better headway is now being made. With the exception of a deep cut in the vicinity of Lake Creek, the Crone cut, where snow from 14 to 18 feet in depth was encountered, is considered to be the worst place on the line, and but a few feet of snow remained to be moved at that point when the work began this morning. It is expected the cut in the vicinity of Midway will give some trouble, but it is said the snow at this point is not so deep.

The only uncertain factor about the work, according to Mr. Casteel and others, is whether the S&E track in some places will stand the weight of the heavy machinery employed in breaking up the blockade. If the track holds up under the snowplow and heavy engine, there is no doubt of the road being clear to this point within the next 48 hours.