In 1907, The Emigration Canyon Railroad was incorporated to transport red and white sandstone from the quarries in Emigration Canyon to Salt Lake City. Its city terminus and yards were located near Rice Eccles Stadium. The route paralleled Sunnyside Avenue and up, what is now, State Highway 65 to the Killyon’s Canyon turnoff.
The freighting line was short-lived. Within a decade concrete had surpassed building stone as the preferred foundation material. Today, all that can be seen of the line is an occasional stretch of rail bed used by hikers and mountain bikers, and the upper station.
However, this was not the last railroad operation Emigration Canyon would see. Utah’s Hogle Zoo was established at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in 1931. By 1968, some 50 years since the last engine used the ECR line, the canyon once again echoed the sounds of a train whistle.
The train station at Utah’s Hogle Zoo stands within 100 yards of the historic route of the Emigration Canyon Railroad. A 1/3 scale replica of an 1863 C.P. Huntington locomotive takes guests on a ½ mile journey through the African Savanna and across a trestle bridge spanning Emigration Creek. The train leaves the depot every 5 minutes and the wait is fairly short, so hop on aboard!