The North-South Railroad: Remnants of a Grand Scheme
How to find it: this abandoned railroad grade can be traced for several miles through the Salt Creek Oil Field, with varying degrees of physical integrity, but is is most evident where there were prominent cuts and fills. There is one such fill with a washed-out short trestle just west of the road a short distance north of Old Lavoye, and the grade is also easily viewed in this area. (NE/SW Section 1, T39N-R79W)

Oil DerekAbout the site: This forty-mile long railroad branch was constructed to Midwest in 1923. The North-South Railroad was a grand building scheme to link the major east-west rail lines. It was to run from Miles City, Montana, to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, but most of the line never evolved past the planning phase. However, in 1923, construction began on the branch line, starting on the south at the mainline of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad west of Casper. Tracks were laid north, and the first passenger train arrived at the new town of Salt Creek in mid-Sepetember 1923. (Note: When the post office at this point was named Salt Creek, the town of Salt Creek five miles to the northwest was renamed Midwest, which was also served by the railroad.) Numerous sidings and loading points were later added along the right-of-way throughout the Salt Creek Field. The railroad arrived just at the height of the oil boom, helping to transport the massive amount of materials needed to build and equip the electric generating plant for the field (Stop 16 on the tour). The boom soon stabilized, but then quickly declined as the nation entered the Great Depression. The remainder of the North-South Railroad was never completed, and it was destined to stay only a branch line to the Salt Creek Oil Field. The railroad went into receivership in 1935, and service ceased a short time later. The line was abandoned and the trackage was salvaged. The short-lived railroad era at Salt Creek lasted only twelve years.