News / 

Midway Shortline Railroad

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Richard Thiriot was a steam railroad enthusiast. Forty years ago he heard of a 12-inch gauge steam locomotive stored in a garage about to be sent to the junkyard. He contacted the owner, who was very happy to accept $75 to have it hauled away. Well, that $75 investment turned into years of hard work and pleasure for Richard and his family.

I visited the Midway Shortline Railroad in Midway recently. I saw a man working in the engine house busily painting a cowcatcher on the little locomotive. When he turned around, I was delighted and surprised to see an old friend. I had no idea that Richard Thiriot had such a fascinating and enjoyable hobby. We had been friends years ago when he was the official photographer for the University of Utah Athletic Department. I also knew him from his days in broadcast journalism.

Richard explained to me the history of his railroad hobby. Passengers are never asked to pay a fare to ride the train. Donations are accepted to keep the little railroad running, but Richard and his family provide all of the work and the resources to create a fun and scenic experience to visitors in Wasatch County. Originally the railroad was located at Horace Sorenson's Pioneer Village in Salt Lake until 1970 when that property was sold for a subdivision. The train was then moved to Midway to the 5 and a half acres Richard had purchased in 1964 for a summer home.

Richard has constantly purchased or built new cars and equipment. A new depot was built in 2000. New trackage was completed in 2002. Richard told me the history of the engines and each gondola, cars and caboose. It is very obvious that this "hobby" is very time-consuming and expensive; but it is also obvious that Richard and the Thiriot grandchildren derive a great deal of pleasure from the enjoyment that they provide to the guests and passengers of the Midway Shortline Railroad.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast