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Western Railroad Discussion > Status of UP Mackay Branch in Idaho.

Date: 05/15/19 17:54
Status of UP Mackay Branch in Idaho.
Author: Alco251

Still a UP operation? Shortline? Abandoned?
Will be in the neighborhood this summer and am curious. Haven't been there since the 1960s.

Date: 05/15/19 18:11
Re: Status of UP Mackay Branch in Idaho.
Author: HogheadMike

The branch is still in operation as far as "Scoville," which is basically the Idaho National Laboratories nuclear site.  We deliver spent nuclear waste to the site on a regular basis out of Pocatello.  As for Arco and Mackay, the line is abandoned and ripped out, unfortunately, and has been for a long time.  There is one employee left that I know of in Pocatello that worked the branch all the way to Mackay.  Everyone else is retired.  We are too busy subsidizing highway systems in America to worry about keeping branch lines operational.  Sorry for the bad news.

Date: 05/18/19 18:16
Re: Status of UP Mackay Branch in Idaho.
Author: tolland

The track from Arco to Mackay was abandoned in the 1970's, then from Arco to the INEL (Scoville) sometime in the 1980's. Scoville is where the UP meets the U.S. Government railroad from INEL. I think they used to call it the Lost River branch because it parallels the Lost River on much of the route.

Jim Burrill

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