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Thompson, UT
Elevation 5,160  feet.
Population 84 (c1920).
Denver 528 miles.

At the base of the Book Cliffs, Thompson is a little oasis in an otherwise desert environment. The town has also been know as Thompson Springs because of the natural water springs located about 6 miles up the nearby Thompson Canyon. 

Sheep ranching was the number one industry here in the early years. The railroad shipped both the sheep and the wool they produced.

Coal deposits occur along the Book Cliffs and at one time these were mined near the town of Thompson. In 1911 the Ballard and Thompson Railroad, a subsidiary of the D&RG, was built to the mines in Sego canyon a few miles north of Thompson. The mines were owned by the American Fuel Company. Coal produced here was used by the railroad and other local spots.

The coal at Sego is not as high of quality as that found in the same basic formation to the northeast near Helper, so the mine closed down in 1947. It was purchased by the miners and worked for several years before a fire destroyed much of the facilities at the mine This time the mine closed for good.

A bulk oil facility is still used at Thompson, and you can see strings of oil tankers on the tracks.



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Thompson Depot northeast 2000

The Depot at Thompson was a no-frills plain Jane building and served as the only passenger stop between Price and Grand Junction in the mid 1900's. It was also the operation center for crews working the Potash Branch to Moab.



Brendel, UT

Brendel is located near Crescent Junction on Interstate 70 west of Thompson. It is the junction point for the Potash branch line to Moab.



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Concrete bridge profile

Near Brendel there is a concrete bridge that is similar to many along the railroad. It was probably constructed around the 1970's with precast deck sections.





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