May 20, 1916, saw the last day of rail laying on the main line of the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad, also known as the Orem Line. When the line was constructed as far as Provo, new, especially built cars began running. They were dark red, thirty six-passenger capacity cars, each divided into a freight compartment and two passenger compartments, smoking and non-smoking. Each car was heated, lighted and powered by four 110 horsepower Westinghouse motors, which drew electricity from overhead cables.
The last spike was driven in the streets of Payson on May 26 and 27. The two days were set aside for celebrating both the arrival of the SL&U and the government's large Strawberry Reclamation Project. Immediately 24 trains a day made the complete run from Salt Lake to Payson, a distance of 66.6 miles. By July, service had increased to 26 trains a day, which was the largest number ever operated to Payson. From then until final abandonment, service was gradually cut back. During the Twenties, an average of 16 to 18 trains were run daily. The lowest point was reached in 1937 when only ten daily trains were scheduled.
The “Orem Line” as it was called eventually ran 67 miles from downtown Salt Lake City to Payson. The first leg of the line was completed to Amrican Fork on March 23, 1913 and reached Provo in July 1914. The Provo Station was located on Center Street and 100 West where we find the NuSkin Building today. The line reached Springville in July 1915 and Spanish Fork in November 1915. The Spanish Fork station was located on Main Street where we find Central Bank today. An as we noted, the line was completed to Payson in May 1916.