Camp Stanley to Kerrville

The Kerrville Branch

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The original passenger station at Kerrville, built in 1887, burned down in 1912, and was replaced with this masonry version in 1914. It still exists today as a restaurant. (Submitted by Patrick Posso)

This railway line, ultimately between San Antonio and Kerrville, was built by the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad in 1887. The Southern Pacific Railroad gained control of the SA&AP in 1925, and eventually merged it into its Texas and New Orleans Railway subsidiary in 1934.

Southern Pacific filed to abandon the line in 1969.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 25814 Date: 8/11/1969 Section: 1(18)
Applic. for auth. to abandon part of the Kerrville Branch, Del Rio Subdivision, extending from mile post 259.49, at Camp Stanley, Bexar County, to mile post 308.68, the end of the branch at Kerrville, Kerr County, a distance of 49.19 miles, all in the State of Texas.
Length: 49.19 miles Citation:  

i drive around alot in the hill country and old 9! I'm looking into the history on my drives i found a train tunnel that's been turned into a bat cave and a old train truss bridge on private property you drive right under I'm trying to find a map of were this railroad went and write a story on its history any advice or guidance.. all i know it goes from borne, TX up to fredericksburg, TX I'm sure its goes on further but that's all i found on my drives

Sebastian
san antonio, TX
4/11/2010

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Hi Sebastian,

You're talking about the San Antonio & Aransas Pass RR, taken over by SP in the 1920s and abandoned in 1970. There's heaps to see with much of the track, the girder bridge over the Guadalupe Bridge and the freight depots at Kerrville & Welfare still in place. There is a branch that goes to Fredericksburg, but it was a seperate railroad, and it was pulled up in 1942. There is a tunnel up there, not sure what condition its in. Try these links for more info

http://saap.tnorr.com/ This is the San Antonio & Aransas Pass RR

http://www.texasescapes.com/CFEckhardt/Fredericksburg-&-Northern-Railroad-Little-Engine-That-Couldnt.htm The railroad from Comfort to Fredericksburg

Will
Boerne, TX
7/18/2010

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Sebastian -

Get a copy of The Railroads of San Antonio and South Central Texas by Hugh Hemphill, Maverick Publishing Company. It is a treasure trove of history about the smaller and large railroads in and around San Antonio, including the one(s) you referred to.

Les McMahen
Port Arthur, TX
9/16/2010

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I used to work out at Camp Bullis in the '80s and would see a train working the rock quarry on my way to and from work from time to time - along what has now become 'The Rim' shopping center.

I recall box cars being spotted on a spur at a glass warehouse/business near Camp Bullis road by I10 as well.

The track work was quite rickety, and I always wondered how the diesels could cross the culvert crossing bridges without the rotten looking wooden beams giving way.

I've been an armchair model railroader for many years, and until recently I had been focusing on the SA&AP - but found out about the F&N (Fredricksburg & Northern) - and found it to be an excellent choice for modeling. The tunnel you mentioned was blown through the Pecos Escarpment - and is one of only 6 railroad tunnels in Texas. It wasn't shored up in any way, and every time a train would go through rocks would drop down onto the roof of the cars. Normal practice was to stop before entering the tunnel, have all of the windows on the passenger cars closed (to avoid the dense smoke from the engine), and finally the conductor would walk the full length of the tunnel (920 feet) to make sure there weren't any fallen boulders that would stop the train. The train crew's worse fear was having large chunks of the tunnel collapse onto the train as they were traversing it.

The Sanborn Fire insurance maps are a treasure trove of information on towns and railroad track, and can be found here: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/sanborn/texas.html

I was able to identify the track plan for the town of Fredricksburg - the terminal of the F&N - via the 1915 map: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/sanborn/d-f/txu-sanborn-fredricksburg-1915-6.jpg

From this I was able to determine that there were two lumber companies served by the F&N (F. Stein & Son, and H. Kuenemann Lumber Yard), and in addition to passenger and freight depot, shows grocery, grain, and seed warehouses. There is also a 'beer vault' served by the railroad.

The F&N would be an excellent choice to model for beginners or someone looking for a simple track plan for a small space. Operations on the prototype entailed a single daily mixed train from Fredricksburg to Comfort - the location of the junction between the Southern Pacific and the F&N. Presumably the train would return in the evening. The train that ran on Sunday was passenger only. To turn the locomotive there was a wye at the end of the line. There was also a wye at the junction with the SP tracks at Comfort.

Mal
San Antonio, TX
4/3/2016

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