Waring to Fredericksburg

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(Forwarded from the San Antonio, Fredericksburg & Northern Railway)

The San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway was built between Waring (at a point named "Fredericksburg Junction", a connection with the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad) and Fredericksburg, TX, a town comprised mainly of German farmers who needed to get their produce to nearby markets. The SAF&N was actually the first successful railroad after a number of other railroad companies failed to reach Fredericksburg, mainly due to the hilly terrain surrounding the town. The SAF&N finally made it to Fredericksburg in 1913, and traveled through a 920-foot tunnel along the way, one of only six in the state of Texas.

The SAF&N went into receivership a year later, and ultimately foreclosure in December of 1917, at which time the SAF&N was reorganized as the Fredericksburg and Northern Railroad.

The F&N was profitable in its first few years and eventually reached Class III status. However, despite the influx of cash, previous debts were unable to be paid. The railroad was finally shuttered in 1942.

Today, the 920-foot long tunnel under "Big Hill" serves as a home to a large colony (up to 3 million) of Mexican free-tailed bats. Thousands of tourists visit the appropriately-named "Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area" each year to see the bats' exodus out of the tunnel at dusk every day from May to October.

I had a friend whose granddadd was a conductor on the local from SA to (1955) Borne.

This friend use to catch the caboose that had the rails ran about 100 feet from his home and ride the caboose up to Hilderbrand when his mother would pick him up.

Years later in 1971 after my military service I went to work on the SPRR out of SA, Tex. Worked on the H&TC division up the Dalsa until I was forced to Houston as a junior engineer. During that brief stay in SA I lived not for from Camp Stanley where the crew turned around back to SA .However I never got to make that particular run

Dennis Whittredge
Houston these days, TX
7/29/2015

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