Fredericksburg and Northern Railway

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San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Locomotive 101.

The Fredericksburg and Northern Railway was a connector line between Fredericksburg, Texas and the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. It operated under that name from 1917 until 1942. From 1913 to 1917, it was operated as the San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway.

History[edit]

After the Civil War, Fredericksburg wanted to connect to the existing San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway for a speedier method of delivering their products to the San Antonio marketplace. After the disappointment of the SA&AP building a connector line only as far as Kerrville, businessmen in Fredericksburg began to formulate a plan to raise capital to build a line connecting with the SA&AP. $30,000 in capital stock was issued. An additional $200,000 cash was raised to pay the contractor to build the line.[1] In 1913, the San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway Company was chartered. A 920 feet (280 m) tunnel was built through a nearby hill. The first train rolled down the line and through the new tunnel on August 16, 1913. Cain City was originally established as a stop for the new line.[2] The cost of building the rail line sent the new company into receivership.in 1914.

The railway was deeded over to the newly chartered Fredericksburg and Northern Railway Company by Martin Carle, who had purchased the property December 31, 1917 under a foreclosure sale. The F&N line continued to operate until World War II, but failed to turn enough profit to pay off the original debt incurred in 1917 for its purchase.[3] On July 25, 1942, the United States War Department approved the application of owner Dr. O. H. Judkins to cease operations of the railway.[4] The track was sold for scrap. The tunnel is now home for up to three million Mexican free-tailed bats and 3,000 cave myotis from May through October. The tunnel and surrounding land is part of Old Tunnel State Park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young, Nancy Beck. "SFN RR". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area – Railroad History". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Murphy, Victoria S. "Fbg and Northern RR". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Eckhardt, C.F. "The Little Engine That Couldn't". Texas Escapes. Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 11 January 2012.