Action on the Kerrville Branch in 1968…(Part 1)

By B. Smith

Let’s go back to 1968 in my time machine and check out SP’s Kerrville branch that ran up from San Antonio 71 miles to the south. Not much time left for the line, traffic has been dwindling.  
In 1969 the principle remaining railroad customers were described as feed and lumber dealers, a peanut producer, a beer distributor, a mohair producer and a small mineral company. Just two years earlier the biggest source of railroad freight was gypsum. Some 220 cars were moved, a combined weight of 16,156 tons. By 1969, this had fallen to zero. The largest remaining product in 1969 was cattle feed, 17 cars, 402 tons. Again just two years earlier, the railroad had moved 133 cars, 3,845 tons.

    The decline is best reflected in the gross numbers:

    YEAR         CARS         TONS

    1967           553         27,091
    1968           459         19,448
    1969             50          1,765

We arrive just as the local arrives.  A fairly big train for this line these days.  Five empties for the small mineral company (not sure yet what mineral), a ATSF covered hopper of feed for the feed dealer, an empty SSW covered hopper to be loaded with peanuts, and a MP insulated box loaded with beer (what brand might it be Chuck?).  Power as usual is an ALCO RS-11.  An empty flat car (lumber for the lumber dealer), an empty covered hopper from the feed dealer, and two loads of the unknown mineral will make up the out bound train.

The crew leaves the empties and caboose on the main and pull down with covered hoppers and load of beer.

Leaving the beer on the main, the two inbound covered hoppers are swapped out with the flat and empty MP car already on the spur.

With the SSW hopper spotted, we’ll wrap up the rest of the job in Part 2 of this series.


Also enjoy C E Hunt’s recent non-rail blog post… … to learn about a most unusual bar.

3 thoughts on “Action on the Kerrville Branch in 1968…(Part 1)

  1. Glad you’re back blogging. Enjoyed your recent posts. Like how you’re planning to incorporate different eras and prototypes. I’m still plugging away on my dead rail S scale switching layout. Track is down, now installing turnout ground throws. I’m also trying to get my art business off the ground, so the trains some times take a back seat.


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