Last Hill Country Train
By Hugh Hemphill, author of "San Antonio On Wheels"
and "The Railroads of San Antonio and South Central Texas."


Rail service to the Texas hill country came to an end in 1971. Texas Transportation Museum founder and first chairman, David Wallace, was allowed to ride in the caboose on the very last freight train, which was hauling asphalt to Kerrville. By the time service ended, the Southern Pacific was only running two freights a week beyond Camp Stanley to Kerrville.

What follows is a series of images captured from the 8mm film that David shot from the caboose of this historic last train. The quality is not of the highest and the movie itself is short, only five minutes, but it remains an important testimony to the almost ninety years of service along the line.
Southern Pacific railroad depots in Boerne and Waring

Boerne railroad depot. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
 
Waring railroad depot. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
 
Waring railroad depot. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Southern Pacific railroad bridge over the Guadalupe river, near Comfort

Crossing the Guadalupe railroad bridge. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
 
Crossing the Guadalupe railroad bridge. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Passenger car, wool warehouse and depot in Comfort

Wool warehouse in Comfort Texas with the 1948 "Eagle Cliff" passenger car on its siding. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
 
The 1948 "Eagle Cliff" passenger car being removed from Comfort in 1976. The car has been restored and is in service on the Hill Country Flyer north of Austin.
 
Southern Pacific railroad depot in Comfort. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Southern Pacific railroad depot in Center Point

Southern Pacific railroad depot in Center Point. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Southern Pacific railroad passenger depot in Kerrville

  Southern Pacific railroad depot in Kerrville. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Southern Pacific railroad depot in Kerrville. The freight depot can be seen in the distance. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Southern Pacific railroad freight depot and yard in Kerrville

  Southern Pacific railroad freight yard and depot in Kerrville. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
  Southern Pacific railroad freight yard and depot in Kerrville. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971
Southern Pacific railroad freight yard and depot in Kerrville. The freight depot can be seen in the distance. Home movie image taken from the caboose of the last train to the Hill Country in 1971

 

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