Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rare photos of Kerrville's self-propelled rail car -- the '500'

For those who don't remember, Kerrville had rail service until the 1970s.  Passenger service stopped long before -- but in the early part of last century there was a little self-propelled car which shuttled passengers from here to San Antonio.
The '500' car, at the Kerrville depot.
This photograph is fairly well known, and I published it in one of my books.
What a lot of people don't realize is this: there are other photos of the little car, most notably in a publication by J. E. Grinstead.
Grinstead, who published the Kerrville Mountain Sun soon after his arrival here later published magazines and pulp-westerns.  Most of his magazines were plainly meant to "boost" the Kerrville area.  In one issue he published many images of the little '500' car.  I can only imagine the passengers were game to his plan, because the photographs indicate they stopped many times on their journey to San Antonio.
Click on any image to enlarge
The '500' crossing Cibolo Creek.
Note the fellow posing on the rocks in the creek bed.

Traveling through "Spanish Pass."

Crossing the Guadalupe.  This bridge still exists, past Comfort.

Although it's hard to find, the '500' car is in this photo.

The little '500' crossing Cypress Creek Bridge.


  1. These are WONDERFUL photos!!!!!

    Thank you so very much for posting these pictures.

    Joe, you are a true blessing to all of us!

  2. Joe, please explain where Spanish Pass was located.

  3. These are great photos.

    Thank you.

  4. The first photo shows a building with the name "Mosel" on it.

    Joe, wasn't Mr. Mosel linked somehow with Evans, where your Dad once worked.

    The previous sentence doesn't seem to be constructed properly. Joe, you have an English degree, if you want to utilize the comment section to correct the sentence, you will not offend me.

    In fact, it will help me.

  5. The second photo states,

    ("The '500' crossing Cibolo Creek.
    Note the fellow posing on the rocks in the creek bed.")

    When the photo is enlarged, the man who is sitting on the rocks looks very familiar, however I can't identify him.

    Can anyone help with his identify?

    Thank you.

  6. In the third photo, there appears to be no gravel between and around the track.

    There are many reasons for the gravel: drainage, rail support, prevent erosion, etc.

    I would have loved to ride on that train.

  7. Joe, you said that the bridge (4th photo) still exists.

    I went to Google Map and found the bridge.

    How wonderful to see that old bridge again.

    Thank you so much, Joe.

  8. Joe, my old eyes may be playing a trick on me.

    In the fourth photo, (crossing the Comfort Bridge),
    the back of the train seems to have "No. 300" painted on it.

    Was that train different from the original Kerrville "500" train, or are my eyes truly playing tricks on me?

  9. Here are 3 Google Map links that will take you right to the old train bridge
    (3 different views) (the links are very, very long, so you will have to slide your cursor to the right of the screen to copy the entire link:,+comfort,+tx&hl=en&ll=29.975749,-98.845058&spn=0.00201,0.003484&sll=31.168934,-100.076842&sspn=16.152212,28.54248&hnear=River+Bend+Rd,+Comfort,+Kendall,+Texas+78013&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=29.975749,-98.845058&panoid=g5DQtjeR3ycHrsyW1ODNJQ&cbp=12,347.24,,0,0.68,+comfort,+tx&hl=en&ll=29.976447,-98.845569&spn=0.002026,0.003484&sll=31.168934,-100.076842&sspn=16.152212,28.54248&hnear=River+Bend+Rd,+Comfort,+Kendall,+Texas+78013&t=h&z=19,+comfort,+tx&hl=en&ll=29.977172,-98.846113&spn=0.002017,0.003484&sll=31.168934,-100.076842&sspn=16.152212,28.54248&hnear=River+Bend+Rd,+Comfort,+Kendall,+Texas+78013&t=h&layer=c&cbll=29.977298,-98.846263&panoid=0koyqbtdEFrpBN8x1SRS3g&cbp=12,161.98,,1,-0.66&z=19


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