Fort Worth & Rio Grande Frisco Line Brownwood - Brady

Discussion in 'Ft. Worth Subdivision' started by hbw32, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. hbw32

    hbw32 Member

    Hello! I am trying to research an abandoned branch of the Frisco in Texas. The Fort Worth & Rio Grande from Brownwood to Brady, opened March 11, 1903. Where can I find records on this line, in particular photos of the rolling stock depots if possible? (Trains #81 and #82) An information you could give me would be most appreciated!

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Give me about 5 minutes to put together all my resources for Texas Railways and I'll post them all up for you. Are you certain, (just asking...) on the name, Forth Worth & Rio Grande? Be right back...

    SAFN SAAP Member

  4. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

  5. hbw32

    hbw32 Member

    Thanks Manny, I'll order this book. I lived in one of the small towns (Brookesmith) created by this railroad. I grew up loving trains...But NOTHING remains of this part of the line, not even the rails. I have never even seen a photo of the engines/depots etc. I would love to see photographic evidence of this railroad. I was hoping the Frisco had archieves or something alongs those lines? Local history sites and organizations only have a few paragraphs about this line. I have searched for years and will keep trying.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    If you Google "Fort Worth & Rio Grande Railroad" under the IMAGES heading, up will pop up some pictures of FW&RG Stocks, timetables, and two old cabooses, which still have their original FW&RG emblems. I couldn't link them because they are from FlickR and they block all use unless the user gives permission, which strangely enough, the OP did, but since I don't have a FlickR account and don't plan on one, I couldn't bring them into my own. The pics are there though. One is a outside braced caboose, while the other is a outside braced flat roof caboose.
  7. According to the Handbook of Texas entry, the line through Brookesmith was constructed circa 1903, shortly after the Fort Worth & Rio Grande came under Frisco control in 1901. It then operated under the Frisco until 1937 when it was sold to the AT&SF.

    I've attached a scan of the FW&RG's roster of equipment from the Official Guide to the Railways for 1900, shortly before it became part of the Frisco. I'll also attach a scan of the 1905 ORER entry for the combined FW&RG/SL&SF of Texas.

    The Frisco's 1903 equipment roster lists the following locomotives as former FW&RG:

    SL&SF 51, 52 (ex-FW&RG 2,3) Cooke 4-4-0.
    SL&SF 144,145 (ex-FW&RG 4,5) Rhode Isl. 4-4-0.
    SL&SF 354-358 (ex-FW&RG 6, 20-23) Rhode Isl. 2-6-0.
    SL&SF 359-362 (ex-FW&RG 24-27) Baldwin 2-6-0.
    SL&SF 600-604 (no FW&RG numbers given) Dickson 4-6-0, blt. 1902. (Note: built after SLSF takeover?)

    SL-SF 357 is pictured in 1934 on p. 14 of Joe Collias's FRISCO POWER. Although the text says it is "awaiting the scrap torch", the footnote indicates that 354 and 357 were sold to the AT&SF in 1937, becoming their 2445 and 2446 about the same time the FW&RG was sold to the Santa Fe.

    Tom Taber's index to railroad periodicals indicates some articles that may be of interest if you have the time and opportunity to pursue them. The ICC Valuation report on the FW&RG is in volume 41 of the ICC Valuation Reports, if you can get hold of that through a library. Taber also references a discussion of abandonment in the ICC Finance Reports (v236 1939/521). There are other references to articles in the railroad trade press, mostly from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2011
  8. john

    john Supporter

    Here's a 1930's ETT for this branch.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2011
  9. hbw32

    hbw32 Member

    Cool! I had one elderly neighbor who told me the same engine (#641) ran through Brookesmith for decades. This gives me very specific information to use, especially when I start to model this line in the future.
  10. hbw32

    hbw32 Member

    I can't thank you enough for this! This is awesome!
  11. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Howdy folks,

    Does anyone have photos or references to photos for the Fort Worth & Rio Grande railroad?


    SAFN SAAP Member

    I have a contact who has written all manners of volumes on railroads of Texas. I'll contact him to see what info he has on the FW&RG.
  13. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Thanks Manny. I appreciate it. ~mike
  14. I just became aware of a large cache of historical Texas photos digitized and put online by the University of Texas at San Antonio. There are several of Frisco trains at Brady, TX. They include a couple of shots of SLSF 359 arriving with a work train circa 1903, an enormous number of cotton bales near the depot in 1907, a WWI-era troop train with a Santa Fe coach, and a fairly substantial passenger train behind SLSF 618.
  15. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Thanks a ton Bradley. ~mike

  16. hbw32

    hbw32 Member

    Thank you guys for the information! I'm still looking and researching. I did find records of from the Santa Fe when they bought the line in 1937. Brookesmith had a rather large 20x85 clapboard depot with 50 car siding, water tank and stock pens.
    I have question. I know for a fact that engine #641 (a 10 wheeler) did most of the passenger service on this line. Any way to reserch a specific engine?
  17. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Justin -
    For starters, try the "Motive Power" forum under Historical section. There are many steam locomotive diagrams, including a full book of diagrams:

    This might be helpful in locating a diagram for #641, along with other relevant data.

    For advanced searches, try going to the "Welcome to the Frisco Library" and click on the link for "How to Use the Frisco Library." Frequently-Asked Questions are included here.

    Best Regards,
  18. There is a photo of SLSF tenwheeler 641 on p. 14 of Lloyd Stagner's "Steam Locomotives of the Frisco Line". The caption states that the photo was taken in June 1939 and that 641 was at that time "assigned to the isolated branch from Seymour to Mineral Wells, Texas," former Gulf Texas & Western trackage absorbed by the Frisco in 1930.

    (Addendum: the same photo is available online through Mike Condren's website.
    Link: Steam/Frisco_600_Steam_Loco_Pixs.htm)

    It's been mentioned earlier in this thread that the Frisco sold its former FW&RG trackage to the AT&SF in 1937. The AT&SF also had a locomotive numbered 641. According to the 1950 motive power assignment sheet linked below, it was a 2-8-0.

    I mention this on the off chance that your informant is remembering the post-1937 years of Santa Fe operation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2012
  19. adams

    adams QLA-QSF

    Hello, I was just reading through this old thread--I also live in Texas, and have explored some of this old Frisco branch. In Menard, there was a wye at the end of the line, past the station, which can still be seen on Google Earth. Apparently, from Menard to Sonora, the Frisco maintained a cattle trail so cattle could be driven to the railhead at Menard. It included "traps," sections of land where cattle could be 'staged.' Also interesting, if you look at Google Earth at the 'town' of Callan, about 10 mi. north of Menard, you can see the foundations of the old station, with bay window prominent, and the water tank pilings. If anyone can point me to pics of rolling stock lettered for the Ft. Worth and Rio Grande, I'd be glad to hear from you. Chris
  20. hbw32

    hbw32 Member

    Thank you! I emailed Condon, but have not heard from him. I have seen pics of both a 640 and a 641 after 1937 still in use in the Frisco system.
    However,! I found it! I located the depot in a field about 20 miles from Brookesmith (in great condition) AND an elderly neighbor gave me a copy of a small (very bad) photo of the depot during the Santa Fe years. I can try and post if anyone wants to see a Frisco depot from March, 1903. I'm so happy!

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