San Antonio de Bexar Railroad Company - SABRR

Discussion in 'General' started by SAFN SAAP, Oct 7, 2010.


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Welcome to the inaugural post to the inception of the San Antonio de Bexar Railroad Company. Founded circa 1900, this railroad, under the parentage of the Saint Louis & San Francisco Railway, also known as the FRISCO, will service San Antonio and the surrounding area, acting as an interchange between the FRISCO and the Katy, Mopac and Texas and Pacific.

    The CEO has begun to generate stock in the public interest as the railroad prepares to start laying track in order to begin serving the good people of San Antonio and Texas. Already, the railroad has secured several good quality steam locomotives of the 4-6-0, 0-8-0, 2-8-0, 2-8-2 and 4-8-2 varieties to handle the loads.


    Welcome aboard as you'll see the railroad grow into a prosperous enterprise.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2010
  2. wmrx

    wmrx MP Trainmaster

    Welcome to You'll find plenty of Frisco information here. If you don't find what you're looking for, don't be afraid to ask.

    While it's your railroad and you can do anything you want, the Union Pacific Railroad did not reach Texas until it merged the Missouri Pacific into its fold in 1982. It gained more Texas trackage when it took over the Missouri-Kansas-Texas in 1988 and then the Southern Pacific in 1996.The UP is a fine railroad with a rich history and a bright future, but its predecessor roads had interesting histories as well.

    Good luck with all your endeavors.:)

    SAFN SAAP Member


    I didn't know that. Awesome! I don't have to do the UP! Yay!

    I just found this information about railroads in San Antonio:

    Geographically located near the center of southewest Texas, San Antonio was at one time the crossroads for several different railroads: The Missouri Pacific (MOPAC), the Southern Pacific whose "Sunset Route" from Los Angeles made for many a well-known person to visit the city-- Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish and Al Capone to name just a few; the Texas & Pacific Railway and the Missouri Kansas Texas "KATY" Railway.
    The San Antonio & Fredricksburg Railroad provided passenger and lumber service to the hill country just north of San Antonio. The rails heading south out of Fredricksburg were taken up some years later and now the line only extends to the Camp Bullis military range. The line is now owned by the UP which runs daily rock trains out of an immense quarry near the Fiesta Texas theme park.
    On part of the adandoned line, close to the town of Welfare, there is an old tunnel that now serves as a residence for bats. In the fall, about dusk, people gather at a spot on the mountain above the tunnel to watch the bats come out for food. The cloud of bats is so large that it routinely shows up on doppler radar signals.
    Posted here are photo sets of the three major San Antonio stations. The famous MKT Station is gone, but the other two, the "MOPAC" station and the Sunset Station have been refurbished and are still standing.

    That means I can merge with the Texas and Pacific, Katy and MoPac! Awesome!

    Thanks for the heads up. I really appreciate that. I will change to be historically correct.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    A friend recommended Anyrail track software to me, so I downloaded the trial version and gave it a shot. I reached the maximum of 50 track pieces per the trial allowance, so I'll need to get the full version.


    I've been working on the engine facilities to start with. There are two roundhouse sections and several park tracks available. The turntable is Walthers 130 ft unit. I intend on running one 2-8-8-2, so I need the ability to turn that monster. Otherwise, the 90 would have been fine.

    The three tracks at the top are the engine shop. Anyrail doesn't have the building loaded in its trial version.

    The two tracks just before are the sanding pits. In the area just east of the turntable and south of the sanding pits will be the coaling station and the water towers.

    I may do some rearranging as having a huge coaling tower up front may block and take away from the rest of the module. The module is 36x96 at this point, and will be 40" off the ground, as per NMRA standards.

    If you have any suggestions, comments, ideas or anything else, please post up. I like constructive criticism and I enjoy hearing others ideas.



    SAFN SAAP Member

    Oh, I forgot to mention. I'm hooked on Fast Tracks. I'm going to attempt to lay my own rail for the realism. Definitely doing DCC and will have sound.
  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I really recommend using quality flextrack to speed up the process so you won't lose interest because you just haven't got enough laid to begin operating. I understand the desire and admire the talent, but when it comes right down to it, if you're building the layout for operations, the other operators may notice but they won't think less of you for using flextrack for the longer runs. Once the track is properly painted and ballasted, the fancy trackwork gets buried (if you pardon the pun). I suspect Rick McClellan will weigh-in here and shed some wisdom - and I hope others with large layouts will chime in as well.

    Now, I will say that properly built turnouts and diamonds are things of real beauty!

    SAFN SAAP Member

    I've been working on a new engine facility plan and expanded the size of the table to 36x120. I know that is a little large. I planned it after the Armory, MS facility. I'm concerned that the 120" length is a little large as I am only working in an average size second bedroom.

    I'm trying to work in a wrap around set up of modules, this way it can be easily taken down for transportation if needed. I didn't think that a roundhouse would take up so much room. I dropped down to a 90' turntable which should handle my largest locomotive which is a Bachmann Lt. Mountain. However, the 2-8-8-2 which I want to run will more than likely be a problem.

    I wish I had a huge room that I could work in like Don on the board has. That would be awesome. But I will not despise small beginnings.

    I will try to post up the new plan as soon as I can.

    As for research, I've done quite a bit on the old SA & AP Railroad, which connected San Antonio with Houston, Chorpus Christi, Fredericksburg and Waco. I can expand up to Ft. Worth were the Frisco's domain in Texas ended. It also turns out that there is one surviving steam locomotive from the SA&AP which is a 4-4-0, No. 60, located in Atlanta, GA.

    I'm really going to try and make my locomotives as close to Frisco styles as possible. I hope to start construction at the end of this month.

    Thanks again for everyone's help. I do appreciate it.

    Ship it on the Lone Star Route!


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Figured out the Album thing... Here is the second attempt at an engine facility. Again, I am limited by 50 track pieces so I couldn't go any further. Anyrail full version is slated for the 20th this month.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2010

    SAFN SAAP Member

    I just secured two magazines dedicated to two distinct railroads here in Texas:

    San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern / San Antonio & Aransas Pass


    San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern / San Antonio & Aransas Pass / Texas & New Orleans

    These two publications, some 50+ pages each with full illustrations will be invaluable to me seeing what the San Antonio and surrounding area was like back in the 1910-1940 periods. I intend on capturing the spirit of the South Texas Hill Country on the SABRR. I am so getting excited about being in the hobby again.

    SAFN SAAP Member


    The San Antonio De Bexar Railroad Company, SABRR, has entered into negotiation to purchase several locomotives to booster its current roster. Should these particular locomotive transactions succeed, the SABRR will be doing complete rebuilds in the Gen. Sam Houston Engine Shops located in the main yard outside San Antonio.

    There will be a full press conference at the time these new locomotives are consigned and join the fleet.

    Thank you.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    I found two key photographs of the San Antonio Freight Yard at Yoakum, Texas. Notice the STL&SF stock car in the photograph. What is eerily spooky is that the second photograph is the same park I have been seeing in my dreams.



    Circa is unknown, but would be around 1900 +/- 10 years.
  12. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

    The old time freight cars are neat!

  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Agree with Tom - love those Frisco stock cars. I have one of the old MainLine Models Frisco stock car kits (HO) from the early 1960's - unbuilt. Wonder if I could build it to look like those in the photo. It's a wood kit - so I certainly would have a lot of latitude. I'll take a look at the kit tonight. I think the box is still sealed - I found it at a swap meet here years ago.

    What decals to use?


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Today, I purchased kits for the start of the engine facility. I purchased from Walthers, their sanding pits, coaling tower (concrete), water tower, and from American Model Builders, #713, a two story wood laser cut railroaders bunk house.

    For industry, I purchased the Champion Cattle Company and two sets of stock pens and cows from Walthers. To compliment these, I am going to get a 48 set of SABRR Stock Cars from Accurail.

    I also purchased about a dozen of the Walthers 10,000 type 21 tank cars. We have oil here in Texas!

    Things are progressing. Track construction will not begin until early 2011.

    If I find any other old pics of Frisco rolling stock, I will surely post them up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2010

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Lots of changes coming to the SABRR. Soon y'all will start to see build threads and construction as the locomotive fleet is about complete. I'm in the process of finding a new home so adequate room is a must for the layout. Being single allows me to do this and I am looking forward to laying rail and building my locomotives.

    Project engines include:


    Cars keep coming from my friend. I did a research paper on the Uriah Lott, the founder and President of the SA&AP. I can't believe how much influence the Frisco had. Lott was best friends with Benjamin Yoakum and the two combined forces to build a strong railroad out of the SA&AP. It wasn't until Southern Pacific got upset with the growth of SA&AP that they did a hostile takeover. It's an interesting history.

    No worries though. The SABRR is firmly in the hands of the FRISCO.

    SAFN SAAP Member


    It's been a quiet Christmas Day for me so I've been working on completing the SABRR. I'm moving into a new home so the room I tentatively have looks to be 17x11. I made an island railroad which consists of San Antonio and then the trip to Yoakum. Each square equals four (4) square inches.

    The top side of the layout is Yoakum The two inner rails are the mainlines. The sidings in Yoakum are for the passenger train station and service. The outer track is the yard line which connects the two cities. The double cross overs service the main lines only.

    Industries will include a stockyard, grainery, oil facility, tools, welding, tractor, farm market, brewery and a scrap yard, which is the side route on the west side of the layout.

    I like the plan as it has many possibilities for switching. The only thing I am 'meh' about is that the mainlines are just a 17x11 oval. The layout looks too symmetrical to me. I can vary the terrain to mix it up but it still seems too ovalish.

    Your thoughts and idea's would be most appreciated.

    Thank you.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2010
  17. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    There is no such thing as having enough space, but if it were me, I would add a second crossover so that your yard loop can connect with the two inside main line loops in either direction.


    SAFN SAAP Member


    It took me all morning to digest your points and a fell member over on Model Railroad Forums, so please allow me to explain everything.

    My SABRR is a fictional railroad based on the SA&AP, which by 1925 came under control of the Southern Pacific Railroad. I am changing the history a little, as in 1913, SA&AP Owner/President had his best friend B.F. Yoakum of the Saint Louis & San Francisco Ry (Frisco) infuse a ton of cash to help expand the line towards Kerrville and further north past Yoakum up to Waco.

    The Frisco merged with the SA&AP at Kerrville in 1910 and had trackage rights on the SA&AP as far as San Antonio. In real history, this was for a short time. On my layout, I'm changing history a little to have the Frisco absorb the SA&AP before the 1925 hostile takeover by Southern Pacific.

    Yoakum was the main yard/engine facility for the SA&AP despite San Antonio being the main junction for all the branches of the line. In my original layout schematic above, Yoakum is actually represented by Enid, Oklahoma; a hub of the Frisco. After reading all your words, I realized several things:

    1. Three lines was much for the SA&AP and wouldn't accurately reflect the railroad.

    2. Passenger service was strong between San Antonio and Yoakum. This was the main line all the way north to Waco. I intend on running two passenger trains.

    3. The original plan did not include an engine facility. This didn't sit well with me. I want an engine facility. So I brought back the pinwheel yard design I saw in another MRF thread to represent Yoakum which included an engine facility.

    4. The San Antonio area had some changes.

    • I eliminated the branchline/yard lead
    • I added the double crossover
    • I shortened the original inside main to represent a spur for another industry

    5. The layout is designed for a 17x11 layout HO scale. Each square represents 4 square inches on a 1:20 scale. It is an island design which at most other than the NE corner has full arm access.

    I feel that this is a better representation of the SA&AP with some license for dealing with size/modeling. The only drawback I can see is that any serious yard switching takes up the No. 2 mainline. This may not be bad, as it will allow switching at both ends of the yard, while the No. 1 mainline can operate freely.

    Again, if you see anything, please let me know. It is not in concrete and I have changed to make it a better railroad to operate.

    Attached Files:

  19. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Manny, I have several observations based on operating on lots of layouts around the country, including several of those built by our group members. I don't know how many other layouts you've had a chance to look at since you started your planning.
    1. Three foot benchwork is a problem for most folks. I'd expect stretching and hitting foreground objects, if one can even manage to reach that far. It will limit who can participate. Maybe you are 6'-6" and don't want anyone else doing any of the switching you are trying to achieve.
    2. There's a 24" section on the right. Is that the duckunder for access? Unless you are building at 50" above the floor, which makes the wide benchwork even more of a problem, that's a pretty wide headknocker.
    3. Where do all the trains come from that are the reason for such a big yard? Or is that staging on the top and the yard is the stub ended area on the bottom?
    4. You are trying to represent San Antonio? There will be interchange with the SP and the T&P? Plus some branches that trains could run off to and return? How is that going to work?
    5. You don't show any impediments around the room. No windows, closet doors, water heaters that most folks have to deal with?
    6. How imminent is the start of benchwork? Are you interested in propositions or other possibilities?

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hey Steve,

    What I am trying to represent is the SA&AP between Yoakum and San Antonio.

    I may reduce the size of the yard in Yoakum which is the big pinwheel. It is 17+ feet long. I may cut it down with a normal ladder.

    The room I will be modeling in is a 17x11 game room. No windows or impediments. There will be room to walk by, etc.

    Bench work is not imminent, and yes I am up to propositions and other possibilities. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to copy and draw to your hearts desire. That's why I posted up.



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