Friday, February 23, 2007

Train Meals, Texas Style

The F&N was never an on time line. Not only did the train have to stop to have the tunnel checked on every run, but the crew including the conductor and porters kept shotguns aboard except during deer season, when they kept rifles aboard.

--C. F. Eckhardt
Texas Escapes Online Magazine

It seems a good track-side hunt kept crews of the Frerdericksburg and Northern Railroad busy. Fresh food for the dinner table caused more than one train to run late on the Texas Hill Country line in the early 1900s.

Any deer (in or out of season), rabbit or fowl seen along the right-of-way would give cause for an unscheduled stop. At other times, "the locomotive crew would find it necessary to stop 'to oil the bearings'," especially when black bass were biting. The engineer timed track-side maintenance as the train crossed Grape or Black creeks.

While the one crewman oiled the bearings, the other dipped hook and line into the creek. The fresh bass was cooked on the boiler backhead. "The bass would be done to a turn about the time the train pulled into Fredericksburg Junction."

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