Frank A. Mills

Southern Pacific Wood-sheaved Boxcar

A Box Car Tourist

Look a yonder coming
Coming down that railroad track. — Conrad Twitty, "Long Black Train"

I have a love affair with anything that runs on tracks. I can't even remember when it started. Truthfully, I think it is in my genes. When I was about thirteen I entered the world of "boxcar tourism." Needing to get to Boy Scouts in the city (at the time we were living "out in the country") and not wanting to hitch or walk, I hopped a Western Maryland boxcar as it slowed for a grade, not quite sure how I was going to get off where I needed to. Fortunate for me, the train stopped just where I needed to get off. My riding companion was a grizzly old gent who offered to share his bottle with me. I declined. At that age there were still a few things about boxcar tourism that I was not quite ready to experience. In case you are wondering, I wisely never told my parents or my Scout leaders.

This is the story I tell with the introduction to my "Boxcar Tourist" (railroad photography) page on the website.

Trackside Photographer Photo-Essays

The Village of Make Believe

December 19, 2019
A different sort of railroad story here. It is about a make believe village that has roots all the way back to the late 1890s— a tradition that is now seven generations strong. [You can see more pictures of the Village of Make Believe here. Please not the site is being reconstructed and update.]

Railroad Town: Taylor, Texas

July 18, 2019
At the intersection of the International & Great Northern and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroads and the largest inland cotton producer in the country, Taylor, Texas was once a major railroad town.

The Drummer

August 24, 2017
The railroad hotels of the Austin & Northwestern Railroad as seen through the eyes of a drummer. Plus information on the hotels: The Antlers Hotel & Camp Pajama (Kingsland, Texas, railroad owned), The Dabbs (Llano, Texas, privately owned)and the Depot Hotel (Austin, Texas, privately owned

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