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Arkansas & Missouri Rare Mileage Trip Daytime Meteorite 9/11/2010

Sponsored by the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up early at the Bentonville Best Western and put the corrections in the first part of the Fort Smith Trolley Museum Story. After another cold shower I went and complained before I had breakfast. I met Randy and we all decided to drive down to the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Station this morning and we would go out to eat this evening. We pulled into the parking lot and I started my picture taking of the morning.

A&M C-420 68 would power our train today.

Our train sits in front of the Springdale Station.

Two more views of A&M C-420 68.

The rear of our train at Springdale. I walked across the street to see what was on the east side of the A&M engine shop.

A&M T6 15.

A&M HR-412 76.

A&M T6 12.

A&M C-424 604 stripped for parts.

A&M MLW-420 3554. I walked back over to the station and boarded the train.

Our Trip

Our train left Springdale on time and stopped to pick up the caboose. From here we headed south with a consist of A&M C-420 68, Coach 105 Golden Age, Coach 106 Mountain View, Parlor 102 Explorer and the unnumbered caboose. We left Springdale and headed south. Since I had covered this railroad with so many pictures on my other trip I will limited my picture taking to what is new today. A small creek was crossed once we left Springdale.

The train ran by the Fayetteville Station. We ran by the Fayetteville Airport and Air Museum before we left that town. Our train started to follow the West Fork of the White River. The train ran by a road with the bridge down at the end of it. Our train passed through Winslow. Our train was now on the approach to the Winslow Tunnel. Our train entered the Winslow Tunnel a 1702 foot bore at an elevation of 1735 feet. This is the highest mountain rail crossing between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. The train exited the south portal of the Winslow Tunnel where we came to a stop for a set of static photos done in steps.

Our passengers coming to the first photo line.

Static Photos Location 1.

Static Photos Location 2.

Static Photos Location 3 at the Winslow Tunnel. Once everyone got their pictures they moved the train forward and we all reboarded. From here we went a short distance and crossed Trestle 1 which is 780 feet long and 125 feet high. We stopped for our next set of static photos.

Our train backed out onto Trestle 1 to be posed.

Static Photos Location 4 Trestle 1.

The train then came forward to be respotted.

Static Photos Location 5 Trestle 1. When everyone was done we all reboarded the train and we continued south. The train took a few more curves before Trestle 2. The train crossed Trestle 2 which is 421 feet long and 110 feet high. A few minutes later our train crossed Trestle 3 which is 451 long and 110 feet high. The train was then following Clear Creek. We slowed for a section of track that had been repaired from the flooding of two days ago. The train went by the waterfall under our first crossing of Interstate 540. Our train rolled down a 3.4 mile stretch of straight track. The train went through Chester where an A&M ballast train was in a siding there waiting to go back to work with the flood repairs along our route. The train went by another flooded damage area along our route. The train went under Interstate 540 before it crossed Clear Creek again. Clear Creek changes into Frog Bayou near the town of Mountainburg. We went under Interstate 540 for the last time on this trip. Straight track is hard to find on this railroad.

The train made one of the many crossings of Frog Bayou. After Lancaster we crossed Frog Bayou and came to a stop for a Photo Runby at the bridge at MP 396.4.

Our group made photo lines on both sides of Frog Bayou and here came Bart Jennings across to our photo line.

Back up move 1.

Photo Runby 1 at the MP 396.4 Frog Bayou Bridge. From here most people switched sides of Frog Bayou for the next Photo Runby.

Back up move 2.

Photo Runby 2. We all reboarded the train and headed south. The train ran through Stewart before running along the bluffs with interesting rock strata. The train ran on into Van Buren but unlike my last trips here did not stop at the station.

Click here for Part 2 of this story