Arkansas & Ozarks Railroad-1954

Discussion in 'General' started by frisco4301, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. dan maxwell

    dan maxwell Member

    Thanks for all the great photos.
  2. scottm

    scottm Member


    I have traced the M&NA/M&A route from Neosho to near Wayne many times, but I've always lost track of where the R.O.W. is as it approaches the A&M.

    There are still a few rails in Neosho, some in pavement, one next to a convenience store parking lot.
  3. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member Supporter


    It's cool that you've already found so much. I'll have to look for the rails in the convenience store parking lot. I think I know which store you mean.

    It sounds like you've found most of the ROW. If I'm not mistaken, Farm Road 1057 uses the former M&A ROW as it leaves Wayne headed NNW. Google Earth helps trace it. A little further on, you can see clues from the tree line as the ROW peels off to the west from Farm Rd 1057 as the ROW heads for the former M&A overpass of Hwy 76, west of Exeter. I used to love that dip, bridge and curve combo, though not the safest highway design.

    LOL, maybe this will flush out more pics. I love all the pics coming out of the woodwork these days. Many I've never seen, some I've only seen in b&w. Never dreamed they were available in color.

    Thanks for sharing.
  4. scottm

    scottm Member

    A&O / M&A

    The convenience store is on the SE side of Neosho, built on the ROW which crossed Hwy 86 at an angle. There is a rail section still embedded in the ground just off the road, by the conv. store parking lot. You can tell that a cutting torch was used (when the Wayne - Neosho track was pulled up sometime in 1949)

    Across the the road, the ROW is very apparent since it is graveled and used as a long driveway.

    There are also other M&A rails from several tracks that crossed the same road on which the KCS office is located, south of where the M&A joined the KCS.
  5. JamesT

    JamesT Member

    Someone mentioned a book on the O&A RR? Is there such an animal? iIwould like to learn more about the railroad but have come up empty-handed using the internet. Any help is appreciated.

    James Taylor
    email at
  6. RogerRT

    RogerRT Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    The book is called "The North Arkansas Line" by James R. Fair, Jr. ISBN #8310-7077-3 published in 1969 & reprinted in 1982. It is a very well written book with lots of pictures & maps. I first read it in 1982 and was hooked, I have to read it at least once a year. Check the on-line book stores for a copy, you won't be dissappointed.

  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    James Fair makes extensive use of a monograph, The Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad Strike by Orville Thrasher Gooden. Published in 1926 as part of the Columbia Studies in Social Science #275, it was later reprinted in 1968 by AMS Press, New York, NY 10003. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number, 68-57567.

    It's an excellent work; it provides much of the history of the road prior to the strike, and it provides a detailed account of the events of the Great Strike, which saw many depredations against the railroad, and a lynching of one of the strikers.

    Several years ago, I managed to find a copy on Amazon.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Re: North Arkansas Line

    An opportunity - FYI

    I have a surplus copy of Jim Fair's book "The North Arkansas Line" if any of you would be interested in it. I worked with Dr. Fair for many years at Monsanto before he moved on to the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Texas. Nice fellow, and a recognized chemical industry expert in the field of distillation and separations.

    And ..... the book is autographed by Dr. Fair!

    I agree with the comments posted earlier - this is a fine book and tells the story of this railroad nicely. Many photos and illustrations. Nice profile diagram of the railroad.

    Specifics are:

    "The North Arkansas Line"
    by James R. Fair, Jr.
    Howell-North, San Diego
    308 pages
    Second printing, 1982 (original issue was 1969)
    ISBN 8310-7077-3
    Library of Congress 78-96727

    Book is in mint condition, hardcover with dust jacket - dj is slightly wrinkled along the top, and is secured to the book by invisible tape loops front and back (I do this to all my books to keep the dj on), and the book has an owners plate inside with my name on it (on a blank inside page, does not cover up anything).

    Price: $33

    Shipping: Buyer pays actual USPS Priority Mail or media/book rate (your choice - I'll advise cost of each). I always recommend Priority Mail because of the excellent service and the strong packaging, but media/book rate costs less, though it is much slower and rougher.

    Insurance: USPS if you desire it, cost for $50 coverage is $1.65

    Payment: PayPal or USPS money order preferred. Personal check or other m/o also acceptable though my bank might ask for a hold on them until they clear

    Thanks. I'm not anxious to sell this, but thought someone with a strong interest in this railroad and the area might want it. FYI, last time I checked, two copies of this book, in fair/good condition (not mint, not autographed by the author), are listed for $33-$45 on

    If interested in the book, send me a private message via the forum. I'll advise if/when it is taken.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2008
  9. JamesT

    JamesT Member

    I just now reread my question regarding the A&O RR. Not the O&A!!!! Thanks to all for not bashing me (at least not on this site:eek:) for the silly typo. A clear case of not paying attention!
    To frisco 4301, my friend over in the UK went crazy over your photo's! He is busy planning a shelf layout based on Beaver simply because of your photo's! Many thanks for posting them from both of us.

  10. Grampa4

    Grampa4 Member

    Mike, I'm looking for information regarding the history of the section of line between Omaha and Yellville. Below is a photo of my son on the trestle across Barren Branch about 2 miles southeast of Omaha. It sits in the middle of a 400 acre farm my grandparents bought (inherited?) in about 1910 and on which my father was born and raised. I have some other photos of the trestle if you're interested.

    *edit* Sorry, the trestle is on the Missouri and Northern Arkansas. As you can see, my knowledge in this area is very limited.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2008
  11. GranbyDepot

    GranbyDepot Member

    Back in the Fifties, when my family was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, my folks would take me to Birmingham and put me on 106 to Springfield where an uncle would pick me up and take me down to Granby where I would play "Tom Sawyer" for the summer. One of my uncles in Granby was a heavy equipment operator and he had worked on the M & NA off and on in the Thirties and Forties. One of the grand times we had was going out and walking the ROW in a variety of places. The whistle stop shed at Monark Springs was still there at the time. The joke in the area was that it was the "May Never Arrive."
    The monument in the cemetery in Neosho is interesting for its coverage of the motorcar wreck at Tipton Ford. Every once in a while the Neosho paper will run a feature on it.
    When we returned from being stationed in Europe in 1953, Dad took a color slide of a gorgeous fall foliage tree where the M& NA crossed the highway leaving Neosho. The crossbuck was still standing at the time.
    As I am entering retirement I am finally able to begin my model railroad that I have been planning for the past forty years. Obviously, it is my beloved FRISCO!
    Keep up all the good work on Frisco and the May Never Arrive.
    Jim Dykes
  12. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    FYI, my book "The North Arkansas Line" by Jim Fair, mentioned in my earlier posting, has been sold. Thanks to those who expressed an interest in it. Neat book!

    Ken |-|
  13. splithoof

    splithoof Member

  14. FriscoFriend

    FriscoFriend Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned this yet, but you can actually stay at the Beavertown Inn, which was the old general store mentioned in a previous post.

    If you look at the pictures in the photo section, you can spot the original depot which was moved beind the store years ago. Also, click on the Rogue's Manor Castle link and look at the photos and one shows the remnants of the old trestle that crossed into Beaver through the narrows. You can also walk down the roadbed about a quarter of a mile to the west of Poker Bluff which is described in Fair's book.

    Also, you can ride the line on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas RR from Eureka Springs to the junction and back.

    Bob Hoover
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  15. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member Supporter

    Yes, and when you get to the end of that road bed trail to the west, you are at the remaining trestle supports where A&O engine No. 900 took a dip in Butler Creek. A Frisco tie-in, a Frisco wreck train was used to help recovery, powered by A&O engine #800.

  16. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member Supporter

  17. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    I cannot thank the original poster enough for sharing these wonderful pictures with us. It is so appreciated.

    As for it being a bit off topic: In reality, the original Eureka Springs Railway was so closely tied with the Frisco (including Frisco dollars), that (for all practical purposes) it actually was an extention of the Frisco.

    The May Never Arrive holds a very special place in my historical rail interests. I think it has to do with stumbling upon Dr. James Fair's book back in the mid-70's. Such a colorful history, interesting motive power, as well as challenging topography.

    Using Microsoft's Train Simulator, I recreated a portion of the M&NA from Seligman to Freeman, but admittedly, did use a bit of "modelers license" in regards to adding some industry and "things to do" for the customers. I modeled it as the under-construction St. Louis & North Arkansas circa 1903. A very good 3D steam modeler by the name of Jon Davis followed up this route with a very detailed and accurate North Arkansas roster appropriate for 1903-1904. So... it IS possible to operate on a reasonably accurate "V scale" version of the St. Louis & North Arkansas, including its roster, ca 1903!

    FWIW: I intended to take a copy of my earlier StLNA route work, and extend the line on to Harrison. In the process, I was going to undo the modeler's license areas and replicate the prototype. (I have unearthed complete track charts for the North Arkansas.) As well, I was going to relocate certain portions of mainline to more accurately follow the new data I found after building the original StLNA route.

    Alas though, once I began, reality set in: I was going to put forth a TON of work on a line that had little to do. After all, replicating the prototype means your V scale route inherits the same issues its prototype faced, be it steep grades, slow speed curves, or... in the case of the North Arkansas... not enough business to justify its existance. Just like a model railroad, a V scale route needs sufficiently varied and interesting "reason for being" to retain longer term interest once completed.

    Well... all for now.

    Andre Ming
  18. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    WOW - WOW - & WOW

    Coming from Southwestern Arkansas, growing up with the Reader RR running past my house, this is one of the best threads on the forum.
    My thanks to all who have contributed.
    Sherrel Weems
  19. frisco4301

    frisco4301 Member

    I found this Steroscopic View on Ebay some time ago. The shot is of "The Narrows" at Beaver, Arkansas with what I believe to be Eureka Springs locomotive No. 1 (roof line contour) about to stop to pick up some folks on the platform. Though undated, I would guess this to be summer either 1883 or 84. Clearly the blast work is very recent and no foliage has re-grown form the construction work that finished in February, 1883. Note the two handcars on the south side of the track. This is the only shot I have ever seen showing the stairs leading up to the north side of the bluff top. The back of the card reads "Calohan Bros. Stereoscopic Views Eureka Springs, Ark. Jeff Cooney, Lindsay, TX

    March 10-2.jpg
    pathowe likes this.
  20. kdpnorthwest

    kdpnorthwest Member

    thanks so much for the great pictures, walked alot of the right a way 2 months ago from the junction to eureka springs to the west end of the tunnel. if anyone has a chance to take a hike on on the old railroad right a way, it is worth it. thanks,

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