Trip to Arkansas, Sept. 2010
A&M freight chase, and other things
Friday Sept. 10

Photos by Dave Ingles

After a soggy and humid day Thursday, Friday turned out nice for our anticipated chase of A&M's daily daytime freight, which goes north from Springdale to Monett, Mo., to interchange with the BNSF on the ex-Frisco main line. Webmaster, Arkansas native, and Frisco historian Mike Condren was our guide and driver, as Rick Moser and I rode in his van. For more saturated coverage of this day, go to Mike's main website at this link (A&M Friday Chase). My primary photos were slides, so this is only a limited selection from our day.

This is our first good action shot, at Lowell, Ark., at 852 am; we'd watched the units pull their train consist, only 15 cars in these recessionary times, out of a Springdale sidetrack, then went on ahead to here to begin the chase. The units are 46, 50, and 48, all C420's.

The color scheme was brought west by the Hannolds, (father Tony and son Randy) first owners of the A&M, identical to that used on their Virginia & Maryland and Maryland & Delaware.

South of Avoca, 913 am.

Garfield, Ark., 934 am. The telephoto down into the rocks here looked really good; this was a consolation prize.

Passing the old station site at Seligman, Mo., former interchange with the Missouri & Arkansas, later Arkansas & Ozarks, the line to Eureka Springs and points southeast.

We're camped on the side of Hwy 37, waiting for him to cross the overpass you'll see, when he stopped at an unseen siding, which has a full wye, we learned when we rode here two days later, at a big George's elevator south of Butterfield; it's about 1020 a.m.

I could live here, listening to Alco 251's all day, but I'd hate the summer weather.

The slide shows all 3 units; he's leaving at 1033 am after adding 7 cars to his train

Purdy, Mo., 1054 am

Coming into Monett around the wye into the yard, 1111 a.m. We made a pit stop, looked around, went to the old depot site, and there came the BNSF local from Springfield to exchange cars.

The A&M crew went to lunch, so the BNSF did its work. We watched awhile, then decided we'd had success, and headed west toward Neosho along the old Frisco.

Here's the eastbound BNSF manifest we lucked into at Ritchey, Mo.; see Mike's website for better views, I was concentrating on slides.

Much of the old Frisco, in CTC territory, is still old searchlight signals; ya gotta luv 'em!

Here is Mike Condren's shot of the front end of the northbound coal train we saw at Neosho. I exposed no digital of it, only on the DPU's.

Driving "the cave" into Noel, Mo.

Mike has the Noel KCS depot on his website too, but not the KCS street sign. Today the depot is city hall, same as in Anderson, which i'd photographed on a previous trip.

Here is Mike Condren's shot of the front end of the northbound coal train and mine of the DPU's on the northbound KCS coal train at Gravette, Ark. (say it GRAV-it); my shot of the front units, had the crossing signal right across the nose of the lead unit.

The F7 and caboose display, and depot, at Decatur, Ark.

And just the depot ...

We went on to Watts, Okla., saw no more action, then doubled back to pick up Chuck Weinstock from Pittsburgh at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport out in the fields west of Rogers, later adjourned to a nice chicken dinner at a mainly Italian restaurant west of Springdale at Tontitown's Venetian Inn. (OK, Mike had a steak and Rick had lasagna, but Chuck and I had chicken!) From left: Moser, Weinstock, Ingles, and Condren, photo by our friendly waitress. Mike has been coming here for 50 years for their steak.

End of part 3.

This page was designed and is maintained by Mike Condren. If you have materials
that you would like to contribute, contact me at