Trip to Arkansas, Sept. 2010
A&M Excursion
Springdale-Hudson, MO, and return
Sun., Sept. 12, 2010

Photos by Dave Ingles

We again left Springdale at 8 a.m., with the same consist as we arrived from Fort Smith but with RS32 30, A&M's only one and an ex- New York Central unit, in the lead. Upgraded, it now is internally also a C420, just looks different. Because it was pointed south, we ran non-stop to our turnaround point at Hudson, 10 miles short of Monett, the last point where the engine could run around the train. We all detrained for photos as the consist was shuffled. Also, Rich Eichhorst's group from St. Louis detrained here to ride their old Trailways Bus back north, and the bus driver pulled up to pose with the train.

Our first en-route photo stop southbound was south of Butterfield at the Highway 37 overpass. Note the Frisco Ry lettering on the support.

The next runby, and in my opinion best of the day, was at Exeter, long ago the junction with the little Cassville & Exeter, which came over 3 or 4 miles from Cassville, to the east, to link it with the outside world.

Note the expanse of flat ground, undoubtedly where several tracks were when the C&E existed. An ex-Frisco BN caboose is on display just south of the main road crossing; see Section 6 for a photo, shot the next day on our way north.

Undoubtedly Webmaster Condren (center, Frisco steam shirt), is regaling his colleague with stories of the Cassville & Exeter! The man at the far right is George Burton, a retired wheat farmer from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, who attends most rare-mileage trips.

Bart Jennings always sells about 2/3 of available seats on his trips so folks aren't crowded. The two chaps in the far seats on the right- hand side are from Australia.

We were to meet the van with our box lunches at Seligman, and the driver couldn't find us (it ain't hard, buddy!). So we had a lenghty stop here, with two spottings for photos. Since we fooled around so long, and had such great lighting on our photo stops, this was decided to be the final one, and we made an express run to Springdale, arriving about 230, almost 2 hours early. Since some folks were flying out that evening, no one complained, it had been a great two days.

Lunches are being loaded. After this, the train backed up for photos at the old depot site, once upon a time shared by the railroad that finished as the Arkansas & Ozarks, from here to Eureka Springs.

Love the bell placement!

Downtown Seligman is dead, but out on new Hwy. 37 there are a convenience store and other businesses. This road is old 37, and around the curve to the right in the distance, it went over the A&O, which was in a deep cut. The depot was just this side of the tree visible here, and the short-line train would back down on a track to the right from near the Frisco jct switch, which was on the curve you see behind the caboose.

Back in Springdale I wanted to photo a couple of the A&M's rare T6 switchers.

Like most of the C420's, the T6's only have even numbers. The ground was SO oil-soaked I could not walk into the area at extreme left to photo more Centurys. Send in the EPA!

With the rest of the afternoon free, Mike Condren headed home to Tahlequah, Okla., and Rick, Chuck, and I went down to Fayetteville to get a good photo of the Frisco depot we'd passed the day before. Given the menu here, I will not be adding this to my list of retired railroad depots I've now dined in during their second careers. :-) With no other rail activity close at hand on a Sunday, we then adjourned to the motel where I got to watch the Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles, surely a bonus on a fan-trip day! I then went upstairs to play a memorial game of Rail Baron with Rick and Chuck, honoring the founder of Avalon-Hill Co., who recently died. His company had bought the rights to our favorite board game from the two men who created it, under a different name.

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