Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railway

Previously I wrote about the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad (M.N.A.) being built in Eureka springs in 1882, then on across northern Arkansas to Helena, Arkansas in 1909 and was in operation until 1960 when it shut down. The railroad was all done away with and almost forgotten except for a few exceptions like the depot at Eureka Springs and the round house at Harrison. But the old steam engine was not forgotten by every one. Bob and Mary Jane Dortch, Jr. were among the ones with a love for the old steam engine and railroad. They wanted to preserve a piece of railroad history so some seven years ago with only a depot -- no track, no old road bed, track construction began in March 1981 and now the two mile branch of the M.N.A. is completed to the junction. Two locomotives were moved by truck from Scott, Arkansas on lowboy trailers to Eureka Springs in April 1981 and passenger train operation began at that time. The almost forgotten call of "All Aboard" is once again ringing through the Ozark Mountains as the train steams out of the depot with smoke rolling and the sound of the whistle from the past. At first the train would run backwards the two miles and come back into the station but now there is a new turntable to turn around at the depot and a wye at the other end to turn it back around for the return trip.


Reprinted with permission from Treasured Memories of a Beautiful Place in the North Arkansas Hills by Floyd Burleson, Copyright 1989.