Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cool Chromes -- 20 Years Ago On the Arkansas & Missouri

Arkansas & Missouri; Springdale, Ark.; April 9, 1993
The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, located in the northwest corner of Arkansas, has long been a railfan favorite. Most of the excitement comes from the fact that -- until recently -- the railroad only operated locomotives built by the American Locomotive Company. While many photographers have made many visits to the A&M, I have only spent one day on the line, and that was back in 1993. In this edition of Cool Chromes we'll chase a southbound train from the railroad's headquarters in Springdale down to Van Buren, starting with the train coming out of Springdale (above).

The power on the train on this day is three Alco C420 diesels -- Nos. 60, 50 and 62. We next catch the train near Chester, where you can apparently rent a backhoe.
Arkansas & Missouri; Chester, Ark.; April 9, 1993
Winslow Tunnel is the scenic highlight of the line, but I was faced with a decision -- the shot of a train emerging from the south end of the tunnel is a long walk-in shot and would mean forsaking most of the chase. I opted for a more aggressive chase to catch the train multiple times, and thus settled for this shot taken from the north portal of the tunnel as the train is about to enter.
Arkansas & Missouri; Winslow, Ark.; April 9, 1993
I did catch the train a few more times than what is pictured here. The train arrived in Van Buren and I headed across the Arkansas River where I shot Alco T6 No. 12 working. I will be returning to the A&M in June, as it is the host railroad for most of the activities at this year's convention of the National Railway Historical Society. While the line is no longer 100 percent Alco powered (some diesels from General Motors' Electro-Motive Division have joined the roster), there are still plenty of the classics running and it should be a great event!
Arkansas & Missouri; Fort Smith, Ark.; April 9, 1993

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