All Aboard! The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad
ALL ABOARD! Shouts the
conductor as eager
passengers wait to board
the Arkansas and Missouri
Excursion train to Van Buren. As excursion
travelers board passenger
cars baring names like Silver Feather,
Spirit of Arkansas, Explorer,
Golden Age, and Biloxi Blues they
are reminded of a time when rail
service was king. A timeless experience
is what the Arkansas and Missouri
Railroad is committed to on each of
their excursion runs.
Once the show conductor releases
the train for departure the ride
begins. Passengers are afforded some
of the most breathtaking scenery in
Arkansas as they journey to Van
Buren. The road passes over winding
rivers, lush farmland, narrow mountain
passes, and jagged rock formations.and the passenger passes over three
trestles, the first of which is 125 feet
above the forest floor.
The view of the Boston Mountain
from the three trestles leaves passengers
fighting for window space. The
sounds of camera shutters and smart
phones clicking fills the air as the train
passes over each trestle. Then the
train begins its decent, down a 2.1
percent grade through Chester,
Mountainburg, and Rudy to the final
destination, Van Buren.
Upon arrival at the Van Buren
depot, which was built in 1901,
passengers can enjoy a three hour
tour of the historic downtown area.
After the train cars are cleaned
and with a new crew, the excursion
boards another group north bound to
Winslow and back, about a three hour
Once back in Van Buren, the
train is turned around, passengers
boarded, and it is time for the return
trip to Springdale. And as quickly as
it began, the journey into the back
woods country of Arkansas comes
to an end. The conductors each bids
their final farewells as the train slowly
approaches the Springdale Depot.
The show conductor, standing at his
post at the base of the vestibule of car
107 delivers his final commentary.
“Watch your step,” the conductor
said. “Have a safe journey home.
Come and ride with us again soon.”
The Arkansas and Missouri
railroad began operations in 1986 from
Monett, Missouri to Fort Smith,
Arkansas hauling freight, primarily
sand and grain. The excursion trains
started three years later.
There are three regular
excursions per week to Van Buren.
Private charters and specials are
available throughout the year. Visit
Remember, “The Best Ride is On Us”.