Letter to the Editor

Save the Eureka Springs railroad

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dear editor,

I would like to take this time to discussed the topic called save The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad. Now this is just my opinion. I will discussed this topic as best as I can.

The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad is falling into disrepair, and there are no steam locomotives running any more. Now all trains are being pulled by the 1942 diesel locomotive, the only working locomotive on The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad. Also not to mention the two miles (more or less) of railroad rails and railroad ties are worn out and need to be replaced.

Also not to mention The Eureka Springs Railroad Depot, which is 100 years old starting this year, is not being kept up. The new metal roof, which is not original, but it comes close to the original and all the railroad cars are falling into disrepair, not including needing cleaning and repainted.

I think that will about cover it unless there is something I forgot, like the railroad yard. It is a mess, and I don't even know where to start, in fact the whole railroad is a complete mess.

But now I have noticed that the current owners, The Dortchs, are starting to clean up the railroad yard and doing some repairs around the railroad. Remember this is just my opinion.

Now I guess it is time for me to introduce myself, my name is Brian Waller, I am a railroad historian and the president and CEO of the newly formed The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical and Restoration Society, the newly formed The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical Museum and the newly formed The Eureka Springs Narrow Gauge Railroad, which are all located at Silver Wings Field Airport out on Onyx Cave Road, just outside the Eureka Springs city limits. I started The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical and Restoration Society on Feb. 1, 2009, to protect the history of railroading in Eureka Springs, Ark., and Carroll County, Ark., as well as northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri. Since then I have added The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical Museum in October 2010, and I have now added The Eureka Springs Narrow Gauge Railroad on Oct. 25, 2011.

Since then I have added more stuff in and around The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical Museum, the one big thing The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical and Restoration Society has included is the only Railroad Trestle (Railroad Trestle #78-7) left standing near Eureka Springs, which is also now listed on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. The society is now undertaken the rebuild of this railroad trestle and has just started clearing and removing trees and brushes from around the railroad trestle back in January 2009.

The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical and Restoration Society is still in process of clearing and cleaning up. The society is now waiting for money to start the rebuilding.

Now I will explain why I started this topic. I have started this topic to save The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad because since October 1999 The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad has been up for sale at the listing price of $1.7 million. Yes, you heard me, The Eureka Spring and North Arkansas Railroad is for sale. It has been up for sale for 14 years including this year. I have been after this railroad since 2006 when I graduated high school.

I started a website called "Saving The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad" in August 2006. The reasons I started this website are to find help to save The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad from being lost and forgotten. On this website you will see some or all of my plans for returning The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad back to operation, like it was in its glory days.

I will explain some of my plans for The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad. First, I will restore what is there, for example restore all the steam locomotives back to operation along with all passenger cars. Also restore the Eureka Springs Railroad Depot back to its original condition, like it was when it was built in 1913. Re-laying all new rails and ties. Also along with rebuilding the old Eureka Springs Freight Depot, which sits just a little way north of The Eureka Springs Railroad Depot.

In the future, I am going to reconnect to the main railroad line (The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad) in Seligman and expand The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad line to run over the old Railroad Trestle #78-7 and through the old Railroad Tunnel, which is just two to three miles east from The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad Wye (Junction, Ark.) all the way to Freemen Switch Wye, just two miles north of Berryville, Ark.

Well I think I said enough here, if you would like to learn more, please visit my website, www.savingesnarailroad.com. You can also contact me on my cell phone at 1-479-244-0926 or e-mail me at brian.waller24@yahoo.com .

I do hope we can come together and help save The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad from being lost and forgotten. We must save The Eureka Springs and North Arkansas Railroad for future generations to enjoy.

Thanks,

Brian Waller

president & CEO of The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical and Restoration Society, The Eureka Springs Railroad Historical Museum and The Eureka Springs Narrow Gauge Railroad

Eureka Springs,

Arkansas