Passenger trains return to Barry County after 50 years

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Public can ride trains from Springdale, Ark., to Monett, Butterfield

SPRINGDALE, ARK. -- Fifty years have passed since the last Frisco Railway passenger train passed through Barry County, but residents may once again ride the rails during the weekend of June 14-15.

Members of the National Railway Historical Society will operate a series of charter passenger trains from the headquarters of the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad in Springdale, Ark.

Two of the trains will tour Barry County, including a Saturday trip to Monett and the Sunday trip to Butterfield, and tickets are still available for each trip. Both trains will make stops at scenic photo locations where passengers may disembark and photograph their historic trains.

The June 14 trip to Monett, is the final official event of the NRHS convention, and tickets are still available online at http://www.nrhs.com/2014_Convention.

The shorter trip on June 15, between Springdale, Ark., and Butterfield, is designed for non-members and tickets are available from the A&M Railroad by calling 479-725-4017, or visiting http://www.amrailroad.com/html/reservations/calendar.html.

In addition to the two NRHS passenger trains, Barry County residents will also see the passage of a special Amtrak Exhibit Train that will be displayed at the convention.

Open for free tours on June 14 and 15, the train will be parked next to the Springdale , Ark., passenger station of the A&M Railroad. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

"This weekend is a unique opportunity for residents of Barry County to ride a train through their home towns and to participate in a historic event hosted by Amtrak," said Barton Jennings, convention chair. "Each year, we select a unique railroad community for our convention, and this year residents can join us in riding the rails of northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri."

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