Seligman train ride tickets on sale

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Van Buren Fall Festival in Arkansas awaits passengers

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce has scheduled two separate train rides with the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad to take passengers from Seligman to Van Buren, Ark., on Oct. 11 and 12.

Passengers meet up at the Seligman City Hall, said Cleta Stanley, the secretary of the chamber. They will then walk across the street to board the train. Each train leaves Seligman between 7 and 7:30 a.m. It gets to Van Buren at approximately 11 a.m. Everyone is there until about 2 to 2:30 p.m. Each train returns to Seligman around 6:30 p.m.

The train goes up the Boston Mountains, through the quarter-mile Winslow Tunnel and crosses three high trestles that are at the top of trees, Stanley said.

The train also travels into the Arkansas River Basin, according to the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad website.

The Van Buren train depot is right on Main Street where the town has its Fall Festival on Oct. 11 and 12, Stanley said.

The Old Town Merchants Association, which oversees the Fall Festival, expects to have 100 vendors at the festival, said Patricia Howard, the vendor chair for the festival. She is a member of the association, and she runs Main Street Candy and Fudge Shop.

The festival has been around for more than 30 years, Howard said. When the train passengers get off the train in Van Buren, they will see a beautiful historic street with wonderful architecture that is original.

"They will see a lot of vendors set up in the street in front of the businesses, and they can just shop until they drop," she said. "They are going to find festival food plus the regular restaurants. So, they can have a good choice of things to eat. We hope that they find something really special while they are at our festival."

There are also activities for children and many interesting things for adults, Howard said.

The Seligman train rides were started about nine years ago, Stanley said. They are fundraisers for the chamber. The money will help the chamber pay off its building that it purchased for $67,000 three years ago, about half of which is paid off, a track where the chamber hosts tractor and truck pulls and hot rod pulls, and other needs.

"It is a real nice trip," Stanley said. "The passengers usually see deer and turkey. Some of the passengers have even seen bears."

The train does not allow smoking or alcohol, and each passenger should wear comfortable clothing, Stanley said.

To pay for tickets, people may mail a check or a money order to Seligman Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 250, Seligman, MO, 65745. Checks should be made out to the Seligman Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will then send the a receipt and train information. Passengers must bring their receipts to pick up their tickets on either Oct. 11 or 12.

If passengers would like to ride the Vintage Car, each ticket costs $60, or $54 for seniors 65 and older

If passengers would like to ride First Class, each ticket costs $80, or $72 for seniors 65 and older.

Children ages 4-12 may ride for $35, and children under four years old ride free.

For more information, people may call the chamber at 417-662-3612.

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