Seligman Chamber hosts train ride through Boston mountains

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

All-day train ride offers nostalgic experience

The Seligman Chamber of Commerce is hosting its semi-annual train ride from Seligman to Van Buren, Ark. on Saturday and Sunday.

The ride will be an all day excursion and includes a stop to eat at the Arts and Crafts Show in Van Buren. Snacks both ways are provided.

"They block off the whole street for arts and crafts," said Cleta Stanley, secretary for the Seligman Chamber of Commerce. "There is music and restaurants up and down the street."

During the trip, passengers can not only expect a ride in comfort and style, but a nostalgic experience in a mode of transportation from long ago, with beautiful scenery to boot, Stanley said. During the trip, passengers will cross rivers including the White River; go through the historic Winslow Tunnel in Winslow, Ark., which dates back to 1881; go through the steep Boston mountains; and cross three high trestles.

Stanley said she thinks the scenery is probably the best part of the trip. The trains are older cars that have been completely refurbished, and are owned by the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad out of Springdale, Ark.

"Some have been used in the movie The Blue and the Gray," Stanley said. "The engines are modern engines, not the steam engines. We have two first class cars, a dome car and two vintage cars. Each car has their own restroom."

Stanley said she has ridden the train numerous times, and the chamber has been hosting the train ride for about 10 years.

She said they also do a Christmas train to Rogers, Ark., and a train ride for veterans.

"It's a wonderful excursion ride," she said. "A lot of people go again. Our chamber brought it to Seligman."

Passengers can choose from a first class car, which includes table and chairs; a vintage car, which includes bench seating with padded seats; and a choice between the lower or upper domes.

For the first-class car, lower dome and caboose, tickets are $80 for adults, $72 for seniors 65-plus, $35 for children 4-12 and free for children under four years of age. The upper dome is $80 per person with no discounts. Vintage car tickets are $60 for adults, $54 for seniors 65-plus, $35 for children 4-12 and free for children under four years of age. The train will depart at 7:15 a.m. and return at about 6:30 p.m. each day. Passengers should be at the Seligman Community Building, located at 29144 S. Main St. at 6:45 a.m. for boarding. On the first leg of the trip, passengers will stop in Springdale, Ark. to pick up passengers, then go on to Van Buren, Ark. where they will stop to eat, shop at arts and crafts vendors and enjoy music in the streets.

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