Climb Aboard for Adventure

t’s true, there are quicker ways to get around Arkansas, but few are more breathtaking.
Climbing aboard an excursion A&M train and taking one of the leisurely roundtrips between the two cities offers visitors a unique chance to see some gorgeous Boston Mountain range scenery.

Travelers ride in style on meticulously restored passenger cars. The A&M fleet consists of several 1920s to 1950s vintage coaches, and visitors can relax aboard the trains as they wend their way through the bluffs and river valleys, and traverse railroad trestle bridges and tunnels.

There are multiple excursions rides leaving almost daily. Some are daylong adventures and others are just a few hours of comfortable travel. Some of the excursions feature layovers in historic places such as downtown Van Buren, Arkansas, where travelers have time to shop and have lunch. Some trips feature pastries, baked goods, and charcuterie plates while others have onboard drinks and snacks.

Most train trips have rates for coach travel, Premium travel, and Silver Feather travel. The rates start at $55 for coach travel and top out at more than $100 for some of the Silver Feather domed excursions. Prices vary based on selected coach and style of travel.

Guests aboard A&M trains will be greeted by friendly conductors who complement excursions by sharing detailed knowledge about the area’s rich history as the train travels through the scenic Boston Mountains of the rugged Ozarks.

The Boston Mountains are a deeply dissected plateau and are bordered by the Springfield Plateau to the north and the Arkansas Valley to the south.  Summits reach elevations of just less than 2,600 feet. There are many trees and tree-lined knobs to behold.

Regular excursions depart from depots in Springdale, Van Buren, and Fort Smith. The trains feature seating in coaches and in a domed car (for Silver Feather travelers) and in a cupola caboose. It’s authentic – no air conditioning or heating, and each excursion accommodates a limited number of travelers.

Special events are also available aboard the trains. From fall foliage tours to holiday and pajama trains, there are both moving and stationary events available throughout the year. The Holiday Express Train, for instance, featured each November and December, features a visit with Santa at a depot, servings of hot chocolate, and Christmas caroling during the one-hour special trip. There’s even a New Year’s Eve party aboard Car 109 – the Spirit of Arkansas train. Birthday parties on an A&M train can also be arranged.

Taking a trip aboard one of the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad trains is not going to take a traveler anywhere quickly, but the excursions will provide long-lasting memories. For more information visit amtrainrides.com.

 

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