Saturday, March 13, 2010

Alcos, Ozarks, and overcast skies

Friday, October 23

It had been 14 years since I'd photographed the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad and its fleet of Alco locomotives. Almost every year, I've hoped to get up to the Fayetteville area for a return trip, only to have other plans or priorities take precedence.

So I was a little disappointed that my first visit in a decade and a half was beset by such undesirable weather: cold, breezy, and heavily overcast. At least the fall colors looked nice...
And the good news is that I managed to catch both of the A&M's Friday trains, beginning with the passenger train from Springdale to Van Buren.

Caboose brings up the rear of the southbound passenger train to Van Buren, photographed at Winslow.

Scenic highlights: Arkansas & Missouri passenger train rolls through a bucolic landscape near Mountainburg, Arkansas.

Vibrant fall colors made the trip worthwhile...

As the passenger train approached the Van Buren / Fort Smith area, I gave up the chase and headed north, planning to intercept the Monett Turn on its return to Springdale from Monett, Missouri. I found a nice location about 20 miles north of the Arkansas - Missouri state line to sit and wait. Overcast skies dampened the visual scene, but those 5 Alcos -- with about 50 cars in tow -- SOUNDED great.

Southbound Monett turn at Exeter, MO

In your face: A&M # 60 leads the southbound Monett Turn at Avoca, AR

It was my least productive day of the trip in terms of photography, but still nice to see the A&M again. I had a few hours of driving ahead of me... I'd be meeting my friend Andy in Kansas City that night. Wouldn't you know it... the skies began to clear up around Carthage, a harbinger of improved photographic potential the following day in KC.

Stay tuned...


np: New Order - "Love Vigilantes"

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