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That North Arkansas Thang (Pic) 12/17/11


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#1 laming

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:40 PM

Hi All!! Welp... in spite of the silly work hours of late (back to nights again on Monday!)... I haven't done much hands-on work in RE. (Hands-on: is that possible in V scale? :huh: ) HOWEVER... I HAVE been surfin' and diggin' up stuff on the internet about railroading and living in the Ozarks back in the TOC19 era. Fascinating stuff. OH... and while I was surfin' eBay for North Arkansas goodies, of all things, I found a 1948 issue of "Railroad" magazine that contained an article on the Missouri & North Arkansas... so I purchased it! I thought it would be very interesting to compare Railroad's account of the M&NA to the later authoritive work by Dr. James Fair Jr (first published in '69). I didn't have much hope of finding any previously unviewed (by me) North Arkansas pics therein. (I'm beginning to think I've almost seen them all!) Once I received the mag, sure enough, there were a few discrepencies between Dr. Fair's work and the quickie article thrown together. HOWEVER (#2).... There WAS a picture I have never seen before!! In fact, I posted to the long-dormant North Arkansas Yahoo group about it, and the list came back to life in regards to replies. Turns out this article is the ONLY place the photo has been seen. Now, how cool is that? This new discovery was not without its mysteries though. For starters, the picture captioned by saying #3 is coming into "Hanson" Arkansas. There t'weren't no animal on the North Arkansas. For reasons too tedious to go into here, the picture was apparently taken during the "Grand Arrival" festivities that accompanied the North Arkansas arriving at Harrison. This picture was shot NEAR Harrison, but not IN Harrison, and certainly not in a mysterious "Hanson" AR. Anyway... enough of my drivel... let's take a look at the pic. I'll be back later with some more tidbits and musings concerning my long-time interest in the ES Rwy/StLNA/M&NA/M&A/A&O. You know, my "North Arkansas Thang". :D

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#2 laming

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:06 PM

So what can I say about this North Arkansas Thang? Though it may seem I'm quite flighty... I'm really not. :rolleyes: (At least, that's what I tell myself! ;) ) Actually, though, stop and think: For the most part, the projects I flit to and from that you read about on this forum the past several years, all concern my dependable interests. Namely: * TOC19 railroading in the Ozarks. * TOC19 railroading in the Rockies. So, when I'm in an Ozarks mood, and want to work on a route, that easy. It's either: Frisco (especially the St. Paul Branch), the North Arkansas, or the Black Mountain & Eastern. When I'm in a Colorado mood: CM, or narrow gauge! See? Simple! Now, about that North Arkansas Thang... This internet thing is simply amazing. For more than two decades, my North Arkansas literature/data was very limited. Then the internet thing happened. Though it took it a while to take off, once it did, the information exchange and growth simply exploded. Via the wonders of the internet, I now have a North Arkansas folder on my hard drive that contains nearly 500 megabytes of prototype info/pics and etc! The Frisco Lines folder is about the same, maybe a bit bigger. There is a Yahoo email list devoted to the North Arkansas, and the archived website is getting ready to be reactivated. (Us North Arkansas Yahoo's are going to fund it via donations!) Who'd a thunk this back in 1976 when I first became interested in the more-than-obscure North Arkansas? Because of the internet, since my creation and release of the North Arkansas in 2004, my database has grown to include: * Copies of the prototype track charts for the entire 360 mile line. (Dated in the late 1930's.) * Sanborn maps for strategic locations, including Eureka Springs as it was in 1892, 1909, and 1914! (Plus 1930's using the above mentioned track charts!) * Pictures of almost every locomotive that was used on the line. * I have photo map access that shows traces of roadbed that were previously not noted on updated topo maps. (Such as between Beaver and Seligman.) * Detailed maps of the yard, shops, and industry spurs of Harrison... including notes on when tracks came/went! * More info and tidbits as well as photographic scenes. Anyway, because of all the data and information I have amassed since my release of the North Arkansas route in 2004... it should come as no surprise that over the ensuing years, I have tinkered along and my basic North Arkansas route has grown. In fact, the rails now run from Seligman to Harrison, some 70 miles or so. Over those years, when I would work on the route, it was always rewarding to see another segment of rails extended as the virtual North Arkansas ever so slowly comes to life via MSTS. I must admit, that "one of these days", it is a goal of mine to have the North Arkansas' track modeled reasonably accurately from Joplin to Harrison. This will include heavy remakes of existing towns on the as-released North Arkansas to bring them in line with prototype and the better data I now have. (In otherwords, I'm undoing, or will be undoing, the towns that I significantly enhanced for the released North Arkansas route, instead I'm trying to have them reflect the actual town more accurately.) I'm also realigning main line curves to better reflect the degree of curvature used on the prototype. When the released North Arkansas route was created, I only had MSTS default track pieces to work with. The extension was converted to XTracks a few years ago, so now I can go back along the main line and model the curves more accurately. Anyway... enough typing for now. I thought you might enjoy seeing what has been accomplished off and on the past few years when I've been on a kick with my "North Arkansas Thang". First up: A simple pic showing the mainline twisting and turning among the tumbled hills near Alpena, Arkansas. By the way, speaking of data I've learned about the North Arkansas... I learned that zinc was shipped from Alpena, as well as Harrison! Note how the track adheres to the markers nicely. (To be continued.)

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#3 laming

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:11 PM

Next the camera is looking at Harrison, Arkansas. Again, note the relation of the markers to the track! (To be continued...)

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#4 laming

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:16 PM

Next is another view of Harrison. Note how the marker "Back_Shop_Area" goes dead center into a scale sized mockup of the Back Shop? As luck would have it, the North Arkansas' Back Shop building survives to this day and is clearly evidenced in a photomap. SO... I was able to place a marker smack dab in the middle of the protoype building, and use a scale sized model of same placed correctly and used as a reference point for the rest of the yard! Aren't I smart? :D Again... I'm pleased with the way the markers and elements are coming together at Harrison. The track at Harrison is about 70% complete. (To be continued...)

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#5 laming

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:19 PM

Lastly, for pictorial references, here's a couple shots of Harrison. The one titled "Harrison" reflects the yard and shops appearance during the 1930's. The one titled Shops 2 were taken shortly after completion and Harrison becoming a division point in 1912-1913. Welp... that's all for now. Now you know more 'bout my long-time interest in this North Arkansas Thang!!

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#6 S. Weaver

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Andre! I tell you, your mind and curiosity are as fertile as a rabbit ... Always a good read coming back here. Working nights ... somewhere I read someone said, "There's no dark like railroad dark." Watch your step and keep your glim trimmed.

#7 laming

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:11 PM

Hi Steve!!

Thanks Andre!


You're welcome!

I tell you, your mind and curiosity are as fertile as a rabbit...


:P

When I'm interested in something... I like to learn about it. As mentioned above, those TOC19 railroads all capture my imagination and interest... so... the quest is almost never-ending!

Always a good read coming back here.


Well... I always enjoy having you share some input, too... so it works both ways!

Speaking of my "North Arkansas Thang":

Tonight I've pretty much confirmed what I suspected: The North Arkansas did not own their own facilities in Joplin, Mo. Instead, they were a tennant at the KCS facilities.

For some years, I wasn't sure about is what they did for facilities once at Joplin. Seeing as Joplin was the northern terminal for the First District (the entire line even), that would mean originating/terminating freight trains and passenger trains. Plus, it will mean engines that need serviced (and possibly light repair), cars that will need to be classified and/or blocked, cabooses that will need layover storage, etc. In otherwords, they need access to a yard and engine service. Seeing as it was via KCS tracks on which they arrived to Joplin, and IF there was never any North Arkansas owned land and yard facilities at Joplin, then it does indicate they had a joint arrangement with the KCS.

If my above deduction is the correct understanding, then it helps me to grasp the North Arkansas way of doing things at Joplin. BUT... now it means I need to learn about the KCS facilities at Joplin so I can (eventually) replicate same in my virtual effort!

Now: Wonder if they had any online business to switch at Joplin? Also wonder if they ran their own transfers to/from the other Joplin railroads, or if the KCS handled the North Arkansas' transfers for them?

Yup, the more I learn, the more I want to know. :)

Working nights ... somewhere I read someone said, "There's no dark like railroad dark." Watch your step and keep your glim trimmed.


Indeed... night adds "unique" challenges when switching long cuts/etc. Fortunately, for the most part, my days of pounding the chat are behind me... but as you know, an Engineer has a whole new set of things to be mindful about.

#8 laming

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:32 PM

A FWIW Update:

On that last point about joint facilities at Joplin: Within just the past 24 hours I have learned the following (below) from a fellow North Arkansas enthusiast that frequents the North Arkansas Yahoo group I'm a part of. John Chambers responded to the questions I had about Joplin and this was his input:

"The MNA was one of the founders and members of the Joplin Union Depot Company (JUD) which was a separate company founded for the purpose of building and running the Joplin Union Depot complex which included the station, freight yard and engine facilities for its members. The other railroads that joined with the MNA to build JUD were the KCS, MKT and Santa Fe. The other roads in Joplin, Frisco and Mop, had their own stations and facilities. Both the Santa Fe and the MNA gained access to Joplin over trackage rights on the KCS. The Santa Fe came down from Pittsburg, Kansas and the MNA up from Neosho. The JUD still stands (sort of) and is owned by the state of Missouri who confiscated it from a woman who tried to “restore” the station using state grants but failed and didn’t pay her loans back. The building stands gutted and windowless with a chain link fence around it to try and keep the transients and vandals out. It has been discussed this year by the city of Joplin to make the station the local museum complex but with all of the financial problems cities are going through I think this is just going to be pipe dream. Next time you’re up this way let me know and I can take you on a field trip to the Joplin area. The railroad history of that city is very interesting."

So, there you have it: Joint facilities with the KCS, Katy, and ATSF!!! Now, how cool is that? Makes me think that getting to Joplin will be a MUST DO on the route "one of these days".

However, I will absolutely, positively, HAVE to "rationalize" the joint facilities as best I can to avoid overbuilding the area. Helping me to restrain is the fact I've also learned the North Arkansas had NO customers in Joplin. Only connections. Now, whether I'll have the resource leeway to model connections is still uknown. Won't know that until I've added the tiles and created the terrian and head that way in RE to how the tiles lay among the city of Joplin. Hopefully it will be spread over several and not on one primary tile? We'll see... again... "one of these days"!

BY the way...

IF any of you find any of the above interesting and would like to see why I wet my pants about things North Arkansas... consider purchasing the only historical account of the plucky little line in Arkansas via Amazon. There are some VERY reasonably priced copies of same offered at this time. Here's a direct link!!

http://www.amazon.co...l...p;x=12&y=25

Time's winding down... got to head off to work the good ol' night job. <_<

#9 august1929

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:43 PM

Hi Andre, Been a whiles since I dropped by but even so I can't believe that the last post here was 20th December. Gone kinda quiet -_- I don't have much to add, except that every time I do drop in it makes me wish I was back in those heady days of MSTS, particularly when the StL&NA then the A&O Sub came out :). They were exciting times and I have to say that those photos of the real thing still get my mouth watering. I spend most of my time in the UK nowadays (virtually and literally) I don't fire up MSTS that often (mostly to take shots for Gaetan - would be good if he did some updated Alcos for the A&O :) ) and I have found that Railworks hasn't done that much for me with US routes - some good ones (like Rick Grout's Portland Terminal), but none yet with the atmosphere that you were able to produce in this old workhorse Andre. There is the up and coming Durango & Silverton which should do it, if my computer can run it :rolleyes: . Keep it going Andre - looking forward to some updates. My best wishes to you and your family for 2012. Rodster

#10 laming

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:11 PM

Hi Rod! Really good to see you here again. Thanks for the well wishing, too. I do hope that you and your family are doing well. Ah yes, those "heady" years of MSTS: Those were very fun years, weren't they? We were thrilled to have a simulator to play with... warts and all. I have had SOOO many fun hours with this silly little sim we call MSTS. However, it seems this V scale hobby is doing what all hobbies do: Continue to get so sophisticated that somewhere along the line the fun and excitement begins to be edged to the wayside and the demand for "bigger and better" becomes the order of the day... and God help the company that doesn't deliver "bigger and better" on a consistant basis. As for being "quiet" around here: Yup, this forum that I have enjoyed for nearly 10 years has grown silent. For quite some time, I was posting often, sharing all sorts of things, with the hope of enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded sim enthusiasts. However, for the past few months... it seems I'm the only one doing the talking... and the view numbers have really dwindled. (i.e. View numbers = interest.) I really miss the more frequent visitors/posters that seemed to have drifted off to other interests or sims. So... I guess I'm coming to the conclusion that my VSC forum is on its way to becoming yet another moribund MSTS forum... if not already. That so, I have taken to email correspondance with some of my V scale buds. I don't know... maybe it's time to close the doors here and move along. Hard to do, though, for this place DOES hold so many, many good memories of good camaraderie and fun. :(

#11 lelandfletcher

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

Dear Andre, Location, location, location. Elvas Tower seems like it is a good match for your Vscale time period. Appreciation for your work and dialog may be stronger there. Marc isn't doing MSTS content so that might be effecting the number of MSTS fans visiting here also. Yours truly, Leland

#12 august1929

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:07 PM

Sorry Andre, this has moved away from the original purpose of this thread! Thank you for your wishes though - family well, getting older and sassier - sadly, neither of my lads have an interest in railroads :( Staying off topic, I haven't moved on to other forums within the RW sphere, in fact, I seem to have little in common with most people that post on those. I spend time hanging around looking at the main UK forum (UKTrainsim) following my rejuvinated interest in UK railways, but rarely post - I have given up completely on the Trainsim.com RW forums (too aggressive and pushy - though that clearly doesn't apply to everybody) - I probably spend more time looking at the MSTS forums. Maybe I am getting a bit old, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep track of what is up and coming in RW - so many vendors offering lots of bits and pieces - good in a way, but then the core sim is upgraded, and everyone has to spend time upgrading their wares to be compatible - after a while the end user has no idea where they are, what they have and what they have to upgrade :wacko: - like I said, probably an age thing. Getting more back on track - I am hoping that Open Rails will continue to come up trumps in its advances - no, it isn't going to be like RW in its visuals, but it will allow me to comfortably return to my old favourite. Maybe moving to Elvas would be an idea Andre - would be a real shame to lose those glimpses of railroading heaven :). Getting completely back on track - I have just bought a copy of the North Arkansas Line - just waiting for it to make its way across the Pond... :P Rod

#13 laming

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:31 PM

Hi Fella's! LeLand: I understand what you're saying: Location is important. With 3DTrains shifting emphasis to Railworks, and the shutdown of All_Aboard's forum, and the closing of Dekosoft, etc... I'm the only truly active MSTS delveloper forum here. No doubt, that contributes a lot to the lack of traffic. Elvas Tower is not a commercially-oriented website. Though I have not completed any project for release since the Ozark Northern, I AM still in the commercial business, and sales of my products continue to trickle in. I don't think Elvas Tower and VSC would be a good fit. However, I also think it's more than the above. I also think its: * MSTS isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. * My primary interests (early steam/etc) are far from mainstream. The most vocal and active of MSTS enthusiasts at Trainsim.com are younger and like modern stuff. I'm definitely not in either category, for I'm neither young nor interested in modern stuff! * I make no bones about how that I'm not trying to pursue a project to completion, only a fellow hobbiest enjoying V scale. IF something gets completed to the point it can be share: Great. Otherwise, my forum no longer represents things that are headed for commercial consumption. Thus, my forum has morphed into a blog about things that interest me, and not a showcase for upcoming commerical projects. Could be that many have just lost interest in MSTS in general, or aren't interested in the things I'm interested in. So, I do think its several factors. Rod: Well, it wouldn't really help anything to "formally" close this forum. It comes as an added-value in conjunction with my web space rental. So, no $$ saved by closing. We'll see. As for your purchase of the "North Arkansas Line": I hope you enjoy it tremendously. The history of the North Arkansas literally reads like a fiction novel. You simply won't believe how much wild stuff happened during the course of the North Arkansas' life span!! Everything from natural disasters to tragic accidents, worker uprisings, civil unrest, etc... even a murder! Wild and wooly stuff. Plus, Dr. Fair's literary style is very readable and enjoyable. I think you'll really like it.

#14 chripsch

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hi Andre! Yeah, the book is indeed very fine :-) Do you recall how we pushed the prices at Amazon when you recommended it to us the 1st time?! This were times! Anyway, the interest in MSTS has not dried out yet. You`re not the only one building and enjoying routes. Paul Charland and me are also building new ones, too. Just the circle is getting smaller, seperating the chaff from the wheat. And I am really glad that with you somebody stilll builds stuff from the link and pin times. My personal 2-ft gauge routes are playing in the 20ies -a rare MSTS era- and your ones are even unique with its setting in the 19th century. For this keep on your way! Cheers, Christian

#15 laming

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:19 PM

Hi Christian! Indeed I remember how we all increased the "demand" for the book "The North Arkansas Line". Those of us that begin buying at the first bought the cheaper ones... leaving the expensive ones for the late-comers! Those were indeed good times. I still get a kick out of checking who's looking at what here at 3DTrains forums... and if viewers are looking at a VSC thread, many times I'll join them. Sometimes the viewers bring up old threads I had totally forgotten about... and I get to enjoy them all over again! Just wish we all could still have the fun exchange of posts/replies we used to have. It was really a great time. I understand what you mean about the MSTS circle getting smaller. Odd though, I see former MSTS'ers trying the other sim venues... and yet said venues are plagued with problems and from reading the posts here and there, it appears to me many don't seem to be having very much fun! :unsure: Lots of complaining. I realize MSTS has warts... but overall... it's still a very solid program with a suprising amount of support still, both from commercial endeavors and the freeware sector. Who would have thought that would be the case for a 10 year old program??? In fact, the core MSTS discs are in such demand that a new set of discs is bringing some very serious dollars on the resale market! Amazing. Still, though, it is awfully quiet around here. As for me and link n' pins... I'm hopeless in that realm. :rolleyes: Doesn't take but one cool link n' pin pic to get my juices flowing and I begin longing to have a really nice link n' pin route completed and ready to enjoy. Trouble is, it's that "completing" part that can be so tedious! What's my all time favorite link n' pin route? Hmmm... gotta' think on that a moment. :unsure: Unfortunately... I think it depends on my mood!!! :blush: There's some dandies out there in history land. BUT... as for pure link n' pin, and one that currently resides on my hard drive in one form or another... Probably would have to give the nod to the Colorado Midland. So many things about that line are just... well... awesome. Good to hear from you, Christian. Over the years, you have always been so encouraging and enthusiastic. It is very much appreciated.

#16 tenore

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:44 PM

Andre, I want to tell you that the StLNA is still my railroad of choice when I run the sim, followed by the A & O. I need to download more activities, or learn to create my own, but I am too busy or lazy. Of course part of the attraction for me is knowing the area. I may have already told you this, but my wife and I spent our anniversary in Eureka Springs and I had to go over to Seligman and see if I could figure out the lay of the land. Didn't go to Beaver, the bridge was under water at the time, and I didn't want to go in the back way. After tromping around the White Rock area, I can't imagine anyone foolish enough to try to run a railroad there, but I guess back in the day...

#17 laming

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:09 PM

Hi tenore!

Great to hear that you are still enjoying the StLNA and the A&O!

As for activities... have you tried "Activity Generator" by Skyline Computing? I believe there are Activity Generator templates for both the StLNA and A&O. It's my understanding that you can use the Activity Generator to literally create a new activity in minutes!!! No kiddin'.

"One of these days"... I've got to reinstall my copy of AG.

After tromping around the White Rock area, I can't imagine anyone foolish enough to try to run a railroad there, but I guess back in the day...


Without a doubt, the most rugged of all the Ozark lines (in regards to topography and gradient/curves) was the Black Mountain & Eastern. If you're ever passing through Cass, Arkansas on Hwy 23... look to the west. See that imposing range of mountains? The BM&E climbed it to the summit and all the way to Combs, AR!! Amazing.