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The North Arkansas Line
The Narrows, Gateway to Eureka Springs
The North Arkansas Line Collection is dedicated to preserving the memory of a rather obscure railroad built from Joplin, Missouri to Helena, Arkansas. Operated over the years under various corporate entities, it was best known as the Missouri & North Arkansas (M&NA) Railroad - or as the locals often referred to it, the "May Never Arrive."

Construction of this railroad began in 1882 on the original route from Seligman, Missouri to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The railroad eventually expanded north to Joplin, Missouri and south to Helena, Arkansas - a total distance of 365 miles.

In 1946, a devastating strike hit the railroad hard and the M&NA soon filed for abandonment. By 1949, most of the railroad had been scrapped. The largest segment that remained in place stretched from Seligman, Missouri to Harrison, Arkansas, and operated as the Arkansas & Ozarks (A&O) Railroad.
             
Missouri & North Arkansas #18 at the Eureka Springs shops, around 1910
May 1960 brought torrential rains that washed out several miles of track along the railroad. Coupled with constantly declining revenues, the owners of the A&O decided to finally throw in the towel and file for complete abandonment. By the spring of 1962, all rails of the A&O had been removed and the North Arkansas Line became a distant memory in the Ozark hills.

In the early 1980s, the Younger brothers leased several miles of former right of way in Beaver, Arkansas. By rebuilding the track from Poker Bluff across the White River Bridge through the Narrows, they completed the foundation for a new tourist railroad. The new Eureka Springs Railroad operated for several years and also helped to create the Missouri & Arkansas Railroad Museum. However by the mid 80s, the Eureka Springs Railroad closed its doors, the track was removed (again) and on June 25, 1987, the transfer of assets from Beaver to the new Boone County Heritage Museum in Harrison was completed. About the same time a few miles away, the Dortch family began to rebuild the old railroad from the wye at Junction to the depot in Eureka Springs. Today, thanks to their efforts, passengers can still travel over a portion of the old right of way on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad.
  • All Aboard For Harrison!
         Harrison secures arrangements for its new railroad. From the Harrison Times, Saturday, August 25, 1900.
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