Adventure Arkansas: Excursion Train

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The Fall color change across Arkansas continues. Last week we saw the foliage by plane on Adventure Arkansas. Now it's time to see it as we all get aboard the Excursion Train from Van Buren to Winslow.

It's time to hitch a ride to see the sights along the Arkansas Missouri Railroad. The train transports you through the deepest and untouched parts of the Boston Mountains, something Ruth Denson and Shirley Buckner of Central Arkansas say is new for them.

Ruth Denson, who was visiting from Maumelle, Arkansas says, "We were very excited because we've seen the Ozarks by driving through them, but we have never had the opportunity to ride on a train to view."

We aren't just riding along to see the fantastic fall colors near their peak. Riders also are riding back in time as we look at the history towns along the railroad.

Conductor David Kerr explains what happened when railroad builders reached Kenner, Arkansas.

"When they approached the land owner in Kenner, and the gentleman replies 'Here's what I'll do for you, I'll give you whatever you want, just name the railroad after me.' Of course the railroad was thrilled with that, and they had the influence to make that happen, so the little town of Kenner was renamed Rudy."

We continue and pass through Chester and over bridges, known as trestles, over 100s of feet above valleys. We then weave underneath I49 3 times before approaching Winslow, which also has a unique, railroad related name.

"It was known as Summit Home until 1923. It was then named Winslow in honor of the president of the St. Louis/San Francisco Railroad at the time, Edmond J Winslow. He happened to be named after the town in Winslow, Arizona. So Winslow, Arkansas and Winslow, Arizona have a common relationship."

Of course in order to get to Winslow, you have to get to the light at the end of the Winslow Tunnel, 1700 feet long and the tallest railroad tunnel between the Appalachians and Rockies.

The cars we sit in have a history of their own. Some of these date back to being built in the 1920s. The 3 generations of the Prisuner Family from Van Buren on board picked the best car to see the colors in the Vista Dome.

Overall both Buckner and Denson agree the sights and history are a beautiful combination for their adventure.

"It's so beautiful and so colorful, to see God's handiwork and it is just gorgeous."

"And to really be on top of the trees, and apart of the clouds if just fantastic."

The railroad runs all year including through the December when the train turns into the Holiday Express.

For train times and ticket pricing, check here.

Sponsored by: Adventure Subaru