Northwest Arkansas Steam Locomotives
Northwest Arkansas is the home of Walmart, J.B. Hunt, Tyson Foods and
no steam locomotives. However, if you drive about one hour in most any
direction, you are able to see one.
Bellefonte - Rusty Wheels Old Engine Club
The locomotive displayed at the Rusty Wheels Old Engine Club was built
by Baldwin in 1919 as number 10 for the Portland Cement Company in
Petoskey, MI. In 1955 Portland Cement merged with Penn-Dixie Cement.
In 1965 the locomotive was sold to Kenneth Stanaback of Grand Rapids, MI.
When Ken receive the locomotive, it may have been an 0-6-0T. He removed the
saddle tank and added a pony truck. During the 17 years that Kenneth owned
the locomotive, he refurbished it to like-new condition. He single-handedly,
reflued the boiler and it retested perfectly. He replaced all the old water
lines with new piping. He found some used trucks and built a coal tender for
it (he received it sans tender). He removed the old dilapidated cab and built
a new one. He never got the chance to build a proper-looking cow-catcher.
The red one seen in this photo was added by a subsequent owner. Ken had
plans to run the locomotive on excursions to a suburb of Grand Rapids.
However, because of the difficulty in obtaining insurance, those plans
In 1982, because of a lack of space, Kenneth had no choice but to donate the
locomotive to Reat and Dreat Younger of Springfield, MO (other brothers Cleat
and Gleat were not part of the railroad operation) for use on the Eureka
Springs and Beaver Railroad in Beaver, AR where it was renumbered to #4.
The Eureka Springs and Beaver Railroad had one other steam locomotive:
a Davenport 0-4-0T which is now displayed at the About Faces Photography
studio in Springfield, MO. Around this time (March, 1981) the Eureka
Springs & North Arkansas Railway began operations out of Eureka Springs, AR.
The competition from the ES&NA and flooding in 1985 which wiped out the
White River bridge caused operations to stop on the Eureka Springs and
What happened next is a little bit unclear. The locomotive may have
been obtained by the Boone County Historical Society of Harrison, AR.
In 1987 they leased #4 and much of the equipment to what was going to
be the Krazy Horse Ranch and Railroad Park near Branson, MO. That theme
park never materialized. #4 was stranded in Branson and a set of trucks
somehow ended up in a river. An agreement was finally reached with the
Rusty Wheels Old Engine Club who moved the locomotive to their property
located just south of Bellefonte (which is just south of Harrison).
This is where the locomotive sits today.
Twice a year (Spring and Fall) the engine club hosts a show where many old
engines and tractors are displayed and run. In the past they have fired
up this locomotive and moved it back and forth on the very short track
on which it is displayed. They don't try to run it any more because the
boiler condition is unknown.
Eureka Springs - ES&NA Railway
The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway began in 1980 when Bob Dortch
Jr moved his three steam locomotive from his Scott & Bearskin Lake Railroad
in Texas to Eureka Springs, AR. The three locomotives were:
Baldwin 2-6-0 #1 was moved in the late 2000s to Reader, AR where it is still
operational. Baldwin 2-6-0 #2 ended up at the Orange Blossem Cannonball in
Tavares, FL where it is undergoing restoration. The ES&NA acquired another
locomotive in 1988 from the city park in Benton, AR. It is Dierks Lumber
& Coal #226, a Baldwin 2-8-2 built in 1927. I believe it was intended
to restore this locomotive to operation but that takes a lot of time
and money. In 1983 the ES&NA bought Crosby Lumber & Manufacturing 2-truck
Shay built by Lima in 1918. It was displayed on their property until 1989
when it was sold to the Lowville & Beaver River Railroad in Lowville, NY.
One other steamlocomotive displayed at the railway is a 600mm Orenstein &
Koppel 0-4-0T mounted on a pedestal. This locomotive came from Marco Polo
Park near Bunnell, FL which existed between 1967 and 1975.
- Cabbage stack wood burning 1907 Baldwin 2-6-0 #1 from the W.T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company
- Oil burning 1907 Baldwin 2-6-0 #2 from the W.T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company
- 1922 ALCO 2-6-0 #201 built for the Panama Canal construction but later brought to the Moscow, Camden & Augustine Railroad in Texas
Fort Smith - Trolley Museum
SLSF 4003 was built by ALCO in 1919 as a USRA Light Mikado for the
Pennsylvania Railroad. The PRR rejected many of the locomotives in this
order and the locomotives were reassigned to the St. Louis - San Francisco
Railway. It was retired in 1952, donated to the City of Fort Smith and
placed on display in Kay Rodgers Park in 1954. It was moved from the park
to the Fort Smith Trolley Museum in the early 2000s.
Just west of Northwest Arkansas live a few steam locomotives in Tulsa.
Tulsa - Route 66 Village
SLSF 4500 was built by Baldwin in 1942. It was assigned to pull the "Meteor"
between St. Louis and Tulsa. 4500 was demoted to freight service in 1947.
After only eight years in service it was retired in 1950. After cosmetic
restoration in Springfield, MO, it was donated to the City of Tulsa and put
on display in the Mohawk Park Zoo in 1954. In 1991 it was acquired by a
railroad preservation group and moved to Owasso to be cosmetically restored.
Work stalled on the locomotive around 2000. Another group called the
"Save the Old Frisco 4500 for Tulsa Committee" acquired the locomotive
and had it moved to the South Kansas & Oklahoma Lines (SKOL) Tulsa yard
in 2004. This group continued the restoration process and restored 4500
to its original red, white and blue color scheme of the Meteor. In 2011
4500 was relocated to the new Route 66 Village park on Southwest Blvd.
#207 was built by Baldwin in 1917 for the Texas, Oklahoma, and Eastern
Railroad at Wright City, OK. It was then sold to Dierks Lumber & Coal
Company. It was donated to the Tulsa Exposition Fair Corporation and
placed on display near the Midway area in the Tulsa Fairgrounds in 1963.
It was moved in 1970 to its present location near the intersection of
21st Street and Louisville.
The Tulsa Zoo operates two 24" Chance locomotives. These are relatively
new (2009) C.P. Huntington replicas. One is named "Safari Train". The
other is named "Bear Express".
Just north of Northwest Arkansas is the entertainment town of Branson, MO.
Branson is the home of Silver Dollar City -- a beautiful, well run theme
park set in a heavily wooded area just west of the city.
Branson - Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City has five 24" steam locomotives. Currently three are
operational, one is out of service, and one is on display as a derelict
locomotive that supposedly crashed while going too fast around a curve.
The locomotive that is out of service was the first steam locomotive at
Silver Dollar City. It was a 1922 Davenport 0-4-0T that was acquired in
1961 from Adventure Town in Alexandra Bay, NY. It was converted
to a 4-4-2 with a tender for operation at SDC. Some report it as a 2-4-2
and yet others say it is a 2-4-0. It was retired from operation at SDC in
the 1980s. It is currently stored so it is difficult to get any current
information on it (including the wheel arrangement).
Two 1934 Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0Ts were purchased from Peter Buescher &
Sohn of Mueater, Germany in 1965. They were both converted to 2-4-0Ts.
One, #43 is still in service today. The other, #7 is displayed as a
derelict locomotive beside the tracks.
Another 1938 Orenstein & Koppel 2-4-0T, former Kies and Schotterwerke
Nordmark, #13 was acquired and is also in use today.
Finally, a 1940 Ceskomoravska Kolben Danek 2-4-0T was acquired and is
also in use as #76.
There are reports of a sixth locomotive at SDC. It has been reported
that a 1918 Henschel 0-4-0T is in storage. Its construction number is
15918 and is named Feldbahn. However, I have heard from one reliable
source that SDC never had such a locomotive.
Springfield - About Faces Photography
The steam locomotive at About Faces Photography has an interesting history.
It was built by Davenport for Western States Portland Cement and later
sold to Long-Bell Lumber in Joplin. In 1964 it was acquired by the Ozark
Mountain Scenic Railroad which I believe was in Springfield. In 1975 it
was acquired by the Eureka Springs and Beaver Railroad in Beaver, AR.
It operated there as #3 until 1985 when that tourist railroad ceased
operations. In 1987 #3 was sold to the Krazy Horse Ranch and Railroad
Park near Branson, MO. I have no information on when or why it was moved
to About Faces Photograph. Apparently, it is now used as a photo prop.
Looking at the locomotive today, and the deplorable condition that it is
in, it is hard to believe that it operated only 25 years ago.
Springfield - Signature Commercial Real Estate
I found this H.K. Porter 2-4-0 on a trip to Springfield, MO in 2012.
It is displayed in one of the more unlikely places next to a Signature
Commercial Real Estate office near the intersection of South Campbell
Avenue and West Walnut Lawn Street. It is a somewhat recent addition to
its location according to street (not shown) and arial (shown) views in
Google maps. The side of the cab is lettered Cannonball Express
and a number 9 plate is on the front.
It is a 1919 H.K. Porter locomotive that once worked for Roden Coal.
More recently it was owned by George Morrison of Maryville, TN. It is now
owned by Jim D. Morris. Future plans for this locomotive are not known.
If anyone has any more information on the history or details of this
locomotive, please let me know.
Springfield - Grant Beach Park
After retirement, in 1953, Frisco 4524 was placed in Grant Beach Park.
Through the years, 4524 lost many of its parts to vandals. In the spring
of 2011 a cosmetic restoration effort that lasted a number of years was
completed. Many of the original gauges that were stolen in the 70s and
80s were somehow recovered. The locomotive is now beautifully painted
and is under a cover.