History

The A&M was founded in 1985 by an investor group dedicated to creating and maintaining a first-class, profitable operation. That simple, but effective, vision continues to drive the A&M’s business practices today. Spun off by the then Burlington Northern Railroad, the A&M has since invested millions of dollars to improve service to customers, enhance public and Company safety, and catalyze economic growth in the 139 mile Monnett, MO to Fort Smith, AR corridor.

Most rail historians recognize the A&M’s tracks as part of the old St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) Railway system built in the 1880’s. Some vestiges remain of the Frisco, most notably in the Fayetteville, Van Buren, and Fort Smith (AR) passenger depots. And, at various locations, the true rail researcher can decipher the old bones of intersecting railroads or branches long since abandoned, such as the Cassville and Exeter (MO) Railroad and the Frisco’s Fayetteville to St. Paul (AR) branch.

In the early years, the principal items hauled consisted of timber, locally grown produce and livestock, eastern and Midwest manufactures, and… passengers!

Today, our traffic mix has somewhat changed. Located in the heart of the country’s savviest poultry-raisers, we inbound significant quantities of grain and grain products as feed for industry giants Tyson Foods, George’s, Cargill, OK Feeds, and Willowbrook Foods. And while we don’t transport live animals any more, we do move a lot of frozen poultry for Frez-N-Stor, Zero Mountain, OK Foods Industries, and Arkansas Refrigerated, as well as canned vegetables for Allen Canning.

You can complete your gourmet meal from the wares produced by our prized customers--we deliver the ingredients for Newly Weds Foods (batters, breadings, and seasoning systems), Pepper Source (tangy, spicy sauces), and Pappas Foods (juices and syrups). To store any leftovers, Glad manufactures storage bags and plastic wrappings from raw products we transport. And the Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. and Georgia-Pacific plants we serve provide the cups and containers for the occasion.

Business expansion by Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart, J.B. Hunt, and other organizations continues to fuel major population growth in our service territory. To meet burgeoning construction demands, we have developed a healthy local sand transport network for major concrete producers Arkhola Sand and Gravel, Mid-Continent Concrete, Beaver Lake Concrete, Tune Concrete, Kay Concrete, and Barry County Ready Mix, among others. We are also proud of the growth in cement shipments for Ash Grove Cement, as well as wood and timber loads for National Home Centers, Ridout Lumber, Meeks Lumber, Midwest Walnut, and others.

We also ship numerous commodities for other industrial concerns, including scrap steel for Davis Iron and Metal, Rogers Iron and Metal, and Roll Off Services; pellets for St. Gobain Proppants, and plastic materials for Van Buren Pipe.

Choice and competition constitute key reasons why our customers select the A&M. We directly interchange with three Class 1 railroads, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (at Monett, MO), the Union Pacific (at Van Buren, AR) and the Kansas City Southern Railway (in Fort Smith, AR). We additionally handle direct barge-rail shipments at the Arkansas River ports of Van Buren and Fort Smith. Customers not located directly on our rail line can also take advantage of rail prices through transloading and trucking services offered by an affiliate, Ozark Transmodal, Inc., as well as by third parties with a variety of capabilities.

In 1990, the A&M commenced its passenger excursion service as a means to enhance tourism and community relations. We offer a choice in services to accommodate all who wish to take in the rugged scenery of the Boston Mountains in a civilized fashion.

Running a modern railroad today requires significant investments in infrastructure, technology, safety, and supporting services. The A&M remains committed to conducting its business for the long-term and, accordingly, has invested, and will continue to invest, significant sums for that purpose.

We hope you will further read on to gain an even greater comprehension of our business, our approach, and what we offer to our customers. Click here to view our locomotive roster.

If you have freight to move, contact us.