Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad
MNA #1023, an EMD SD20
|Locale||Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri|
|Dates of operation||1992–present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Length||527 miles (848 km)|
The Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad (reporting mark MNA) is a Class III short-line railroad headquartered in Carthage, Missouri. It is not to be confused with the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad which connected Joplin, Missouri with Helena, Arkansas from 1906 to 1946.
MNA operates approximately 527 miles (848 km) of line in Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri. Its main line is the former Missouri Pacific White River Line, that extends 384.1 miles (plus 40 miles (64 km) of trackage rights on Union Pacific Railroad lines) from Kansas City, Missouri, to Newport in Jackson County in northeastern Arkansas. (MNA interchanges with Union Pacific at both points). MNA also interchanges with BNSF Railway at Aurora, Springfield, and Joplin, Missouri, and with the Kansas City Southern Railway in Joplin. The line no longer interchanges with the BNSF mainline at Lamar or Carthage, Missouri. MNA operates a secondary line over the former MKT route that served St. Louis, Missouri from Parsons, KS. A few miles of track between the Kansas/Missouri State Line and Ft. Scott, Kansas still exists, but has been abandoned for several years. MNA serves an ADM Bio-Diesel Plant that is located to the west of Deerfield, Missouri. MNA also uses the former MKT route up to Clinton, Missouri to serve a few customers there, as well as a coal-fired power plant near La Due, Missouri.
MNA also operates several miles of industrial trackage in the city of Springfield; this segment is disconnected from the rest of the MNA system and traffic is hauled via BNSF to and from the Aurora interchange.
MNA traffic generally consists of coal, grain, frozen foods, minerals, steel, chemicals, and asphalt. MNA operates unit coal trains to major power plants at Independence and Montrose, Missouri. In 2008, the railroad hauled around 111,000 carloads.
The Branson Scenic Railway operates the "Ozark Zephyr" from Branson, Missouri. Trains operate mostly south into Arkansas but occasionally north to Galena, Missouri, depending on MNA traffic. The restored 1906 depot is across from Branson Landing in historic downtown Branson.
The line was initially chartered in 1883 and was part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad's mainline between Kansas City and Memphis, Tennessee. The MNA began operations on December 13, 1992 and purchased the 102-mile (164 km) segment from Bergman to Guion, Arkansas, from Union Pacific. Other operated segments are leased from the Union Pacific and BNSF Railroads. The route from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Nevada and Clinton, Missouri, was once part of the mainline of the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad from Parsons, Kansas, to Sedalia and St. Louis, Missouri. The track between Nevada, Missouri and Fort Scott, Kansas is still an active and important link between the M&NA and BNSF railway to Kansas City, Missouri.
- "RailAmerica's Empire". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing. June 2010.
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