Arborway T.T. and Northwestern Miniature Railroad

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The Arborway, T.T. & Northwestern Railroad near Steelville, MO, is one of the largest private miniature railroads in North America. It is located on Woodsvalley Farm in Crawford County, gateway to the Missouri Ozarks. Planning, building, and operating the

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ATT&NW was the ambitious project of St. Louis investment banker and businessman John R. Woods, whose goal was to create a unique and authentic gathering place for his large circle of family, business associates and friends.

The ATT&NW is considered a "Grand Scale" railroad. The rails are spaced 15" apart, and everything is about a third actual size, but the technology and engineering are the same as "real" railroads. The freight cars, all equipped with air brakes and hand brakes just like their full-size prototype, can each weigh as much as a big motorcycle or a small car, and the railroad's largest locomotive weighs about ten tons. As a result, operations are undertaken under the guidance of railroad rulebooks with "Safety First" as the theme of all activity.

The ATT&NW Railroad does not have a set operation schedule but is open to group events.

The ATT&NW has about 5 miles of track on the ground; the main line run is around 3- 5/8 miles long, and most of it is on a 2% up or down grade. The railroad features a spectacular single- and double-track main line graded to actual railroad specifications, the same automatic block signal and radio communication systems used by large railroads, two tunnels, one wood trestle, a 2,500 gallon treated-water tower feeding two stand pipes; two diamonds, a ten-stall roundhouse and a 40-foot turntable. The maintenance shop is equipped with a complete machine shop, open pit track and overhead cranes; a four-track car barn is nearby for inside storage of the railroad's sizeable collection of rolling stock. A three-story depot building greets visitors as they first arrive. The ATT&NW runs in hilly, wooded Ozark terrain which the railroad shares with white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and other species of Missouri wildlife. The predominant forests are oak and hickory, and many of the railroad's wooden ties came from the property.

The "crown jewel" of the ATT&NW is steam locomotive #801, a 4-8-4 "Northern" class locomotive custom designed and built for the railroad by Darrell Klompmaker, Rich Saric, Alex Beams and crew at Merrick Light Rail Equipment Works in Wisconsin. Other motive power includes diesel, gas and electric locomotives and railcars from a variety of builders. Including all the equipment for Glen Bell founder of Taco Bell restaurant railroad Bell Gardens Farm.

The ATT&NW cannot operate without a lot of help from a wide variety of railroad enthusiasts who share our interest in railroad history and technology. An active and growing "Friends of the Railroad" group volunteers time and talents to come out and work and play, and to instruct a younger generation on railroad technology from another era. Active "Friends" come from as far away as North Carolina and Wisconsin on a regular basis, and we solicit new friends to share talents with us. As the railroad grows, so do the friendships, and that's a big part of what this railroad is all about.

Following the tragic death of John Woods in October, 2008, the Woods family decided to follow John's wishes and keep the railroad intact. A non-profit private operation foundation has been set up, and a board of directors now charts the course that the ATT&NW takes for the future, preserving John Woods' dream, making railroading history come alive, and further educating the younger generation on railroading. The does not have a set operation schedule but is open for company parties, school groups, kidís birthday parties, and small groups see the group event page for more details. Like us on Facebook for all the latest information on the railroad. We welcome your questions and comments.

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