Arborway Railroad News

A Tradition of Giving • The Julie Hill & Judy Woods Story - Armed & Fabulous
Posted July 2, 2015

The Woods's family's commitment to the future of our Second Amendment freedom spans decades, and their impact will undoubtedly echo for many years to come. John Woods and wife Judy played a key role in helping establish The NRA Foundation. Now, daughter Julie Woods Hill looks to continue that tradition with the newly announced NRA Women's Leadership Forum Endowment.

Watch the video and learn more.

ATT&NW Friends help bring holiday cheer to Minnesota
Posted December 16, 2014

ATTNW in MinnesotaThree familiar faces from the ATT&NW spent the days before Christmas as engine crew on the beautifully-restored Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261, which pulled the "North Pole Express" trains at the St. Paul Union Depot.

Kyle Gherke, Alex Beams and Jim Connor volunteered their time as firemen in the big coal burner, and Connor also served as a train conductor.

Kyle, who just turned 20, has many hours of experience firing and running ATT&NW's locomotive 801, and is a regular fireman on the restored Soo Line 2-8-2 #1003 in Wisconsin. His grandfather Jim is also a seasoned engineer and fireman on the ATT&NW as well as the 1003, a coal burner. Alex Beams regularly assists several steam locomotive operating groups with his unique operational and mechanical expertise.

We're proud that the ATT&NW serves as a training ground for so many young people with an interest in learning how to run and maintain railroads, large or small, steam or diesel. And our mechanical folks, led by Alex Beams, are developing a national reputation as consultants for restoration and operation of vintage railway equipment. John Woods would be happy to know that "Friends" of the ATT&NW are getting dirty, helping preserve railroading history and making new friends a long way from the Missouri Ozarks. We look forward to others in the railway world, large and small, visiting the ATT&NW, and we encourage others with mutual interests in railroading to join our Friends group.

ATT&NW's Newest Friends, from Near and Far
Posted October 6, 2014

The highlight of the 2014 ATT&NW "Friends Weekend" was a visit by our newest friends, from near and far.

Grand Scales railroaders Brendon Hilton, Jon Toumanian, Michael Brehm and Robert Richardson drove non-stop from Southern California to check out our railroad and bring two brand-new diesel locomotives constructed by Brendon and Jon in their High Desert shop. The locomotives are lettered "Mojave Southern" and are first class in style, construction and performance. For five days, the locomotives were put through rigorous paces on the ATT&NW Meramec River and Upper Loop subdivisions and performed flawlessly. We hope to see more of their fine craftsmanship on our railroad in the future, and are excited about the prospect of Mojave Southern steam power operating on our main line.

On Saturday, perhaps the highlight of Friends weekend was the visit by 8 year-old railfan Jonathan Dockins of Jackson, MO. In early summer, Jonathan made national news when, assisted by Make A Wish Foundation and a group of railroad employees, he was allowed to fulfill his ambition of running an Amtrak passenger train over California's Donner Pass.

Jonathan suffers from heart problems and has spent much of his rehabilitation time watching railway videos and dabbling with model railroads. When ATT&NW Board Member David Busse discovered that Jonathan lived just two hours from our Missouri railway, contacts were made with his parents and an invitation extended to join us for "Friends" weekend.

Jonathan toured the Woodsvalley shops, depot and roundhouse complex, learned to operate our Armstrong turntable, and took a tour of the railway main line. As soon as his "orientation" was over, he was put in the engineer’s seat of "F" unit 216 and ran the main line under the supervision of veteran engineer Fred Vergenz. He got a quick orientation on Mojave Southern #2, did some switching in the yard and ran a doubleheader over the Meramec River Subdivision under the supervision of Toumanian, a BNSF Railway locomotive engineer. Finally, after getting the “feel” of the main line, Jonathan manned the fireman’s seat for a run "up the hill" with steam locomotive 801.

We look forward to the annual "Friends Weekend" as a gathering of old acquaintances with a mutual interest in Grand Scales Railway. Jonathan and the guys from California reminded us that making new friends is probably the best part of the weekend.

New Friends New Friends New Friends New Friends

Wedding Bells at ATT&NW
Posted August 26, 2013

The ATT&NW has many crossing bells and various locomotive bells, but wedding bells were first heard on the railway in early July.

Longtime ATT&NW "Friends" volunteers Jenny Vaughn and Chance Beams were married July 13, in a railroad-theme wedding at the Woodsvalley Farm roundhouse. The couple met on the railroad nearly seven years earlier, and Chance proposed during "Friends" weekend last year, so it was only natural that the ATT&NW, a large contingent of "Friends" volunteers, and steam locomotive 801 played a part in the ceremony.

The roundhouse was a great natural amphitheater setting for the ceremony, and the Stout Barn was used for the reception. More than 100 guests were treated to rides behind 801, and the couple took a "victory lap" around the Upper Loop shortly after exchanging vows.

The couple will be living in Campbellsville, KY, although we expect to see Mr. and Mrs. Chance Beams at many ATT&NW gatherings in the future.

ATTNW Wedding ATTNW Wedding ATTNW Wedding ATTNW Wedding ATTNW Wedding

Troop Tracks - We've been riding on the railroad
Posted November 3, 2011

Boy Scout troop 677 visits the ATT&NW.

Boy Scouts

New Coaches
Posted August 26, 2011

New coaches August 23, 2011 the railroad took delivery on two passenger coaches built by Uhrich Locomotive Works #30 and #3.1 They were based on Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge coaches. These coaches were in the process of being built when John Woods passed away in October 2008. Photos.

Boy Scouts Visit ATT&NW
Posted July 29, 2009

Scouts Visit ATT&NW In April 2009, the ATT&NW once again hosted about 80 Boy Scouts from BSA Troop 677 in Wildwood, Missouri. Dan Witthaus of the Union Pacific and Alex Beams of the ATT&NW once again taught the boys railroad basics, including safety, track and roadbed maintenance, and the principles of steam and diesel power. About 20 of the boys also offered several hours of service work, tightening rail joints, hammering loose spikes, and doing track inspection on the main line. There were other activities throughout the day, including fishing and a 5-mile hike. Several boys earned their Railroading merit badge as a result of the visit.

Death of John Woods
Posted October 18, 2008

John Woods The Arborway T.T. and Northwestern Railroad was the dream and the passion of John Riner Woods. Sadly, John passed away Thursday, October 16, as the result of a motorcycle accident.

Services will be held Monday, October 20th at 10:30 a.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 7701 Davis Dr., Clayton, MO 63105. There will be a visitation immediately following the service at the church. The burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Central Presbyterian Church – Building Fund.

Any condolences may be mailed to the office of Arborway Railroad at 1588 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Suite 205, St. Louis, MO 63131.

Obituary | John Woods Remembered | A Tribute to John R. Woods (26 mb Quicktime movie)

Woods Foundation Gathering Held June 27-28, 2008
Posted July 15, 2008

The Woods Foundation gathering was held June 27th and 28th, 2008, it was a great weekend of fun and trains for the whole ATT&NW crew and all who attended the event. Friend's members present were Alex Beams, Don "Tennessee" Angles, Steve Haack, John Caples (Friday only), Mitch Houk, and Alex and Jenny Vaughn. Woods Foundation GatheringThe Woods Foundation attendees consisted mostly of members of the Woods family, about 25 - 30 descendants of Tee Tee Woods (John Woods' mother -- the "T.T." in ATT&NW). There were also a few associates on hand Friday to assist with the business to be conducted by the Woods Foundation.

Friday morning, while Tennessee and Alex V. were using engine 17 to make up 801's train, Alex Beams, Mitch Houk, and Jenny Vaughn along with John Caples and his daughter Kristy polished and readied the 801 for the day's activities. Since there were numerous young members of the Woods family in attendance, a bounce house had been brought in to provide entertainment for the children during times like this when they weren't riding the train. Around 11:30 a.m. the 801 was brought out and coupled to its train beside the car barn where it remained while everyone enjoyed lunch. A delicious lunch of bar-b-que ribs, hamburgers, & hot dogs, along with all the fixings was provided by Cecil and Pearl Stites. After lunch, Alex Beams and Steve Haack got the 801 fired back up and pulled it out to the mainline to give the guests a few rides around the railroad. After several runs down the line, 801 was put away for the day and the train put back in the car barn.

Saturday morning while Mitch Houk and Jenny Vaughn cleaned 801, Alex Beams and Steve Haack were down at the Ozark Mountain Tunnel repairing some signal equipment that was damaged by lightning the night before. One of the special activities that had been requested of the crew was to set up a "Quadruple Caboose Diamond Hitch" for purposes of a photo shoot - Tennessee and Alex V. went about switching up the "Quadruple Diamond Hitch". Using four of the ATT&NW's cabooses, one was to be set on each track leading away from the diamond in the yard - lots of switching practice! Since the 801 was to be pulled out of the roundhouse in the late morning, the diamond hitch could not be completely set up in the first switching "shift".

After all the switching that could be done was accomplished, Tennessee got the new Davenport (#27 - from Hillcrest shops) out and hooked up a small train (2 gondolas and the new Hillcrest caboose) for the kids that were present to be taken on a ride. After one run around the railroad, that train was absorbed back into 801's train as 801 was being pulled out to the mainline. After the 801 was out of the yard, Tennessee and several other Friends finished setting up the Quadruple Diamond hitch. After a short photo session, Tennessee and Alex V. quickly "undid" the Diamond Hitch in light rain. Lunch was once again provided by Cecil & Pearl Stites. When the rain cleared off in the early afternoon, the 801 was hooked up to its train and more rides were given around the railroad.

Around 5 p.m. the 801 was "tied down" in front of the station. The people from Frisco's Restaurant in Cuba had arrived to set up their grill and other equipment needed to prepare the catered meal which would be served at dinner. More new arrivals at this time were Roy Howard and Cindy Woods to set up and provide a sound system, and the parents (Dennis & Robin) and little sister (Allison) of Alex and Jenny Vaughn. Alex, Jenny, & their parents are a bluegrass band known as "The Ozark Alliance" and they were scheduled to provide live bluegrass music while the other guests were being served their steak dinners. The Ozark Alliance began playing at around 6:30 p.m., and the delicious meal was served shortly after. After playing for 50 minutes or so, the band took a break to eat. The stage was turned over to various members of the Woods family who had organized a very entertaining talent show. A wide range of talent was displayed by youngsters and the "young at heart" alike.

When the talent show concluded, it was decided to fire the 801 up and take everyone out for a "late evening run". Tennessee suggested that the musicians hop on the train and play while on the ride, so the band all got on one of the flat cars with hay bales on it and played through the whole trip (except while in the tunnels). After the train arrived back at the station from the first night run, the band disembarked. After a short pause the train departed for the second night run. It was full dark by now, which made the steam from the 801 beautiful as it drifted in front of the colored lights from the signals, etc. When the train got back from that run, the guests were ready to put the children to bed and call it a night. Tennessee, Mitch Houk, Alex V., and several others went about breaking up the 801's train and putting things away, which took until about 11:30 p.m.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend of family, friends, and running trains - well done, crew!

Death of Sandy Perdue
Posted July 7, 2008

Sandy Perdue

Sandy Perdue, wife of ATT&NW webmaster David Perdue, passed away on June 9, 2008. Sandy was born January 17, 1958 on Long Island, New York, she and David were married August 20, 1977 in Woodbridge, Virginia. Sandy is survived by her husband, David, of Rolla, Missouri, daughter Rebecca Kirk and husband Jesse, of Springfield, Missouri, son Andrew Perdue and wife Heather of Kansas City, Missouri, and sons Scott and Daniel Perdue of Rolla, Missouri.

Sandy served as director of the Phelps County Missouri Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) at the time of her death.

The Perdue family wishes to thank all of the Friends of the ATT&NW who sent prayers and condolences.

Boy Scout Troup 677 Outing at ATT&NW
Posted February 12, 2008

Boy Scout weekend at ATTNW

Boy Scout troup 677 learned about railroading at the ATT&NW with about 40 scouts and 20 adults in attendance on the weekend of February 9-10.

Alex Beams did a great job as instructor, and Dan Witthaus of the Union Pacific did a great job drawing parallels of the miniature railroad to the full size railroad (Dan is in charge of right-of-way maintenance for the UP in the St. Louis Division).

As a result of the generosity of Alex, Wilbur Ness, and John Woods, most of the scouts in attendance will be earning their Railroading merit badge.

Photos of the event...

Miniature Railroad Convention
Posted October 16, 2007

The Miniature Railroad Convention (or Grand Scales Convention) proved to be a most enjoyable event for both Judy and myself. The weather couldn't have been better for not only the convention days but also the week leading up to the convention when the last minute preparations were taking place. Activity picked up sharply Miniature Railroad Conventionon Monday September 10th when volunteers, vendors and "Friends" of the railroad started arriving. Each day through the week the activities and the pace quickened as more miniature railroad fans arrived. Vendors as well as individuals who brought their own 15" gauge locomotives created an exciting....almost electric.... atmosphere.

A spirit of teamwork characterized the activities which included some hard work like track and ballast work as well as some last minute efforts on our brand new roundhouse. Many of the photos on our photos page reveal the hard working volunteers and friends. The preparation week culminated on Thursday with a pig roast bar-b-que thank you dinner which included some entertainment and a lot of fun for the vendors and volunteers. Registration on Friday was very heavy but our registration table volunteers kept waiting lines to a minimum. Saturday and Sunday had additional registrations for those unable to attend the entire convention.

Judy and I would like to thank all of the attendees, whether a rail fan, a spouse, child or just a friend of an attending rail fan for being such nice guests. We truly felt a special, warm feeling and would only apologize that we couldn't have spent more time with each of you. With something on the order of 325 total attendees, hopefully you will understand. We have received many photographs and videos from those in attendance and we thank you. Our web master, Dave Perdue, who was on the photo team has been posting them to our web site. Please let us hear from you if you have other suggestions regarding the photos. Our good friends, professional photographers, Linda and Michael Dunn from the Chicago area took a number of photographs and for those interested they may be purchased from the Dunn’s through our web site. All in all we can say it was a most enjoyable event and hope each of the attendees had as much fun being with us as we had being with you.

Thank you,

John Woods

We thought our viewers might like to see letters sent to our Volunteers and our Contributors as they were somewhat responsible for the success of our convention: Volunteers | Contributors

Passing of Marjorie Riner Hawkins Woods
Posted June 19, 2007

Marjorie Riner Hawkins Woods (Tee Tee) and John Woods We are sad to announce the death of Marjorie Riner Hawkins Woods (Tee Tee) on June 13, 2007. Tee Tee was the driving force and impetus behind the building of our railroad. While this project started when she was at an advanced age, Tee Tee was a fan of railroading all her life. Her husband, James Holloway Woods, and her father, John Laurence Hawkins, undoubtedly nurtured her love of trains and railroads. While living in the Glendale suburb of Cincinnati, her father took the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad to work also called the CH&D R.R. (sometimes called the Charges High and Damn Rough Riding) …….an old family joke. Tee Tee and her family moved to from Glendale, Ohio to St. Louis, Missouri when she was 14. James Holloway Woods started his career as a railroad bond analyst in the early 1930's when many railroads were in receivership. He would bring home railroad literature, pamphlets, schedules, timetables, annual reports, photographs, etc. for his family's consumption. Both mother and father took their children on many train rides and excursions. They also spent many hours with their children watching trains, not only in the St. Louis area where they lived, but around the country on their travels. One of Tee Tee’s favorite trips was the St. Louis to Phoenix, Arizona route on the Golden State Limited. Before starting construction, Tee Tee’s son, John Woods, and Tee Tee visited both in person and in print, a number of miniature railroads. Tee Tee had a creative flair and was most helpful in the designing process of the ATT&NW. Tee Tee’s fingerprints are evident throughout our railroad. She enjoyed her visits to the railroad and, in fact, less than 2 months before her death she was riding behind the (4-8-4) Northern steam locomotive the 801. She will be missed by her family, her friends and all who knew her.

New Videos Coming
Posted May 15, 2007

Linda and Michael Dunn The week end of May 11 – 13 we were visited by ATT & N/W RR "Friends" Linda and Michael Dunn from Riverwoods, Illinois a suburb of Chicago. Michael is a professional photographer. A number of the photos on our web page were the product of Michael’s cameras and skills. ( Linda keeps him focused…. No pun intended!) We filmed well over an hour of live steam….. some at nearly twenty MPH. We will be sending DVD's to our web master Dave Perdue for inclusion on the VIDEOS page. The 801 barks well and really pounds the chest when in full throttle uphill mode. We hope you'll like what you will see and hear.