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What is Ozark Mountain Railroading?

The Northview & Frisco was built in the tradition of the small budget, cheaply built shortline

railroad.  Our track winds around the contours of our land, climbs some steep grades and

crawls around tight curves.  The railroad is an addition to the landscape instead of an

intruder that drastically alters it.  The following pictures show various parts of the railroad as

it makes its way through the Ozark hills.  Keep in mind that all of our Right-of-Way is

excavated by hand, with a pick and shovel.


In the early days of railroading, there were two different schools of thought about how to

build a railroad.  The first type was a first class, mainline type railroad.  Grades and curves

were kept to a minimum, since both limit the pulling power of locomotives and slow trains

down.  This required a lot of excavation - especially in hilly or mountainous terrain - which

increased the cost of the railroad.  This was offset by lower operating costs over the life of

the line.  Needless to say, this does not describe the Northview & Frisco Railroad!

The second type was sometimes described as a Surface Line.  In order to keep construction

costs low, the line tended to follow the lay of the land, winding around the contours of the

hills and valleys.  To avoid expensive fills, trestles were built to span the valleys.  These lines

had many curves, some of them very sharp with steep grades.  In addition, their track had

lighter rail and fewer ties to help keep costs down.  This type of construction was used

where a railroad was needed, but the traffic was expected to be minimal.  Many branchlines

of big railroads were built like this, as well as many shortline and narrow gauge railroads.

 

 Stansbury Lead Mine Siding

 

 The Stansbury Lead Mine Siding winds around the hillside as it climbs up to the Tombstone Switchback.


 

Tombstone Switchback

This is a view of the Tombstone Switchback.  The Stansbury Lead Mine Siding connects from

the left to the switchback.  The track in the center goes over a trestle to Frisco Valley and

also connects to the mainline on the right.  The switchback is needed to deal with large

elevation changes in a tight area.


 

86 heading east from Redbud.

This view from the cab of #86 show the mainline east of the Redbud Switch.  The line was

graded along the hillside, following its contour as much as possible.  The track curves to the

right around a cedar tree and crosses Bridge #8 to span a small gully.


 

86 on Bridge 8.

Locomotive #86 with a work train on Bridge #8.


This is Ozark Mountain Railroading.  Steep grades and sharp curves on a roadbed carved

into the side of hill makes for an interesting ride and challenge to operate.  It may not be

fast, but is sure is fun!