The Scenic Railroad has been operating for many years and is a company of it's own leasing rail time from the Missouri and Northern Arkansas RR.
A short history of the M&NA RR begins started laying rail north from Batesville Arkansas and south from Carthage in Jan 1902. The final spike was driven on Dec 29 1905. This section of track is 239 miles long and cost $12 Million dollars which is about 6 times the normal rail construction cost. That was a lot of money then when they paid laborers $1.25-1.50 per day and $2.50-3.00 if they had a team of horses or mules. Laying tract through the Ozark Mountain Country is labor intensive work. They had to carve ledges around mountains they couldn't climb over and blast tunnels where they couldn't go around. They had to fill or bridge gorges, streams and rivers.
In 1882 general store and mail office owner Rueben S. Branson moved his store from Bull Creek to Roark Creek on the White river. A small town of Lucia developed there. With the arrival of the Railroad a land speculator named Charles R Fulbright bought up land and Branson was filed on Oct. 26,1903. The town of Lucia and Branson joined and Branson was incorporated on April 1, 1912. The main cargo was Logs or Lumber, Quarried Limestone and Passengers. Many folks came to the area to enjoy the scenery and The White River. The town of Branson grew along the river and the BaldKnobbers music and comedy act started entertaining the travelers as well as locals in the basement of City Hall in the evening..
The rest is history you can catch on other pages but a road was built from Branson out to the Marvel Cave where Silver Dollar City is now located and there was music and comedy shows put on in the cave. The Presleys built the first theater on that road about half way between and up the road the novel The Shepherd of the Hills brought international attention to Old Matts Cabin and soon a show was started at the original homestead where the novel was written.
The Branson Scenic Railroad sends out about 2-4 trips a day out on the main tract either going north to Galena on the James River or south into Arkansas and stops at the Barren Fork Trestle. These operate in season as scenic tours and May through Dec. on Saturdays at 5:00 PM they have a dinner train.