Motor-car tragedy

This motor-car (they’re sometimes called “doodlebugs”) was ordered and built for the Missouri & North Arkansas Railway in 1912, shortly after the railroad once again went into receivership. Cheaper to operate than a steam locomotive and coaches for passenger work, the motor-cars were intended to preserve that service. They were luxurious and electrically-illuminated inside.

No. 102 served the Joplin-Eureka Springs route, and her twin sister No. 103 plied the rails between Heber Springs and Helena, the third district. Sadly, just as described in the first novel in my Cycle, “The Water Cure,” No. 102 collided with a steam train near Tipton Ford, Missouri in 1914. Forty-three persons died on the motor-car, including the three-man crew.

This postcard, which I lucked into on eBay, features a builder’s photo of the motor-car and was used for advertising purposes.

Builder’s photograph postcard of North Arkansas Line motor-car, 1912

About W. Keith Brenton

W. Keith Brenton is a retired communication specialist, minister and passenger train conductor, living and writing in the historic resort village Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He is the widowed adoptive dad of Matt and Laura, and Pop-Pop to one grandchild. He enjoys drinking the local water, but unfortunately doesn’t look any younger than his actual age.
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