WHAT IF the actual history of the St. Louis & North Arkansas' would have unfolded differently? Instead of the last vestige of the railroad (then called the Arkansas & Ozarks) being abandoned in 1960... what if the primary connecting railroad had purchased it? After all, in actual history, didn't Frisco money back the initial start of the St. Louis & North Arkansas?
Well, the A&O Sub does just that.
Instead of allowing history to record that the Arkansas & Ozarks ceased to be and abandoned in 1960, instead, in OUR history: The Frisco railroad purchases the last vestige of the Missouri & North Arkansas railroad, and VSC projects the Frisco into the future being congruent with actual history and economic development!
As it would have been if the prototype North Arkansas was a part of the Arkansas & Missouri in 1988... changes are inevitable! The A&O Sub mainline now goes to Urbanette, Arkansas, where sits a large feed mill complex to serve, as well as nearby Superior Lime complex. Retained are the lines to Berryville and Eureka Springs. Towns have changed and evolved with the economics of the region. The increased train lengths also required changed track configurations. Traffic flow and operations are totally different than was on the 1900's North Arkansas. One thing didn't change though: The topography. You'll still battle those prototypical roller coaster 1.75% grades, as well as do battle with Seligman Hill... but this time with longer and heavier trains powered by Alco's!
There are over 40 miles of mainline track, one branch line is about 2 miles in length, another about 3 miles. There are two major feed mills to serve, three major gravel quarries, a large lime plant, and host of lesser customers to keep satisfied!
VSC is proud to have the creative artistry of Canadien Gaetan Belanger supplying the equipment used on the A&O Sub. The Arkansas & Missouri Alco's are a delight to behold and to operate. The custom locomotive sounds are second to none. Gaetan uses photo textures exclusively to produce the liveries for each piece of equipment. This results in excellent depth of color and shadow and immediately looks "authentic". Having been aboard the actual Arkansas & Missouri Alco's on many, many occassions and logging countless miles on them, as an eye witness I can tell you the sensation received when running Gaetan's A&M Alco's is uncanny! Excellent immersive qualities.
In addition to looks and sounds, the equipment physics being used reflect reaction and response times that more closely emulate the prototype. Before you can become proficent handling those A&M Alco powered trains, you'll need to learn the nuances of the route! This results in a route package that will take time to learn in before you can truly operate efficiently. Experienced operators of the St. Louis & North Arkansas will have an advantage here when it comes to running on the mainline. However, such a head start is over once you begin serving the new industries! The equipment physics means you will have to pay close attention when switching loaded gravel cars at NoArk Gravel, or climbing out of The Hole to after switching the Superior Lime plant.
There is a caveat though: These Alco's are old, and some have not yet been through the A&M's shops for a thorough rebuilding. You are going to get a taste of railroading that few have experienced! (And yes, such situations will be based on personal experiences on the A&M and its predecessors!)
Work! You've got work to do! For acclimation purposes, some of the first activities are simplistic, but there are many very advanced activities. You will feel like a railroader! The supplied activities will provide many hours of enjoyment. As with the North Arkansas, there are at least 40 hours of entertainment with the supplied activities.