Scenic Train Rides in Arkansas
Scenic train rides in Arkansas include the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad that operates a 134 mile round trip scenic and historical train ride. In the Ozark Mountain area, enjoy fine dining aboard the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway.
Arkansas has over 2700 miles of trackage that are dominated by the Union Pacific Railroad. Other rail lines that also serve Arkansas are the Kansas City Southern and BNSF. There are 22 smaller railroads, ranging from the longest, the 540 mile Missouri & Northern Arkansas, down to the shortest, the 2 mile Delta Valley Southern. Amtrak's Texas Eagle makes 5 stops across the state. The Union Pacific's largest locomotive repair facility is located in North Little Rock. The first railroad began as a small part of the Memphis & Little Rock in 1857, with a train loaded with 6 bales of cotton pulled by the engine "Little Rock".
The nations last regularly scheduled steam-powered mixed train, run by the Arkansas Reader Railroad, ended operations in 1973.
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One of the Ozarks' largest collection of vintage rolling stock is on display at the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway. In this re-created turn-of-the-century railroading experience, modern visitors get a taste of how it was Eureka Springs in 1883 when rail service first arrived. The four and a half mile train ride through the Ozark hills from April through October. The 1 1/2 hour train rides run Tuesdays through Saturdays and include lunch and dinner trains. Working turntable.
Working museum with railroad and streetcar exhibits. The Fort Smith Trolley Museum is open on weekends and trolley cars run daily from May through October and on weekends the rest of the year.
FRISCO DEPOT MUSEUM
The Frisco Depot Museum is a beautifully-restored 1886 Victorian depot housing a collection of railroad memorabilia. The baggage room displays local history exhibits, and just outside is a Frisco caboose. The 1886 Frisco Depot will take you back in time to a bustling 1800s train depot. Guided and self guided tours as well as short films are available. The Mammoth Spring Depot is one of only a few depots in the nation that have been restored as museums dedicated to interpreting their roles as train depots. Closed on Mondays.
ARKANSAS RAILROAD MUSEUM
The Arkansas Railroad Museum is located in the former Cotten Belt locomotive shops. Two Cotten Belt RR steam engines are on display, the 1942 St Louis Southwestern Railway Co. 4-8-4 No 819, and the 2-6-0 No. 336. Open Monday through Saturday.
The Arkansas & Missouri Railroad operates 139 miles of former St Louis San Francisco trackage from Monett, Mo. to Ft Smith, Ark. through the Boston Mountains of northwest Arkansas. Relax as you ride in style on meticulously restored air conditioned antique passenger cars, that include a first-class parlor car and a 1940's caboose. Your scenic train ride will wind through river valleys, traverse 3 high trestles, and cut into a 1702 foot tunnel. Enjoy the story telling and rich historical anecdotes as told by your friendly and fun-loving conductors while tending to your safety and other needs you may require. Several Special Departures are scheduled each year - either as part of area celebrations such as Bikes, Blues and Barbeque festival; elegant black-tie service dinner excursions or other special occasions. Spring Foliage Specials begin in April and run on weekends. Fall Foliage Specials are very popular and sell out quickly. Stop overs include a 1901 Frisco depot for shopping or dining.