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Old 10-04-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
10,063 posts, read 10,252,270 times
Reputation: 7168

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Quote:
Originally Posted by btoverdrive View Post
You were right about the Lexa to McGehee line. When I was working in Helena, MoPac spent millions of dollars upgrading the branch line, even putting in a new lift bridge over the Arkansas river, mainly to carry chemical traffic from Texas to points east through Memphis. When UP took over they decided to move the chemical traffic over a different route and that line was abandoned soon after. It is now a hike/bike trail.

Yeah, the UP decided to route the traffic through North Little Rock.
Until I quit working in 2002, I used to drive to McGehee twice a year or so. I followed the branch line up to the Japanese POW camp at Rohwer. The track was still in place then. I even saw one or two block signals that had been left behind. I don't know if the track goes north of the Potlatch spur anymore.

http://goo.gl/maps/5tc2i
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Little Rock AR USA
2,457 posts, read 6,523,265 times
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Something few people know; KCS had a roundhouse and switch yard in Mena, Polk County until the 1940s when it was moved to Heavener OK. I knew it had been there but wasn't sure of it's actual location until I saw it on the 1940 Census city map. I then understood why the wide open area west of the depot was there.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
430 posts, read 982,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
To anyone considering a railroad career I would say think twice. Sure the benefits are fabulous and in many cases you can stay for a long time, unlike most private sector careers. But the hours are erratic and you are often out there in all weather. If you want marriage and a family, probably a bad choice. Getting back to the question, I am interested in Arkansas railroad history, though I have never lived there.
I never said they were all easy 9-5 jobs, the train service people do work some long and erratic hours but if you stay marked up and work, you can easily make over 100K per year. They are also dangerous jobs if you are not paying attention to what is around you.

I worked train service for three summers while attending college (when the railroads still hired summer help) and decided that was not for me. When I left school I went back to the railroad in the clerical ranks and worked my way into management. Some management jobs, mainly field jobs, trainmaster, roadmaster, etc., could involve some shift work and odd days off but again, you are compensated well.

I found it to be a very rewarding and satisfying career and I am now enjoying a fantastic retirement earning two pensions, railroad retirement and a management pension. My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years and luckily for me she was very understanding of my work schedule when I was on a job that required some shift work. However there are thousands of railroad jobs that are daylight hours with weekends off, especially in a HQ location. All the jobs I worked in my last 15 years of employment were days and weekends off.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs Village, Ark
430 posts, read 982,281 times
Reputation: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Yeah, the UP decided to route the traffic through North Little Rock.
Until I quit working in 2002, I used to drive to McGehee twice a year or so. I followed the branch line up to the Japanese POW camp at Rohwer. The track was still in place then. I even saw one or two block signals that had been left behind. I don't know if the track goes north of the Potlatch spur anymore.

http://goo.gl/maps/5tc2i
I do not know about north of Potlatch to the river but there is no track left from Lexa south to Snow Lake. Looking at Google earth, it seems the Arkansas river bridge is still in place.

Last edited by btoverdrive; 10-05-2013 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:49 AM
 
Location: MS
4,389 posts, read 4,277,392 times
Reputation: 1537
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
Yeah, the UP decided to route the traffic through North Little Rock.
Until I quit working in 2002, I used to drive to McGehee twice a year or so. I followed the branch line up to the Japanese POW camp at Rohwer. The track was still in place then. I even saw one or two block signals that had been left behind. I don't know if the track goes north of the Potlatch spur anymore.

http://goo.gl/maps/5tc2i
What's really surprising is that Rohwer has street view.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
10,063 posts, read 10,252,270 times
Reputation: 7168
Of course, there is a lot of railroad action to see in North Little Rock and Pine Bluff. I think the Little Rock Depot may be Arkansas's "hottest" hot spot for trains. Also, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe-Union Pacific crossings at Hoxie and Jonesboro have a lot of trains.
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