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“Heart of a Railroad Town”

Arkansas Railroad Museum
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Arkansas Railroad Museum exhibits the history of railroading in Arkansas with a special emphasis on the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, more commonly known as the Cotton Belt Railroad. Housed in the Cotton Belt Backshop building, featuring Cotton Belt steam locomotive 819, which was built in this very building in 1942, the last steam locomotive built in Arkansas. Exhibits also include cabooses (cabeese?), passenger cars, freight cars, diesel locomotives, and a large collection of smaller artifacts of railroad history including timetables, tools, telegraph equipment, pictures, and much more. We are open 9 AM to 2 PM Monday through Saturday, but please call ahead if you are bringing a large group or arriving late, we can often accommodate special requests.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Heart of a Railroad Town”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

The Cotton Belt Railroad was once the king of the region of Pine Bluff and with its large shops, employed hundreds at one time. The Railroad Museum occupies one of the surviving buildings once used for repairs. Most of the shops are now gone, but the museum is absolutely full of artifacts and actual train engines and cars that can be toured. The 819 locomotive, a large steam locomotive built in Pine Bluff is on exhibit along with most anything you can imagine having to do with the railroad. The operators of the museum have made this a labor of love and you can see it when you visit.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank JCarterWatts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Shrine of the Cotton Belt Railway”
Reviewed June 24, 2012

I have been coming here every April for over 10 years. I have always been here during the annual model railroad and railroadina swap meet. I have never actually seen the museum in its natural state because they always have to move some of the exhibits out to put in the swap tables and layouts. Nonetheless, the museum is the only one I know of located in a genuine railroad shops. This sets it apart from almost every other railroad museum in the US. You do not just look at old trains. You learn how trains were built and maintained. I believe locomotive 819 was actually built here It is worth seeing.

Visited April 2012
Thank mrbill59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warren, Arkansas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“We love this place”
Reviewed June 19, 2012

My son is addicted to trains. Has been since he was 1 year old. Every year we make a special trip to Pine Bluff just to visit the museum. His eyes light up every time. Its nice to see they perserve so much of our history.

Visited August 2011
Thank CG789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilson, Arkansas
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Choo Choo!!! ride back in the past for FREE!”
Reviewed May 21, 2012

Kids of all ages will enjoy this free museum. You can get in almost all of the engines and cars; very hands on. I personally loved the memorabelia collected through the years. They even have two switching rooms set up, a true rarity as most were trashed many years ago.
It's run by a bunch of nice old retired railroad fellows for the most part. They have a wealth of knowledge about the trains that have passed through this area.
Finally, don't miss this attraction if you love trains.... and who doesn't? Really.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank todolist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glensted Mo
Level 6 Contributor
269 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Must see for the Railroad fan”
Reviewed April 22, 2012

This is a great railroad Museum for the fan and general interest folks. The people who work there are great. The museum is within at working rail yard and the museum has open railroad engines and cars one can tour. They also have several special events there every year.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank KentGlenstedMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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