Old 03-20-2017, 12:17 AM   #1
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Default Arkansas Midland - Hot Springs Arkansas Line

This past week, I had a chance to stop by and check the Arkansas Midland line that runs from Malvern Ar., to Mountain Pine, Ar. Throughout the 90's, this was a very busy line with large trains going to and from the lumber mill in Mountain Pine, the end of the line. A BIG downturn in traffic occurred when the mill closed.
G&W now operates the various Arkansas Midland lines. This line still serves several industries, but I would guess it lost well over 50% of it's business when the mill closed. I observed two units switching 2 boxcars at Jones Mill Ar.
TNER, GP40, in Red and Grey paint
AKM, GP38-2, in Fresh shiny G&W orange.
The engine house is located in the closed aluminum smelter at Jones Mill. There appeared to be another locomotive inside, in Kiamichi paint and lettering. Traffic comes from a few smallish industries along the line, a feed mill, transload facilities at the old Jones Mill smelter, crushed rock from a very large quarry near Malvern, a small lumber mill in Malvern, and a brick plant in Malvern.
Trains no longer run up to Mountain Pine, although the rails look to still be in place. The last industry served is just north of Hot Springs.
While not a prosperous line, it looks like it still has a good future.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:46 AM   #2
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Nice informative post, Jeff. G&W has been rebuilding the old AKMD GP35s, so that is likely what the shiny new GP38 was, presuming it was a GP35 carbody. I suspect the quarry just north of Malvern is the bread winner for the line, and most of those trains use Union Pacific power.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:54 PM   #3
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I am not sure about the carbody, but the shiny orange engine did have "GP38-1" stenciled on the cab side under the window.
Yes, I am sure the quarry is a big boost for the line and the largest shipper by far. In the past, I have seen long unit trains, leave that quarry, with UP power.
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