100 East Front Street Texarkana, AR 71854
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||Jeff Sandefur|
|Parking Lot Ownership||Jeff Sandefur|
|Platform Ownership||Union Pacific Railroad|
|Track Ownership||Union Pacific Railroad|
|5 Long Term Parking Spaces||5 Short Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Payphones|
|Accessible Platform||Accessible Restrooms||Accessible Ticket Office|
|Accessible Waiting Room||Accessible Water Fountain||Baggage Storage|
|Bike Boxes||Checked Baggage||Dedicated Parking|
|Enclosed Waiting Area||Help With Luggage||Pay Phones|
|Restrooms||Shipping Boxes||Ticket Office|
- Texas Eagle
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The Amtrak Texarkana stop is located at the east end of Texarkana Union Station, a historic beige brick structure built in 1930. When stopped at the station, it is said the Texas Eagle straddles the state line between Arkansas and Texas.
The former Union Station was built in 1888 by the Missouri Pacific (MoPac) and Texas & Pacific. The Cotton Belt became a tenant there in 1908, and spent considerable amounts on refurbishing the station. In 1913, Cotton Belt became a part-owner in the station. As pressure began to build for the creation of a new station, the Cotton Belt, MoPac, Texas & Pacific, and Kansas City Southern created the Texarkana Union Station Trust to construct and operate a modern union passenger terminal. The project was funded by the sale of securities of the joint terminal at a cost of $1,667,000. On May 12, 1930, the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce sponsored a cornerstone laying celebration. A chamber spokesperson stated that the completion of Union Station was “one of the most momentous events in the history of the city.”
The imposing 44,000 square foot station features Renaissance revival architecture. Three large, arched windows flanked by decorative columns highlight its façade. This station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Amtrak did not begin serving Texarkana until 1974 when the Inter American service was introduced. It was decided at that time the main waiting room and ticket counter would not be used because of the lack of access into the building for individuals with mobility issues and it was too large for Amtrak’s purpose. Therefore, the baggage end of the building was retrofitted to include a ticket counter and waiting room for Amtrak patrons, which is still used today. Since late 2008, the Texarkana station has been staffed seven days a week, allowing the restoration of checked baggage service.
Today, Union Station’s main waiting room remains dormant as it has been since the last Missouri Pacific passenger train left in 1971. It is also one of the few privately owned train stations in the country. It was purchased in 2003 by Jeff Sandefur, who plans to restore life to the station. The west portion of the station has been adaptively reused as a correctional institution.
The first settlers in the Texarkana area were the sedentary Caddo Indians, yet the city did not gain its name until Europeans arrived. Texarkana is a portmanteau of the words “Texas” “Arkansas,” and “Louisiana.”. When the land was first surveyed, it seemed that Texarkana would be on the border of all three states. Some credit surveyor Colonel Gus Knobel of the Iron Mountain Railroad (a predecessor to MoPac) with giving Texarkana its name. In 1876, Texarkana was granted a charter by the Texas Legislature.
The city’s slogan, “Twice as Nice,” is fitting for a place with two mayors and two sets of city officials, yet the two sides share a courthouse, federal building, jail, post office, chamber of commerce, and several other offices. The state line bisects the Amtrak platform in Texarkana. At the stop, if you are on the west end of the train, you’re in Texas. If you’re on the east side, you’re in Arkansas.
Local lore suggests that Boggy Creek, a swampy area southeast of Texarkana, is home to an anthropoid swamp monster, similar to Bigfoot or Sasquatch. A film dramatizing the stories, The Legend of Boggy Creek, was released in 1972. Two sequels have also been produced.
Ragtime composer and pianist Scott Joplin resided in this city and former presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Ross Perot were born in Texarkana.
Amtrak offers both ticketing and baggage services at this location, which is served by two daily trains.