Walnut Ridge, Arkansas
109 Southwest Front Street Walnut Ridge, AR 72476
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||City of Walnut Ridge|
|Parking Lot Ownership||Union Pacific Railroad|
|Platform Ownership||Union Pacific Railroad|
|Track Ownership||Union Pacific Railroad|
|20 Short Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Platform||Accessible Restrooms|
|Accessible Waiting Room||Accessible Water Fountain||Enclosed Waiting Area|
|High Platform||Long Term Parking Spaces||Pay Phones|
- Texas Eagle
Local Community Links:
The Walnut Ridge Station was built in 1908 by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1992. Walnut Ridge was one of the first cities in Arkansas to embrace passenger rail service and to completely renovate its historic depot, adding a waiting area for Amtrak passengers and offices for the Chamber of Commerce. The station is located in a park in downtown Walnut Ridge.
The historic Missouri Pacific-Iron Mountain station was restored in 1995. It is a Mediterranean-style red brick structure. Although it is unstaffed, the station offers restrooms and a climate-controlled waiting area. The restoration was funded by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Walnut Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce.
The earliest settlers in Walnut Ridge were Native Americans and Spanish and French explorers. However, permanent European settlers did not come to the town until 1860. Colonel Willis Miles Ponder, a Civil War veteran from Missouri, formally founded the town in 1875. The site was chosen when it was announced that the railroad would be laying tracks through the area. Ponder originally called the town “Pawpaw” because of the many pawpaw trees in the area. The city is situated at the junction of the Missouri Pacific (now Union Pacific) and the St. Louis & San Francisco (now BNSF Railway) railroads.
In 1942, the United States government opened Walnut Ridge Flying School to train World War II pilots. During the war, German POWs were held in the base. Part of the base was later turned into an airport, which has since had many visitors (including the Beatles) stop there. The town recently opened a museum dedicated to the flying school.
Today, Walnut Ridge serves as the county seat for Lawrence County. The Amtrak stop serves the larger city of Jonesboro (home of Arkansas State University), adjacent retirement communities, and Williams Baptist College. Walnut Ridge is located in the Ozarks region of Arkansas, home to many of the most beautiful lakes and streams in the country.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.