Malvern, AR (MVN)
Known as the “Brick Capital of the World” due to plentiful nearby clay deposits, Malvern celebrates with a Brickfest each June that includes music, food and events such as a brick toss.
200 East First Street
Malvern, AR 72104-3922
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2022): 1,558
- Facility Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Parking Lot Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
Passengers at Malvern use an enclosed breezeway on the southern end of the former Missouri Pacific Railroad depot. The Mediterranean Revival style red brick building was constructed in 1916, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Most of the station is occupied by the Arkansas Midland Railway, a unit of the Pinsly Railroad Company, an owner of several other “short line” railroads in the U.S.
In fall 2019, Amtrak recognized Malvern community activist Dara Casey with its “Champion of the Rails” award. Given out annually as part of the Amtrak President’s Service and Safety Awards, it honors non-Amtrak employees who have worked to promote and improve intercity passenger rail service throughout the nation. A year earlier, Casey had contacted Amtrak regarding improvements at the Malvern station.
After several discussions, Casey coordinated a community gathering at the depot, explaining to residents and to several Amtrak employees her goal of revitalizing downtown Malvern, beginning with the Amtrak station. She then spent the following months coordinating among Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak, local businesses and municipal departments to renew the station, including repainting the passenger waiting area; building new planters and benches; and cleaning up the surrounding area so it was free of overgrown foliage and debris. A new Amtrak sign and garbage cans are planned. Casey has also worked with the local police department to patrol the area around the station on a regular basis to ensure the safety of customers and residents.
From 1876 to 1901, Malvern served as the only junction point for passengers headed to Hot Springs National Park. Passengers traveling on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railroad transferred at Malvern to the Hot Springs Railroad. The former railroad roundhouse is still located across the tracks from the Malvern Amtrak station.
The area around present day Malvern was originally inhabited by the Caddo Indian tribe. The first Europeans to arrive in the area were hunters, traders and trappers. The city was founded in 1870 by the Cairo and Fulton Railroad and was named for Malvern Hill in Virginia. In 1874, Chicago industrialist James Reynolds established the Hot Springs Railroad (the “Diamond Jo”), a narrow-gauge railroad that extended from the Malvern junction to Hot Springs, making Malvern a prominent junction point. All tourists wishing to “take the waters” of the Hot Springs passed through Malvern. In 1900, the Little Rock, Hot Springs & Western Railroad opened, providing a more direct access to the springs. The Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf and the Iron Mountain used the new route, and passenger service through Malvern quickly diminished.
Malvern is known as the “Brick Capital of the World” due to plentiful nearby clay deposits. Three Acme Brick plants are located in the area. Each June, Malvern celebrates Brickfest, a festival that includes music, food, and events such as the brick toss, brick car derby, and a best dressed brick contest. In June 2009, the historic train depot was cleaned by community service workers to spruce it up in time for Brickfest. Malvern is also home to the Hot Spring County Fair and Rodeo, celebrated each fall.
Today, at 21 miles south of the Hot Springs, Malvern is the closest Amtrak stop to the national park. Hot Springs National Park, known for its medicinal bathing industry and referred to as “The American Spa,” became protected by the federal government in 1832.
Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton graduated from Malvern High School. Other notable residents include football player Keith Traylor, and former senator John Little McClellan.
Platform with Shelter
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- No Restrooms
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- No vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible platform
- No accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- Accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- Wheelchair lift available