The Railroad Returns To Pocahontas!
The Frisco Railroad pulled up their tracks and abandoned Pocahontas in the 1970’s, when freight service to and from our area declined as trucking picked up the bulk of the shipping work. Our old circa 1917 railroad depot, however, has been patiently waiting for today to arrive, for today is the day an old train caboose of vintage 1930 arrived here to sit beside the old depot and exchange railroad stories.
The old caboose has been rusting in a field at the edge of Little Rock for years, and the City of Pocahontas recently came up with the money to buy it. The Union Pacific railroad donated their time and equipment to move the old car to Pocahontas, and it arrived in town about 1:30 p.m. today. Actually, a whole caravan of Union Pacific vehicles arrived. The main caboose car arrived on a big flat-bed truck, each set of wheels (two sets of four wheels each) arrived on two other trucks, then came two large cranes and one smaller crane, and about six other trucks and support vehicles.
The small crane first unloaded the two sets of wheels and set them on the track. Then a large crane was positioned at each end of the main car and each crane lifted an end as they placed the car on the wheels. Finally, the largest crane gave the car a gentle push and it rolled its last few feet to become perfectly centered on the section of track that was laid a few weeks ago in anticipation of today. A railroad welder then welded one wheel to the track so fun-loving kids and their pickups cannot push the car off down a hill. By 2:30 the job was done, the railroad men left town, and the old caboose began its long retirement as part of our depot restoration project.
Now comes the work of raising money and volunteers to restore the rusty old thing to its former glory. Click thumbnails below to see full screen versions.