APTA Streetcar and
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Heritage Trolley Site
Hosted by the Seashore Trolley Museum
Little Rock, AR

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Little Rock, AR

On November 1, 2004, Little Rock's heritage trolley system began public operation on its initial route, to be followed by an extension to the Clinton Library that opened on February 14, 2007. Photos of both the first and second phases are below.

Follow this link for a press release issued by the Central Arkansas Transit Authority upon the  opening of the initial phase:

Goals stated for the project when it was launched were:

  • Improve downtown mobility

  • Revive the historic connection of residents with streetcars

  • Promote economic development and tourism

  • Provide transportation to convention center and arena events.

The economic benefit was felt even before construction began as two loft apartment developments started along the route in Little Rock once planning began for the line, and lofts and a River Market development were planned along the route in North Little Rock. The line includes two miles of track and operates three air conditioned replica cars built by Gomaco, at a price of $750,000 each. Capital cost for the system was $19.6 million with annual operating costs of $450,000.

Follow this link for an article summarizing the economic benefits resulting from the line:

At the APTA Rail Conference on June 14, 2006, CATA General Manager Keith Jones presented an update on the impact of the line and progress on extensions. Follow this link for highlights of his presentation:

The photos below taken by Jim Schantz during the APTA Heritage Trolley and Streetcar Task Force meeting in December, 2004, show Little Rock's River Rail system in its opening weeks:

Map of the River Rail streetcar system as opened. Two services are operated: A loop in Little Rock, plus the loop and bridge crossing to North LR.

Initial operating hours are from late morning to late evening.

The River Market is one of the major new developments along the Little Rock loop.

Car 408 in front of the new Peabody Hotel and Convention Center where the Little Rock loop connects to the bridge.

A car in front of the simple yet very serviceable carbarn.

Handicapped lifts are built in the right front doors at both ends of the car to meet ADA accessibility needs.

Unique among non-PCC heritage streetcars are the track brakes added between the wheels for emergency use on the steep ends of the bridge.

The most challenging engineering problem was fitting the track to the existing bridge and equipping the cars for safe operation on the steep grade.

The business district on North Main Street in North Little Rock is showing signs of rebirth since the streetcar plans were announced.

New housing is being developed along the streetcar loop in North Little Rock.

Rails were added on West 3rd Street adjacent to the Clinton Library in anticipation of the first extension of the streetcar line.


This set of photos taken in February 2007 by John C. Jones so final preparations for the Clinton Library extension and opening ceremonies:

When cars need to visit the main shops they are transported using this custom trailer.

The oversized load proceeds cautiously along a city street.

Along the streetcar route in North Little Rock the car is unloaded back onto the rails.

Car 410 from the original order poses with car 412, one of two cars ordered for the Clinton Library extension.

The new extension branches from the existing loop through Little Rock just before the overpass.

On the new route to the library the tracks were placed in the curb lane. Illegal auto parking not allowed!

The line passes an active railroad siding.

The Clinton Library is to the right, an easy walk from the streetcar terminus.

Dignitaries prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the official dedication on 2/16/2007.

Transit Authority General Manager Keith Jones addresses those gathered at the inauguration.

The official party rides the official first car after the ceremony.


The following news notes provide an overview of developments as the system moved through planning and construction phases and into normal operation:

Follow this link to the line's web site:

For more on Little Rock click on:



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