The Camp Robinson Spur
The Camp Robinson spur once served Camp Robinson (home of the 39th Infantry Division of the National Guard) in North Little Rock, AR. While the installation is still in operation, the spur last saw use during the first Gulf War in 1991. Today, the line has fallen to disrepair as UP has not maintained the line since the mid 1990s -- a washout has rendered part of the tracks unusable, downed trees from severe weather block other parts of the track, and even the switch off of UP's Van Buren Subdivision in Levy (LEEvee) has been removed.
However, the line has not officially been abandoned. UP filed for abandonment in the 1970s, and even the city of North Little Rock wants to convert the right-of-way to a rail trail when it becomes available. But the U.S. Army still sees value in the spur, possibly for some future conflicts that would require rail access to Camp Robinson; thus any attempts to abandoned the tracks are held at bay.
And so the track remains, waiting for a train that will probably never come.
Thanks to Ken Ziegenbein for contributing information.
The Union Pacific couldn't have applied for abandonment of this spur in the 1970s because the Missouri Pacific owned the line at the time.
I think MP did apply in the 70s. But pretty much the railroad to the camp is worthless. the military took out all the bridges, and tracks in the camp. the switch track for the spur has long been gone. its just taking up space in north little rock.
I live near here, and upon noticing recent activity regarding this rail (2-3" gravel laid over the rail bed and leveled, as well as multiple backhoes and earth movers in the area) where it crosses Allwood at the foot of Locust, as well as at its intersection with Kierre Drive, I was talking to someone at work. He claims to have heard some men speaking of this rail-to-trail conversion at his barber shop. Apparently, the men were familiar with both the area and operations at Camp Robinson and confirmed it was being made into a trail.
The papers were signed today between the City of North Little Rock and Union Pacific RR for the purchase of the Levy RR spur. It is now in the hands of the city to begin much-needed revitalization in the area.
The tracks have been torn out, now there is only a gravel path. A very sad thing to see, but at least we have pictures of it.
When the 936th and 937th Field Artillery Battalions of the Arkansas Army National Guard were mobilized in 1950 for the Korea War, the 937th loaded our equipment (which was stored at Camp Robinson) onto flat-cars on this spur. I don't remember how many cars there were, but I was one of the train guards and rode in an old passenger car from JTR to Ft Hood TX. Somewhere outside JTR we were added to an existing freight train and it was a slow ride to Texas.