In order to guide future freight and passenger rail services in the State, among others, the Arkansas State Rail Plan will address the following questions:

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) was designated the State’s rail planning agency by Act 192 of 1977. The first State Rail Plan was prepared in 1979, followed by updates in 1984 and 2002. In recognition of changes to the State’s railroad system and to satisfy current Federal rail planning requirements, the Arkansas Highway Commission has authorized AHTD to prepare a new state rail plan.

The State Rail Plan is AHTD’s plan for the future of freight and passenger service in Arkansas. The Plan is an important step in charting a direction for freight and passenger rail in the State for the next 20 to 30 years. The Plan is being developed in compliance with the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, Public Law 110-432 and will be submitted to the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration for review. The State Rail Plan is required for Arkansas to be eligible for existing and prospective federal rail financial assistance.

Why is Arkansas Preparing a State Rail Plan?

  • What vision, goals, objectives, policies, and strategies can help to guide passenger and freight rail services in Arkansas into the future?
  • What is the role of rail in the Arkansas multimodal freight and passenger transportation network?
  • What funding sources are available to invest in rail infrastructure and services in the state?
  • How has the Arkansas rail network changed over time?
  • How is the Arkansas rail network used, and how will this usage change in the future?
  • What is the impact of the rail network on the Arkansas economy, freight and passenger mobility, safety, and the environment?
  • How well is the Arkansas rail network meeting the needs of its users?
  • What are some specific issues and opportunities associated with rail in Arkansas?
  • What are some specific investments that would benefit passenger and freight rail in the future?

What is Included?

Arkansas State

Rail Plan

Study Schedule

Copyright 2013. Arkansas State Rail Plan. All Rights Reserved

Left and right photographs  in home page header taken by David Hoge

Click here to visit the Arkansas State Highway ​and Transportation Department website.

Work on the Arkansas State Rail Plan began in February 2013.  The Plan will be finalized by May 2015.