Hot Springs Railroad

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The Hot Springs Railroad ran between Malvern, Arkansas and the resort town of Hot Springs.

It was sometimes called the "Diamond Jo Line" because of its developer, Joseph "Diamond Jo" Reynolds.

Construction of narrow-gauge tracks began in April 1875. Trains began operating a year later.

On October 16, 1889, it was converted to standard gauge in about three hours, after several months of preparation. The brick roundhouse and turntable in Malvern were modified for standard-gauge operation, and remained the railroad's principal locomotive shop.[1]

Reynolds was a successful steamboat operator from Chicago, Illinois.[2] He gained the name "Diamond Jo" by marking his steamboats with a the name "Jo" surrounded by a diamond. Reynolds was also known as the "Steamboat King."[3][4]


  1. "Shortline Railroads of Arkansas" by Clifton E. Hull, University of Oklahoma Press, 1969
  2. "The University of Chicago Biographical Sketches, Volume 1" by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed; 1922; pg 225-243
  3. New York Times article, August 26, 1888,