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Only in Arkansas: River Rail

Based on and replicated from the historic rail lines that once traveled the same city streets, it started operation in 2004, and the line was extended in 2007.
I'm very proud that I'm a street car operator. I can't think of a more fun job in Little Rock than this.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- If you live in, work, or ever been to Little Rock, you've likely seen the trolleys making their way through downtown Little Rock and the Argenta area of North Little Rock.

However, this week they won't be making their way anywhere as work continues on the Main Street Bridge. But the break allowed a perfect chance to get an inside look at the River Rail you'll only see in Arkansas.

Based on and replicated from the historic rail lines that once traveled the same city streets, it started operation in 2004, and the line was extended in 2007.

It covers about 3.4 miles of downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Driving you around town are people like Allen Adtkins, who has been with the company since it started nine years ago.

"I'm very proud that I'm a street car operator," Adtkins said. "I can't think of a more fun job in Little Rock than this."

And that enthusiasm does not go unnoticed. Jarod Varner, executive director of Central Arkansas Transit, said it's one of the main things that draws people in.

"What really makes the River Rail unique is the fact that our operators really want to make sure that their customers are taken care of," Varner said.

Every trip they providing historical information about the buildings and areas surrounding the rail line.

"You get a great view of both of the cities and it's connectivity for the two cities as well," Adtkins said.

You get a new look at the places that make up the downtown areas.

"In other cities where you go, it's just a mode of transportation," Varner said. "Here, obviously mobility is a major goal for River Rail, but really taking care of those passengers and making sure they're having fun in the Argenta area of North Little Rock and downtown Little Rock."

Central Arkansas Transit says the return on investment is pretty special, too. They say residents spent about $6 million to develop River Rail, and the project has since generated almost $900 million in investment within a quarter mile around the street cars.

You can expect to see them back in operation next week.
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