Malvern Roundhouse - Virtual Tour

The information below was originally compiled by the late Ken Ziegenbein, a prolific rail photographer in Little Rock. For over 25 years, Ken was also editor of the Arkansas Railroader, the monthly newsletter of the Arkansas Railroad Club (Little Rock chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.) Ken's efforts to research and bring attention to the Malvern roundhouse was directly responsible for the structure being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The MALVERN ROUNDHOUSE, is one of the last railroad roundhouses in the state of Arkansas. It belonged to the Hot Springs Railroad, then the Choctaw Oklahoma & Gulf, and finally the Rock Island. The line that you see that curves in front of the structure goes to Hot Springs and was once the Rock Island (now Arkansas Midland). These photos were taken Monday, October 21, and Saturday, November 16, 2001.  The busy Little Rock to Texas Union Pacific lines runs east-west just a few hundred feet south of this roundhouse, as well as the Arkansas Midland.
   First group of pictures were all taken on October 21, 2002. Toward the bottom of the page, they were made November 16, 2002.

LEFT-South side of the old roundhouse, taken from near the main line of the Union Pacific through Malvern (just behind me). The line in the front of me belongs to the Arkansas Midland and curves to the north. RIGHT-Closer view of south side. A loading dock was located behind the green door.

LEFT-South side of building to right of loading dock. RIGHT-Closeup of window areas. Note different shades of brick.

Still on south side of roundhouse. Note the circular design above the boarded windows.

LEFT-Clem Wholesale is attached to the storage building. RIGHT-Closeup of the circular design seen above.

Higher resolution of a set of bricked up windows on the south side.

East side of the roundhouse has the Hardy's Insulation and Trenching sign. They store insulation material inside, including rolls of insulating plastics.

LEFT-North side of building with the curved locomotive doors. I assume the turntable was located in the weeds in front of the building. There's no way to go inside this area to was fenced off. RIGHT-Old burned out Missouri Pacific caboose sits on a track that still goes to the right of the roundhouse, the northwest side. There were loading docks next to the building on the west side, which we'll see later, and this track still went there, but obviously hasn't been used in many years.

The tracks go on beyond this old caboose, across this dirt road and next to the west side of the roundhouse, just to the right of those trees. You can see light through the trees in the middle of the photo...that's where the track goes.

LEFT-You can barely see the tracks on the northwest side. Loading dock 1 on the northwest side of the roundhouse. Clem Wholesale has a building attached to this side of the roundhouse, and that's why there is a 'tunnel' formed here. I wonder what sign that was just above the 1 door? Looks like the door had been cut through the side of the building.

More views of the north side of the roundhouse through the weeds.

LEFT-Another view of the east side of the roundhouse. RIGHT-A closeup of an old window area on the east side.

More closeups of old window areas.

Two closeups of designs on the building, both of these on the south side.

LEFT-Another closeup of a window area. RIGHT-Taken from inside the old loading dock area. This is the opposite side of the view from the caboose, which sits on these very tracks past all those weeds and trees. You can see the track clearly, AND believe me, there's lots of oil still in the area!

A larger view of this area, using my strongest flash. This is the northwest side of the roundhouse, which sits to the right. The Clem Wholesale company's building is to the left. You are generally looking east or northeast.

LEFT-A little brighter view of the northwest side loading dock. RIGHT-View of foundation of the south side.

These are all views from inside the roundhouse. The one immediately above is looking north at the curved portion, where I presume the locomotive doors were.

These are all views of the roof from inside. I'd say there was coal residue on the ceiling plus mold, right?  The lower right was taken across the UP tracks, showing the roundhouse to the north in the distance.


On November 16, the owner of the roundhouse, Rusty Hardy  opened the building to a small group of Arkansas Railroad Club members and here are more photos taken at that time.

More inside photos plus Mr. Hardy opened a door on the north side, where the 5-stall doors are located. We couldn't find any indication of a turntable. Note the 'Do Not Smoke' sign inside on one of the old CD sign saying "every fire helps the axis." (All photos by Ken Ziegenbein)