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RISON DEPOT - This photograph from the early 1900's shows the Rison Depot in its original configuration.
The building has since been altered, but it still exists at its same location today.
thirty-six inches as opposed to the
"standard gauge" of four feet, eight
and one-fourth inches between the rails.
It had become apparent that if the road
was to survive economically, it must be
changed to "standard gauge" so that its
rolling stock could be interchanged with
that of most of the major railroads in the
United States. A decision was made
that on October 18, 1886, at a prear-
ranged hour, work was to begin to
change the gauge in one twenty-four
period. By using extra crews the change
was made as planned for all the track in
Arkansas, which was a remarkable
performance. When the Cotton Belt was
complete and fully functioning it opened
the world to the people of Rison who
here-to-fore had been limited to transpor-  
tation by foot, horse and boat.

FOR MORE THAN JUST COTTON - While the Cotton Belt
Railroad may have been named for its route through cotton-producing
regions of the mid-South, the railway was just as vital to the local timber
industry. Here, a crew poses with a load of local lumber.

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