July 12, 2009
What became known as the Reader Railroad began in 1889 as a narrow-gauge sawmill line running through parts of Ouachita and Nevada counties. Sold several times over the years, by 1925, it was renamed in honor of the town of Reader, which lies on the border between the two counties. As business declined, the railroad was converted into a tourist excursion train in 1980. During its approximately eleven years of operation, more than 100,000 tourists rode the train. Insolvency coupled with new federal regulations caused the excursion venture to close in 1991.