January 11, 1853: Little Rock and Memphis Railroad Company organized by special act of the Arkansas General Assembly.
January 26, 1862: Little Rock and Memphis Railroad Company is reorganized and become Memphis and Little Rock railway company.
Early 1869: Major Rombaugh, a surveyor with the railroad relocates the railroad tracks three miles south to present day Lonoke. Some business men moved from Brownsville to Hicks’ Station on the railhead which was two miles east of present day Lonoke. During the survey Rombaugh discovered a large Lone Oak Tree adjacent to the railhead and named the area Lonoke. The depot at Hicks’ Station was moved to Lonoke as well as most all business from Brownsville and Hicks’ Station.
April 1, 1871: Memphis and Little Rock railroad completed from Memphis to Little Rock, Arkansas. City of Lonoke incorporated January 22, 1872.
May 13, 1875: Vice President Wilson on a train from Memphis heading west planned to stop in Lonoke. More than 200 people or more assembled at the depot to hear his remarks.
September 21, 1876: The depot platform was lengethened about 75 feet to accommodate the large cotton crop.
February 2, 1898: White River, Lonoke and Western railroad is formed. Tracks extend from near Jacksonville, Ar. (Holland Bottoms) to Lonoke, on 2nd street adjacent to Lonoke County courthouse. A depot/freight station was built at this location. The railroad was also known as the “Wooley” and the White River Valley & Texas RR. City of Lonoke Ordinance No. 24 grants the railroad a right of way through Lonoke.
September 15, 1898: Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf railroad purchased the Memphis and Little Rock railroad. The name was changed to the Choctaw and Memphis railroad.
October 25, 1898: Choctaw and Memphis railroad purchased remaining assets and property of Little Rock and Memphis railroad.
May 5, 1899: New frame railroad depot built on site of depot moved from Hicks’ Station.
December 3, 1899: First run of new through passenger service from Memphis to Weatherford, OK.
June 30, 1900: Choctaw and Memphis railroad acquired by the Choctaw, Oklahoma and gulf. This makes one continuous railroad from Memphis to the Oklahoma border.
September 14, 1901: White River, Lonoke and Western Railroad assets are purchased by the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf. Any plans the city had of becoming a rail center just vanished.
April 1, 1901: Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf is leased for 999 years to the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific RR.
June 5, 1905: City of Lonoke Ordinance NO. 21 limits speed of trains through the city to 6 miles per hour.
August 19, 1908: City of Lonoke Ordinance No. 50 orders the Rock Island Railroad to remove the 300ft. cotton platform and cotton seed frame building by September 19, 1908. Cotton is no longer king on the railroad.
February 19, 1909: McCreator and the Meto Valley Railroad Company, also known at the Pine Bluff and Northern, acquires property from Ed & Nettie Hicks for the railroad right-of-way. The railroad tied in with the Rock Island approximately 4 miles east of Lonoke.
December 28, 1911: Rock Island depot burns. Entire building destroyed.
October 13, 1912: Rock Island builds present railroad depot to replace structure of 1899. This beautiful pressed brick depot with its steeply-pitched red tile roof has been the focal point for the city ever since its completion.
Fall 1931: Pine Bluff and Northern Railway terminates business. PB&N reorganized from the McCreator and the Meto Valley Railroad Company.
November 17, 1940: Rock Island RR unveils its new diesel powered “Choctaw Rocket”, the first diesel streamliner to operate in Arkansas.
September 27, 1953: The Choctaw Rocket is replaced by self propelled rail diesel cards (RDC) known as Choctaw Rockettes. Many people refer to these cars as “Doodle Bugs”
August 8, 1964: Last run of the RDC cars on the Rock Island.
November 9, 1967: Passenger service ends of the Rock Island, Choctaw Route. 65 years of service to Lonoke stops.
March 17, 1975: Rock Island declares bankruptcy for the third time in the railroads history.
January 25, 1980: Railroad liquidated by order of federal judge.
March 31, 1980: Rock Island ends all freight service east of Little Rock.
March 31, 1980: Cotton Belt Railroad beings “Direct Service” from North Little Rock to Hazen by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
May 31, 1980: Missouri Pacific RR begins operations when Cotton Belt stopped direct service. This is branch line service with 2-3 trains per week. Missouri Pacific purchased the line to Hazen from Little Rock.
December 22, 1982: Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads merge, railroad continues to operate as Missouri Pacific.
August 13, 1986: Hollywood comes to Lonoke with local filming of movie “End of the Line”
May 10, 1987: Newly restored Depot dedicated.
February 23, 1992: Union Pacific Railroad sells rail line to Arkansas Midland RR part of Pinsley RR company.
December 1994: Removal of remaining old Rock Island track east of Galloway.
January 11, 2000: City of Lonoke acquires the right-of-way of the Arkansas Midland railroad from Pinsley RR Company.