Comfort and adventure await inside this rolling museum. From the moment one steps aboard a vintage 1920’s car, the excitement of being on the rails is exhilarating. This four-hour vividly, scenic ride includes comfortable seating, food and adult beverage service, and historic narration on a rail journey that whisks you back into another century. The route is flanked by a Victorian and Iron-Ore depot, each giving riders a glimpse of what it would have been like to catch a train in the golden age of rail travel.
Relaxed seating, thoughtful decor and friendly, responsive attendants add to the ambiance of the scenic journey. Most cars are climate-controlled, have restrooms and access to a concession car stocked with snacks and both kid-friendly and adult beverages. All seats have picture window views along the Piney Woods route, and narration and music highlight the trip. This train meets ADA requirements.
Six different accommodations are available to savor the Texas State Railroad experience:
As the train moves through the undulating country of the Piney Woods, it crosses over 24 bridges that span the creeks flowing through the forestland, including 1,042 feet long and 35 feet high bridge over the renowned Neches River. This Piney Woods is home to over 100 species of birds that nest in the catalpa and sycamores or the many species of hardwoods and evergreens, including the fast-growing loblolly pine, which can rise to over 100 feet tall.
Celebrated steam or vintage diesel locomotives are the muscle that pulls the consist of cars … and the horsepower that won’t give you saddle sores.
The TSR Steam Engine No. 28 has a unique history of it’s own. It is one of two surviving U.S. Army’s “Pershing” engines named after General John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing; famous as the commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front from 1917-18 during World War I. The steamer is a 2-8-0 (2 wheels in the front, 8 drivers, no wheels at the rear of the engine). The wheel arrangement is commonly referred to as a “consolidation.”
From its humble origin of hauling freight, lumber and munitions, it was brought to Texas State Railroad in 1976 to begin its present occupation of transporting tourists and railfans of all ages. The historic U.S. Army locomotive celebrated its 100th birthday in 2017.
These two are beauties that perk interest from around the globe!
Whether departing from Palestine or Rusk, you will enjoy learning about the historic surroundings and communities that built the railroad. Both depots have interesting storyboards to peruse that display the historic significance of the rise of railroading in East Texas. While inside either depot, a gift shop is available for memorabilia, clothing and gifts exclusive to Texas State Railroad.
Overnight lodging is only a short distance away for camping or hotel comfort stays. Texas State Railroad’s Rusk depot offers a unique campground nearby providing front row observance of a train passing through. Campers have access to depot amenities which include lunch, gift shop and a train-themed movie theater on train departure days. Also available is a laundry facility, camping supply store. A quaint country chapel and furnished clubhouse are available with reservations.
Looking to enjoy this awesome destination? Reservations can be made by visiting www.TexasStateRailroad.net or calling 1-855-632-7729. It’s always a good day to ride a train!