All aboard! Hop aboard the Texas State Railroad, the official railroad of Texas. One step onto the steam engine and you'll be transported back to the height of the 1920s. A four-hour journey through the Piney Woods of East Texas, the rail journey is a train excursion made for the whole family. Due to the coronavirus pandemic certain social distancing measures are in place to help slow the spread.
Start your round-trip train ride adventure at the Palestine Depot or Rusk Depot. The Palestine Depot is home of the Whistle Stop Cafe (different than the real one!) and Roundhouse 1909. The Rusk Train depot is where the Texas State Railroad began and features gift shops. In 1881, inmates, incarcerated at the newly-opened East Texas Rusk Penitentiary, began laying the original narrow-gauge rails to transport hardwoods and charcoal used as fuel for the prison-operated smelter. According to the website, The furnace supplied iron products that were shipped throughout the region, including columns and dome structuring for the capitol building in Austin. Today the area between Rusk and Palestine is designated as a state park.
All Aboard the Texas State Railroad
With seven different comfortable seating options to choose from, there's bound to be something for everyone.
Train Cars to Choose From:
The magic of Christmas is everywhere you look aboard #TexasStateRR's #PolarExpress. Limited seating still available now...
Comfortable upholstered benches or chairs at tabletops for four, with table service by friendly and knowledgeable attendants. One non-alcoholic beverage is included with light snacks.
Presidential Car #1511
Presidential Car #1511 features comfortable seats, intimate table service, large picture windows and a private...
This adult-only car features comfortable seats, intimate table service, large picture windows, and access to a private outdoor-viewing platform. Champagne and appetizers are included.
Presidential Car #42
Family-friendy, this car includes comfortable couches or two-top tables and chairs, intimate table service, and large picture windows. Champagne and sparkling cider are included along with family-friendly snacks.
Texas State Railroad's exclusive caboose seats one party of 8 or fewer. Features comfortable, plush over-sized seats,...
Catered to one party of 8 or fewer, the caboose features comfortable, plush over-sized seats, cupola seating for a birds-eye view, and private outdoor-viewing platforms, along with a private valet who pours champagne and serves freshly prepared appetizers.
Rough it with vintage wooden bench seats in cars with no windows. Feel that sweet Texas air!
Locomotive Ride Along
Enjoy a ride-along. With an advanced reservation and a required background check, one is sure to cherish the unique...
Start the day dressed in complimentary TSR safety gear, ready to assist the engineer and conductor in preparing for departure. You'll get to sit in-between the engineer and conductor for a trip of a lifetime.
Sky High Observation Dome
Celebrate #RomanceOnTheRails and have a #DateNight aboard Texas State Railroad this summer. "Wines in the Pines" offers...
Seats up to 66 people, this car features soft leather seats with convenient tables. Sip on complimentary Champagne along with freshly-prepared appetizers.
The Texas State Railroad is still running amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers are required to wear masks and will have their temperature taken before departing the depot.
Tickets to the Polar Express ride in the winter are now available as well. All Polar Express runs depart from the train depot in Palestine, Texas.