All aboard!

Take a trip back in time, get aboard a train powered by a steam locomotive. The Texas State Railroad has a deep history with East Texas. The line that runs from Palestine to Rusk was constructed by Texas inmates and was completed in 1906, however the railroad dates back to 1883. The rail line was used to ship freight between the depots and eventually added passenger service which continued until 1921. The rail line was continued to be used by various companies until it was turned over the the Texas Parks And Wildlife Department in 1969 and turned in to a state park.

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The steam and some diesel locomotives are once again running the tracks between Rusk and Palestine now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. My wife and I have taken my daughter to ride the Texas State Railroad several times throughout the last few years. We've taken a ride aboard their holiday themed 'Polar Express' train, we were for a Thomas The Train event and have ridden it a couple times as a regular trip aboard the open air car and the air conditioned car. Riding this rail line through the piney woods is a special and historical thing.

Texas State Railroad - Rusk Depot via YouTube

Depending upon what type of journey you book and the time of the year, you could be going on a four hour journey through the East Texas piney woods along the 25 miles of track and then enjoying a picnic lunch at a depot before making the trip back. Depending upon the time of the year, you can book a trip for the 'Pints In The Pines' event, 'Wines In The Pines' event, a special 4th of July excursion or even a trip to the North Pole aboard the 'Polar Express'.

Now if your out of county, out of state or out of nation summer vacation plans were ruined by the pandemic, here's a perfect thing for you and the family to do for your local 'staycation'.  Make your reservations now, especially for the Polar Express, because it books up quickly.  I now it's June (at the time I wrote this), but you won't want to miss out on this fun family event.