Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Day on the Texas State Railroad

One of the most fun things about having children is the ability to revisit parts of your childhood that you loved without anyone questioning your maturity. If you lived anywhere in east-central Texas growing up, you've probably ridden the Texas State Railroad at least once. When I called to purchase our tickets, the customer service agent asked how I had heard of it. I can't remember how old I was the first time my family rode it, or there was that time we went on our 3rd grade field trip, or when my brother was old enough to be into trains.

We caught the train out of Palestine, but there are also departures from Rusk. As I mentioned in our Easter recap, this was Jack's 3rd birthday gift from us, and we took a crew along. It was so fun!

They are in the process of restoring the old steam engines, so for now, they're running diesel engines instead. And of course, this gives us a reason to go again!

It's an hour and a half one-way to Rusk from Palestine, leaving at 11:20 and arriving back around 4 PM. We rode in the enclosed car with windows we could adjust to keep the wind at our liking. The weather has been so unpredictable lately, but the day was nice enough that we kept the windows all the way open both ways.

Right behind the engine as we were going out, the open air car had an open air deck/porch area where you could go and see what was going on. The engineer turned around and waved at us, and of course that made the trip.

On the deck watching the action

Once we pulled into the Rusk Depot, we picnicked under the tall East Texas trees. It was such a perfect day to be outside. We couldn't have asked for better weather! Jack was flipping out with excitement as they turned the engine around and attached it to the other end of the train to take us back to Palestine.

We're so proud of this big little guy, and it's a blast to be his mom.

This is a great day trip from the DFW area. They offer box lunches for $10, but we packed our own lunch which was just as fun. I think the non-climate controlled cars are where it's at. Not only are they significantly cheaper than the climate controlled car, the seats are not assigned, and you feel a little more at ease roaming around if you need to stretch your legs.

Also--there were quite a few "adults only" parties checking out the scenery that day. As they say, "All aboard!"


  1. Jack is looking so BIG in these pictures! Lots of fun!

  2. What a fun thing to do!!! I don't think I have ever heard of this? By the way, that last pic of you and Jack is definitely a framer!


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