Riding the Steam Train in Palestine, Texas

(I did have a really neat train whistle that started when this page was opened; but now it doesn't work and I can't figure out how to MAKE it work.)

There's nothing like the sight of billowing steam and the clankety-clank sound of a steam engine rumbling down the tracks for bringing back cherished childhood memories. If you'd like to recapture a bit of this cherished piece of history, the Texas State Railroad is the place. Operated since 1976 by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a state historical park, it stretches through the pine and hardwood forests of east Texas from Rusk to Palestine.

The Texas State Railroad is one of the largest and most unique of the handful of steam railroads in the United States. It is one of the only railroads that regularly operates two steam trains simultaneously, giving passengers the unique opportunity to watch the trains switch and pass as they meet near the midway point of the trip between the two stations. The track is 25 miles long and includes 24 trestles, the longest of which spans the Neches River.

Visit the Texas State Railroad web site for lots of information - schedules, history of the railroad, etc., and more great pictures.

Left: the depot. Right: Harry waits for the train.
Here comes the train. And here's the engineer.
They let us visit the cab of HUGE number 610, which weighs 224 tons! It is kept in the "garage" and is not presently in use.

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