The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now


Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Texas State Railroad State Historical Park

Amy Richards General Entry

Texas State Railroad State Historical Park, located in Cherokee and Anderson counties, operates two antique trains between depots in Rusk and Palestine. The Rusk depot is on U.S. Highway 84 three miles west of Rusk, and the Palestine depot is on Highway 84 six miles east of Palestine. There are twenty-five scenic miles between, and the round trip takes about four hours. In addition to many smaller creeks, the track crosses the Neches River, the boundary between Cherokee and Anderson counties. The parks at either end of the track and the track right-of-way add up to about 517 acres; the park is only fifty to 200 feet wide in most places. This makes the railroad the longest, narrowest park in the state system. The Texas State Railroad offers round trips from Rusk and from Palestine on Saturday and Sunday from March through October, with additional runs on Thursday and Friday during the summer. Food and souvenirs may be purchased on board. The office is located in Rusk. Adjacent to both depot areas are the respective units of the Rusk-Palestine State Park, with facilities for hiking, camping, and fishing. Nearby points of interest include Mission Tejas State Historical Park, Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site, Tyler State Park, Jim Hogg State Historic Park, and Fort Parker.

George Oxford Miller and Delena Tull, Texas Parks and Campgrounds: North, East, and Coastal Texas (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1984). Joe Dale Morris, Texas State Railroads (Austin: Branch Line Graphics, 1979). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Amy Richards, “Texas State Railroad State Historical Park,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 30, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-state-railroad-state-historical-park.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Loading