During your stay in Dallas or other East Texas location, spend a day in the countryside on the historic Texas State Railroad! On a round-trip train ride, you’ll travel between the depots of Rusk, admiring the piney woods forest and spending quality time with your family or friends. This is a fantastic tour for those traveling with kids, as they’ll love boarding the steam-engine train and setting off into the wilderness, just as passengers did when the railway was established in 1881.
Your railroad adventure begins in the town of Rusk, where you’ll board the steam-powered vintage train, whose engine dates back to 1917, and set forth on your 1.5-hour ride. Settled comfortably in your seat (see seating options below), relax and enjoy the journey between the two Victorian-style train depots.
During the 25-mile (40-km) ride through the scenic piney woods forest, the train travels by creeks, rolling hills and, if you’re lucky, some native wildlife. Cross the Neches River, pass by the Mewshaw State Saw Mill and keep an eye out for beavers. If the scenery looks familiar, you may have seen it in a movie or TV show; the Texas State Railroad has played host to such productions as American Outlaws with Kathy Bates and Colin Farrell, O Brother, Where Art Thou? with George Clooney and John Goodman, Rough Riders with Tom Berenger and Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris.
When you arrive at the other Rusk depot – you’ll have 1.5 hours to eat lunch. Pre-order a box lunch, or bring your own; drinks and snacks are also available for purchase in the concession car of the train. After lunch, re-board the train and make the return journey to your starting point.
- Standard coach seating: A traditional upholstered seat in an enclosed train car with windows that open and close and access to the concessions.
- Standard open-air seating: Bench seating in an enclosed train car with open windows and access to the concessions.
- Premium adult-only seating: Table seating (four people to a table) in a climate-controlled car with a personal car attendant, snack and drink service, and included box lunch; must be 18 years or older
- Premium family seating: Table seating (four people to a table) in a climate-controlled car with a personal car attendant, snack and drink service, and included box lunch; all ages welcome; ADA accessible.
- Engine cab: For the ultimate railroad experience, spend one or both journeys inside the engine cab! Ride with the engineer and fireman, learning what it takes to operate the train. Must be 18 years or older.