US Hwy 84 East
Palestine, TX 75801
phone: 903-683-2561
Please note: schedule, price, engines and equipment are subject to change without notice. Please see website or call for a final schedule.
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
John Garbutt, Special Projects Administrator
phone: 903-683-3089
Lori Pennington, Marketing Manager
phone: 903-683-3087


Groups: The Texas State Railroad welcomes groups of all types and sizes! We offer a unique experience for churches, tour groups, scouts, family or class reunions, organizations, school groups….you name it! Have a group of 20 or more? Want the train to yourself? Want to get married on the train? Let our reservation department fulfill your group request. If your specific group is not listed on our website or if you have specific questions or special needs, please be sure to contact our reservation office by phone or email and we will be happy to help you organize the perfect group outing.

Scouts: Boy & Girl Scout groups are offered special discounts so your troop can experience history first hand. Our scout excursions include not only a trip on our historic railroad, but also the opportunity to earn merit badges as they learn about history, transportation, and nature. Bring your scout group to the Texas State Railroad where you can camp and ride a historic train in the piney woods of East Texas! Contact the reservation for current pricing.

School Groups: We believe that history is an important part of a student’s education! We offer discounted student rates to school groups so that your students can experience history first hand. We also offer curriculum materials so that you can teach your students about railroading history, trains, train safety, and more!

Train Charters: Did you know that you can charter the train? That’s right! We can help you create the perfect event for your large or small group. What is a charter? Well, it is an option to reserve the train for your special event – no other passengers will be on board your train! There are different options available when chartering the train. Chartering the train is perfect for company parties, fundraisers, private events such as weddings, dinners, school reunions, and filming.


The Texas state prison system established the railroad in 1881. Inmates built the line, which was used to transport hardwood which was used as fuel for the furnaces at the prison-operated iron smelter at the Rusk Penitentiary. The furnace supplied the State of Texas with iron products, including the columns and dome structure for the capitol building in Austin. The original construction was a narrow gauge line but was later built in standard gauge in order to join into the main line.

The railroad was conveyed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1972 and state inmates were again brought in to help with the creation of the state historical park. The park and railroad were opened to the public on July 4th, 1976, as part of the nation's Bicentennial Celebration.

The state's parks and wildlife department successfully ran the railroad until the management was privatized with a contract with American Heritage Railways in September of 2007. Please join us in helping to maintain this important piece of Texas heritage by taking a ride on the Texas State Railroad, truly a "Texas Treasure!"

Artifacts Collections

Read about our train engines in more detail on our website:

  • Engine 300 is one of two surviving United States Army “Pershing” engines. This type of engine was named after General “Blackjack” Pershing and built for service in Europe during World War One.
  • Engine number 201 is the oldest locomotive operated on the line. This engine was built in 1901 by the A.L. Cooke Locomotive Works for the Texas & Pacific Railway, and is the only operating T&P steam locomotive in existence.
  • Engine number 7 is the second oldest diesel locomotive operated on the Texas State Railroad. This engine was built in 1947 by the American Locomotive Company at their Schenectedy, New York, locomotive plant.
  • Engine 400 began its career on the Tremont & Gulf Railway, a Louisiana short line. Wearing number 30, it was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1917.
  • Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1911, engine 500 began its career with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway wearing number 1316. It was originally built as a compound steam engine.

Educational Programs

please see our website for more details.


Lecture Halls

Performance Areas


Gift Shop

Special Event Rental


Group Tours