We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Texas State Railroad

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Park Road 76 Highway 84 West, Rusk, TX 75785
Phone Number: (903) 683-2561
Improve this listing

The Texas State Railroad, established in 1881, is truly a "Texas...

The Texas State Railroad, established in 1881, is truly a "Texas Treasure!" This historic railroad and camping park offers both steam and diesel train excursions that travel through the scenic piney woods of East Texas. Passengers may board excursion trains at either the Rusk or Palestine depots. The trip takes 1½ hour each way with a 1½ hour lunch layover at the opposite train depot. Operating weekend excursions year-round and special events throughout the year.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 116 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 64
  • 33
    Very good
  • 12
  • 5
  • 2
All aboard the Polar Express!

What an amazing ride we had on the Polar Express! Everyone who worked at the Texas State Railroad Depot was friendly and helpful and everyone aboard the train made the event... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed November 28, 2015
Cypress, Texas
Add Photo Write a Review

116 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Plano, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We took our toddler son, who LOVES trains, to the Pumpkin Express train in October of 2015. We felt like he wasnt ready for the full 4 hour or whatever steam train ride. So this was what we thought would be a better option. The diesel engine was good but not great (they do the diesel only for this particular... More 

1 Thank Tara D
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2015 via mobile

Drove 6 hours to see this with a 4 year old- and it ended up not being that big of a deal. Santa was very authentic and took time to see every kid. The ride itself was only about 30 minutes to the North Pole which wasn't more than a few elves and lights. We passed by and left the... More 

Thank scg29205
Cypress, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2015

What an amazing ride we had on the Polar Express! Everyone who worked at the Texas State Railroad Depot was friendly and helpful and everyone aboard the train made the event extra special. On board the train, cookies and cocoa were served by dancing chefs, the book was read, and there was even a visit from Santa!

Thank brendy8330
Suffolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2015

I have rode many a tourist railroad (it is my hobby) in my travels across the U.S.A. and this one ranks near the top. 25 Miles (each way) of pure fun. I chose to sit in an "open air car" located directy behind the steam locomotive. This is an oil fired (not coal) locomotive, so you do not have to... More 

2 Thank 767NucEngineer
Dallas, Texas
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2015

What a disappointment. For $80/person, we expected much more. The brunch was catered by "Traditions" from Tyler and was pretty bad. Three out of the four of us couldn't eat the entreé. The service ( from the caterer) was rude. The train's wait staff was efficient, but not at all friendly. Restrooms were out of toilet tissue. The brunch offered... More 

Thank sherri p
New Braunfels, Texas
Level Contributor
264 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2015

We took our kids and their children ages 3,4, and two infants on the Pumpkin Patch Express. One of the grandsons loves trains specifically "too too tains". Most of us are from Houston so we stayed overnight in Palestine prior to the train ride and drove the 30 minutes to Rusk to catch the 11:00am train. It is better to... More 

Thank zinniaqueen
Fort Towson, Ok.
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2015

It was real exciting to get to ride something that was like the trains you see in old westerns. The employees were real friendly and knowledgeable. The food was great! We just really enjoyed the whole trip. Making reservations was easy on line.

Thank peggym245
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2015 via mobile

From the great service and wait staff to the air conditioned car everything was perfect! The train left Palestine station on time and food and beverage started as soon as we were on the road! The car was not too crowded and the tables were spaced at a adequate distance. At Rusk we had 1 1/2 hour break to explore... More 

2 Thank Rhonda T
The Woodlands, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

What a pleasant trip! We had grandkids with us so we took a bag of toys. We ate lunch and relaxed to a beverage of choice. Diner car was an air conditioned experience. Yes, would do this again.

Thank steelyimages
Marquez, Texas
Level Contributor
45 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015

Tickets can be bought at their website and seats are assigned. We got lucky and had our table all to ourselves. Usually you'd share the table with another couple. We had an appetizer and salad perfectly timed on the way out to Maydell, TX then the main course and desert on the return to the Rusk station. There is wine,... More 

2 Thank Cammy M

Travelers who viewed Texas State Railroad also viewed


Been to Texas State Railroad? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Texas State Railroad and other visitors
6 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (6)

Questions? Get answers from Texas State Railroad staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?