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“Great for the little ones!”

Texas State Railroad
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Rusk
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: At Texas State Railroad tradition meets comfort and adventure for the whole family. The ride includes comfortable seating, food and beverage service and historic narration on a rail journey that whisks you back into another century. The casual grace of train travel never goes out of style. From the moment one steps aboard a vintage 1920’s car, the excitement of being on the rails is exhilarating. This three-hour train ride, with an hour-and-one-half layover either in Rusk or Palestine, takes passengers on a 25-mile journey through a State Park and 125 years of history. Celebrated steam or vintage diesel locomotives are the muscle that pulls the consist of cars representing a bygone form of notable travel.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed May 30, 2013 via mobile

We went for the Easter train ride and it was great. They had a hay ride, games, and food you can buy. The only problem was that at the start of the Easter egg hunt not all kids even got eggs, you had to be right up front. My daughter is six and she still enjoyed doing all the games there.

2  Thank Dolphin2030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"steam engine"
in 17 reviews
"train ride"
in 40 reviews
"boxed lunch"
in 6 reviews
"padded seats"
in 3 reviews
"departure location"
in 2 reviews
"trip takes"
in 2 reviews
"fun trip"
in 7 reviews
"presidential car"
in 2 reviews
"climate control"
in 2 reviews
"tasting beer"
in 2 reviews
"first class car"
in 5 reviews
"rail car"
in 2 reviews
"hour layover"
in 2 reviews
"the polar express"
in 7 reviews
"gift shop"
in 11 reviews
"vintage train"
in 2 reviews
"small lake"
in 2 reviews
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141 - 145 of 185 reviews

Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

We went to the TSRR on May 18 to explore the train and depot. We did not ride the train (yet!) but we enjoyed our afternoon. We arrived at 2:30pm and decided to wait for the train to come "home" at 4pm. The staff ladies and their supervisor (who were all a lot of fun) were so friendly that we spent a lot of time talking to them. My toddler loved that they had 3 Thomas train tables with a few trains to play with. I loved that I could read the history and study the photos while he played.
(Mom note: clean restrooms, cold drinks.)

If you are into historic preservation, this depot is amazing. It has a really interesting history, too.

It was a thrill for both of us to see the giant engine come puffing into the station! We were able to take good photos and even got to speak with the engineer a little bit when we walked down the grassy area for more photos. It is a magnificent train, and the staffers all had smiles at the end of line, which indicates their love for engine 300. (We nicknamed it "Big Tex".)

It is worth the trip to just sit on a bench and wait for the train to roll in.

Afterwards, we explored the RV/camping park as encouraged by the staff. We had as much fun at the little splashpad sprinkler spot as we did at the depot. It was a great way to cool off before our ride home back to Tyler.

If we had a camper, we would camp there -- bathroom buildings, picnic tables, fire pits, some grills. Could use a little updating, but since their funding is tight (and they almost lost their funding recently) it seems like a great, serene place to camp in the piney woods.

Thank you to our new staff friends! Thank you for an awesome afternoon. We will be back soon and often.

3  Thank artMom93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

The camp ground downhill since Texas gave it up to a private operator. Aside from that having a vintage steam train rumble though the camp sites slowly was an amazing sight to behold. The trip was a little long from the camp site to the next town up (and back) but overall a wonderful family experience. These old trains made America and may just go byby someday. See it and ride it while you can.

3  Thank kurtmcq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

I have been riding this train since it was iwned by the State of Texas. Since it has changed hands, and gone more privatized, the prices have gone up. Too me however it is worth the money. You may purchase a boxed lunch or provide your own (boxed lunches can be bought when you make your reservations) and bring your camera. I know from working there as the ticket agent that the tourists come back to havr family pics taken at both the Rusk and Palestine depots because of the beautiful landscaping and the chance to get a picture with one of the engines (such as 300, as she is my favorite and most beautiful engine out there). The conductors are really nice and the scenery (the trees and flowers and river) are more and more wonderful as the year goes by. So go ride the Historic Texas State Railroad. Take your family along and enjoy the beauty and splendor of the Pineywoods of East Texas!

4  Thank Wickidbutterfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 31, 2013

By now, I'm sure everyone knows how it works, so I'll skip the mundane stuff. However, I do have a few tips for you... First, bring your own lunch. We did a quick “Subway Run” before boarding and paid exactly half the amount of the box lunches served by the railroad (drinks included). Next, take the Palestine to Rusk trip, so you can eat lunch by the lovely lake in Rusk... very nice. Next, remember that this is NOT the Canadian Transcontinental Express, so don't buy the expensive tickets. We got the "Open Air" seats and had a blast. Remember that it can get noisy though, and bring a stadium cushion for the seats, as it is a long ride, ha ha. We drove 3.5 hours each way to get here, so this was definitely a nice "Worth Doing Once" trip for us. Everything was clean and the staff was nice. I recommend this attraction for families with young children... but remember - save money by bringing food & snacks, buy the cheap seats and steer clear of the overpriced gift shop.

12  Thank GRTraveldawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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