Cave Dwellings: The Texas State Railroad..Train Lover’s Dream
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Texas State Railroad..Train Lover’s Dream

  I am digging back into our archives for photos of the steam train we saw at what used to be the Texas State Park at Rusk, TX.  Anyone who has a train fetish would go crazy here.  I don’t think the actual park is a state park anymore, but it was when we were there in December 2006.  It is part of the The Texas State Railroad now, but still offers RV and tent camping at both depot sites, Palestine and Rusk, Texas..

  We were there before Christmas and they had the steam train all decked out, greenery, ribbons and reindeer antlers!!  Here is Santa standing in front of the train…Oops, sorry…This guy has only a beard. Maybe he’s an elf…



  She was a beauty, that old steam train.  She travels between Rusk and Palestine, Texas.  Check the link for current schedules and special events because it has been 4 years since we were there and I am sure things have changed.

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  The day we were at Palestine, they had a luncheon train you could ride on.  Most of the people were dressed in period costume…

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..Here I am on the right at the Rusk Depot…We camped here for a few days.



These pictures were taken at the Palestine Depot, about 30 miles from Rusk.

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As you can see, Den and I were NOT in period attire ( Oh my God, my hair was non-existent!! I don’t think women wore their hair that short back then)…We had no idea what to expect when we drove from Rusk to Palestine to check it out.  We didn’t ride the steam train that day, you needed a prior reservation…if we get back there we definitely WILL!! We soooo enjoyed just hanging out with the warm and fuzzy feeling of Christmas and history in the air all at once.

Den and I were very impressed with this place ,and the wonderful “days gone by” it represented…They also had some diesel engine trains running that day.  I highly recommend the camping also.  We stayed at Rusk, but they have camping available at both depots. The depots had a great gift shop full of train memorabilia…( OK, SAM ,wipe the drool off your face!)

  Above are photos of our campsite at Rusk…If you click on the picture on the right, you may notice that the train tracks ran right through the park..(look closely on the mid right side of the photo..)

I hope at least some of you RV’ers ,( and also those who aren’t), get to see this place…especially if you love trains and train history.  There are hotels to stay at too, but we pull our hotel behind us.

At our house, we have a  deep backyard that runs right up to the tracks… Just for the record, I would much prefer to hear the great whistle of an old steam train chugging along behind my house than the present scream of AMTRA.  Well, it ‘s Wednesday afternoon and we are under a tornado watch YET AGAIN!! I got so tired of taking down my umbrella over our patio table, I finally just left it in the garage for the last 2 days.  And after riding through the movie “Wizard of Oz” on the way back from Indy Monday, I have no desire to see any more black ominous clouds!!  However, I think I WILL take my stash of Rum to the basement , just in case I end up down there about cocktail hour!! Thanks for reading!!!


  1. I didn't drool to much , but i did run and get a frosted mug and a can of Miller high Life Light just to finish reading the post, and not drool, the Millers acts as a coagulant to soak up excess drool, try it some time. Rusk TX is ON THE LIST, I know Palestine is on an old MO Pacific line the Union Pacific owns now. You guys must see the two AmtraK MO trains that connect St Louis and Kansas City to Chicago. Every couple years the UP runs one of their BIG steam engines out this way and it heads for Chucago with a special passenger train, I will let you know next time I get wind of one heading your way, my Luck you'll be in Texas. Hey thanks for the photo's who knows you may have helped Donna & my love life with your post. Be safe out there. Sam 7 Donna.

  2. Good blog! We enjoy the old trains, have ridden a few short lines, narrow gauges, and just fun trains as well. Looks like a wonderful place to camp! Thanks for showing us around

  3. Hey dwellers, looks like you two are having great fun even at your home... keep it up...
    we're working this summer and have'nt found much time to relax like in Az... but better times are coming...:) hoping to get the camera going again next year...
    take care