“The fact that this rail line started out in the late 1880s as 1.7 miles of track to facilitate farming and industry within the walls of the Rusk, Texas, prison to now being 25 miles of Texas history makes us very proud to be operating it,” says Vice President of Passenger Services Teresa Propeck.
During the four-hour excursion aboard a vintage 1920s train car, passengers travel between the Rusk and Palestine depots. The 25-mile ride goes into the scenic Piney Woods and hardwood creek bottoms, passes over 24 bridges (one is more than 1,000 feet long), and cruises by wild forests, tranquil rivers and peaceful ranchlands that blend with mid-century architecture and vintage transportation.
She says the options most popular with groups are:
Presidential Class This adult-only experience features comfortable, oversized seats, intimate tables for easy conversation, large picture windows and a private outdoor viewing platform. A complimentary champagne toast and appetizers are served, and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.
First Class This passage includes comfortable upholstered chairs, a personal car attendant, a champagne toast, beverage service and complimentary appetizers in climate-controlled cars that are ADA accessible.
Open-Air Coach This historically correct mode of travel includes vintage wooden bench seats in cars with no windows so the east Texas air flows directly through the car. This option is limited to certain seasons.
Top photo by texasstaterailroad.net