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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Palestine in Anderson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Texas State Railroad

 
 
Texas State Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, January 19, 2019
1. Texas State Railroad Marker
Inscription.  The Texas Prison System built a short rail line from the Rusk State Penitentiary to hardwood timber stands where charcoal was made for firing the prison's iron ore furnaces. The rail line became the foundation of the Texas State Railway, organized in 1896 to make the prison self-supporting and to develop the region's economy.

Built by prisoners and supervised by the State Penitentiary System, the line was completed in 1909 to Palestine (30 mi.W) where it connected with existing routes. Financial woes and the closing of the furnaces led to the line being leased to the Texas & New Orleans Railroad, and later the Texas & Southeastern Railroad, which operated the line until 1969.

Control of the line was transferred to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in 1972 for development as a state park. Restoration of the tracks between Rusk and Palestine was accomplished by Texas Department of Corrections inmates. New depots and parks were built at each terminus. Vintage steam locomotives and rail cars were purchased to provide tourist passenger service from Palestine to Rusk. The park has become one of the most popular tourist attractions
Texas State Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, January 19, 2019
2. Texas State Railroad Marker
in the state.
 
Erected 1997 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 8819.)
 
Location. 31° 44.341′ N, 95° 34.249′ W. Marker is in Palestine, Texas, in Anderson County. Marker is on Park Road 70, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located in front of the Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 789 Park Road 70, Palestine TX 75801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Swanson Cemetery (a few steps from this marker); John H. Reagan Monument (approx. 3 miles away); John H. Reagan (approx. 3 miles away); Roy B. Wallace (approx. 3.6 miles away); Dr. Bonner Frizzell (approx. 3.6 miles away); Robert (Bob) Knight (approx. 3.6 miles away); Palestine High School (approx. 3.6 miles away); Micham Main (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palestine.
 
Regarding Texas State Railroad. In 2007, due to budget concerns, the Texas Legislature passed a bill which allowed for the creation of an operating authority for the train with the power to lease the train to a private operator. As a result, the railroad was transferred from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Texas State Railroad Authority and is now privately operating as a scenic
Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, January 19, 2019
3. Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot
tourist line.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Texas State Railroad - The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) (Submitted on January 22, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.) 

2. Texas State Railroad Official Site. (Submitted on January 22, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.)
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 

More. Search the internet for Texas State Railroad.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 22, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 100 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 22, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.
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