Texas State Railroad

Texas State Railroad (HM2DS0)

Location: Palestine, TX 75801 Anderson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 44.341', W 95° 34.249'

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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 in the state.
HM NumberHM2DS0
Year Placed1997
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 at 7:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 256450 N 3514383
Decimal Degrees31.73901667, -95.57081667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 44.341', W 95° 34.249'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 44' 20.46" N, 95° 34' 14.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)903
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 789 Park Rd 70, Palestine TX 75801, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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