Train Rides, Tours & Depots in East Texas

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The railroad has played an important part in the history and development of East Texas over the years. Companies like the Texas & Pacific Railway and the Cotton Belt Route were dominant transportation giants in the area.

Today, interest in railroads remains high with residents, and tourists.

Included on this page are highlights of some of the more popular railroad rides and depots across this part of Texas.

Whether you are touring in Deep East Texas, around Nacogdoches, or in Upper East Texas in Tyler, or elsewhere in the area, there are many interesting railroad displays to explore.

Texas State Railroad EMD diesel locomotive No. 125 (photo courtesy of the Texas State Railroad)
Texas State Railroad diesel locomotive No. 125

Steam engine No. 316 of the Texas State Railroad

Texas State Railroad

A popular East Texas attraction is the well known Texas State Railroad, which has a rail station in Rusk and one in Palestine. Vintage steam and diesel locomotives take passengers across the celebrated rails of the Piney Woods Route between the quaint East Texas towns of Palestine and Rusk on a 50-mile roundtrip adventure.

This quintessential daytrip, only a few hours from the metropolitan communities of Dallas and Houston, will create a memory that will last a lifetime.

Texas State Railroad station in Rusk (photo courtesy of the Texas State Railroad)
Texas State Railroad station in Rusk

Railroad Museum in Nacogdoches

in August of 1954 Southern Pacific terminated passenger services through Nacogdoches. The depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. it is now home to the SFA Center for Regional Heritage and features rotating museum displays such as the Loblolly Model Train exhibit, history of railroading in Nacogdoches, and others. 

Located at 101 Old Tyler Road in Nacogdoches

Railroad Museum and SFA Center for Regional Heritage in Nacogdoches, Texas

Cotton Belt Depot Museum in Tyler

The Tyler Tap Railroad began operations in 1877, and later became part of the Cotton Belt Railway. The Cotton Belt train depot in Tyler was opened in 1905. Today, the depot is the home of the Cotton Belt Depot Museum, and the Tyler Transit offices. Included in the museum's collection are four large model train layouts, photographs, uniforms, hats, etc. that have been donated by former employees of the railroad, and friends of the depot. The Depot Museum has received visitors from all 50 states and 38 foreign counties, and is staffed by volunteers from the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society. 

The Cotton Belt Depot Museum, 210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, Texas

( staff photo)

T&P Railway Depot

The historic Texas & Pacific (T&P) Railway depot and museum is a major tourist attraction in Marshall, as are many other historical sites that showcase Marshall's long and varied history.

Located at 800 N. Washington Street, this ornate two-story brick station, once a major interchange point and division office for the T&P, has been restored to its former grandeur.

Texas & Pacific Depot and Railway Museum

Marshall, Texas - Texas & Pacific (T&P) Railway Station, November 2011


Old Texas & Pacific Railway Depot in Grand Saline

The Grand Saline Library located in the restored Texas and Pacific Depot, 201 E. Pacific Street
The Grand Saline Library

The T&P in Mineola

The discovery of oil in Wood County and construction of the Texas & Pacific Railway prompted additional growth in the 1940s.

Visit this restored caboose in downtown Mineola.

Scene along the railroad in Mineola, Texas

Depot Museum in Henderson, Texas

Depot Museum in Henderson

The old 1901 Missouri Pacific railway depot was an important link for old-timers in Rusk County, Texas.  World and local news, gossip and local business concerns traveled by the train to the citizens.  Today The Depot Museum is your ticket to East Texas Heritage

Henderson Depot Museum

Cotton Belt Depot in Mt. Vernon, Texas

Cotton Belt Depot in Mt. Vernon

The 1894 Cotton Belt Railroad Depot has been carefully restored pursuant to National Register standards with original colors and decor. The central office is furnished with antiques suitable to an office at the turn of the last century, working telegraphy, and railroading exhibits. A model train exhibit showcases a stylized mid-century Mount Vernon. The depot is located at 202 S Kaufman Street in Mount Vernon.

Mount Vernon Depot Museum

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