Visit to Texas State Railroad

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by roryglasgow, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    We just got back from a trip on the Texas State Railroad, which runs between Rusk and Palestine (pronounced Pal-es-steen). The railroad was originally built in the late 1800s to serve the iron foundry at the East Texas Penitentiary in Rusk. For a more complete history of the line, check out their website: http://www.texasstaterailroad.com

    We had a great time. It was a very relaxing trip, even though it rained most of the way. The forest looks really pretty during the rain.

    Unfortunately, the TSRR is in danger of being shut down. Like many states, Texas is facing a budget crisis (duh...we somehow didn't foresee being $9 billion short this year). State parks and agencies (including mine) are facing deep cuts. (We're all waiting for the ax to fall at my office...several will be laid off this week.) The TSRR is important because it is the state's premier steam locomotive preservation and restoration facility. It's one of the few tourist railroads that is completely self-contained--it shares no part of its ROW with "commercial" lines. One of their main purposes is to preserve the equipment and practices of steam-era railroads for all to see and experience.

    Two trains run on Saturdays and Sundays through the Spring and Summer, and they run Thursday through Sunday in June and July. One train departs from Rusk, the other from Palestine. The one from Rusk pulls onto a siding about half-way to let the other train pass, then they continue on their way to the other town. After a one-hour layover, they head back to their original stations. Passengers can purchase one-way and two-way tickets.

    This first picture is of the train and water tower at the Rusk station. The combine next to the tower is where we sat. The other half of the combine was the snack bar.

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  2. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Here is the engine that pulled our train: the famous No. 300. No. 300 was donated to the TSRR in 1973 by Temple Industries. It's a Baldwin 2-8-0 General Pershing-type, built in 1917.

    This picture was taken at the Rusk depot.

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  3. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Here is a very handsome, young future engineer. As you can see, he's also a Thomas the Tank Engine fan!

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  4. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Here's that handsome young man again. He has the amazing ability to make his arms blend in with the color of the concrete sidewalk!

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  5. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    This is the interior of the combine in which we rode. It was widely agreed that this was the nicest car on the train (even the air-conditioned coach didn't look this nice). It was showing its age a little bit, but was very comfortable.

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  6. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    This is the water tower at the Palestine station. Sitting atop the tower is one of the two best flags that have ever flown over Texas. I'll give you a hint: it's the current national flag. The other one, of course, was the Republic of Texas!

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  7. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Here is No. 300 completing a turnaround on the wye at the Palestine station. She's headed for the mainline to get ready to pull the train back to Rusk.

    There are wyes on both ends of the line, and another along the line near Palestine (why, I don't know). There's also a turntable at the MOW facility in Maydelle (the only town that the line runs through). When the train makes "short runs" from Rusk, they turn the engine on the turntable.

    BTW, the headquarters of the railroad is located in Rusk.

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  8. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    This is the exterior of the combine at the platform at the Palestine station. You can kinda see the semaphore signal a few cars down.

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  9. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Pines aren't the only trees that grow in East Texas! This is the semaphore at the Rusk station.

    All of these pictures were taken with my el-cheapo digital camera. When we get the "real" camera's film developed, I'll post a few of those pics.

    I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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  10. interurban

    interurban Active Member

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    Thanks

    Hi roryglasgow, Thanks for taking us along with you. Is that handsome fellow a roryglasgow to:D :D :D :D :D

    Sorry to hear about the axe:eek: That`s a BL&^&^%$%DY SHAME:mad:
    Hope things work out for you.;)
  11. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Yep, that handsome young man is my son. Thankfully, he's a lot better lookin' than his ol' dad! He's the one who fueled the spark that got me back into model railroading.

    There is the possibility that a private organization could take over the line. With the way money is going right now, sacrifices are having to be made. I would hate to see it go...

    I managed to survive this round of layoffs at my office. We may have another round by September.
  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    Rory,
    Check this combine coach out. It's amazing the similarties between US and Australian railway sometimes. :) This ine is waiting to be restored. I have a kit built one as part of my W Class steam hauled passenger set from the 1920's. (that ran up til the 1980's in general use).
  13. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    This one.

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  14. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    That's a beautiful combine, Woodie. She'll look really grand when she's all fixed up! I'm glad that there are people with the resources and skills to preserve our railroad history.

    Do you know who originally built the combine? Maybe there's an American connection in there somewhere... As I understand it, the 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive was designed for a railroad in New Zealand, but was originally built in the U.S. Maybe some designers or engineers from both sides of the Pacific got together and swapped ideas...
  15. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

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    Rory,
    The only thing I can find on the net is this. But I've seen more detail somewhere.... (Didn't put it on favourites :mad: )


    It's the same car, but in much better nick, and general usage days. click
    here Built by the Victorian railways, themselves, but no idea where the general design came from. There were only 5 made.

    And a "real" one from 1981

    [​IMG]

    Info and pics courtesy of the best Victorian Railway pic site I've yet seen. :):) click here

    Check, also the Victorian Railways "blue and gold" livery of the 50's compared to Erie in the US or the same era. I know that this scheme was a deliberate copy of the Erie scheme.

    And not a very good one (el-cheapo digital camera) of my 1BCE composite kit buit car on Garhabara.

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  16. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    That's really cool, Woodie! You did a great job with that model!

    I imagine that the designers just came up with similar solutions to the same problems. But those coaches would look at home on most American roads, IMO...
  17. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

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    Thanks for the tour Rory, nice to see your son enjoying the day too. The economy seems to be hurting everything these days. Hope you survive the cuts. Why is it that the head honchos don't go first?. :(
  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

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    Thanks, Robin. I survived the first round. It is highly likely that another round will be coming by September.

    The way I figure it, some of the head honchos here in Texas won't make the next BIG cut...the next election!