Texas State Railroad plans busy fall excursion schedule

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RUSK, Texas — The Texas State Railroad is slated for a busy fall schedule.

The robust fall schedule comes after the railroad endured a tumultuous spring. In January, the railroad's then parent company, Iowa Pacific, came under scrutiny after documents came to light showing that the company had laid off almost all of its employees and was behind in taxes owed to the state government.

In May, Iowa Pacific ceased to manage the property and the Ogden-based Western Group took over instead. Since taking over, the Western Group has remodeled the passenger stations and upgraded the interior of the passenger cars.

Events include Halloween-themed “Pumpkin Patch” trains on Saturdays and Sundays in October; an over 21 beer train on Oct. 7 and 21; and Polar Express trains, which will run between Nov. 11 and Dec. 27.

Prisoners housed at Rusk built the Texas State Railroad in 1881. After the line was taken out of general service, it was managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a tourist railroad and state park. The Western Group is the third entity to manage the property since the park was decommissioned and privatized in 2007.

More information is available online.

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