Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot
789 Park Road 70, Palestine, TX 75801, United States

Review №1

Wonderful trip. Took youngest 2 grandsons. They had a great time. Train was wonderful. Went on porch. Staff was marvelous. Kept the little guys engaged.

Review №2

Thoroughly enjoyed the Polar Express experience. I will say if you get motion sick easily bring meds. Other than that I would definitely go again!

Review №3

Very nice polar express experience. We were entertained every minute of the ride. Plus, the hot chocolate and cookie were great (we were surprise it was not the watered down hot chocolate).

Review №4

Loved the Polar Express experience. The ride was relaxing and very fun. Hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies. Delicious. And the hot chocolate was just right in temperature.

Review №5

Took 3 teen girls on this ride during Labor Day weekend, to celebrate my daughters birthday with her cousin and bff. Great ride, our tour guide was awesome, and the pre-packaged lunch was good too. Highly recommend doing this with family and friends. Its different and fun.

Review №6

We just had a great time on the North Pole Express. My son was a little cranky for not having his nap and his sensory issues to loud noise but one of the staff members noticed his noise reduction headphones and reduced the speakers level. She took time to go see him and cheer him up. Thank you. He ended up all happy with Santa and and singing along to the songs. Car #7 @ 6:00pm.

Review №7

My husband and I visited in late April to take advantage of seeing the dogwoods in bloom and cooler weather, departing from the Palestine Depot. The majority of the train cars are family-friendly, but we opted for the adult-only Presidential Car. This turned out to be very enjoyable as it is the last car on the train, so visitors have the option of going out into the rear deck to take in the scenery. Service includes a non-alcoholic beverage and snack tray, but alcoholic beverages are available for purchase as is a picnic lunch offered at the turn-around depot in Rusk which sits on the edge of a small lake. The train staff is entertaining and very friendly. Train aficionados of every age will love this day out. Allow about 5 hours to enjoy the round trip. Depart from Palestine or Rusk.

Review №8

We booked our tickets for last Saturday train ride and had a wonderful time on the train. The best part of the whole entire train ride experience was to our surprise the train getting robbed. We had no idea that was going happening and I almost didn’t book our tickets because we thought this might be a long boring train ride. We are riding along the tracks and all of a sudden you hear gun shots and see bank robbers on horses. Then the train stopped and all these bank robbers get on the train and start making their demands. After they ran back off the train they had a gun fight with what looks to be the sheriff. The gun shots all sounded so real! It was the best experience ever! They were freaking awesome!! Everyone on the train couldn’t stop talking about them and how much fun it was with the train robbers. The only suggestion I would highly recommend is advertising the train robbers because if we had known about this in advance we would’ve brought our 5 kids with us. All the people around us had no idea that was going to happen either. Can’t wait until the next time we can ride the train and have another bank robbing experience with the rest of our family.

Review №9

The best experience weve had as a child-adult were coming back for sure

Review №10

Great fun for anyone who lives trains. Very Hot in summer months. Say in Dome car and AC went out. Ugh! But great fun.

Review №11

We went yesterday, it was alot of fun. On the was back the train derailed off the track, some of the wheels came off one of the cars the rails were twisted and the wooden ties were torn up in pieces. They had to disconnect the engine and go to the depot to pick up 2 other cars to take everyone back. Took about 31/2 hours. The crew and railroad guys were awesome. Still a great adventure. We will do it again.

Review №12

Nice train ride to rusk, eat lunch then come back. Scenery is beautiful. Staff is friendly. Lunches were good....order with tickets. Will definitely come again!

Review №13

It was fun but wasnt what I expected according to what is on the internet it was only like an hour ride when it says its two hours ride from Palestine to Rusk and back the people that were singing on the train was really really good Santa was great it cost $650 for 4 adults and two children but to me it was not worth the 650 it was worth seeing the girls eyes light up when they saw Santa

Review №14

Great Time, even on a hot night the A/C inside the train car made it feel like winter.Bring a blanket.

Review №15

We had the best time on our trip! Joyce was on our car and she was outstanding!

Review №16

Joyce was the attendant in our Presidential car and she was great! I liked getting on to find a small snack waiting for us. I bought my tickets online for the Presidential car and from the pictures on line I thought all seating was couches. What I did not appreciate is that I did not get the same seating as everyone else. I totally understand the Covid restrictions but I was under the impression we were going to get the couch seating advertised for the Presidential car but we did not. We were the only ones sitting in chairs and everyone else was sitting in the couches! If they weren’t going to give us the same seating they should have told us and I might have picked a different car! So I paid the same amount as everyone else but didn’t get the same accommodations. Very disappointed.

Review №17

Absolutely no customer service the lady that answet the phone is extremely rude and has no information at all. Got a call stating trip canceled 12hours beforehand which i was liable for the hotel cancelation at that point and was told by the lady on the phone that that was not her problem Absolutely pos company spend ur money else where

Review №18

A lot of fun, neat setup. I wouldnt recommend during the hottest days of summer as the air conditioners on the trains are old. Gets a bit hot

Review №19

Was okay, overrated scenic views, scenic car had no AC and cant get a refund even on such a hot day when enclosed and have sun bearing down on you. Cant say how it wouldve been with AC working

Review №20

My wife and I truly loved the ride and the experience of a real train robbery. Very thankful they left some of my beer money. Highly recommend the ride. RIGHT ON!

Review №21

This little hidden gem in Palestine Texas is a perfect day trip getaway, we drove up from Houston and enjoyed the Texas State Railroad. I highly recommend First Class it is very comfy with their sofas. The appetizers, beer and wine are top notch. Once aboard you can walk to the front of the train to enjoy the open air cabins. I will definitely be going back.

Review №22

Had such a great time! Even without kids!

Review №23

Thanks to Keith and the rest of the crew for a great ride along. It was fascinating to see the diesel locomotive engineer at work, I’ll be back to ride the steam engine and will request Kieth!And if you’re into camping, consider setting up in Rusk Depot’s campground!

Review №24

I’ve ridden the Texas State Railroad twice, and both times I had an incredible experience. The trip has beautiful scenery and provides an old-fashioned journey to the past. Rusk and Palestine are both quaint towns full of history and charm. My only complaint is not being able to bring your own food. As an environmentalist, thrifter, and somewhat picky eater, it is extremely frustrating to have to buy processed sandwiches wrapped in plastic and disposable water bottles.

Review №25

Very fun. Had a blast..

Review №26

We had a great time. May come back for Polar Express some time.

Review №27

Fabulous experience!!! Try to pick the dates when they bring out the steam engines for more fun ride. Go for the open air ( cheap but more fun) ride if possible

Review №28

Joyce was in charge of us and took good care of us. We enjoyed the Texas trivia and information she shared with us. We had a really good time hearing all the facts and seeing all the sights from the rails. We would definitely do it again because the boy keeps asking to go back. Thanks Joyce and Texas State Railroad.

Review №29

Great time for our grandson

Review №30

Incredible trip with family. It was so much fun to do the train ride. Unforgettable experience that will always be in our hearts.

Review №31

Enjoyed the train ride thru the woods. The staff was very friendly. Will return to ride this train one day.

Review №32

Great experience! We did the Polar Express with the family and they all had such a great time. It was such a fun and unique experience. I highly recommend it for all ages (kids and adults). Really well done and worth the price.

Review №33

Loved it! Will recommen to other friends.

Review №34

Always a great time at the Texas State Railroad. Heres waiting for my next visit.

Review №35

Joyce and staff were great! Sorry the tree fell on the rails but you cleared it and all went well! High ball!

Review №36

Great place to visit, the Polar Express was amazing

Review №37

We really enjoyed our time on the train. 3 1/2 year old son thought it was the best thing ever. Bring toys/games for kids that young because it is a long ride. You can buy little snacks drinks and alcohol in the concession car. Make sure to call before you head out to see which Depot you need to board on.

Review №38

Beautiful place. Will definitely be coming back.

Review №39

My first train ride it was awesome

Review №40

Great staff. Highly recommend the presidential car. Had a blast! Tasty drinks also. I got the peach one and it was yummy.

Review №41

Great experience! The whole family enjoyed it!

Review №42

Historical train ride for the family ; side note pre-order food, pre-orders served first

Review №43

We rode the open car. It was quite Breezy that day. It felt a whole lot better than the next car up, which was quite hot. They had windows that could open up, that was very hot walking through it. We had a very nice time looking at all the trees and the wildlife. I do recommend taking a lunch with you because at your stop there is a cafe but the prices are quite High and the line will be huge. They do have a snack bar on the train as well. Water is $2 a bottle and soda is $2 as well. I also recommend getting a postcard from the Palestine Depot because they dont have any at Rusk.

Review №44

My kids loved it !! It was one of the most wonderful experiences of Christmas time. The show, the hot cocoa, meeting Santa , the train experience, everything was awesome.

Review №45

This had to have been the most amazing experience I have ever had. If a person is familiar with the movie The Polar Express then you will love how it closely resembles the movie. Not only was I blown away with the hot chocolate, but in the end everyone receives a bell. One of the moments that will be forever remembered is how when they sing the Christmas songs, they also do it in sign language. It appeared very special for a child who is deaf, they seemed happy and jumping around. If a person hasnt been, I would recommend a visit. Parking was great, coming and going. There was no line when we left so we didnt have to sit in long lines to leave.

Review №46

It feels like Christmas and it was so much fun for this adult. I was accompanied by family and friends.

Review №47

Kids loved the nostalgic train ride most of all. Theres room for improvement but overall great experience for the fam.

Review №48

The train was great and the staff was fantastic

Review №49

This place is not worth your money.We drove over 260 miles in a 5 hours trip to Palestine TX just to ride the Texas State Railroad Train in celebration of my granddaughter Birthday this train was suppose to be a Kids friendly Train as we were told. We spend over 300 dls on tickets and food alone at this train.Couple minutes into the train ride from Palestine depot to Rusk. Two gentleman were fighting yelling to each other’s. It was scary to see both of them standing up face to face using profanity language and insulting one to another on a train full of families with children. Train staff did nothing to interviene and peace the problem. After the fight nobody of the train staff checked on the rest of the passengers to asure safety and security of everyone on board. Safety of all passengers should always be your number one priority even if this is just a recreational train ride. Passengers are paying to enjoy a train ride not to witness a fight. This is definitely not a “good for kids” train as they promote them selfs.Other families riding the train intervened to stop the fight. Very sad, scary, and very unnecessary for all of those kids on the train to witness what they saw.Once at Rusk you will think whoever was in charge of the train will make a wise decision to prevent any more incidents on the way back to Palestine. In order to have control of the incident and maintain safety of others on the train it makes sense to at least seat those two gentlemen’s away from each other on the way back to Palestine, but instead nothing was done about it.On our way back to Palestine one of the man involved in the fight was using discriminatory taunts and hints against minorities families. Referring to a minority Family riding the train with us. Again it was brought to staff attention and again nothing was done about it.Honestly, is hard to believe all this happened on one train ride without any actions from train operators.My granddaughter birthday celebration will now be remembered as the worse train ride celebration for us.Over all not a good experience at all having to drive for hours to this place it was not worth our time and money.The train it self has opportunities as well, sanitation wise, cleanliness wise, and operational wise. It looks like it needs a good deep clean up to keep it up to operating standards. Just because train is old it doesn’t mean it needs to be dirty. Old and clean looks beautiful but old and dirty doesn’t.Seats weren’t organize with social distance as they said over the phone they were going to be.Train was over loaded when they said it was going to be only at 50% capacity. Not true.I have ride multiple trains across the Country and Europe before. I never witness a train so unprepared and disorganize as this train was. Safety and security of passengers is not a matter “IF” but instead is a matter of “MUST” for any train at any time. Even for recreational rides like this train. We won’t be visiting again.

Review №50

This was my first time on a train it was amazing experience and I will be back

Review №51

Great time. They do a top notch job. I am pretty sure that the Santa Claus was the real deal. The cast and crew were very in to it and made my kids feel really special. I woukd strongly recommend taking your kids there. Good for the adults too.

Review №52

Great experience. I was worried the open window car would be too hot, but it was great once the train started moving. Plus if you sit in a closed car, you will miss the sounds of everything. People in the closed cars seemed bored when I walked through the car.

Review №53

I’m not even quite sure where to start, except for $200, we’re so incredibly disappointed.Our day started at 4AM this morning as we had a 3.5 hour drive ahead of us before boarding the train for the first time. Due to Covid, my birthday plans AND our anniversary plans were cancelled so this train ride was to replace both events’ catastrophe.We arrived at the depot the recommended 1 hour early and i was so excited. We walked around, saw the sites, enjoyed the views. All was well!Alas! We board the train. The train car that we paid $75 per person for. The train car that we researched extensively when deciding which to choose.A wall of heat! Mind you, this is Texas. It’s HOT outside! When we walked up the stairs into the Dome car expecting some relief from the blistering heat, but it was more hot inside than it was outside of the car,I knew we were about to have some issues. The tiny box fan they had at the rear of the car wasn’t quite going to cut it. There wasn’t even an apology or mention about it being so hot.That leads me to my next point; the car was so hot our “appetizer” was melted. Mm! Hot, melted cheese and grapes.We tried really hard to move past these two snafus. We had decided we were going to enjoy this excursion even if we melted! So, we start the journey to Rusk! We’re patiently waiting for some pretty scenery or some narration. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. We literally stared at overgrown ditches and unkept vegetation in dead silence the entire 1.5 hours to Rusk and back. We specifically chose this train ride to see parts of Texas we haven’t seen yet. I could have seen un-manicured weeds for a lot less money in my home town. as for the narration; on the way back, the overhead speaker played about 2/3 of the time and would cut out mid sentence and never resume. We have no idea what the history of the railroad actually is.Once we finally arrived at Rusk depot, it’s adorable. I’m excited. Maybe this will be better, right? It’s got to be better.Not really. Even though we paid one of the highest fares for the trip; for a less than cool train ride, that wasn’t all! We were last of the train and in line to receive our cold lunch. Infact, we were so far back that they didn’t even have a full variety of the beverages and the food was literally cold. had we not paid so much money, we would have been content with the less than appetizing food, but we literally dropped $200 for this one event to receive all of these issues.In addition to the aforementioned, even though they appear to sanitize (due to Covid), the train itself was in need of a deep cleaning. There were quite a few ants throughout the entire train car. Being certified In food handling, im able to identify sugar ants. These tiny ants are a result of improper cleaning measures and left over food being left for them to come eat.All in all, we paid $200 for some cute selfies and a really sad memory. If you have a desire to pay large sums of money simply to ride a train, I’d recommend it. If you want to see East Texas and enjoy a cute, fun train ride, I wouldn’t recommend this one at all.Please note that I only left this detailed of a review in hopes it Will be used constructively to make improvements for future guests.

Review №54

My wife and I rode this train on March 27 in the Presidential class car. I really enjoyed the option of being able to ride in a car that has a minimum age restriction. The simple truth is that not everyone controls their children well, and I didnt want a wonderful train ride like this to be distracted from by a wild child. We also partook in the lunches made by the railroad during the layover at Rusk. The burgers were a little charred and slightly dry, but still delicious. The fact that they offered a black bean burger for my vegetarian wife was quite excellent. Our car attendant, Kaylee H., was an excellent combination of attentive, but not overly chatty and distracting. Just based on the normal experience, Id rate this trip five stars. If I could give more, I would, and Ill explain why.Without getting into too much detail, Id like to share that the train experienced a mechanical issue shortly after departing Rusk on our return trip. It was the fault of no one at the railroad; an errant tree branch fell between the rails and wreaked a bit of havoc as we passed over it. The damage it did delayed the train almost an hour, but the staff handled the delay very well. Kaylee H. kept the passengers in our car calm and happy through the entire delay.My professional experience includes several years of doing mechanical and operational work for a few various railroads. As such, I kept a keen eye on the issues that had occurred and how the crew handled them. The engineer and conductor worked as quickly as they could to ensure that we could complete our journey safely, and used some clever tricks to make it happen. The entire staff of the train exuded excellence, and showed ingenuity and professionalism at its finest. I could not have been more impressed with how the day went, and when I stepped off of the train again at Palestine, I was more than happy. Many thanks to this crew for the most memorable trip Ive ever had as a passenger on a train.

Review №55

This is an awesome, fun, family adventure.

Review №56

We have always wanted to ride the train and finally had the chance. We rode Rusk-Palestine-Rusk. Got there around 5 and had a chance to walk around the train before the 6PM departure. We splurged for the caboose and it was great. Our attendant was very friendly and made for a very nice trip. We had the BBQ dinner in Palestine which was not too bad. Great way to spend the evening. If you get the caboose make sure to spend time in the cupola - great views!

Review №57

We went during the Polar Express. It was about an hour long, which was perfect for our 5 year old.They did a great job matching up with the movie. The car attendants were dressed like the hot chocolate chefs, the conductor came through and stamped tickets, and everything was done very well. Even the hot chocolate was pretty good.Santa did his usual magic and was wonderful with all of the children (and adults alike) on the train and took time to see each person.The music in our car was a little loud, and you can imagine how loud it was after 60 kids got sleigh bells and showed everyone how much they could believe, but given that its Christmas and what its about, it was well worth it.

Review №58

Had a blast! Booked first class. Excellent service.

Review №59

Very nice ride. Everything was very clean. All employees were very friendly and helpful.

Review №60

They were real nice love the atmosphere the kids

Review №61

Had a great time with my grandsons. The staff and service was impeccable. Had a great time would recommend this experience to anyone with little ones its such a great memory

Review №62

Second time we have been and the kids always really enjoy it. It is really well done. We always get the climate controlled car. It is more expensive, but then you dont have to worry about the weather.

Review №63

Great experience for the little ones and first time riders too! We had a really great time there.

Review №64

Fully enjoyed the trip even breaking down on return trip wasnt bad

Review №65

Polar Express! So AWESOME! If you havent been yet.. Go!Magical!!! Staff is AWESOME!!!Remember to wear matching PJs

Review №66

Our trip was Pints in the Pines. We went via Presidential Class. Classy old world style car with comfy chairs and a warm casual atmosphere. The idea is you are going to taste several beers and all beers served were brewed in Texas, nice touch. However, all of the beers served were bitter, from slightly to extremely. If you are like me and do not enjoy bitter beer, you can purchase mixed drinks and nationally known beers. The depot in Palistine was decked out in Christmas lights, beautiful but a bit early, although it was a pleasant suprise. A barbeque meal was served in a takeaway type container when we reached Palistine, the food was good but a little late for dinner, 8ish pm, but we were served snacks while tasting beers on our trip from Rusk to Palistine. You can eat under the pavilion or back on the train. There is a small gift shop to browse and many photo opportunities while waiting for your return. Bring a friend and enjoy your trip!

Review №67

It was fun travelling on Polar Express. But it could have been little longer for the price paid. We had to travel 3 hrs one way for an hour of ride..

Review №68

It was an absolutely wonderful experience tonight on the Polar Express! Back when my Granddaughter Tamara was a young child I took her for a ride on the train & now shes 17 yrs. old & is working on the Polar Express! She loves her job & thanks for creating memories for her (us) family! Happy Holidays & God Bless the TSRR!

Review №69

It was great and very interactive and entertaining. The grandkids loved it.

Review №70

Great fun! Great service. Well do it again!

Review №71

Exciting place for train lovers of all ages. Very informative docent.

Review №72

This is a must do! Ive taken the train ride and Ive been on the polar express. It was very entertaining. Kids loved it!

Review №73

Fantastic family outing!

Review №74

We did the Polar Express experience here and it was so beautiful! Will definitely come back !

Review №75

Nice Trip, Good for Family and groups, Nice employees. Thanks for preserving our history.

Review №76

Wonderful experience with the family. The story, bell, and singing Christmas songs was so much fun for all! The grands got to see Santa

Review №77

Polar Express was MAGICAL for all ages!!

Review №78

The employees are very friendly and helpful. However, our train tour was cancelled at the last minute after we had made reservations months ahead. The manager Denise was very helpful in arranging a refund. They have our recommendation.

Review №79

Took the kids for the Polar Express ride. We all loved it!!!

Review №80

Dress rehearsals are beginning for the polar Express.

Review №81

1hour train ride, 1 cup of chocolate each, 1 souvenir mug, one cookie each, singing carols with the kids. $80 each kid. $20 adult

Review №82

We had so much fun doing this. A great family experience!

Review №83

This was a magical night for our daughter and for us! Everything was exactly like the book, and especially matched the movie! The children were all given golden tickets to board the polar express, and the classic steam engine has Polar Express painted on the side. While gathering to board the train the conductor spoke with a young boy, saying exactly what the conductor did to the boy in the movie, and he then announced all aboard! Ive got a schedule to keep! While we were on our way to the North Pole the costumed conductor came and punched the childrens richest, and the costumed waiters sang and danced before serving us hot chocolate and cookies. When we arrived at the North Pole Santa boarded the grain and gave silver bells engraved with Polar Express to all of the children. It was all just wonderful and magical, and we felt like we were living out the movie! Although it was expensive, I think it was worth every penny to see the smile on my daughters face and the delight in her eyes. I would recommend this to any family that wants to create an amazing Christmas memory!

Review №84

It was an ok train ride. You can’t really see anything but thick brush most of the time. Has some good views of people’s yards at times though. When you take off they tell you “ when we get to Rusk, it will be an hour layover to eat and look around “ there’s NOTHING to look at at Rusk! Why not start at Rusk and go into Palestine, let people get off and visit downtown, and then get back on the train and go back to Rusk? Anyway, we’re one and done on this one. Oh, the staff are great!

Review №85

Great time, ! Worth every penny

Review №86

Friendly staff, beautiful scenery

Review №87

Its a beautiful experience for the children and adults.

Review №88

We went here for the Polar Express ride from Palestine to Rusk. I have to say by far this is one of the most organized and well thought out events I have been to. The parking was guided and very well spaced. The boarding of the train didnt take long at all. The staff was very energetic, friendly and just all around amazing. My boys loved this ride and we plan to attend it every year that they want to still go. The only negative we had was that it was very hot in the carts and only a few windows opened. I recommend this to anyone that has children that love the movie or trains.

Review №89

The experience was ok. Our hot chocolate servers were less than enthused to be singing and the speaker was not loud enough during the reading of the book. We went on a cold night and the standard ticket was warm enough not to need blankets.

Review №90

Holiday and seasonal train rides. At the time it was the Polar Express. I saw families in pajamas. Music, caroling, the book was read, a stop at Santas where Santa boarded and visited all the cars. For the time of year hot chocolate and cookies. The train cars look vintage but comfortable with restroom in each car.

Review №91

Loved our experience on the train. It was wonderful to ride the train from Rusk to Palestine and back. We sat in car 42 which had sofas and it made the ride smoother

Review №92

We did the Polar Express train ride and I think the adults,had just as much fun as the kids!

Review №93

We enjoyed our trip on the Polar Express. The grounds are decorated with festive lights to get in the Christmas cheer. Check in was fast and easy. Once on the train the staff engage the children with songs, stories, and dance. Once we arrived at the North Pole, Santa arrived to greet all the children. My little on is still ringing his jingle bell. Overall, great trip for the family in the spirit of Christmas and Joy.

Review №94

Loved going to The Polar Express

Review №95

Awesome trip. Highly recommend this trip. Employees were great, explaining the train, the history and the trip. So much fun will now bring all my out of town friends here. A great day trip.

Review №96

I rode the Polar Express and it was fun just sitting there with all the happy faces brought joy to everyone there!

Review №97

Best trip ever!!! So much fun with our grandchildren ️

Review №98

Polar Express has been our best adventure this Christmas season. Well worth the trip!

Review №99


Review №100

We did the Polar Express. I would have 2 suggestions.... The pre-show outside could only be seen by a small few.... And for the price, the north pole could alot better.

100 Photos
4.7 Rating
  • Address:789 Park Road 70, Palestine, TX 75801, United States
  • Site:
  • Phone:+1 855-632-7729
  • Tourist attraction
  • Railroad company
Working hours
  • Monday:8am–5pm
  • Tuesday:8am–5pm
  • Wednesday:8am–5pm
  • Thursday:8am–5pm
  • Friday:8am–5pm
  • Saturday:8am–5pm
  • Sunday:8am–5pm
  • Wheelchair-accessible car park:Yes
  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance:Yes
  • Good for kids:Yes
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