Texas State Railroad’s Summer of Steam kicks off July 3, 4 & 5

by From the Texas State Railroad

(May 29, 2020) The Celebration of Steam at the Official Railroad of Texas, with a display of the Texas State Railroad’s notable steam and diesel engines, will be at the Palestine, Texas depot.

The 4th of July is going to mean SO MUCH more this year. From sea to shining sea Americans will be invoking their inalienable right to celebrate their freedom! We invite you to savor the Fourth of July holiday with a salute to one of America’s “deepest” roots – railroading! It’s a chance to wave the Stars and Stripes, choose from a wide selection of lunch options available for purchase at the railroad depot and climb aboard a 100 year-old steam engine.

On July 3, 4 & 5 from 8 a.m. until the 11 a.m. train departure the static locomotives will be lined up on the wye, offering photo opportunities to capture and epitomize the summer opener. Guests who hold a train ticket will have better access to view these classic locomotives. For those without a ticket to ride, there will be a nominal fee to enter the property for this event. Our cafe and gift shop will be open for food, beverage and memorabilia purchases.

In addition to the vintage steam engines that power many of the present-day excursion trains, Texas State Railroad is home to extremely rare Texas & Pacific steam engine #610 and #316, the oldest locomotive operated on this line. Many would consider the massive #610 locomotive a dinosaur, but Texas State Railroad has preserved it as an endangered species to be coddled and protected. The sole survivor of the T&P’s fleet of 70 engines with the 2-10-4 (Texas) wheel arrangement, #610 dignified the rails during the golden age of steam. Its design combined a high-capacity boiler with a modern valve gear and a four-wheeled trailing truck which became the prototype for American steam locomotives and a tribute to American engineering genius.

Be the first to see the "cosmetically-restored" Santa Fe #1316. This prime example of mainline steam power remains in service to this day, thrilling young and old alike with its powerful exhaust, clouds of smoke and mournful whistle. #1316 has been proudly reassembled by the Texas State Railroad crew through a generous FHWA grant, acquired through the Texas Department of Transportation.

The train will depart the Palestine depot at 11:00 a.m. offering a wide variety of seating aboard this classic consist.

The train’s most historic style of seating is the open-air car with fresh breezes and historic wooden slat benches.

For those seeking table service and more decadent accommodations, the Railroad offers several options to make the adventure extra special.

The private charter caboose seats up to 8, with rich, crushed-velvet seating and a private valet.

Presidential #1511 features comfortable living-room style seats, intimate table service, large picture windows and access to a private outdoor-viewing platform.

The art-deco inspired Presidential #42 features comfortable couches or two-top tables and chairs, intimate table service and large picture windows.

The exclusive glass-top Sky-High Dome car seats up to 66 people and features soft leather seats with convenient tables and an unobstructed birds-eye view that railfans treasure.

Family-friendly first-class features comfortable upholstered benches with tabletops for four.