PALESTINE — The Texas State Railroad’s 2014 train season officially begins on Saturday.
Trains will depart from both the Palestine and Rusk depots at 11 a.m. and pass each other at the midway point, the Mewshaw Siding. It is at that point that any halfway riders will get off their train, and board the other one for the return trip to the depot from which they departed.
Half-way rides are available at 11 a.m. and also at 2 p.m. Half-way rides are generally an hour and 15 minutes in length. Full, roundtrip rides are four and a half hours in length, including an hour and a half lunch break in the middle of the trip.
In addition, passengers also have the option of booking a one-way ride. This ride is one and a half hours in length, but requires the passenger have someone pick them up at the other end.
One new change this year involves lunches. Passengers booking Lone Star class of service will now get a box lunch included in the price of their ticket. Last year box lunches were an additional $10 above the price of the ticket. Eight lunch options are detailed on the railroad’s web site: www.TexasStateRR.com. Passengers in coach or open air cars have the option of purchasing box lunches at an additional $10 above the ticket price. All passengers also have the option of bringing their own picnic lunch if they prefer. There also is a concession car on the train selling snacks and drinks.
The first Saturday of each month, Texas Top Guns will entertain guests at the Palestine Depot and on board both trains.
This Sunday, in celebration of Texas Independence Day, the gift shop will give a 20 percent discount to any customer wearing Texas flag clothing or jewelry.
Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the local reservations office at 903-683-3098.