Tour Texas by Train

For a calming tour through the state of Texas, why not go on a train? Trains are a fantastic way to unwind and let somebody else deliver you to your vacation spot without the hassle of flying. Plus, you can take in the wide variety of surroundings as you travel across the state, something nearly impossible to do by car or airplane.

There are two unique trains that run in Texas that can be entertaining for the entire family. One is known as the Texas State Railroad and travels through east Texas from Rusk to Palestine. The passenger train is pulled by either a restored steam engine or an old Alco cab diesel. The stations at both ends of the line have managed to hold on to their 1800's design look and feel, adding to the authenticity of the trip. The countryside covered is picturesque and provides children a chance to see what old-time train travel and lodging was like.

The other distinctive railroad in Texas is the Austin Steam Train. This train is designed more for excursions than travel to a destination, but it’s just as enjoyable nonetheless. Passengers can select from three levels of luxury — coaches, which are open-window train cars, excursion cars that have heat and A/C, and finally, lounge cars, which are climate-controlled and have snacks offered also. Once again, it's a fantastic teaching encounter for the children, and adults will have fun, too, remembering the smell and sounds of the trains they grew up with.

If you want to include another layer of fun to your train trip, plan to go on Halloween or Christmas. There are unique train rides and events that occur during these two holidays. The Halloween excursion involves a kid's costume judging contest, plenty of candy handed out, and ghost stories in the darkened cars. At Christmas, the train goes to the town of Burnet, where all of the residents are dressed in outfits and the city is appropriately adorned to look like Bethlehem during the time of Christ's birth. There are even domestic farm animals like goats, chickens, and cows, roaming the streets for added authenticity.

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