Artifacts featured as Texas State Railroad rolls along
October 13, 2017
RUSK, Texas (AP) — In the late 1800s, prisoners from Rusk Penitentiary started building a railroad to help transport raw materials to support the institution's iron smelting operations.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports the line reached Palestine in the early 1900s and services along the 50-mile round trip route were expanded along the way to include freight and passengers.
When profits began to lag, services ceased and eventually the rail system in the 1970s was turned over to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, which oversaw operations until 2007 when it was leased to private opera...