It is currently Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:04 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:08 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 569
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
Earlier this year, back in late April, Lerro Productions ran a two day photo charter at the Texas State Railroad between Palestine (pronounced "Palesteen") and Rusk. A fantastic place to visit, friendly staff, fascinating history and a spectacular collection of equipment - attributes that reminded me just a little bit of another favorite place - the Monticello Railroad Museum. Lol - both railroad's also have re-boilered locomotives, as well, but that's a story for another time!

The original Texas State Railroad dates back to 1883. The line was built with inmate labor and the original purpose of the railroad was to transport raw materials for an iron smelter located at the Rusk Penitentiary. In 1906, the line reached Maydelle, TX, and by 1909, the line was completed when it reached Palestine where it connected with the International & Great Western Railroad. (Wild history, right?) The railroad grew and eventually expanded to freight and passenger service, but it could not maintain a profit. Regular train service by the state ceased in 1921, and the line was leased to various railroad companies until 1969, when all operations came to a halt. According to a mural inside the depot at Rusk, original Texas State Railroad owned only one steam locomotive; a 2-6-0 built in 1915, numbered 7. Purchased by the Arkansas Railroad the locomotive was sadly scrapped in 1957 when they ceased operating.

While editing some pics, despite hours of research on the Limited Wide Web, I was unable to find answers to some curiosities -

When were "new" the depots (and water tanks) at Palestine and Rusk built?
Are there any images of the original depots?

A good portion of the line's bridges have been replaced with new concrete structures - good for business, not so much for nostalgia - can't seem to find the date they were built.

A mural inside the depot at Rusk states that the railroad, founded in 1883, was originally built as a narrow gauge line and that the original Texas State Railroad only had one sole locomotive - a handsome 2-6-0 which was built in 1915 and later went to a short line in Arkansas which scrapped her in 1957. If so - what was used prior to 1915??

When was the line converted to standard gauge?


Thanks in advance for any information anyone can provide!

/Mitch


Attachments:
File comment: Between 1907 and 1911, a gentleman by the name of Thomas Campbell served as Governor of the State of Texas. During his first term he came up with the idea creating some additional revenues for the state by turning the penitentiary railroad from an industrial railroad, serving the penitentiary into a "common carrier" to transport passengers and regular freight. The tracks were extended another 22 1/2 miles, from Maydelle to Palestine. The name, Maydelle, was given in honor of the Texas State Governor’s daughter. Regular service began on the "Texas State Railroad, in June, 1907 but poor profits saw the cessation of operations by 1921. The original depot, long gone, was built in 1909. The depot seen here was built for the 1985 Roy Clark-Mel Tillis movie, Uphill All the Way.
TP 30 Maydelle TO NA DS WB LR.jpg
TP 30 Maydelle TO NA DS WB LR.jpg [ 215.05 KiB | Viewed 2329 times ]
File comment: Texas State Railroad 2-8-2 No. 30, an oil-burner, former former Magma (Arizona) No. 7, nee Tremont & Gulf Railway Co. No. 30. The T&G Railway purchased the locomotive new in 1917 and operated her nearby in Louisiana.
TGRR 30 TL Nostalgic LR.jpg
TGRR 30 TL Nostalgic LR.jpg [ 289.39 KiB | Viewed 2329 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:18 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 569
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
An assortment of photos from the Texas State Railroad:

/Mitch


Attachments:
File comment: Another of 24 bridges along the Texas State Railroad - this one near Palestine
TSRR 30 Palestine LT LR.jpg
TSRR 30 Palestine LT LR.jpg [ 253.04 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
File comment: One of 24 bridges along the Texas State Railroad - this one in Cherokee County
TGW 30 Cherokee County Trestle LR.jpg
TGW 30 Cherokee County Trestle LR.jpg [ 316.2 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
File comment: Water tower at Rusk, TX
TSR 30 Rusk WT LR.jpg
TSR 30 Rusk WT LR.jpg [ 288.73 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
File comment: Water tower at Palestine, TX
TSR 30 Palestine WT LR.jpg
TSR 30 Palestine WT LR.jpg [ 296.78 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
File comment: The "new" depot at Rusk, TX
Rusk Depot View LR.jpg
Rusk Depot View LR.jpg [ 263.51 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:25 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 569
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
Couple of night shots - former Tremont and Gulf 2-8-2 No. 30 at Maydelle, and well known, rarely seen Texas & Pacific No. 610, a 2-10-4 built in Ohio by Lima Locomotive Works in 1927. No. 610 was brought out of the the Texas State Railroad shops and fired up for patrons on April 28th, 2019. The locomotive, however, did not move very far, as the idling plumes were the effects created with a handful of smoke bombs for photographers.

/Mitch


Attachments:
File comment: T&G 2-8-2 No. 30 at Maydelle
TSR 30 Maydelle Depot Night TO NA LR.jpg
TSR 30 Maydelle Depot Night TO NA LR.jpg [ 242.12 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
File comment: T&P No. 610
TP 610 Night Smoke  LR.jpg
TP 610 Night Smoke LR.jpg [ 225.01 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:44 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4151
Location: Maine
Nevertheless Mitch, the effect of the big 2-10-4 with a fire is inspiring! Thank you for the elegant night shots!

_________________
"It's only impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:32 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 261
Much of your questions can be answered in this book, which I've had for years: https://www.amazon.com/Texas-State-Rail ... B0006XI9SQ

The concrete structures are all fairly recent, replacing wood structures that failed due to floods or fires as I recall. I'll agree that wood would be better for appearance purposes, but replacing a lengthy bridge with wood is impractical and expensive nowadays.

CD


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Houston, TX
A bit of TSRR History for everyone.

The first part of what became TSRR was a narrow gauge connection between the penitentiary in North Rusk and the Kansas and Gulf Short Line in Rusk, built in 1881. TSRR used the K&GSL - Cotton Belt depot in Rusk.

Starting in 1893, a narrow gauge line was built west, on the present alignment to about 1 mile west of the current Rusk Depot where it turned south to a prison lumber camp named Camp Rice.

In 1903, this line was standard gauged to one mile west of Rusk (which was at the time called Woodlawn Farm) and the narrow gauge portion south of there abandoned. A new standard gauge line was built west from that point to Camp Searcy Baker (later Camp Wright in 1907, and now the town of Maydelle).

In 1907, the railroad was extended from Maydelle to Palestine and another prison timber camp was built at Camp Gill, near the present abandoned siding of Crystal Lake.

The prison timber camps were housing for the prisoners used to log the state lands to cut timber for the charcoal ovens at North Rusk which was used in the iron furnaces at the prison.

Up until 1915, the railroad made do with various used locomotives acquired by the state and #7 was acquired that year as the only NEW locomotive ever owned by the RR.

Only in Palestine did the railroad have its own depot since it terminated on the south side of the present UP tracks from the business district. The photo below is the only one that I have of the old depot and it is from the collection of Kevin Gentry.


Attachments:
TSRR Palestine Depot.jpg
TSRR Palestine Depot.jpg [ 172.23 KiB | Viewed 2045 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Houston, TX
The new Rusk Depot in what was then the Rusk City park, was completed in February, 1977, and the Palestine depot in October, 1977. Original plans called for campgrounds at both depots, but the money was never appropriated for the one at Palestine.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 569
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
Much of your questions can be answered in this book, which I've had for years: https://www.amazon.com/Texas-State-Rail ... B0006XI9SQ
CD


Purchased! Thanks - should make for some fascinating reading!

elueck wrote:
A bit of TSRR History for everyone...


Much appreciated!

/Mitch


Attachments:
The_more_you_know_banner.jpg
The_more_you_know_banner.jpg [ 13.82 KiB | Viewed 1969 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 595
Location: Byers, Colorado
I worked at TSRR for two years, just before Y2K. The concrete trestles were done in the last few years of the 20th century, sorry I don't have the specifics for you.

The Tremont & Gulf treatment for TSRR 400 looks great, but I must say that the smoke is WAY overdone. I'm amazed you guys didn't have a fire under the engine to go with it.

The shot of 610 looks WAY better, much more like the way an oil burner is SUPPOSED to look....

_________________
At Your Service,
Sammy KIng


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2323
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Those water tanks seem really strange, especially for the south.

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5647
QJdriver wrote:

The Tremont & Gulf treatment for TSRR 400 looks great, but I must say that the smoke is WAY overdone. I'm amazed you guys didn't have a fire under the engine to go with it.



I wonder if the plan is to keep TSR 400 in the Tremont & Gulf # 30 scheme? I guess I'm a bit partial to her appearance as Magma Arizona # 7, but either T&G 30 or MA 7 are good heritage looks.

Les


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:02 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 202
Les Beckman wrote:
QJdriver wrote:

The Tremont & Gulf treatment for TSRR 400 looks great, but I must say that the smoke is WAY overdone. I'm amazed you guys didn't have a fire under the engine to go with it.



I wonder if the plan is to keep TSR 400 in the Tremont & Gulf # 30 scheme? I guess I'm a bit partial to her appearance as Magma Arizona # 7, but either T&G 30 or MA 7 are good heritage looks.

Les


Actually, when I was there back in April (I think it was April...), #30 was lettered under the cab and logoed on the tender for Texas State Railroad. The Tremont & Gulf lettering is magnetic signs, as visible in closer photos.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:12 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2323
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Why the long trestle or low viaduct, and not fill? Is that a flood plain?

_________________
Steven Harrod
Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Houston, TX
Yes the concrete trestle is over the entire Neches River Floodplain. If you would see the river in flood, the water can be as much as 20 feet deep at the spot that the photo was taken. The original bridge here was a wood trestle that was a maintenance headache for more 70 years. When the State of Texas decided to replace it, they wisely chose the concrete trestle option, rather than fill with culverts and a shorter bridge over just the river. On the LIDAR imagery of the area most of the logging railroad grades simply went down on the flood plain, and did not operate when flooded. There are approach cuts next to the current railroad grade that suggest that the TSR may have done something similar in the early years.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Texas State Railroad - timeline questions, and pics
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 679
The bridges were replaced in 1979-80. The bridges were built from plans loaned by the Missouri Pacific, so these are Class One quality bridges.

As far as 400 is concerned, I'd like her back in her Magma Arizona outfit...


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 52 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: