Running the Palestine Wye. After arriving back in Palestine from her trip to Rusk, Tremont & Gulf #30 takes her photo freight onto the wye to be turned for the following day's operations. The late afternoon sun in Palestine made this turning operation and ideal photo opportunity for the assembled photographers.
The Texas State Railroad is a roughly 25 mile line running from Palestine, Texas, at the west end, to Rusk, Texas on the east end. Excursions are run out of both ends of the line, and each terminal includes a large depot and parking area, a yard incorporating a turning wye, and servicing facilities. The primary servicing facility, and the largest yard is in Rusk. There are a couple of intermediate turning locations, which allow the operation to run shorter, themed event trains, such as Polar Express, typically out of Palestine. One such location is the Jarvis Wye, a few miles east of Palestine, which is large enough to turn locomotives. That location is also used as the "North Pole" during the holiday season. A second turning location is Maydelle, which also has a small depot of sorts, but also has a turntable, where patrons can get off the train and watch their locomotive being turned. Maydelle Depot is also home to the railroad's track maintenance operations.
Although the Texas State Railroad doesn't get a lot of publicity in railfan circles, it's an interesting place to visit and photograph, as well as a nice train ride with great facilities at either end of the line.