Things to Do

All Aboard for Pumpkin Patch Train Rides: Fall Fun in Texas

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Tony Maples Photography


Texas State Railroad (TSR) invites you to bring the family for a train ride to the Pumpkin Patch this fall. Ride the rails on a special open-air coach departing every Saturday in October from Rusk Train Depot. Passengers of all ages are encouraged to join the festivities dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes for the Pumpkin Patch Special.

The Pumpkin Patch is filled with interactive games, prizes, tricks, and treats. Plus pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Stay as long as you like in the Pumpkin Patch, where activities include hayrides, spooky tunes, and other seasonal music. The smaller fry will love the bounce house, and trick-or-treating on Trick or Treat Street. Each child can pick out their own pumpkin to take home and make jack-o-lanterns.

Pumpkin Patch Special Departure Times

All Aboard for Pumpkin Patch Train Rides: Fall Fun in Texas

Photo: Texas State Railroad

The Pumpkin Patch Special departs from the Rusk Train Depot Saturday, October 5, 12, 19, and 26. The Pumpkin Patch opens at 9 a.m. Trains depart at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. each Saturday in October. Prices range from $10-$40 per ticket. Due to the event’s popularity, no discounts are available.

The Official Railroad of Texas, Texas State Railroad also offers the authentic POLAR EXPRESS™ train rides in November and December every year.

Throughout the year, vintage steam and diesel locomotives take passengers for relaxing train trips through the scenic Piney Woods. Passengers can board at either the Rusk or Palestine Depot, depending on the season, for a 50-mile round-trip.

TSR Ticket Prices

All Aboard for Pumpkin Patch Train Rides: Fall Fun in Texas

Photo: Texas State Railroad

Prices for standard round-trips start at $24.95 for diesel-powered open-air coach or $34.95 for steam-powered open-air coach. More upscale accommodations, including a caboose that seats a private party of up to eight people, are also featured. Tickets are available for purchase online at

The East Texas scenery through the Piney Woods is always spectacular, with Dogwoods in the spring or red Sumacs in the autumn. Passengers enjoy comfortable, refurbished early-1900-era coaches as they travel through gently rolling hills and over 24 bridges. Picturesque railroad structures, like the locomotive turntable midway at Maydelle Turntable, dot the historic route.

The scenic excursion is accompanied by music, with knowledgeable attendants narrating points of interest along the way. The four-hour train ride, including an hour layover, is only part of the journey. Passengers also have time to spend in both the Rusk and Palestine depots with their upscale gift shops and historical storyboards.

TSR also features a beautiful park at each end of the excursion route. The Rusk depot has a vintage movie theater along with overnight camping accommodations. The locomotive engine runs through the campground.

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