Texas State Railroad

Hi-Railin' for Photo Run-by Locations

October 29, 2012

Back in September, my buddy Everett and I went up to visit the TSR under its new ownership and meet the legendary Earl Knoob. Earl was gracious enough to ask us to assist him with planning the photo stops for the T&P #316 debut in November. Naturally we accepted.


As part of this project, we were invited to hi-rail the line to get an up-close look at the selected locations and to find new, previously unused spots. Getting an intimate look at the railroad was a real treat. So was riding in a hi-rail for the first time.


Looking west on the newly restored track west of the Palestine Depot

Heading east on the newly restored track towards the Palestine Depot

Setting the hi-rail on the tracks at the Dean Wright crossing

Our pilot, Curtis, jacks the wheels into place on the rail



Artsy shot at Dean Wright

Curtis shows us the Track Warrant before we set off

Departing Dean Wright

GM Earl Knoob on the right


The piney woods of East Texas


Near MP 21 there is room for a nice broad shot of the train.

But a few trees were in the way, so Curtis took 'em down.

Near MP 21

Jarvis Wye

Jarvis is ready to become...

...the North Pole for the upcoming Polar Express trips.




Neches River Bridge - MP 14


More trees were felled to provide a nice panorama of the bridge and train.

Investigating a new location just east of the Neches Bridge


I'm calling this Everett's Overlook. He noticed it as we passed, so we backed up and found a REALLY nice, ready-made photo spot with easy access from a natural trail. After Curtis worked his magic with the chainsaw on a badly placed tree, the railroad is ready to debut this spot on the T&P #316 charter on November 3.


West end of Mewshaw Siding

East end of Mewshaw Siding

Everett and I use Delorme's TopoUSA for exploring active and abandoned grades.

Everett marked all of the potential photo spots in the application and brought along his laptop to help us find them. Worked like a charm!

MOW Siding near MP 5

Who says Texas is flat?!


Curtis lines the switch to take us through Rusk Yard


Engine House Lead in Rusk



This is the old main line into the city of Rusk and the SP interchange yard


Heading east on the old main to Rusk. The rails are

 in place all the way into town, but today

there are a few trees blocking our path...

Curtis puts the hi-rail back on the pavement and thus ends a great day of exploring the TSR. I believe we found several new, high-quality run-by locations that will provide the customers with a great opportunity.

Cars to be used in a future

freight or mixed train.


My deepest thanks to Earl and Curtis for inviting us to

 be a part of this project. It's an honor to help out.