Texas State Railroad - The start of the railroad dates back to 1883, with the completion of the Rusk Penitentiary in Rusk, Tx. Built with inmate labor, the original purpose of the railroad was to transport raw materials for the iron smelter located at the Rusk Penitentiary. In 1906, the line reached Maydelle, and by 1909, the line was completed when it reached Palestine. The railroad grew and eventually expanded to freight and passenger service, but it was not profitable. Regular train service by the state ceased in 1921, and the line was leased to various railroad companies until 1969.
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