Rural Train Ride Tours in Texas
We offer five different rural train ride tours. Please read the information carefully. Two rural train ride companies exist within driving distance from Houston in Texas for a one-day adventure. Each one uses either an old diesel or steam engine. The most popular rides are identified below. Each goes through beautiful countryside. Special holiday rides also exist.
These rural train rides do not exist in Houston. The only trains that one can ride in Houston are Amtrak and the children's train in Hermann Park. The options below require several hours of driving back and forth to get to the trains in rural towns. Most of the time is spent driving to and from the locations. Day options are Sundays and Saturdays and Fridays during summer. Mondays through Thursdays are not options.
Houston Historical Tours does NOT own the trains or train companies. They are independently owned. If you want to drive hundreds of miles to rural parts of Texas, you can do so and save yourself money from contracting with us. The trains that operate on Tours A and B identified below, have been owned by 3 different companies between 2010 and 2013. Each year its fares, schedules, days of operations, options, and amenities have changed, making it challenging to plan. By the time you call, another company may be operating it.
We depart from Houston 4 hours in advance of the train ride to be prepared for potential traffic congestion, road construction, and to have time to sight-see, shop, and use the bathrooms at the train depot, and board the train.
Tours A and B spend 3.0 hours on the train. Tour A is on Sunday and Saturday from March to November. Tour B is on Fridays only, primarily during the summer months. They begin in Rusk and make a 1.5 hour trip to Palestine, where they spend another 1.5 hours. They then make the 1.5 hour trip back to Rusk. Houston to Rusk is approximately 164 miles/264 kilometers and the return trip is 170 miles/274 kilometers. The total driving trip is about 334 miles/538 kilometers roundtrip. The drive is approximately 3.0 hours to 3.25 hours each way. The air-conditioned train goes toward Palestine. As of 2013, the train does NOT operate from November 11 through March 1, approximately 3.7 months. Box lunches are available for $10.00 if you pre-order, or you can bring your own lunch. No restaurants exist at the opposite depot.
Tour C spends approximately 2.0 hours each way on the train for a total of 4.0 hours. It stops for about 2.5 hours at Burnet for lunch and shopping. The roundtrip train ride is 66 miles. Cedar Park is northwest from Austin in the Hill Country. Houston to Cedar Park is 176 miles/283 kilometers. The total driving trip is 352 miles/567 kilometers roundtrip. The drive is approximately 3.0 hours each way. This operates on most Saturdays 8 months out of the year from January through May and September through November. It does not run in June, July, August, and December. The Burnet gunfighter might be involved in a wild west gunfight, weather permitting. We stop for dinner or a snack on the way back from Cedar Park to Houston.
Tours D and E spend approximately 1.33 hours each way on the train for a total of 2.7 hours. Tour D is on Sundays for the most part in the spring and fall; Tour E is on Saturdays mainly during the summer. Like Tour C, they begin in Cedar Park. Cedar Park is northwest from Austin in the Hill Country. Houston to Cedar Park is approximately 176 miles/283 kilometers. The total driving trip is about 352 miles/567 kilometers roundtrip. The drive is approximately 3 hours each way. The trains stop for about 15 minutes at a 1912 train depot in Bertram. They operate northwest from Austin in the Hill Country. The trains operate on most Sundays from March through May and in October and November, and on most Saturdays during June, July, and August.
We stop for dinner or a snack on the way back from Cedar Park to Houston on Tour D. We stop for lunch after Tour E.
Please click this link for a comparison of the five Rural Trains Tours.