Texas Railroad RV Park Reopens
The Texas State Railroad Park in Palestine, Texas, is back open, but there is no telling when East Texans will be able to ride the rails again, as engineers continue to examine washed out portions of the train track, according to the Jacksonville Daily Progress.
The track suffered washouts on July 8 and the weekend of July 13-15. In all, 12 sections of the track were destroyed, said Robert Crossman, general superintendent at the Texas State Railroad Park complex in Palestine.
Heavy rainfall on July 14 virtually shut down the entire railroad operation for about four days. The storm caused a tree to collapse after being completely uprooted due to ground moisture. Officials closed the park for safety concerns, owing to the fact that more trees could fall.
Fishermen and picnickers were allowed back on the grounds on July 18 and RVs were sanctioned the following day. But, patronage is considerably lower now that the ever popular train rides are not an option.
“I would say that 80% to 90% fewer people are coming to the park now that the railroad is out of commission,” Crossman said.
Ellen Buchanan, director of region 8 for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said that every effort will be made to have the railroad back up and running in time to transfer control of it to the Texas State Railroad Operating Authority, which is expected to hand private control of the railroad over to American Heritage Railways.