The Texas State Railroad is a historic 25-mile railroad between Rusk and Palestine, Texas. The start of the railroad dates back to 1881. Its original purpose was to bring in raw materials for a prison iron foundry and to take the finished product out. 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.

In 1972, the Texas Legislature turned the railroad over to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to be used as a state park. However, by 2006, the train cost the state of Texas $1 million per year more to maintain and to operate than the revenue from the park generated. Because of budget concerns, the 80th Texas Legislature (2007) passed Senate Bill 1659 which allowed for the creation of an operating authority for the train with the power to lease the train to a private operator. On September 1, 2007, the train was transferred to the Texas State Railroad Authority and leased for operation by American Heritage Railway, which also operates the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in North Carolina.

Today, the railway is a park that allows visitors to ride vintage rail cars pulled by diesel and steam locomotives between the park's Victorian-style depots and through the forests of East Texas.