By Teresa Holloway
Messenger Reporter
ANDERSON COUNTY – If you thought the heyday of the steam train was dead, you were mistaken. The Texas State Rail Road (TSSR) is alive and kicking and has a yearly schedule of events designed to please even the most discriminating train aficionado.

October is a crowd pleaser at TSSR. Every Saturday and Sunday of the month, the Pumpkin Patch Express will roll out of the Rusk Depot, headed for the Pumpkin Patch.

Get your costumes together, grab the kids and get ready for a full day of spooky, treat-filled fun with the family.

The train will depart at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days. The train ride is 25 minutes of scenery viewed the old-fashioned way – through the windows of the old train. Imagine yourself 100 years ago, watching forests and small towns go by as you relax in comfort and enjoy the excitement of upcoming events.

En route, kids will receive crayons and a ‘Color Your Own’ treat bag. Once you’ve arrived at the Pumpkin Patch, there will be an adventurous walk down Trick or Treat Street.

Children will pick their own pumpkin to take home and carve into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. Nothing is quite as special as picking your pumpkin and carving it for the spookiest night of the year.

Don’t miss the hayride, the bubble station and the temporary tattoo station. Kids will enjoy two bounce houses and the ever-popular corn box.

Tons of new games and competitions await party-goers along with a bumpy slide, swings, a tire tunnel and plenty of refreshments and food from Sno-Coney Island

The fun doesn’t end after the Pumpkin Patch. On the train ride back to Rusk, kids will be given a decorating kit for their special pumpkin. When they get home, the hilarious carving efforts bring smiles and laughter to the whole family!

Ticket prices are from $15 to $65 and include the train ride and an hour’s worth of activities in the Pumpkin Patch.

Families can choose from three classes of seating. Standard includes both coach and open air cars located close to the on-board concession stand.

Lone Star Class includes seating at four-top tables in climate controlled cars with an attendant serving complimentary snacks and drinks.
Diamond Class offers seating 16-feet above the rails in a double-decker, stainless steel dome car and also provides tabled seating, a climate controlled environment and attendants serving complimentary snacks and drinks.

Don’t miss out on your favorite seat! Guests are encouraged to arrive 45-60 minutes prior to departure time.

For more information, go to www.TexasStateRR.com or follow the Texas State Railroad on Facebook. Tickets can be booked online or by calling 903-683-3098 locally, or toll free at 877-726-7245.

terholloway@hotmail.com