East Texans do some time traveling on a train - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texans do some time traveling on a train

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - Get ready to go back in time on the railroad. This weekend the Texas State Railroad is dedicating the Memorial Day holiday to our armed forces. Dozens of military vehicles will be on display as well as historical re-enactors.

The Texas State Railroad prides itself in preserving history one train ride after the other, but this weekend, the "choo-choo" is going back to World War II.

"First and foremost we want to honor the veterans of all wars," said Tom Townsend of Rusk. "Second, history is very important that we remember it is so we don't make the same mistakes again."

Townsend owns 13 military vehicles and dedicated them to this weekend's armed forces event. Most of his vehicles are on the railway showing how the military shipped its equipment during the war.

"This old girl landed the second day at Normandy," said Townsend as he pointed to one of his vehicles.

The newest addition to this armed forces event is this new, yet very old, railway car dedicated to General Patton.

"This would have been the communication center," explained Robert Gore, with the Texas State Railroad, pointing to the room.

He said they wanted to do something different this year. They took one old 1928 railway Post Office car that was in storage, and turned it into General Patton's private command center.

"This is what he would have traveled in if he was traveling somewhere," said Gore. "Complete with a sleeping quarters and complete with supply room.

"It's heavy goodness," I said.

"Yes, that's made out of steel with a fiver glass liner," said Gore.

He said the display shows the important role the railway system played during world war two.

"The second World War would not have gotten won without the rail system," or our veterans, Gore added.

The Texas State Railroad Armed Forces Event starts at 10 in the morning tomorrow and Sunday at The Palestine Depot. Tickets are $10, but veterans get to ride the military train for free.

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