by Larry Little
From the loud horns and bells to sound of the steam engine, the Texas State Railroad Park in Rusk is a historic part of East Texas. "The Texas Railroad is an important part of Texas state history," says Senator Todd Staples. "It represents the roots of our area. You know railroading built East Texas. You know the historical value, you can't put a dollar figure on it," says Lufkin Mayor, Jack Gorden.
But the loud noises coming from engine 201 could be silenced because of a lack of funding at this park and state parks all over the state of Texas. "Because of budgetary constraints and mounting maintenance issues there is about $50 million dollars needed over the next 10 years," says Staples.
Last year several employees at the Texas state railroad lost their jobs and many are uncertain if they will have a job in the future.
Saturday dozens of people attended the save the train benefit. Senator Todd Staples says even if you didn't attend, every Texan can make a difference and save this piece of East Texas history. "The citizens of Texas need to contact your Lt. Governor, the speaker, and the governor to encourage them to continue funding the state railroad," says Staples.