Texas State Railroad recently added one more dimension to its historic four-hour rail journey through the wild and wonderful Piney Woods of East Texas. The melodic legacy associated with century-old train travel now comes alive with Texas State Railroad’s new soundtrack.
Coupled with fascinating and educational narration, the Railroad features a great selection of vintage railroad music and classic Western tunes emphasizing Texas, thoughtfully chosen for their historic significance and rockin’ railroad beat. There is no doubt that the wide and wild range of songs will appeal to an eclectic range of musical tastes.
Before the inception of freeways and super highways, the railroad’s iron road reigned as the most practical form of transportation across a vast landscape. Many of the earliest tunes associated with the genre were limericks sung by gandy dancers (railroad workers) harmonizing with the tempo of the spike maul as it pounded nail heads into ties. Blues, boogie-woogie and bluegrass classics like the Orange Blossom Special and Ballad of Casey Jones pay homage to railroad lore as roads of steel were laid from east to west and north to south.
Texas State Railroad’s rhythm on the rails rumbles in perfect harmony with 1950’s rockabilly and country classics by artists like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Singer-songwriters of the 1970’s, such as James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, reference the wide stretches of rail and hardscrabble life of railroaders in songs like Riding on a Railroad, Homeward Bound, Railroad Man and Peace Train.
Sentimental picks include Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs’ Petticoat Junction theme song and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s famous The Midnight Special, but Texas State Railroad’s musical narration is definitely rooted in classic songs about Texas, a tribute to the “Official Railroad of Texas.” “It’s tough to choose a song about Texas without including lyrics sung by George Strait,” said Teresa Propeck, passenger service director, “but one of my favorites is Texas Time Travelin’ by Cory Morrow. How appropriate is listening to this melody while riding on a railroad that literally takes you time traveling?”
“I also love hearing the O’Jay’s Love Train while rumbling on the rails through the beautiful Piney Woods corridor,” added Propeck. “The music fills me with joy especially in such a remarkable setting. Plus, you just wanna dance! You can’t help it!”
A year in the making, featuring a great selection of American Society of Composers and Producers (ASCAP) licensed hits; the soundtrack educates, amuses and entertains passengers, further enhancing the adventure aboard this legendary railroad. In addition to the new roster of tunes, milepost highpoints and local railroad lore highlight the trip where history is just part of the journey. Come enjoy just one more great reason to ride in any season.