Between 1880 and 1930 the East Texas lumber industry was at its peak, transforming the piney woods landscape of East Texas. One of the few surviving short-line railroads from this period is the Texas South-Eastern Railroad (TSER), which served various industries between Lufkin and Diboll but mostly carried timber and forest products throughout the region. It was created in 1900 by T.L.L. Temple, founder of the Southern Pine Lumber Company, which would later become Temple Industries.
The length of the TSER varied widely over its history. From its original seven-mile narrow gauge track it grew to a total railroad-system length of eighty-seven miles by 1915, although most of this growth came from acquiring track rights rather than building new track. Due to the lumber boom is was primarily a freight train line, but did offer a passenger service from Diboll to Lufkin until 1942, on a mixed train that carried the nickname "Tattered, Shattered, and Expired."
Decline soon followed. From the 1960s parts of the TSER rail system were abandoned or sold off to other railroad companies and by 1978 it was reduced to just over seventeen miles of track. By the 1990s the TSER stopped running trains altogether. It has changed owners several times in the last few years, but is once again moving a range of products, including plastic, frac sand, molasses, urea, and other chemicals down its 14.18 miles of track. It still operates out of its office in Diboll.