Austin/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on March 04, 2024
Austin's Zilker Park to Welcome Back Upgraded Zilker Eagle Mini Train in MarchSource: Zilker Eagle Mini Train

The Zilker Eagle Mini Train is finally chugging back to life. After a long-awaited hiatus, the beloved children's attraction is set to make its return with slick upgrades and a new course around Zilker Park. According to KXAN, the Austin Parks Foundation announced that the reinvented ride, formerly known as the "Zilker Zephyr," is eyeing a March comeback.

The train derailed from public life after a weather incident in 2019 compromised the tracks, but it's been all hands on deck since the Austin Parks Foundation took the reins. In its new incarnation, the train will roll out from near Barton Springs Pool and loop back at Lou Neff Point, offering riders a picturesque glance of downtown. Despite past delays, testing is underway so that "once we have passengers, it's a safe experience," the Foundation's CEO Colin Wallis told KXAN.

Not just a nostalgic nod to simpler times, the Zilker Eagle is set to get a technological facelift, with three of its cars returning from a Texan workshop equipped with modern trappings. As teased on the train's Facebook page, and echoed by KVUE, the cars have been spruced up with "upgraded lighting, all new air brakes, wiring and couplers."

With the goal of inclusive fun, the Zilker Eagle will be ADA-compliant, broadening its appeal to a wider range of adventurers. Even as the mini train edges closer to its grand re-entrance, fans are advised to keep their excitement on a leash; hitches are still possible before the official reopening. Wallis remains optimistic, "If things go really well, we’ll we’ll have it up and running in March," he revealed to KXAN. Meanwhile, Austin's train enthusiasts, big and small, wait eagerly to hop aboard.

Austin-Transportation & Infrastructure