The Zilker train has been chugging along at Zilker Metropolitan Park since 1961. PARD has contracted with Austin Parks Foundation to repair the tracks and restart the train, which closed in May 2019 due to erosion around the tracks.
The Zilker Eagle began providing adventures to visitors of the park in 1961 and continued until 1996. In 1997, the community chose the name Zilker Zephyr for the next generation of mini train to move through the park.
In May 2019, the train was closed after erosion under and around the tracks near the Lady Bird Lake made it unsafe to operate. The operators of the Zilker Zephyr concluded their operation of the train that year. In 2020, City Council awarded the contract for restoration and operation of the train and tracks to Austin Parks Foundation.
After a naming contest, the original name of the train was selected, and the Zilker Eagle is set to return. Construction will begin summer 2021 with an anticipated opening in fall 2021.
To learn more about the new Zilker Eagle and Austin Parks Foundations work to restore the train, visit ZilkerTrain.org.
This project aims to restore much of the tracks of previous versions as well as replace the former propane-powered mini train with a new electric model. The track will be shortened with a turnaround near Lou Neff Point in order to avoid some higher erosion areas near Lady Bird Lake and the train depot building and area will be restored for greater accessibility.
Construction begins in summer 2021 with a completion date aimed for fall 2021.
For questions or comments, contact Patrick Beyer, PARD Project Manager, by email or phone at (512) 974-9476.