What’s happening

The Zilker Eagle mini train is expected to reopen later this year after over four years of being defunct, Austin Parks Foundation announced in an Aug. 18 post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The details

Crews are working on track adjustments, new electrical wiring for lights, retrofitting the train with air brakes and adding a new public-address system.

“We have partnered with a local group of engineers who have the experience and expertise to deliver a safe, functioning train, and the work is already underway,” Zilker Eagle APF said in the post.

The Zilker Eagle will enter the testing phase in late fall and will open to the public shortly after, APF said.

The backstory

The Zilker train has been out of commission since 2019, when heavy rainfall damaged a small part of the track near Lady Bird Lake. When the damage occurred, the train was owned by the Rodriguez family, while the land was owned by the city. The Rodriguez family concluded their ownership of the train, then called Zilker Zephyr, after the damage.

In 2020, Austin City Council asked the Austin Parks Foundation to restore the train to its former glory.

The APF began its newfound ownership by sending a survey to community members asking what the train should be named. After 750 name submissions, the board of directors and community members, including children, came up with a finalist: The Zilker Eagle, the same name the train bore when it first opened in 1961.