Zilker Park's beloved Eagle mini train, which has been out of commission since 2019, is nearing its grand opening.

The background

The miniature train has been a Zilker Park staple for around six decades, dating back to 1961. For a while, the train was dubbed the "Zilker Zephyr" before returning to its original and standing name.

However, the tracks have remained empty since May 2019, when storm erosion prompted officials to shut it down for repairs.

In 2020, the Austin Parks Foundation was tasked with restoring the train to its former glory by City Council.

Officials anticipated the train would be back up and running last year, but in May 2023, APF CEO Colin Wallis shared an update.

"We have to acknowledge that we have been met with a multitude of challenges," Wallis wrote. "To be frank, this process has been way harder than we could have ever anticipated and is taking much longer than we thought it would."

What's happening

At the end of February, Wallis shared the new locomotive had arrived in Austin that has been outfitted with:
  • Upgraded lighting
  • New air brakes
  • Clean-burning propane
  • Inside controls for extra safety
The next steps to get the train doing its rounds at Zilker Park include completion of locomotive testing, train inspection and hiring staff.

"Our team is working hard to get the train up and running as quickly and safely as possible, and once testing is complete, we will share more about our plans for opening to the public," Wallis wrote in the February update.

For more updates on the Zilker Eagle, visit www.zilkertrain.org or the Austin Parks Foundation YouTube channel.