Happy Memorial Day weekend! I’m excited to be sending you this message today to give you an update on our ongoing efforts to bring back the beloved Zilker Train. We are still fully committed to making this dream a reality and we have to acknowledge that we have been met with a multitude of challenges. 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. Despite the setbacks, we are feeling hopeful that this project is back on track.
We are partnering with a local group of engineers who have the experience and expertise to deliver a safe, functioning train by retrofitting the existing train cars, making slight track modifications and building a new locomotive. Work has already begun on the locomotive and work will begin on the track modifications and train car refurbishment in the coming weeks. Once that process begins, we will work out an arrangement with them to help us manage the operations and maintenance of the train once it’s up and running. Our hope is that if all goes well, the new and improved Zilker Eagle will enter the testing phase in late fall, with the train opening to the public shortly thereafter. We plan to keep you updated regularly about our progress and any unexpected delays.
As a supporter of the Zilker Eagle, we truly appreciate your patience, and we wanted to share this news and updated timeline with you first. We plan to share this message with the broader community in the next week or so. Again, we are continuing to work as hard as possible to have a working train as early and safely as possible.
If you have questions or concerns, I want to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at any time to continue the conversation, and stay tuned for additional updates as our work continues.
Chief Executive Officer
Austin Parks Foundation