AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Zilker Eagle is on track to start running after years of delays. In an update posted on social media, the operators for the mini-train revealed track repairs are now 90% complete.
The post also explained work retrofitting the coaches with air brakes, for safety reasons, is also nearly done. Braking problems in 2022 further delayed the debut of the once-popular tourist attraction.
These developments mean the testing phase will happen in the late fall or early winter. It’s not clear how long testing will last.
Track erosion due to rain in 2019 caused the old train, the Zilker Zephyr, to shut down. The previous operators were working with Austin Parks and Recreation to repair it, but they couldn’t reach an agreement on a new contract. The former operators then removed the old tracks in August 2020. Since then, the Austin Parks Foundation has taken over the train project.
The train got a new name name after combing through hundreds of public suggestions, and a public vote. But the name hearkens back to the very first train through the park that started running back in 1961.