Are you looking for a unique and memorable way to explore Austin, Texas? Look no further than the city's many scenic train routes! From the classic Grapevine Vintage Railroad to the Zilker Eagle, there are plenty of options for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad operates Victorian wagons from the 1920s that take passengers on a journey along the Cotton Belt Route. On board, guests can relax in luxurious red velvet seats with gold armrests while admiring the beautiful landscapes from the large windows. It's even available for special events, making it the perfect private party for train lovers.
Please note that the train is open for travel from March to December and closes every January and February for regular maintenance. If you're looking for a more modern mini-train experience, then you should check out the Zilker Eagle. Although it's 60 years old, this train looks like a futuristic bullet train in miniature. It tours Zilker Park and is also a true community effort. According to the park's website, the name of the train was chosen from more than 700 proposals and voted on by more than 7,000 members of the Austin community.
In addition, it is fully electric and comes with several ADA-accessible buses, so it is available to everyone. Those who want a longer trip can hop on Amtrak's Heartland Flyer, which travels between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, every day. The train only makes two stops in Texas (Gainesville and Fort Worth), but that's what makes it such a great trip: it's a straight line between the two cities with lots of views in between. In addition, as Amtrak points out, once passengers disembark in Fort Worth, they can connect to Dallas and San Antonio via the Texas Eagle for an enjoyable time. The Austin Steam Train Association has everything you need, from first-class buses to excursion buses, first-class VIP lounges, adult-only first-class carriages, and wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Climb aboard a refurbished train car on the Texas State Railroad and feel like you've stepped back 100 years in time, when time slows down and tensions disappear.
An antique steam locomotive takes passengers on a 4-hour round-trip train ride through the Piney Woods of East Texas. The Bertram Flyer is a shorter trip, as it goes from Cedar Park to Bertram with a 15-minute stop in Bertram. There's plenty of time to explore the city's 1912 train station. Travel from the Main Street station in Grapevine to the pens of Fort Worth on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad while relaxing in air-conditioned Victorian wagons. In October, the Pumpkin Patch Express leaves Rusk for a 30-minute round-trip train ride that includes carriage rides, spooky music, bouncy houses, concessions, and candy on Trick or Treat Street. Relax and enjoy a 4-hour round-trip train ride from Palestine to Rusk with vintage steam and diesel locomotives gliding through pine forests of East Texas while autumn leaves begin to take on shades of gold, orange, yellow and red.
In April, board The Jazz Wine Train aboard Victorian wagons from the 1920s for a moving jazz show while tasting magnificent Grapevine wine.