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Name that train

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Having taken over the operation of the Zilker Park train, the Austin Parks Foundation is now looking for a new name. In a press release launching the naming contest, APF explains the history of the train formerly known as the Zilker Zephyr. “The upcoming contest follows a history of community involvement in the mini train that has run through Zilker Park since 1961. The park’s first train, the Zilker Eagle ran for over 30 years. The latest version, the Zilker Zephyr, was named in 1997 following a contest hosted by the city of Austin. In May of 2019, the privately operated Zilker Zephyr went out of commission due to track erosion. Now, in an effort to make immediate and necessary improvements as the master planning process is underway, Austin Parks Foundation is currently working with an engineering firm to do a structural assessment and determine what needs to be done. The new Zilker train, which is scheduled to make its debut next summer, will be in the style of a 1940s passenger train, but for the first time ever, will be electric, shaded and ADA-accessible. Austin Parks Foundation aims to raise over $525,000 to fund this project and to date has raised $55,000.” Those bursting with bright ideas for a new name can submit their entries at austinparks.org/zilker-train. The most popular ideas will be announced on Sept. 30, followed by voting on the final names.

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