2017 Frequently Asked Questions
We know that booking the perfect day out can be daunting–and the train has so many choices! We hope this FAQ can help you figure out the perfect car, route, and seats for your special day!
Please note that we are adding to this FAQ every day, so changes may be frequent. These answers are for 2017 passengers only.
- I am ready to hop on board! How do I make a reservation?
Wonderful! You have three options to make reservations. First, you can see the full calendar and book tickets online (with the lowest ticketing fees!) HERE. Second, you can call us at 512-402-3830 to book by phone. Third, you can visit our Cedar Park Depot during business hours to book in person. Please note that many rides sell out a week in advance. We strongly suggest reservations!
- Are the cars air conditioned?
Welcome to Texas! Yes! As of 2016 all of our cars are climate controlled. If you get cold easily, we do suggest a pull-over with sleeves in the Silver Pine and Buckeye Lake cars–they can get chilly!
- What about restrooms!?
Do not fear! All of our cars have a restroom for the passengers in that car. Most of our restrooms will close before we depart from each station, and as we pass through the Leander Metro station. We strongly suggest taking kiddos to the restroom prior to boarding, as the departure from the station can take 15-20 minutes. The Silver Pine car has a separate men’s and women’s restroom, and is the only car setup in that manner. The restrooms in the Nambe (adults-only) and the Buckeye Lake (all ages) may stay open at most times due to their advanced toilet systems. Please note that our trains are historic in nature, so the restrooms are normally small (not handicap accessible), and may not have running water. Hand sanitizer is provided in those without water. Our Depot at Bertram has two portable toilets for your convenience. Our Depot at Burnet has restrooms courtesy of the City of Burnet.
- Is the train wheelchair accessible?
Welcome aboard! While the historic construction and nature of our railroad equipment limits accessibility in some areas, we will attempt to provide accommodations for all passengers. We have two cars that allow for wheelchair seating- the Buckeye Trail (seats W1, W2, W3 and W4) and the Eagle Cliff (seats WC1 and WC13). A wheelchair lift is available that can accommodate most wheelchairs and motorized chairs and lift these chairs and occupants from the boarding platform to the entry doors for the railroad cars. Entry doors maximum width is 27″. The wheelchair lift can also be made available for patrons who may have trouble with stairs when boarding the train. If you would like to use a wheelchair to board, but would like to be seated in a standard seat while you ride, you are welcome to choose any seat on the train, and we can store a collapsible wheelchair for you while you ride. Please keep in mind that the hallways are narrow- and each car is different, so you may need to collapse the wheelchair after boarding, and be guided to your seat without use of the wheelchair. Thank you in advance for your patience with us as we do our best to accommodate you!
- Are the restrooms wheelchair accessible?
The joys of historic train travel! Unfortunately, the restrooms on board were built with severe space restrictions in the 50s and 60s, so they are not wheelchair accessible. Accessible restrooms are available at the Cedar Park Depot prior to your departure, and during your layover at the Bertram or Burnet Depot—if the ride you chose has a stop.
- I am boarding with a wheelchair/walker/ stroller. Can these be stored on board?
Absolutely! We will do our best to store any collapsible wheelchairs, walkers, or single strollers. Items of these types must collapse down to less than 27 inches. Please keep in mind that storage space on board is limited, and priority will be given to wheelchairs and walkers. The coach cars (Silver Pine, Buckeye Trail, Buckeye Lake) have overhead storage for your convenience. In the case that the storage spaces are full, you may be asked to store your item at your feet where space is limited.
- I already have tickets- when should I arrive at the station?
All aboard! Thank you for your support! We ask all passengers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time to get parked and pick up your tickets. The train begins backing up for departure 10 minutes prior to your departure time. Out of consideration for other passengers, the train departure cannot be held for passengers who are arriving late.
- How do I pick up my tickets?
Choo choo! Our train station will open 90 minutes prior to your departure. When you arrive at the station, please step inside to the Will Call Tickets pick up podium. Our Ticket Assistant will ask you for your last name, and then hand your tickets to you to board. Please keep your confirmation handy- either printed or electronic- in case we have questions about your reservation. Sorry, we are not able to give you your tickets prior to this 90 minute window.
- Can I bring my own food and snacks?
Absolutely! Your snacks, drinks and formula are welcome on the train. Please keep in mind that our vintage cars may have little storage space, so your snack and drink containers need to be small and handheld. You should expect those items to be stored by your feet in most cars. Please, no coolers with wheels.
- Can I bring my beer and wine on board?
Hang tight! Due to our current licensing we do not allow personal alcoholic beverages to be brought on ANY train ride. We promise to make a big announcement the second that changes! Train rides do not have alcohol service unless explicitly mentioned in the event summary – such as the Beer Train, Wine Train, or Signature Cocktail Series.
- Can I purchase drinks and snacks on board the train?
Unfortunately, not right now! Our (fancy) new concession car is currently being restored, so there are no items for purchase on board the train. You may purchase drinks, snacks and merchandise in the Depot prior to your departure. The Depot will not be open when you return from your train trip.
- Where is the train located? Where does the train depart from?
We are located at 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., C-100, Cedar Park, TX 78613. This is the same location the train departs from–with the exception of Day Out With Thomas. Directions can be found HERE.
- Where does the train go?
We have three main routes that our train follows. The trains depart from our Cedar Park Station and travel to either Bertram, Burnet or Austin. The train then returns to Cedar Park. We run many different special events, so please allow us to explain a little…
- Where does the Bertram Flyer go?
Our trip from Cedar Park to Bertram is typically called the Bertram Flyer. This route is 44 miles round trip, and normally is a 3 hour round trip with a 15 minute stop in Bertram at our Historic Bertram Depot. This 15 minute stop allows passengers to tour the depot, take some pictures and stretch your legs! This route usually runs on Sundays March- June and then runs on Saturdays during July and August. This route is popular with families with small children (and shorter attention spans), or people looking for a quick getaway. It is normally the shortest route we offer. Many of our special events like the North Pole Flyer, Princess Flyer and Beer Train take the Bertram Flyer route, but each train is different. Please visit http://www.austinsteamtrain.org/make-reservations/ to see the specifics on the route you would like to ride.
- Where does the Hill Country Flyer go?
Our trip from Cedar Park to Burnet is typically called the Hill Country Flyer. This trip is our most popular—and longest running route. This day trip is 66 miles round trip, and normally runs 10am-4pm. It will take us two hours to get from Cedar Park to Burnet, then we will drop you off for two hours in Burnet for lunch and shopping on your own. Then we will take the two hour ride back to Cedar Park. This route usually runs on Saturdays from January to June, and then September to mid-November. This route goes along the same line as the Bertram Flyer, so you will see the Bertram Depot on our way to Burnet, but we will not stop at the Depot. This route is popular with all ages, but can be a long trip for younger kiddos. Games, coloring activities and handheld devices (with ear phones) are welcome on board the train. We have few special events that follow the Hill Country Flyer route, but those that do (Bluebonnet Festival Flyer, Burnet County Fair Flyer, Valentine’s Day Flyer) may have different departure times or extended layovers. Please visit http://www.austinsteamtrain.org/make-reservations/ to see the specifics on the route you would like to ride.
- What about trips to Austin?
Our trip from Cedar Park to Austin is typically called the Capital City Express. This rare trip may only run several times a year. We currently have no future trips to Austin planned for 2017.
- What do I see on the ride?
As history would have it, our rail line from Austin to Burnet was built in 1882 as the first rail line to tap the mineral-rich heart of the Hill Country. As with most lines, they were laid to provide an industrial lifeline to the quarries, ranches, and little towns of this scenic, but isolated corner of Texas. Our route is much like a traditional industrial line where you will see a mix of foliage, small towns, businesses, quarries, rural homes and highway intersections. A few highlights include: Short Creek Canyon, the wooden trestle bridge at the South San Gabriel River, huge blocks of cut granite, the Duffy Shamrock communications mast, the Bertram Depot, and the sidings and quarry at Summit—more than 500 feet above Cedar Park. You will receive a “Welcome Aboard” brochure on board the train to help catch these milestones!
- Are guns allowed on the train?
Safety is our top priority! No firearms are permitted on ASTA Property, including ASTA trains, yard facilities or offices; either leased or owned. This includes concealed and openly carried firearms, loaded and unloaded, carried on a person, in a vehicle or otherwise on ASTA Property. Required signs are posted at ASTA office and boarding gates.
Still a little overwhelmed? We are happy to help by phone at 512-477-8468 X2.