What is it?
It’s a train ride… Oh you want a bit more? Well, it’s a “steam” train ride that starts in Cedar Park and choo choos out to Burnet, does a U-Turn and returns. Along the way you’ll enjoy “striking” views of the Texas hill country! If you happen to take one of the rides with a two-hour layover in Burnet you can walk around a small town and shop at all the “lovely” antique stores! Oh and after you’re done shopping and dining, you’ll be treated to an old fashion gun fight.
Outside of the Hill Country Flyer, you can also take various themed rides such as Superheroes or Princesses. Since The Lady and I did the Hill Country Flyer, I can’t comment on these first hand although a quick look through Yelp doesn’t make a great impression.
Why so many quotes?
First off, a steam train this was not. To be fair they do state in the ride description that the train will be pulled by a diesel engine because the steam engine is being repaired. I know it’s not really that big of a deal, but it did kind of put a damper from the start.
Next is the striking views! Let me show you some of them!
Notice a common theme to these pictures? Yea, the views are great if you want to look at rows and rows of trees along the train track. To be fair, I’m not blaming the train people for our Texas tree lines, they grow where they may. But you probably shouldn’t advertise the wonderful views you’ll see when a solid 1 hour of the 2 hour ride is nothing but tree hedges.
And as for the antique stores, they were just ok. Burnet is a pretty small town and unlike Fredericksburg, it does not have a thriving wine country nearby to bring in the people. So the stores stay small and hold mostly uninteresting items.
OK, but how was the ride?
Enh. One of the biggest problems the Lady and I had were the seats. The Lady went and got us 2 first class tickets that allowed us access to…
The chairs, while ok, are not really 2 hour-long comfortable. I had to get up a handful of times to stretch my legs and back. On the right you can see The Lady gazing out the window. That couple in front of her, just some people we got seated with. They were nice, but we had little in common. And since they were sitting right in front of us, The Lady and I had little in the way of privacy. Again, a quick reread of the description says parties of two will be seated with others, a fun little line item that easy to miss :/
For substance they provide a small tray of snacks. Mostly Cuties and thumb size muffins…
But I hear there is a gunfight!
There is! And honestly, it’s probably the best part of the ride. A handful of actors do a little 15 minute skit about half an hour before the train departs from Burnet. It’s a cute show and should keep people of all ages entertained enough. Though do keep in mind that you’ll be sitting outside, that Texas heat is a killer!
If I seem bitter about he experience then that is not at all what I want to convey. More so it was a letdown. The last train ride that The Lady and I did was up in New Hampshire a few years ago. It cost us 20$ for 2 two tickets, Tt was father’s day weekend and despite my lack of offspring, I was still given discount. I did a quick check and you can buy a ticket today for 20$ per person. So, for 20 bucks you can get a 1 hour ride with honest to god scenic valleys and food that included various meats, cheeses, crackers and fruits. Ohh and these were the seats.
My lord was it wonderful! So my displeasure comes not from the Austin Steam Train being terrible, just terrible in comparison. The final nail in the coffin so to speak is the price.
That train in New Hampshire, 20$ per person. The Austin Steam Train (First Class) – 50$.
I’d skip it if I were you.by