All aboard for a fun adventure! The Austin Steam Train gives riders a sense of traveling back in time on their cool, restored coaches — some dating back to the 1920s — as they zip through the picture-perfect Texas Hill Country. Our Content Manager and her family recently hopped aboard the Bertram Flyer, a 3-hour, round-trip ride from Cedar Park to the historic town of Bertram. Read all about her experience…

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My father has been eager to take his grandsons for a train ride on the Austin Steam Train for years, and we’re so glad we finally made this happen. We planned this as a big family outing with my husband and three sons (ages 6, 7 and 9), my parents and my sister. And I have to say, it was a very perfect multi-generational adventures that was enjoyable for all ages.

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When we took our seats in the old Sante Fe train car that was built in 1950, my parents immediately had stories to tell of memories of past train rides from their youth. Our boys declared that it looked like we were “in a movie”, as this was something they had never really seen before outside of scenes from old classic Hollywood films.

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After the train whistle blew and we were well on our way, we took the opportunity to move between train cars, exploring each unique design and decor of the coaches — noting the cool sleeping quarters, the snack car, etc.

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The kids loved feeling the wind in their hair as they looked out along the countryside.

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My children also enjoy sampling the complimentary snacks (provided in each car) such as oranges, apples, and muffins. Tea, coffee and water is also served. (You are also welcome to bring your own food, though certain restrictions apply.) You can also purchase candy and drinks for $1 in the snack car as well as little toy trains, t-shirts and other souvenirs.

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Our ride stopped off for a 15-minute layover in Bertram at the historic 1912 train depot. This gave us the chance to walk around and explore the caboose, which the kids were most eager to do.

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On our ride back to Austin, the kids decided to play card games with Grandma and Grandpa. My husband and I got to relax and enjoy the scenery, catch up with my sister and simply enjoy some really pleasant, quality family time.

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Our ride on the Bertram Flyer was approximately 3 hours round-trip, which was a perfect amount of time for our kids. But the Austin Steam Train also offers several other routes including the Hill Country Flyer, a 66-mile journey through the Texas Hill Country, with a two-hour layover in Burnet, TX to see a Wild West Gunfight. They also offer the ever-popular North Pole Flyer where kids can join Santa for storytime and cookies. Visit the Austin Steam Train Association website for more info about schedules and tickets.