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Austin and Central TrainTake a ride through the Texas Hill Country on a historic steam train. The Austin Steam Train Association’s two steam trains run most weekends with stops in Burnet or Bertram, depending on which train you board.

The historic Hill Country Flyer will take you on a 66-mile round trip from Cedar Park to Burnet, with a brief layover in Burnet for lunch and shopping. Be careful on Saturday’s train, however. You might just get caught up in a Wild West shootout just off the Courthouse Square in Burnet.

Order tickets by calling (512) 477-8468 ext. 2 on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-up tickets go on sale 30 minutes before each train’s departure and can be purchased at the ticket office at 401 E. Whitestone Blvd. Suite A-103 in Cedar Park. Walk-up ends 10 minutes before departure. Call (512) 925-7570 to check on walk-up ticket availability.

The Bertram Flyer is a shorter journey, traveling from Cedar Park to Bertram. A 15-minute layover in Bertram gives you just enough time to tour the fully restored 1912 train depot there. The Bertram Flyer runs on a seasonal schedule. All seats are reserved and preassigned. The train departs Saturday at 10 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m. On Sundays, it departs at 2 p.m. and returns at 5 p.m. The train runs from March through November.

Take a look at some of the special trips planned for the 2013 spring and summer season.

• The Capital City Mystery Players plan to stage an intriguing murder aboard the train on March 16. Guests must be 17 years or older. A box dinner is provided. You’ll need the strength to help solve the mystery!

• Climb aboard the Spring Break Special Burnet Flyer on March 12-14. The train leaves the depot in Bertram for a one-hour trip each way, with a two-hour layover in Burnet. The Burnet Gunfighters will be performing just off the Courthouse Square in Burnet.

• On April 13-14, the Hill Country Flyer makes several special trips to celebrate the 26th annual Bluebonnet Festival in Burnet. Enjoy festivities on the square. More details at

• Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12. Take your mom on a dinner train from Cedar Park to Bertram.

Information on additional special trips can be found online at the Austin Steam Train website.

PHOTO: Staff Photo