All aboard the Austin Stream Train's Bertram Flyer this spring break. Staff Photo
It’s Spring Break on the Bertram Flyer leg of the historic Austin Steam Train. This week, you can start your Hill Country excursion from the 1912 train depot in Bertram. The 2-hour round trip includes a two-hour layover and Wild West shootout in Burnet.
The Bertram Flyer departs at 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday, arriving back in Bertram at about 3 p.m.
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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. Weather permitting, a shootout by the Burnet Gunfighters Association is staged on most Saturdays.
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 (except during Spring Break and other special rides) 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.
Gunfighters dressed in period costumes put on a Wild West show almost every Saturday afternoon in Burnet when the Austin Steam Train arrives. Gunfighters are volunteers who pass around a donation bucket and give the proceeds to local charities such as Meals on Wheels.
The gunfight starts at about 1:30 p.m. every Saturday just off the square in Burnet — but not without a presentation and demonstration on gun safety. The shows run Saturdays, January-May and September-November, weather permitting and based on the train schedule for the Hill Country Flyer. Gunfighters stage a train robbery on the first two Saturdays in December about 2 p.m.
The guns keep cracking during the 20-minute fight at the Old Burnet Town on League Street one block from Jackson Street, east of the Courthouse on the Square. Gunfighters use six-shooters with a maximum load of black-powder blanks for the biggest bang!
During the gunfight, women between the ages of 12 and 108 years old are chosen to be saloon girls in the show, complete with historic costumes. But don’t worry, the shooters are trained experts!