On July 25th, 1992, the Austin Steam Train Association (ASTA)'s first Hill Country Flyer came barreling down the tracks, marking the first passenger train between Cedar Park and Burnet in 55 years. Since that unforgettable day, over 957,000 passengers have joined us on the rails—celebrating railroad history and making memories that will last a lifetime.
As you probably know, ASTA relies heavily on the support of our passengers through train ticket sales. In order to protect our community and follow state and local guidelines, our last train ride was on March 14th. We expect that the train will remain at the station for several months.
In response, our humble non-profit railroad has gone into emergency mode. Daily operations are down to bare bones. While we are working with local, state and federal agencies on any possible sources of revenue, the loss of ticket sales is devastating. We are quickly running out of cash to pay rent, utilities, liabilities and to maintain our small and loyal staff of five.
On the other side of this pandemic, we are going to need each other. We will need a place to come together and commemorate all the milestones we couldn’t celebrate during isolation. We will need a place to collect, connect, and make new memories. There is so much to look forward to…and ASTA MUST be here when our community is ready.
But we cannot make it to the summer without your help. We are asking for your support in raising two months of expenses, totaling $106,365. To jumpstart our campaign, we are thrilled to announce that long-time volunteers, Roger and Jeannie Shull, will match the first $5,000 dollar-for-dollar. ASTA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your donation through GoFundMe is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Our fearless determination, passion for historical preservation and tremendous community support got us on the rails 28 years ago. With your help, we will get through these seemingly impossible times and thrive long after. We can’t wait to make new memories with you again soon.