AUSTIN WELCOMES ENGINE #786. The engine was donated by Southern Pacific to the City of Austin in 1956 as a monument to a great era in American railroading. The historic locomotive was immediately moved to a vacant lot behind the Central Fire Station between 4th and 5th Streets, where it remained on public display for 33 years. It was then acquired by the nonprofit Austin Steam Train Association (ASTA-formed in 1988 to resurrect the engine), and following its restoration, was used to pull excursion rides to Burnet throughout most of the 1990s. Although the engine is currently undergoing repairs, ASTA's round-trip excursion train to Burnet is still chugging along, pulled in the interim by a powerful diesel engine. [PICA 21361]
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