Austin tourist line restores Santa Fe Budd car

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CEDAR PARK, Texas — A newly restored, 72-year-old concession car, Cedar Park, will make its debut in the Austin Steam Train Association's fleet this June.

Santa Fe No. 3163 was built by Budd Co., in 1946 as part of the streamlined San Diegan between Los Angeles and San Diego. The Austin tourist railroad purchased the car in 2013, renamed it the Cedar Park, and began restoring it to Santa Fe interior specifications in 2015. When put into service, it will be used as a concessions car, with food and souvenirs available for purchase and space for passengers to sit and watch the Texas Hill Country scenery.

"[The Cedar Park] is one more success in the many restoration projects ASTA has undertaken in its 26 years of excursion service," says Ben Sargent, chairman of the board of directors, “We're very grateful to the contributors who made it possible.”

The car will replace 1920s-era Pennsylvania Railroad coach, Lake Austin, which lacked climate control.

Restoration cost some $350,000. Grants totaling more than $100,000 from several Austin-area community foundations, as well as additional corporate and private donations and volunteer labor helped to fund the work.
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