Contrary to what many believe, the Cedar Rock Railroad is not owned by a city or county. It is the result of a childhood dream and the hard work of just two people wanting to bring something nice to a community desperate for a nearby place to take their whole family for some wholesome fun, adventure, and relaxation.
It all started in 2003 with an idea to put a small train in a brand new 800 acre park set in the very rural intersecting corners of Leander, Cedar Park, and Round Rock Texas. The park was mostly a collection of sports fields and a few concession buildings built on 100 acres of the county parkland at the time. The County Commissioners listened and pondered the proposal brought to them by the overly-enthusiastic husband and somewhat-reluctant wife team who said they would provide a unique entertainment venue for their park at no cost to the County. The Court put the concept out for bid and then the Commissioners voted unanimously to award the concession contract to the husband and wife team who brought the idea to light.
Funding, acquiring and building everything themselves, the couple started constructing the 1.3 miles of track on July 16th, 2004 and drove in the "golden spike" just 56 days later! Soon after, a beautiful new locomotive from Texas Bells and Whistles was delivered and placed on the tracks, followed by two new covered coaches for all the passengers to ride in.
The railroad quietly opened on December 18th, 2004 so that everything could be safely tested and tweaked before a Grand Opening later in April, 2005 with a ribbon ceremony and all the fanfare.
In 2013 the railroad was expanded into a destination setting called the Shady Oak Junction. A full depot was built by the couple to sell tickets, souveniers, snacks & drinks, and more rides and a playscape were added along with picnic tables for people to enjoy a lunch or reserve for parties at the railroad. Five years later, in the summer of 2018, the County installed a very-much-needed restroom near the Shady Oak Junction which also finally provided access to power and running water at the railroad.
In 2021, where the once quiet rural area had almost literally exploded with new housing developments and businesses around the park, the concession contract was renewed for 20 years and plans to rebuild the track route, complete the railroad's mini-golf course, install a new playscape, and build a new larger train were put into action by the concessionaire couple. That work is already underway and is expected to be completed for a new grand opening in March of 2024!
It has been a costly, exhausting, and time-consuming labor of love for us to bring this railroad to life and keep it running, and we are looking forward to providing the best little "backyard" for you to bring your kids and families out for a great time of simple pleasures.
We hope you enjoy it and tell all your friends to come on out to play as well. We'd love to see you all have a great time.