The zoo railway is temporarily out of service while crews lay track for a new route designed to provide better views of animals and ZooLights, the annual winter lights display. The new route will also keep construction traffic away from visitor areas while the zoo undergoes a spectacular renovation over the next decade.
Construction managers expect the trains to be running in time for ZooLights 2014.
The need for a change
Train views have not been given much consideration as the zoo underwent development during the past 50 years. During that time, the zoo campus expanded to encompass the train track, which once ran around much of the zoo's perimeter. The trains crossed a primary visitor pathway creating a safety issue for guests and staff.
A new train route
The new route through the zoo will circle an elevated trestle in the forest north of Elephant Lands, providing unique views of the Asian elephant herd in its new habitat. The longer Washington Park train route, which operates seasonally in the summer, will also return once construction is complete.