October 2012 - Jacksonville Zoo Trains
Jacksonville Zoo History 1914-2014
Featured October 2012
Alan F. Rost, Biological Programs Registrar and unofficial Zoo historian
Jacksonville Zoo Trains
The first Jacksonville Zoo train ride (as a people mover) first began to run on April 29, 1956. Since then we have had at least three, and maybe as many as five different trains, each one increasing in the size of the track gage. We just found out this summer, through a family photo shared with us by Thad Rickerson, that we had a train ride as early as 1955. Although, it was a very short kid’s ride (see the photo above), rather than a family affair like the one we have today. Take a look at the train ride below with the black engine. Can anyone identify it as either our first or second train ride engine? The gate in this picture was built in the 1940s, and some of the stone structure was still partially there until well into the 1990s. It was located on what was then called Main Street, just southwest of the current Main Camp Train Station, and at the current entrance to the Plains of East Africa boardwalk.
See below for more Zoo history tidbits to get those memory juices flowing!