Central Florida Zoo’s miniature train attraction returns this Fall

SANFORD, Fla. — The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens has announced the return of its popular train attraction after it was closed for nearly three years.


The zoo announced Tuesday that a new train would begin running this fall.

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Called “The Champion,” just like the previous train ride, the new streamliner will have the ability to carry guests on a loop around the zoo’s property.

The new train was built last year. It’s designed to be a one-quarter scale model of an Atlantic Coast Line Railroad streamliner that ran from New York to Miami in 1939.

“The upcoming launch of our new train is one of the biggest announcements I have the honor of making this year,” Central Florida Zoo CEO Richard Glover said in a statement. “Our train was always a favorite for kids and adults alike, and we’re excited to bring a new train for the community to enjoy.”

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The ride was shut down abruptly in November 2019 after several people were injured when the train derailed. A spokesperson at the time said a sudden stop forced one of the cars on the end of the train off the track.

Updates and improvements to the tracks and crossings are still in progress. Zoo officials are also working with the state and independent inspectors for final approval of the ride.

Details on the exact opening date as well as pricing and ticketing information have not been released yet.

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According to Glover, the zoo was able to bring the train back thanks to contributions from local businesses Wharton-Smith Inc. and VyStar Credit Union.

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