Oregon Zoo planning new railway
Exhibit designers released a sneak peek of the new Oregon Zoo Railway this week, giving the industry its first look at a route optimised for spectacular views of animals and the annual winter ZooLights display starting in late 2014.
"We're honoured to operate one of the Pacific Northwest's most beloved railways, and we've designed a new route that will build upon that legacy," said Heidi Rahn, programme director for the new railway. "It will be more than just a train ride - it will be an entirely new perspective of the zoo."
In late September, the zoo's popular trio of trains - the Zooliner, the Centennial Steam Train, and the Oregon Express - were temporarily put out of service as crews began laying track for the new loop.
The future route will encircle an elevated trestle in the forest north of Elephant Lands, providing unique views of the Asian elephant herd and opening a new path for the ZooLights display.
Rerouting will also keep construction traffic away from visitor areas as the zoo undergoes a monumental decade-long renovation.
"The zoo has expanded significantly since the railway opened in 1958," Rahn said. "We're very excited to write the next chapter in our 125-year history with a train that gives visitors an amazing experience and gives animals the improved habitats they deserve."
The railway is scheduled to reopen in time for ZooLights 2014.