Special to 1808Delaware

All aboard! A new “train-sformation” has taken place at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, offering guests an opportunity to “choo-choose” a path to sustainability.

The guest-favorite North America Train ride has been converted to a new system featuring a lithium-ion battery powered Electric C.P. Huntington™ train. The train’s new engine, acquired by Chance Rides based in Wichita, Kansas, replaces the Zoo’s 25-year-old compressed natural gas (CNG) engine and a 12-year-old gasoline-powered engine.

The electric train requires very little maintenance and will provide guests with a smoother, more consistent speed throughout the ride. Best of all, the environmentally-friendly train emits zero emissions, aligning with the Zoo’s green initiatives to make a difference for wildlife and the planet.

“The North America Train is the most popular ride with our guests, and we are proud to offer our community this fun experience while reducing our carbon footprint and supporting our core values of working toward a more sustainable future,” said Jen Ryan, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Sustainability.

Other unique features and benefits of the train include:

  • 1 engine and 4 coaches that can accommodate up to 52 riders
  • Fun audio effects (and the Columbus Zoo’s Rides team helped select the sound of the bell!)
  • Lower operating costs
  • Auto in-station rapid charging

The North America Train is open daily now through October 29, with extended operating hours for Boo at the Zoo. The train then runs on weekends only until November 15.  Starting November 16 through Wildlights, the train will again operate daily, transforming into the “12 Days of Wildlights” train ride to add to guests’ magical holiday experience.

Each train ride is $2 per rider. Rides are free for Columbus Zoo Gold members and are included in the price of a ZooMore ride wristband. These wristbands also include other rides and attractions such as the Adventure Wheel, Dinosaur Island, Grand Carousel, 4-D Theater, and more. The minimum height requirements for the North America Train are 52 inches unless accompanied by supervising companion. An ADA wheelchair-accessible seat is available in the first coach.

For additional updates about the Columbus Zoo, events, and more, be sure to follow the Zoo’s social media accounts on FacebookInstagramX, and TikTok, and visit us at ColumbusZoo.org.

Source, Photo: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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