All aboard! New San Antonio Zoo train is now in operation

Trains have carried passengers through Brackenridge Park since the 1950s

The new San Antonio Zoo train.
The new San Antonio Zoo train. (San Antonio Zoo)

SAN ANTONIO – The first of three new trains has arrived at the Train Depot at the San Antonio Zoo.

The new train will embark on its inaugural ride Monday morning and the first 50 riders who purchase tickets will receive a complimentary box of popcorn and a goody bag to commemorate the event.

The beloved trains that have carried passengers through Brackenridge Park since the 1980s are set to be retired as the new trains replace the older locomotives.

San Antonio Zoo officials told KSAT that the C.P. Huntington trains that currently chug around the park will remain in operation until the three, newly commissioned trains are up and operational.

The Brackenridge Eagle Miniature Railroad, now known as the San Antonio Zoo Train, started in 1956 and currently, three trains operate on the track. Two were built in the 1980s and the third was built in the 2000s, San Antonio Zoo spokesperson Hope Roth previously told KSAT.

Brackenridge Eagle Train (San Antonio Zoo)

The zoo currently has one new train and plans to order two additional new trains but the nonprofit is still in the donation phase for the two subsequent trains.

The new train debuting Monday will be ADA accessible and feature more legroom for riders. The new trains will also be designed differently so that each train will have its own character versus the uniform look of the old trains.

“The new trains are more powerful than the old trains and will allow for a smoother and more consistent ride,” Roth said. “There will also be a better sound system and PA system on board.”

San Antonio Zoo officials said they would make an announcement on when the current trains will be retired from service, giving everyone a chance to take one last trip around Brackenridge Park.

Roth said zoo officials are still trying to determine what they’re going to do with the original trains and haven’t made a decision on what will be done with them just yet.

San Antonio Zoo train - Sept. 2021 (San Antonio Zoo)

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.