San Antonio Zoo Adds Union Pacific Mini Train to Brackenridge Park Rail Line
Source and photos by: San Antonio Zoo
All Aboard! The San Antonio Zoo welcomed the Union Pacific Mini Train to its rail line as it chugged into town at Brackenridge Park. The train was led by Union Pacific Locomotive No. 210, which features the sleek design of Streamliner engines of the 1950s and 1960s. The new diesel train was funded 100% by donations, with the lead naming gift of $300,000 coming from Union Pacific. In addition, each zoo train runs on fuel generously donated by Valero Energy Corporation.
The zoo is still working on plans for a third new train which will be very distinct from the two new trains now in operation, giving riders three styles of trains to enjoy. All of the new trains feature improvements from previous versions, such as more leg room, more seating space, improved sound systems, and ADA accessibility.
"This has been an exciting and historic day for our community and for train lovers," said Tim Morrow, President & CEO of San Antonio Zoo. "The San Antonio Zoo Train has been a part of the community since 1956, creating lifelong memories for generations. This is the second new locomotive introduced into the fleet within the last year, bringing its own unique beauty and flare onto the 2-mile track. We are so thankful to Union Pacific, Valero Energy Corporation, and all of our donors for helping create many more memories to come."
Since 1956, the San Antonio Zoo Train, formerly known as the Brackenridge Eagle, has chugged along the tracks in Brackenridge Park, skirting the banks of the San Antonio River as it makes its way through one of San Antonio's most popular parks. Today, various stops around the park include the Witte Museum, Sunken Garden Theater, and the Japanese Tea Garden.
"It is an honor to have the Union Pacific Mini Train join the San Antonio Zoo's historic railroad, which has brought people together and showcased some of the city's most vibrant community spaces for over 60 years," said Raquel Espinoza, senior director – Public Affairs. "We look forward to connecting with families in a fun and special way as they ride across the scenic rail line through Brackenridge Park."
Union Pacific has been supporting San Antonio Zoo for several years by donating to the soon to-re-open, reimagined Kronkosky's Tiny Tot Nature Spot, and contributing to the zoo's emergency and recovery funds during Covid closures and impacts in both 2020 and 2021. Union Pacific has contributed more than $10 million to Texas nonprofit organizations over the past five years. They recently funded improvements to the children's splash pad at Hemisfair's Yanaguana Gardens and have supported Alamo Area Academies, Haven for Hope, Hot Wells Conservancy, San Antonio Food Bank, and the San Antonio Parks Foundation.
For more information on the San Antonio Zoo Train, visit the zoo's website, https://sazoo.org/zoo-train/.
About Union Pacific: Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) delivers the goods families and businesses use every day with safe, reliable and efficient service. Operating in 23 western states, the company connects its customers and communities to the global economy. Trains are the most environmentally responsible way to move freight, helping Union Pacific protect future generations. More information about Union Pacific is available at www.up.com.
About San Antonio Zoo: San Antonio Zoo®, operating since 1914, is a nonprofit zoological facility committed to securing a future for wildlife. Through its passion and expertise in animal care, conservation, and education, the zoo's mission is to inspire its community to love, engage with, act for and protect animals and the places they live. The zoo welcomes more than a million visitors each year and is open year-round. San Antonio Zoo operates the largest nature-based preschool in the country, Will Smith Zoo School, the Center for Conservation and Research, and Kiddie Park. San Antonio Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoological Association of America, and Humane Certified by American Humane.