Oregon Zoo reopening Washington Park and Zoo Railway - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo reopening Washington Park and Zoo Railway

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The Washington Park and Zoo Railway is reopening this weekend after being closed since January so construction could begin on the Oregon Zoo’s new conservation education center. (Oregon Zoo) The Washington Park and Zoo Railway is reopening this weekend after being closed since January so construction could begin on the Oregon Zoo’s new conservation education center. (Oregon Zoo)
The renovated train station at the Oregon Zoo will feature 96 solar panels on the roof and will use sustainable wood for the canopy. (Oregon Zoo) The renovated train station at the Oregon Zoo will feature 96 solar panels on the roof and will use sustainable wood for the canopy. (Oregon Zoo)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo announced Thursday that it will be reopening the Washington Park and Zoo Railway after having it out of service for six months.

The railway has been shut down since January, as construction of the new conservation education center started.

Since the new development was so close to the train and station, zoo officials decide to take the opportunity to update the station, which first opened in the late 1950s.

To celebrate the relaunch, the zoo is offering free rides Friday, May 27.

“A new station is in place, and the engineers have been making practice runs,” Craig Stroud, zoo deputy director in charge of business operations, said in a release. “We’re thrilled to be bringing the train back in time for summer, and we figured a day of free rides would be a great way to thank our community for supporting all the improvements taking place at the zoo.”

Shroud said the improvements to the station will improve the guest experience, providing visitors shaded and dry waiting areas and more entry points for the train which should shorten wait times.

The new station was also designed with sustainability in mind. The canopy is made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable wood, and there are 96 solar panels on the roof.

These panels, when added with the solar panels being built on the education center, will generate enough energy to run the train station as well as other facilities at the education center.

To learn more about the railway, visit OregonZoo.com.

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