Milwaukee County Zoo unveils new attractions to celebrate 60th birthday of Zoo train

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County Zoo train turns 60-years-old this year. The custom-made steam engine was donated to the Zoo in 1958.

The 8-ton train is surprisingly fast and can travel up to 60 miles per hour, but normally runs about five or six miles per hour. Each year, approximately 400,000 people ride the train on its 1.25 mile journey through the Zoo, which totals 2,000 to 6,000 miles traveled.

To commemorate the 60th birthday eight 4-foot wood sculptures will be placed near the tracks throughout the woods. The sculptures are Wisconsin wildlife representing either a state symbol or a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service threatened or endangered Wisconsin species.

The sculptures are hand-carved by Rock on Ice, a company in Ohio that also carves the Zoo’s giant pumpkins for the Halloween events. Each wooden sculpture is made from “urban wood,” which comes from trees that already need to come down. The sculptures will include a bald eagle, gray wolf, karner blue butterfly, eastern massasauga snake, white tail deer, musky and badger.

Train trading cards similar to the Zoo animal trading cards will be handed out around the Zoo from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The cards include fun facts about the Zoo train.

New TV screens will be placed in the waiting area to board the train, presenting throwback videos, fun train facts and highlighting train history.

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