Four years after a derailment that left nearly two-dozen people injured, the Louisville Zoo is again offering train rides.
Director John Walczak says the zoo has spent $800,000 for two new trains and nearly $300,000 on track maintenance.
“We’re very happy with the trains, they’re great pieces of equipment, they’ve got wonderful safety features,” he says. “We have an engineer and a conductor so we have operator redundancy on the train, and the engineer is of course driving in the engine and the conductor, in the very last seat of the train, also has access to the braking systems.”
The new trains were up and running for free test runs Tuesday and Wednesday. Walczak says a $3.50 per person fare would go into effect today.
The 2009 derailment of the zoo’s previous train injured 17 children and five adults, some of them seriously. The zoo was fined 37-thousand dollars by the state, which found that excessive speed, improper operator training and mechanical problems contributed to the derailment. Walczak says operators of the new trains have undergone intensive training for certification.