The unveiling coincides with the museum’s 2017 Locomotive Celebration, a two-day family friendly event scheduled for June 10-11. The re-dedication of the park train is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10.
A team of museum volunteers spent more than 1,000 hours over the past 18 months completely rebuilding and refurbishing the museum’s historic park train set.
The Birmingham Zoo originally purchased and used two sets, which include a total of two locomotives and eight passenger cars. The Miniature Train Company (MTC) built the sets in 1957, and the trains remained in use at the zoo until they were retired in 1976. The museum has restored one and has plans to restore the second set in the future.
Also returning with the special event will be the opportunity to purchase tickets to ride in the cab of the locomotive with the train’s engineer. This long-standing upgrade has been on hiatus since 2015 when the museum started using SRM No. 3, a 50-ton diesel switch engine General Electric built in 1948 for the Anglo-Canadian Paper Co. that later served Hudson Bay Mining 101.
This year’s event features a library sale of train-related items. HO scale items, artwork and books will be among the items featured during the sale.
In addition to the museum’s regular exhibits, volunteers will demonstrate train whistles, while docents in period attire will highlight how locomotive technology evolved over time. The museum is home to more than a dozen steam and diesel-electric locomotives, including Savannah & Atlanta Railway (S&A) No. 750 and Campbell Limestone No. 9, which will serve as the centerpiece of volunteer demonstrations during the event.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 and older and $7 for children between the ages of two and 12 years old. During the event, the museum will offer free admission to railroad workers and their families with either a work identification or a brotherhood card.