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ZOO RAILWAYS.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by ROY CROPPER, 29 Apr 2015.

  1. ROY CROPPER

    ROY CROPPER Member

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    I am currently researching miniature/narrow gauge railways that are currently in operation in U.K. zoos and safari parks. So far I have looked into those in service at Whipsnade, Longleat, South Lakes and Twycross. I am also interested in Thomasland that operates at Drayton Manor. Firstly, may I enquire about railways that may operate in other zoos/safari parks, both past and present, and regarding the systems that did operate in parks that are unfortunately no longer open, what happened to the rolling stock, track and other features, are any of these still in operation in other establishments in the UK?, I understand that the closed Cricket St. Thomas Wildlife Park had a very good railway in service, does anyone know what happened to it when the park closed?. Any help or information regarding these matters would be very much appreciated, Roy.
     
  2. Johnny Morris.

    Johnny Morris. Well-Known Member

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    Paignton, Coombe Martin, Paradise Park and Cotswold all have trains. I can't tell you anything about them though sorry. Trago Mills in Newton Abbot has the best train i have been on by far.
     
  3. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Trago Mills? Is that the shopping complex with lots of other stuff thrown in and around it, including one of the biggest domestic pigs I've ever seen?
     
  4. Johnny Morris.

    Johnny Morris. Well-Known Member

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    Yes. (Zoo related um, they used to keep Wallabies.)
     
  5. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget the chipmunks and assorted aviaries... ;)
     
  6. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    Dudley had a 15" gauge railway from (I believe) 1930s to 1970/80s.


    as did Belle Vue!
     
  7. Pacu

    Pacu Well-Known Member

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    Marwell also has a narrow gauge railway and there is a railway of sorts at Birdworld in Surrey.
     
  8. zooman64

    zooman64 Well-Known Member

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    Cotswold Wildlife Park has a good one. There is also one at Woburn Safari Park but that one,in my opinion, is rather disappointing because it takes you only so far, then returns. (Narrow gauge railways that go around in a wide loop are better.) The Woburn one does stop, briefly, so that passengers can alight to look at the deer (Fallow, I think) in a paddock, but this is most unsatisfactory as far as I was concerned, because I would have liked to have studied the deer for longer, but as soon as everyone else was returning to the train after only a minute or so, I felt I had to, too. It is the same with the one at Colchester Zoo, which stops so that visitors can explore, on foot, the lemur enclosure. Most people don't stay very longer with the lemurs and soon return to the train; visitors who would like to enjoy the lemurs for longer feel hurried to re-board the train with everyone else. The train at Colchester Zoo is also the only way to see the jackals (assuming the jackals are still there, I'm not sure).
     
  9. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    shepreth also has a railway thou it only goes round one of the enclosures
     
  10. Ally

    Ally Member

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    When you say miniature, I'm guessing you just mean smaller than normal railways?
    Well,
    There is a small track at Knowsley Safari Park, which passes through the Tapir, Capybara (and baby capys! :) ) and Sitatunga exhibit, or, "The Equatorial Trail" as they call it. It's pretty cool however directed at children.
    The three animals all live around in habitats on the earth's equator.
     
  11. SMR

    SMR Well-Known Member

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    One of the most unusual is Chester's overhead monorail.
     
  12. ROY CROPPER

    ROY CROPPER Member

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    B.B.C. news have reported that a probe into an accident on the train at Longleat where six people were injured has found weaknesses in maintenance and staff training. A woman broke her leg in August last year when the train was carrying 155 people. The Office of Rail and Road stated the park had agreed to an action plan to improve standards. The train had previously derailed in 2011 and did so again in November 2014.