New electric train chugs out of the station at St. Louis Zoo
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Visitors to the St. Louis Zoo this Summer might notice a new green train engine chugging around the zoo’s decades-old railroad.
The new electric train made its first trip around the Zoo Tuesday morning. Zoo leaders say it is a green, cleaner alternative to the zoo’s existing locomotives that may eventually become the standard.
The engine joins the six existing engines at the Zoo, and it is named for Mary Meachum, a 19th-century Missouri abolitionist who spent her life helping slaves along the underground railroad. She and her husband, John Berry Meachum, started a school to teach both free and enslaved black children.
Zoo leaders say it’s the first engine named after a woman. They praised Meachum’s legacy and said it was the perfect way to honor her legacy.
“She was generous and empathetic to those whose condition she did not know,” said Angela De Silva, a retired professor and historian. “She died in 1869, never having any children of her own, but left a legacy and imprint on the concept of slavery.”
The zoo’s Emerson Zooline Railroad is a beloved tradition for generations of St. Louis families. The zoo says it has served more than 41 million guests since it opened 60 years ago.
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