Update: Friday, February 28, 2020
STATEMENT REGARDING NOVEMBER’S INCIDENT ON THE LITTLE FLORIDA MINIATURE TRAIN
There is nothing more important to us than our guests’ safety. For that reason, the train will remain closed until we can complete a thorough internal investigation. We are finalizing our review of the state’s report and, at this time, respectfully disagree with its findings. All of us at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens remain committed to providing our guests with a safe and secure experience.
–Dino Ferri, CEO of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Update: Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Following the incident on Monday, November 25 on the Little Florida Railroad miniature train, two pregnant women who were on board along with their young children, went to the hospital to be checked. All have been reported safe.
An initial inspection by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services/Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection was completed Monday afternoon with no immediate cause determined. The inspection will continue today, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, to investigate what caused the incident. The train will remain closed until further notice.
At approximately 1 PM on Monday, November 25, 2019, the Little Florida Railroad miniature train, at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, came to an abrupt stop causing one car at the end of the train to leave the tracks.
Emergency personnel were called by guests involved in the incident. Paramedics responded to the scene, as did Zoo onsite responders, to provide assistance to those involved in the incident. Several passengers were evaluated onsite. One guest was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is investigating the incident and immediately followed all procedures set forth by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services/Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection.
“Our thoughts are with all the guests impacted by today’s incident,” said Dino Ferri, the Zoo’s CEO. “I want to thank the Zoo team and our local first responders for their swift response. Guest safety is our top priority and we are working with state inspectors to ensure the train continues to meet all safety requirements before reopening to the public.”
The train and tracks are inspected daily by Zoo staff, prior to operating. The train also undergoes bi-annual inspection as required by the State of Florida for amusement rides. The most recent inspection of the Zoo’s train and carousel was completed by on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. No issues were identified during that inspection.
The Little Florida Railroad was the world’s first miniature streamline train. It was built in 1951 as a 1/5-scale replica of the famous Florida East Coast Champion. The train follows a one mile track around the perimeter of the Zoo. The train was donated to the Zoo in 2003 and has been a popular attraction for guests ever since.
The train will remain closed until further notice to allow for a full investigation into the incident and to allow for the completion of the required inspections.