Wildlife World Zoo Railroad

Guide to Arizona's Miniature Railroads


Wildlife World Zoo African Train Ride

The Wildlife World Zoo Railroad

The Wildlife World Zoo Railroad in Litchfield Park, Arizona

          Located in Litchfield Park, Arizona, the Wildlife World Zoo exhibits more than 300 species of animals on 45 acres. With more than 1,400 animals, it boasts the largest collection of exotic animals in Arizona. However, the the real reason for my trip was to see, ride, and photograph the Wildlife World Zoo's miniature train.

Welcome to the Wildlife World Zoo

Welcome to the Wildlife World Zoo

Loading Platform

Awaiting riders at the loading platform

          The 16" gauge railroad runs 5/8 of a mile through two different animal enclosures that allows passengers a close encounter with a number of the zoo's residents. During the 8 minute trip the engineer provides commentary about the many sights over the PA system that is wired into each of the train's cars.


A scimitar horned oryx inspects the train


The Engineer provides commentary

          After departing the station, the train heads south through the first gate into the scimitar horned oryx enclosure. The southern end of the layout's dogbone provides an excellent look at gazelles, waterbuck, nyala antelope, and ostriches. After passing beside the elevated giraffe feeding station, the train crosses a short trestle and heads north back into the oryx enclosure. After passing through a second gate the train exits the animal enclosures, circles past a children's petting barn and play area along the northern dogbone, and returns to the train station.


Animals are free to approach the train

Ostriches & Giraffes

Ostriches greet the passengers

Giraffe Feeding Station

Approaching the giraffe feeding platorm


Crossing the short trestle


Returning to the depot

Loading Platform

Back at the loading platform

          The Wildlife World Zoo's "African Train Ride" was established circa 1997. The motive power is provided by a J&E Railroad Company powered tender that pushes a mock steam engine. The engine is a 4-4-0 configuration that uses a drive chain to keep the false drive wheels synchronized. Two right hand load cars that each contain 8 bench seats have the roofs decorated with thatch to provide a "safari" theme. A third passenger car (out of service) could be spotted on a spur line.

Powered Tender

Powered tender


4-4-0 outline faux steam engine

Front Side View

Front view of the J&E Railroad Company engine

Side View

Side view of the engine and tender

          The Wildlife World Zoo is open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM seven days a week, 365 days a year. For train ticket prices, days and hours of operation visit the Wildlife World Zoo website.


Feeding a giraffe


Scene from the waterfowl exhibit

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