It’s the end of an era at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford.

The zoo said farewell to its iconic train that hundreds of families have piled into over the years, but the good news is that a brand-new one is on the way.

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Saying Goodbye to the Black Bear Express at BPZoo

“And just like that, our train is moving on to its new home,” the zoo said online.

The Black Bear Express has brought joy to visitors for decades and it’s a bittersweet goodbye for those who have held on to childhood memories of cramming into its seats for a ride.

“Many rides on that train, many memories,” one online user said.

“The caboose car was always the favorite. Looking forward to riding the new, bigger Bear Express,” said another.

The train has officially retired and will live out the rest of its life in Pheonix.

New Train Coming to BPZoo

While it’s always sad to say goodbye, there are exciting things ahead for the new train coming to New Bedford.

“Our new train is larger and will hold more riders per car,” Buttonwood Executive Director Sarah Henry said.

Rides Manager Lisa Hurd gave some insight on just how awesome this new addition will be.

“Our retired train had a capacity of up to 24 children or 18 adults, and our new train offers 32 children or 24 adults, a 45% increase in size.”

The train will be equipped with three covered passenger wagons and one ADA-accessible caboose.

When to Expect the New Train at BPZoo

In anticipation of National Train Day on Saturday, May 13, the zoo was hoping to unveil its new train, but it looks like the train has a few more stops before pulling into its new home.

Stay tuned for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at Buttonwood Park Zoo by following the zoo online.

In the meantime, share your favorite memories that were made aboard the Black Bear Express.

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