By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jul 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Three weeks ago, announced the Zoo Train Photo Contest, which asked people to submit a photo of their kids – or a friend or family member – riding the Safari Train at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

"We realized how many people have photos like this. I have photos from the '80s riding the train with my sister and I still see similar photos of kids riding the zoo train all the time on Facebook," says Molly Snyder, contest organizer.

Forty people submitted photos and three were randomly selected as winners: Carrie Borchardt (Grand Prize), Nicole Bitter (Second Prize) and Aimee Monsees (Third Prize).

Here are the prizes:

Grand Prize
8 Admission Tickets
2 Parking Passes
8 Train Tickets
8 Carousel Tickets
8 Zoomobile Tickets

2nd Prize
4 Admission Tickets
1 Parking Ticket
4 Train Tickets
4 Carousel
4 Zoomobile Tickets

3rd Prize
4 Admission Tickets
1 Parking Ticket

Check out half of the photos in the gallery here and go to's Facebook page to see the rest. (Click on any one of the train photos in the photo bar at the top of the Facebook page and then scroll through the rest.)

The zoo train was one of the few attractions that has been around since the beginning. Today, the train's 1.25-mile route and 19 coaches take 400,000 riders a year across two bridges, past Lake Evinrude and many animal buildings and exhibits, including the Australia Building, the North America area and the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm. The train is sponsored by North Shore Bank.

The miniature train has both a steam and a diesel engine. Depending on zoo attendance, the use of steam or diesel engines alternate. It takes more skill to operate the steam locomotives, but they make the attraction more interesting. The steam engine goes through about eight to 10 pounds of coal and 10 to 15 gallons of water on each 10-minute trip.

The eight-ton train is capable of chugging up 60 miles per hour, but during a normal train ride, the train will go about five or six miles per hour.

The cost to ride the train is $2.50 for adults / teens and $1.50 for kids ages 3 to 12. The train runs through mid-October, weather permitting.

"The zoo train is a high point of the summer for my kids," wrote Andrea France in an email that accompanied her zoo train photo submission.