Circus Train

The Ringling Brothers, Barnumn and Baily train came whistling through town this afternoon.  Grabbed a quick picture of it exiting.  Fast train or slow camera draw.  The train is pretty good sized about 30 passenger cars and 30 flat cars with circus wagons and equipment.  There ar two of them travelng the country the red one and a blue one.  For roughly nine month out of the year it is home to the troupe.  Then they winter in Florida.
It was the red train that came through here.
Just caught a glimpse of it heading out of town.  it ahd been in Denver and I believe it is headed for St Louis.  The wagons and a rail car for autos.
These were taken in Denver when it was parked in the railyard.  Maybe having some work done.  Circus by train harkens back to the turn of the century.  The larger circus troupes traveld to the big cities and set up their big top while the smaller ones traved by wagon and horse to the smaller communities.
This is a Head End Power (HEP) car for the train.  This car generates the electricty and heat for the cars when they are parked on the sidings and when traveling.  The modern freight locomotive is not set up to provide heat and services for passenger cars.
Be and interesting life to spend most of the year on a train car, travel down the rails, listen to the clickety clack.  Oh to fly on a trapeze….you maybe…. not me.

7 thoughts on “Circus Train

  1. John i am following your blogs on my phone(antique and truly slow.)wont let me download your pics but your prose paints a beautiful panarama.thank you

  2. Wow, the circus comes to town via train. Cannot recall if I have ever watched a circus in YVR. Perhaps as urbanly intensive YVR is its own circus. Never considered elephants and monkeys as train passengers before look at photos. Looks pretty sunny there. I heard Denver got snow. Family member in AB was parked in a field of snow October 15. Snow shovels at the ready? YVR in a drenching, non-stop downpour today.

  3. What a sight it is! I’ve seen it come through our town but didn’t have the camera. It comes through in February headed to Atlanta every year. I’ll catch it one day. I’m reminded of a story told to me about the circus train back in the 50’s. They contracted with some local boys to clean the animal cars parked on a side track in town. The farm boys had cleaned farm stalls before. No big deal they thought. They soon found out that what the elephants left behind was a BIG DEAL!

  4. @ J I’ve caught both trains in Denver and Colorado Springs. This is the last circus by train some smaller ones by truck. Lots of history behind the trains. Elephant leftovers would be a big deal…

  5. Hiya John, Have never been to a circus, and we rarely get the big ones here anyway..great pictures though..As for elephant leftovers, I think I’ll pass…

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