PICTURES OF THE RINGLING BROTHERS and BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS TRAIN


Photos of the "RBBB Blue Unit".

The first set of photos are of three Long Island Railroad diesels assembling the consist for travel to New York City where the circus will perform in Madison Square Garden.

The "Red Unit" train is basically the same although there some differences. Both units use coaches (many are old Union Pacific coaches) for the workers which are are divided into small cubicles for some privacy. These are seen in the second set of photos.

The management cars, the ones with fewer windows, are more or less like two seperate living quarters, one on the vestibule end of the car and other on the other end of the car. The performers cars are much the same except some of the higher management and performers may have an entire car to themselves. When Gunther Gebel Williams was on the show he had an entire car.

The bi-level car carries management private vehicles on top and the tiger handling cages below along with whatever else fits.

Utility wagons/trailers are carried on flat cars. They are seen in the third set of photos. In them the show carries rigging, costumes, lighting ring curbs, rubber mats for the floor of the arena and whatever else needed for the show.

The animal cages are white and have windows. When they are off of the train the ends and sides open up to form a habitat where the cats can exercise, and are free to move about.

The wagons with the blue tarps carry special floats. There is even a wagon called the PIE (privileged individuals and employees) wagon, also an ex UP baggage car, which prepares food for the employees at the arena.

The blue open wagon with the tube type fenceing carries the corrals for the horses, camels,zebras, llamas etc.

Thank you to Larry Loper for the above information.

There is a web site for the list of all RBBB cars: http://chicago.railfan.net/cgi/photos.pl/?page=RBBX_prior


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Revised:[an error occurred while processing this directive] Several pictures of the three Long Island Railroad 1500 diesel engines that will pull this train to from Garden City, Long Island to the "A" yard in Sunnyside Queens. These engines will pull the 56 car circus train over thirty miles of the most heavily traveled communter rails in the United States. The engines are seen assembling the consist by moving 8 cars at a time from their sidings to a longer siding. The latching was done will almost surgical precision and in many instances with radio messages from the track personnel to the engineer in the cab. The cars were connected with a gentle nudge. All three engines stayed connected as a unit while this operation took place. The circus does not have its own engines.




Revised:Dec 01,2003 Several pictures of the cars that are used for living quarters by the circus performers and circus staff. They are converted pullmans, some old and some new. There are a number of baggage and storage cars that are part of the train. Each car apparently has its place in the consist and they were carefully moved into position. The passenger coaches were the last to be assembled into a consist and were placed at the head of the train with the equipment cars last. The cars with the animal wagons were next to last in the consist. Those cars are seen in the next group.


Revised:Dec 02,2003 Pictures of the utility wagons on flat bed cars. The wagons are driven onto the the flat beds and sometimes, as the pictures show, the personal vehicles of the circus performers are also driven onto these cars. The elephants and larger animals are loaded into baggage type cars not seen in these photos. It is quite a sight to see these large animals being led off the cars and paraded along a public highway to the site of the circus, in this case the Nassau Coliseum.

When the train arrives in the LIRR yards in Queens, it is separated again into segments. The animals will wait in their cars in the yards, which are just across the river from Manhattan, and at mid-night they will be marched through the Queens Mid-town Tunnel under the East Riven and will exit near 34th Street. Quite a sight to see elephants marching into a vehicular tunnel. Even more exciting to see them exit and parade down 34th to Madison Square Garden.


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