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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train

--Above photo by Ringling.

2006 Circus Train Report and Photos by Carl Morrison

Comments welcomed at

I visited the Circus Train and interviewed the Trainmasters in Anaheim in 2002, 2003, and 2004.  I visited the Circus Train for the first time in Los Angeles this year. 

My interviews are expanded this year.  I interviewed the Food Service Manager for the first time this year, and the Interview was conducted in the Pie Car, which I had never been in before.  I again interviewed the Trainmaster.  Each Trainmaster interview through the years has been a different person. 

The Blue Unit is the train that is in Los Angeles this year, while the Red Unit travels to eastern US cities.  (Notice the red or blue logos on the side of the train, on the shields on the elephant's foreheads, and the color of the shirts worn by the helpers at the Animal Walk to see which unit you are viewing. 

Additional information added after intial posting of this story:

My readers have asked how to find out when the circus trains move, so they can see them along the route, or unload at the new venue.  Rhett Coates or provides this inportant information:

TRAINORDERS.COM is the place to find out information about each MOVE of both Circus trains. Even if you aren't a "member" of TrainOrders.COM, you can still log onto that site to read what's on the FIRST PAGE - every day - as each and every MOVE DATE for both trains are posted.
--Rhett Coates,

Here are the steps to find the circus trains as they move around the US:

First, go to / Shedule and Tickets / Select your state / and see what the closing date is in the city previous to yours.

Second, on that closing date, and each day thereafter, go to and under Discussion, select the section of the country where you are located, and click either Western Railroads or Eastern Railroads. Then, search the page of discussions for "circus."

(At this writing, there were six 'sightings' mentioned in the discussion as the Blue Unit moved the first day in its journey from San Diego to Oakland,CA!)

Table of Contents

1.  Ringling Press Release:  130 Years of Tradition, Excitement, and Wonder.

2.  My interview and pictures of Michael Vaughn, Pie Car and Food Service Manager.

3.  My interview of Alex Kettles, Blue Unit Trainmaster.

4.  The Blue Unit Consist.

5.   Pictures from the Anaheim, California, Animal Walk.

6.    Detail Pictures of the flat cars and circus wagons for Circus Train Modelers.

7.    Pictures from the Anaheim, California, performance.

Click the Ringling Logo Picture at the top of the page to go to their website:

Photos and Reports on the Circus Train from previous years go to:

All train reports by Carl go to: