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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train

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Backstage July 23, 2002

The Circus Train between performances in L.A. and Anaheim.

Train cars parked along Cerritos Avenue, east of Ball Road, Anaheim, CA.

Photographs by Carl@TrainWeb.com

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My friend, Don Drummer, phoned me July 22 and said the Circus Train was passing his house near downtown Anaheim, California and he was going to take a few pictures. He said it would probably park along Cerritos Avenue, near the 'Anaheim Pond' (arena where the circus would start performances July 24). Since I have tickets for the family to see the circus again this year, and since I have a casual interest in trains, I thought I'd try and find the parked train and photograph it. Here are the results of that shoot:

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I found the train parked as Don predicted. I parked the car and walked around the vacant train.

 

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The yellow dots above the windows identify the cars as #s 1, 2, 3, 4 and the last car (partially shown to the left above) did not have the yellow dot. I could see at this point that cars 1 - 4 were animal cars because of the straw on the door ledges.

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When I reached the first car, I noticed these signs on the steps and particularly liked this one...

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presuming it stood for Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey (RBBB). I crossed the track and walked down the shaded (north) side of the train.

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This put me downwind of the cars and I confirmed that these were animal cars.

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I found all the doors slightly ajar on this side of the train so I peeked in and shot a few shots of the stalls. The shot above is to the right from the middle door of car #2, the shot below is to the left, for smaller animals.

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The white objects are not beds, they are bales of hay - shrink wrapped! A little different than the way we put up hay back in Indiana...and a little more expensive than $.35 a bale also I'll bet.  [Correction:  When I finally got to the pre-circus animal viewing I noticed the white bags said 'shavings.'

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I continued down the shady side of the train to the last car. I hadn't photographed it earlier, thinking it was different and therefore probably not interesting. Plus, it had graffiti on the outside making it less photogenic. However, inside the last car were what I believe to be tiger cages on pneumatic rubber tires. Through my vast experience viewing circuses, I recall that large cats are brought to the performance enclosure in a row of such cages pulled by a tractor. After the performance, the big cats are taken through these end-to-end cages and individually packaged for their trip back to their quarters on the grounds of the arena. This rail car had a second level that could also hold wheeled vehicles, but nothing was on the top level at this time.

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I found a surprise as I peeked into the 'big cat cages car' from the open end of the car...a VW with windows covered. Again, basing my decision on years of circus viewing, I predict that when we attend the circus tomorrow, we'll see a bunch of clowns piling out of this vehicle.  [At the circus, sure enough this was the clown car.  Eight clowns, dressed as horses, emerged in s skit.]

As I rounded the end of the train set, I took a picture of the 'caboose' of a modern train.

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If you see the train traveling around in the west, this is probably how it looks underway. [After going to the Circus Trains link at Trainweb.com, I discovered this is only a small part of the train.  RBBB happens to have the largest privately owned train in the world!  See the links at http://www.CircusTrains.com  click BACK in your browser to return to this page.]

 

I drove further down Cerritos Avenue, about a half mile, to see if there were any other cars stored on the track.  I found no more cars, but I found that the animals were already on site, under large open sided tents, and there were many mobile homes. I also found what I believe to be the abodes of the 'stars of the circus'...

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The Anaheim Pond is the background.


The performance was spectacular

(I even forgot to take pictures until the 2nd half)

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Could this be considered an Elephant Train?

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The Finale.

If you've hung in here viewing the web page this far, you'll find the following links something actually interesting (if you like circuses): 


From their website:

(Click the link below to go to the Ringling Bros. website - click BACK to return to this site.)

http://www.ringling.com/

Check out these links to the Ringling Bros. website and learn about the stars of the 2002. 132nd Edition show:

David Larible

Sara

T.M the Gator Guy

If you go to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, I'd suggest you buy a program...it is full of information about the performers, even the clowns.

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