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Ringling Bros. Circus Train

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train

Anaheim and Newark, CA
August 2008

Story and photographs copyright 2008 by Richard Elgenson
RailNews Network writer

Since I spend  a lot of time in the Anaheim CA area near the Honda Center and Angel Stadium, it was relatively easy to get around to visiting the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train.  The first part of this mostly photo essay is the day (August 4) the train was rebuilt and sent on its way from Anaheim to San Diego.  The animal cars are always spotted adjacent to Cerritos Avenue while the intermodal cars were spotted east of the grade crossing of Sunkist Avenue to make it easy to drive the small trailers and other power equipment onto the cars.  The power assigned to get this portion of the train featured one of the new low emission locomotives and a pretty blue GATX geep.

The first order of business here was to hook up to the elephant cars.  The crew member facing the camera is from the Union Pacific Railroad.  The  man in the blue shirt is Circus Trainmaster Keith Anderson.
Once the join was made, the animal cars were shoved into the already loaded intermodal cars.  Note the external lights on top of the animal car are illuminated.
The whole batch of cars were dragged forward with the train blocking State College Blvd., which caused a traffic jam and caused difficulty for me to make it to the next photographic opportunity.
Starting with the above right photo, I was at Lewis Street.  The circus train passenger cars were on the west side of Lewis Street.
Above left, the animal cars and intermodal section were waiting for a northbound Surfliner.  Once he cleared the diamond, the circus cut moved forward.


Just after this cut cleared the Lewis Street crossing, I moved over to Cerritos Avenue.  At that location, I received a cell phone call from an angry voice giving me a message that I had to leave.  Later the same afternoon, the person who supplied the angry phone call left for some physical therapy on a body part.  I then walked over to the Anaheim Amtrak/Metrolink Station in the belief the circus train would traverse this location.  I walked into the Amtrak Station and politely asked the station agent if he knew when the circus train would pass.  He was unaware that it was to do so.  He said that he would call a dispatcher and hoped a nice one would answer his phone call.  Apparently the nice dispatcher was on duty and the word was the circus train was to enter the main between 3:30 and 3:45 PM.  That worked nicely for me since it was 3:25 PM.  I walked back up to platform level and could see the train on the UP track just past State College Blvd.  For that matter, it was moving towards me.  Slowly it moved forward and soon a northbound Surfliner also entered the station.  I believe the person below the UP ditch lights is the station agent.  He wanted to see this train too.

Circus Train Page 2

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