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The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Train

August 21, 2008

I got a tip from a fellow railfan of mine that the train was coming to town, so I rushed down to the local rail yard only to see that it had already arrived, and that it was already “blocked” into cuts of cars. Dozens of support staff were milling around the cars, and gave me permission to take these photographs. If you’d like to learn more about these HIGHLY modified “heritage” cars, read the roster history here: http://chicago.railfan.net/cgi/photos.pl/?page=RBBX_prior All of these cars are ex-AMTRAK, most of them rebuilt from Union Pacific, Baltimore & Ohio, PRR, and SCL, Great Northern, and Grand Trunk Western passenger cars. The support team was impressive, as were the Four new GE units assigned to pull the train and the more than20 support flatcars necessary to their operation. Dozens of specially built vehicles, shipping containers, and a plethora of other unusual items really make this train an awesome sight to see.

The Throat of the Yard

At the top of the yard, you can see the B&B train and the various different tracks it has to occupy to fit in this smaller yard.

UP GP40-2 and B&B trains
The assigned UP GP40-2 has some unusual company this afternoon.

support cars
You can see the various requisite support vehicles necessary to keep the show running.

Quartet of BNSF GE's
This Quartet of BNSF GE’s pulled the train into town, and is pulling out the cuts of support flatcars towards the venue.

The beginning of the train, a 6 axle baggage car.
The beginning of the train, a 6 axle baggage car with unusual modern budd trucks.

collage
Here’s a collage of photos that I think you’ll enjoy. They are (clockwise from top)
-The UP switcher amongst the train
-A ferocious cat in the window of one of the sleepers.
-The unusual 3 axle modern trucks that the baggage car rides on.
-Their slogan logo.
-Amtrak 4647: RBBB car type coach, aluminum car body (AL), built in 1960 by Steel Car as Union Pacific Railroad 5488, acquired by RBBB in 1985 from Amtrak 4647, numbered RBBX 43009. (Information from the History of the RBBX cars, link at the top of the page)

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