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Circus Train Details

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train


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2006 Circus Train Report and Photos by Carl Morrison

Photos for Circus Train Modelers

Comments welcomed at

I get several comments from Circus Train Modelers each year after I've posted my report and pictures of the Circus Train in Southern California.  I get requests for detail shots of the rail cars, circus wagons, and requests for full side shots of coaches and stocks. 

Please see the Consist page in this report for the side shots.  Detail shots of the flats, circus wagons, and the unloading process follow.

Comments and suggestions from modelers are most welcome.  I'll work to fulfill your requests.

The arrival of the stocks and flats at the unloading area near the Anaheim, California, Pond, July 24, 2006, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Circus Wagons on Flats.

Flatcar with Circus Wagon and mule at Lewis St. grade crossing.

Ford tractor ready to pull wagons off flats.



Three or Four circus wagons per 79 ft. flat.

Blue shield indicates Blue Unit.



Flat cars details.

UP locomotives push the Circus flats to the unloading area.
Last on, Last off.

The Anaheim unloading area is excellent for detail photos because the road bed gets progressively higher relative to the adjacent parking lot, so you go from being on the same level as the cars (above) to being below the level of the cars (below).  You do not have to be on railroad property to take these shots, just walk into the parking lot parallel and south of the tracks and shoot pictures over the block wall.

The ramp sections are stored in the boxes under the ramp car.  You can see the box covers under the flat car's bed.


The stands for the ramp are built to either sit on the rails, or on the ties.  6 men put each ramp section into place, and there are 6 sections.  The metal plates between the ramps are put on the flat, between the wheels of the circus wagon on the ramp car.

The empty mule returns and backs down the connected flats to get the next 3 or 4 wagons, then pulls them to this ramp and to the arena.
This wagon is the 3rd in a unit being brought off the flat car.  The back wheels stay straight until they are off the ramp.  The gentleman behind the wagon knew all the details used on this page.
I hadn't noticed the triple wheel-sets under the circus wagons until the evening horizontal light illuminated them.  Some have double wheel-sets.

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