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The long wait for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train 8/21/2012

by Chris Guenzler

On my last free day of the summer, I decided to go and get more pictures of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Blue Unit Circus Train at the Santa Ana River Bridge in Orange, California. I posted on where is the circus train and learned it had left Barstow at 4:45 AM so at 7:15 AM I headed out to the Santa Ana River Bridge where parking had been changed so I had to park along Riverdale Avenue. This move cost me a picture of Metrolink 815 as it came as I was walking towards the grade crossing. I would not have long to wait for my next Metrolink Train to come by my photo location. I sat in the shade under a tree on a sand bag and waited.

Metrolink 809 for Laguna Niguel was my first train of the morning to photograph. Not wanting all my pictures to look the same here I move up the river for my next train.

Metrolink 850 for Riverside came by next. I relocated for the next train as I waited staying in the shade. A very nice cool breeze was blowing this morning and I started to see things in nature to watch during my wait here.

A squirrel was looking for food among the rocks along the bank of the Santa Ana River.

The ducks made for interesting watching as they looked for food. There were plenty of other birds to watch. Over at the old Adam Steel Plant you could hear the switcher chugging hard at work which helped break up the wait as did my two Coca-Colas I had brought with me.

Next came Metrolink 800 for San Bernardino. After that I was joined by Richard and we had a nice talk about railroading as we continued the wait. We knew they had recrewed and watered the animals at Ono just above San Bernardino. I had three people using phones to keep me updated and Richard had the ATCS from Arlington just west of Riverside on his smart phone.

Metrolink 851 to Oceanside came right on time by our location. Next Allen showed up to wait with us. Richard left to get some lunch with Allen and I talking trains and famous people we had met in our lives. Richard returned with a large Coca-Cola for me from Carls Junior and we continued the wait. At 11:45 AM the train finally left Ono but made it only as far as Rana to set up going down the Olive Line.

Metrolink 811 for San Juan Capistrano came by us next. At 1:53 PM we learned that the train had run through La Sierra and would meet Metrolink 802 just east of Atwood. We had switched over to the west side of the bridge and that later it got the better sun angle we had.

Metrolink 802 for Riverside went by us stopped at Anaheim Canyon before reaching the BNSF mainline. Our waitwas almost over. We saw a headlight coming and we all set up for our pictures.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Blue Unit Train Consist

Block Totals Loads: 61 Gross Tons: 4664 Length: 5427 ft.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Blue Unit Circus Train finally started to cross the Santa Ana River Bridge in Orange.

There you have it, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Blue Train had crossed the Santa Ana River and headed to Bake Siding to wait for the Metrolink evening commuter rush then headed to San Diego after it was through. I went home before going down to the Santa Ana Unified School District Office to get my new parking pass and ID card. That night I took a job at Saddleback High School on a long term subbing position and would start working tomorrow once again.