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
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
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
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.