Ringling Bros. Calls it Quits

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Ringling Bros. Calls it Quits
Posted by NorthWest on Saturday, January 14, 2017 9:45 PM

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/apnewsbreak-ringling-bros-circus-to-close-after-146-years/ar-AAlSxkf?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE13DHP

It seems that the last great rail travelling circus is calling it quits in May. This will probably be the end of their fascinating rail operation consisting of historic passenger cars. Hopefully they will find good homes.

Best wishes to those that are about to be unemployed.

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, January 14, 2017 11:32 PM

My wife told me the news a few minutes ago. We had taken our kids to the show for a couple of years back in the mid-aughties - some good memories of that. Also remember watching the train roll through the Irvine station while waiting for ATK 582 about three and a half years ago.

The USA Today article did say the attendance dropped off when the elepants were removed from the show.

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Posted by aegrotatio on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:12 AM

Disappointing.  I found their Red and Blue trains fascinating.

 

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 1:11 AM

erikem
The USA Today article did say the attendance dropped off when the elephants were removed from the show.

A post on another forum was less polite, if more to the point...

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 15, 2017 5:27 AM

The demise of another American institution.

         

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, January 15, 2017 5:45 AM

Even with the Circus Trains as an economic measure I think the Circus was largely a very marginal operation profit wise.     To bad to hear about this but the Nation still has Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI as well as I believe a simliar one in Florida to keep the memories and institution alive.

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Posted by rluke on Sunday, January 15, 2017 8:54 AM

Some of the employees of the Circus will not only be losing their jobs, but also their place to live. (which was on the train). I feel bad for them.

Rich
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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 8:54 AM

Changing times folks.  Sad to say, but maybe the circus as an institution is a thing who's time has come to an end, like the horse cavalry, the battleship, the steam locomotive, and the rotary-dial phone. 

Maybe we live in a society now that's just too modern, too sophisticated, and too high-tech for something as anachronistic as a circus to survive anymore.  The profit statements from the Ringling organization would seem to support that.

It's a shame.  All we've got now is C.B DeMille's "Greatest Show On Earth."

And mind you, the "dragon slayers" will be claiming victory over this, whether they deserve the "credit" or not.  Pray they don't come after something near and dear to your heart.

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Sunday, January 15, 2017 9:35 AM

Certainly a great movie. Not only a great institution, but a company with s huge railroad infrastructure. Large shops in Sarasota that used to maintain a huge fleet of rail cars both freight and passenger.

Rip the rbbb circus.

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:35 AM

I remember when they would walk the elephants through the Lincoln tunnel in New York from Sunnyside yard to Madison Square Garden. It always made the news. Here we have the animal-free Cirque de Soleil and the best thing about that is, they can't make you go to it. The idea of a circus without elephants and lions seems like sacrilege of the highest order. We all know what P.T. Barnum said, don't we? 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:45 AM

WOW! Crying  

                        I guess this is what could be called a modern extenction?  Wonder where those two trains will go?  Is there an elephants grave yard for Circus Trains?

  Darn shame that such an institution has to  fade out... Many childhood memories for myself and my kids.  Hate it for those effected and those that have had  creers and made livings with RBB&B for some 146 years.

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Posted by chatanuga on Sunday, January 15, 2017 12:57 PM

I still remember back in the fall of 1999 when I was moving from my apartment in Ashland, Ohio back to my parents' house in Bucyrus to get back on my feet after loosing my job in a layoff. The drive took me through Crestline on each trip of taking a load of my stuff in my parents' SUV. On the drives, I always kept my scanner with me and had it on when going through Crestline to see anything interesting was coming through. On the one trip, I heard something about the circus train stopped to take on water. I detoured to the crossing just south of the Fort Wayne line, and on the southeast transfer track were two former Conrail locomotives stopped. I couldn't see the rest of the train, but when it departed and headed south towards Galion, it was indeed the circus train, the first and only time I'd seen either of the trains in person. I remember seeing elephant trunks hanging out a couple of the doors and some employees at the vestibule doors watching the scenery and waving as they went past. Wish I would have had my camera with me that day.

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:42 PM

54light15
Here we have the animal-free Cirque de Soleil and the best thing about that is, they can't make you go to it. The idea of a circus without elephants and lions seems like sacrilege of the highest order. We all know what P.T. Barnum said, don't we?

Yet the Cirque de Solei is still here and the RBBB will soon not be.  I don't see it as sacrilegious.  Just a change in  what people view as entertainment.

To all the people complaining here and elsewhere- when was the last time you actually bought tickets and went to a RBBB circus?  That's the problem.  Everybody loves the idea of the circus, but unless they actually go....

Circus is not unique in that aspect.  Many people lament losing stuff they never supported (except with words).

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

I occasionally post off-topic remarks.  Adults can handle that.

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Posted by Randy Stahl on Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:59 PM

I went to the last two shows here in Worcester. We even weighed the elephants on the company scale. I'll miss them.

I'll be at the second to last show in Worcester this coming May. Then we will haul it to Providence for the last show. I'll watch the train pass the enginehouse on it's way back to interchange....

Randy

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Posted by MikeF90 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 3:44 PM

Firelock76
And mind you, the "dragon slayers" will be claiming victory over this, whether they deserve the "credit" or not. Pray they don't come after something near and dear to your heart.

If you mean PETA and their vegan agenda, don't give them too much credit. I'm no fan of their screaming and overstatements but I've seen this animal circus demise coming for decades.

If you watched shows from Wild Kingdom to what's available today on NatGeo Wild, it is obvious that elephants are very intelligent, sensitive creatures who should live in a family herd, not on a train.

RIP, RBB&B.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 3:54 PM

Oh, I don't give PETA too much credit, but in one of the on-line articles I read they were claiming a lot of credit, hence my remark about "dragon slayers" looking for another target.  People like that are never satisfied until they turn the world into a fit place for themselves to live in.  Sure, I'm a nasty old cynic, but I've been around too long and seen too much. 

Like everything else, it was dollars and cents, or lack thereof, that brought about RBBB's demise.

PS: I'm glad someone remembers "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" as well as I do.  Ah yes, Marlon Perkins and Jim Fowler and their adventures around the world.  When I was a kid I loved  that show!

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Posted by Milepost 266.2 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 6:19 PM

samfp1943

  Hate it for those effected and those that have had  creers and made livings with RBB&B for some 146 years.

 

Well, after 146 years I think those employees are ready for a long overdue retirement Stick out tongue

Apparently, the shows have been losing money for the last ten years.  I can't imagine it's cost effective to run such a labor intensive, transportation intensive, and livestock intensive show.  I would have expected them to take the normal "slow death" approach by first cutting back to one touring show, then fewer and fewer dates before pulling the plug on the whole thing.

I'm sure a lot of these people will be able to transition to other jobs in some of the other shows the parent company runs.  The folks who own Ringling also run those Monster Truck shows as well being the contractor for those Marvel and Disney "on ice" shows. 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 15, 2017 7:45 PM

Milepost 266.2
I'm sure a lot of these people will be able to transition to other jobs in some of the other shows the parent company runs.  The folks who own Ringling also run those Monster Truck shows as well being the contractor for those Marvel and Disney "on ice" shows.

Trapeze and high wire artists don't transition too well to ice shows or monster trucks.  Performers have their special skills.  The behind the scenes labor is labor and can do what is necessary to survive.

         

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Posted by challenger3980 on Sunday, January 15, 2017 9:59 PM

Firelock76

Oh, I don't give PETA too much credit, but in one of the on-line articles I read they were claiming a lot of credit, hence my remark about "dragon slayers" looking for another target.  People like that are never satisfied until they turn the world into a fit place for themselves to live in.  Sure, I'm a nasty old cynic, but I've been around too long and seen too much. 

Like everything else, it was dollars and cents, or lack thereof, that brought about RBBB's demise.

PS: I'm glad someone remembers "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" as well as I do.  Ah yes, Marlon Perkins and Jim Fowler and their adventures around the world.  When I was a kid I loved  that show!

 

 

I Don't condone the mis-treatment of animals, But neither do I hold PETA in very high regard

I also Enjoyed Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, but I fear we are giving away our ages in admitting ThatWink

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Posted by aegrotatio on Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:12 PM

What was the smaller train-travelled circus that survived until only recently?  I can't remember its name.

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:21 PM

aegrotatio
What was the smaller train-travelled circus that survived until only recently?  I can't remember its name.

James E. Strates Carnival?

         

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Posted by aegrotatio on Sunday, January 15, 2017 10:23 PM

BaltACD
aegrotatio
What was the smaller train-travelled circus that survived until only recently?  I can't remember its name.

James E. Strates Carnival?

 

Hey, thanks, BaltACD, that's the one.  Maybe they can benefit from this influx of serviceable railcars.

 

If Strates doesn't want it, I, for one, would love to own one of the now-former Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Brothers Circus Pie Cars.

 

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, January 16, 2017 7:28 AM

Milepost 266.2
Apparently, the shows have been losing money for the last ten years.

Curiously, about the time our kids have been consumed by their smart phones.  Watching animals perform tricks pales in comparison to battling the monsters and bad guys in a "first person shooter" game...

Ah, for simpler times.

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Posted by carnej1 on Monday, January 16, 2017 11:23 AM

aegrotatio

What was the smaller train-travelled circus that survived until only recently?  I can't remember its name.

 

 

 

Straits is a carnival operation with rides, games, etc. but to my knowledge they don't have acrobatic acts or animals.

I thought they are still using the rail car fleet ?

They may wind up being the last traveling attraction using their own railroad equipment for transportation in the entire world...

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Monday, January 16, 2017 11:28 AM

One of the neighborhoods inside of Denver is "Barnum" where the early circus used to winter over. In a similar veign, the is also Ringling, OK  (West of the ATSF Transcon at Ardmore, OK) and served by an ATSF branchline into the 1970's.

Red Train or Blue Train couldn't go "home" even if they wanted to.

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Posted by smpx on Monday, January 16, 2017 3:19 PM

What will happen to the rolling stock?

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, January 16, 2017 3:31 PM

smpx

What will happen to the rolling stock? 

Likely tourist lines and private car owners, maybe a museum or so.  

Based on what I've seen in articles on the train, many of the cars are heavily modified inside.  Unless someone is buying them to preserve or for a similar use, they'll take a fair amount of work to put back into shape as coaches, etc.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, January 16, 2017 6:14 PM

Wonder if the cars are the standard Amtrak HEP voltage and phase rotation ? Also the standard Amtrak four conductor HEP cable connections ?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, January 16, 2017 6:34 PM

blue streak 1

Wonder if the cars are the standard Amtrak HEP voltage and phase rotation ? Also the standard Amtrak four conductor HEP cable connections ?

 

There was an article about the RBBB train and railcars several years ago in "Trains,"  and I believe the answer is yes to your questions, the RBBB cars are all Amtrak compatable.   If I remember correctly that is.

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