THE magazine of railroading

SEARCH TRAINSMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Ringling Bros. Calls it Quits

3989 views
55 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Monday, January 16, 2017 7:21 PM

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,124 posts
Posted by Miningman on Monday, January 16, 2017 8:05 PM

Well that was fun to watch ..and combined with the short video on "Trains" featuring the train itself today, it gives us a great sense and reminder of what will be lost to us. 

So now we can't run away and join the circus...

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 7,911 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, January 16, 2017 8:12 PM

What are  the rails , or conduit on one side of all the car tops which  seem to be connected somehow.  Some kind of electrical  or the HEP ?

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Monday, January 16, 2017 9:44 PM
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 9,179 posts
Posted by schlimm on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:57 PM

Barnum was con man, hardly someone worth honoring.

The Barnum effect is named after P.T. Barnum, the showman who declared "there is a sucker born every minute." He found many ways to separate "suckers", as he called gullible people, from their money.

The Barnum effect in psychology refers to the gullibility of people when reading vague descriptions of themselves. It is possible to give everyone the same description and people nevertheless rate the description as very very accurate.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 8:19 PM

Excerpt from Newsday, Jan. 17

Those wanting to catch the very last Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will have to ante up. The show, held May 21 at 7 p.m. in the newly revamped Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, is completely sold out. Seats, which normally go for $23.75 in the upper level and $191.75 in the lower level, are selling on StubHub for $245 and $2,000, respectively.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 16,763 posts
Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 8:42 PM

schlimm
Barnum was con man, hardly someone worth honoring.

"This way to view the egress!"

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 12:53 PM

Bridgeport has a Barnum Festival every year. Enjoy in silence their 1949 parade.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Potomac Yard
  • 1,691 posts
Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 2:59 PM

I was giving this some thought after hearing about it yesterday.  On one hand, its a another thing that's fallen by the wayside, but on the other...I'm 35 years old.  I remember going to the circus when I was a kid and, even then, it didn't do anything for me.  I'd seen elephants and performers and stuff in other places.  I grew up in the country, but it was only an hour's car ride to a zoo. We're a more mobile society.  There's less of a role for something like a traveling circus.

  • Member since
    June, 2016
  • 19 posts
Posted by goldspike 1 on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:13 PM

It seems to me that an enterprising city which already has railroad memorabilia would jump at the chance to permanently display a circus train.  Perhaps some place like the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, or a display near the world's biggest freightyard at North Platte, Nebraska.  Such an important piece of history should not be allowed to be scrapped.  Goldspike 1

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 6,150 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:22 PM

goldspike 1

It seems to me that an enterprising city which already has railroad memorabilia would jump at the chance to permanently display a circus train.  Perhaps some place like the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, or a display near the world's biggest freightyard at North Platte, Nebraska.  Such an important piece of history should not be allowed to be scrapped.  Goldspike 1

 

Word is that Circus World in Baraboo, WI is interested in the trains.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Guelph, Ontario
  • 3,342 posts
Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 6:10 PM

The last two times I went to the circus I fell asleep both times. Now,they weren't the Ringling Bros., but I doubt it would have made any difference. Both acts were billed as "must see", and the wife and kids dragged me to them. I find that the entertainment value nolonger compensates for the hassle and aggravation of having to find parking and then shelping oneself and family into an overcrowded venue with people tripping all over themselves to get in/out. 

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • From: Pennsyland.
  • 5,578 posts
Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7:27 PM

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

And why does the truth seem too hard to be true?

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 1,124 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7:41 PM

Ulrich- Don't feel bad..I fell sound asleep during the Lion King.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 9,179 posts
Posted by schlimm on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 8:30 PM

zugmann

 

Nah.  It is not totally a generational thing.  I'm one of those early boomers and I always thought circuses were boring and some elements (clowns) downright weird.

C&NW, CA&E, MILW, CGW and IC fan

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:31 PM

Excerpt from An Abbreviated History of The Circus in America

http://www.circusfederation.org/uploads/circus_culture/about/america-huey.pdf

As a result of its Golden Age, the circus was indelibly fixed in everyday life, as much as newspapers, the telegraph, the railroad and mail-order catalogues. Circus lingo was adopted into the larger lexicon, adding phrases such as “rain or shine” (used to promote the tented circus through inclement weather), “hold your horses” (a warning to local horsemen when the circus elephants paraded through town), “get the show on the road” (a directive shouted at roustabouts to break down the show and move to the next town), “white elephant” (born out of a battle between competing circuses in the exhibit of a fraudulent white elephant), “jump on the bandwagon” (coined by journalists who witnessed presidential candidate Zachary Taylor climbing aboard a circus bandwagon for public attention) and “grandstanding” (describing politicians who circulated through the circus grandstands vying for voters). Reporters labeled President Woodrow Wilson’s “tossing his hat into the ring” during a Ringling circus performance in Washington, DC as a sign that he would run for reelection.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 9:35 PM

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 16,763 posts
Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 10:23 PM

I vaguely recall a major incident involving the Wallenda's in Detroit in the 1960's.  Two of their troup died.

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • 3,620 posts
Posted by wanswheel on Thursday, January 19, 2017 1:40 AM

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • 986 posts
Posted by aegrotatio on Thursday, January 19, 2017 10:51 PM

The TV show "Extreme Trains" covered one of the two trains. Their car shop guys said they completely demo the interior and install all-new construction complete with insulation and bathrooms.  Sometimes they have had to replace the trucks with modern ones.

 

Regular rank-and-file rooms look like a sparse hotel room with built-in bunks. The rooms for management look like small efficiency apartments inside. These look nothing like passenger accommodations on other trains, more like a moving motel.

 

There's a generator car in the center of the accommodation section of the consist with two generators for both "sides" of this section. I do not remember if the Pie Car can be accessed while underway, but if it is, only one "half" of the accommodation can access it.  All "hotel power" comes from these two generators.  They said it's built from an old baggage car.

 

Lots of cars have regular DirecTV and DiSH Network dishes on them which I'll bet after they retire these guys can quickly get jobs as satellite television installers, having to re-aim them at every layover.

 

Another cool fact is that the "freight" section can be driven end-to-end by vehicle after some preparation.  Pickup trucks are strategically-placed on this section to tow the trailers.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • 986 posts
Posted by aegrotatio on Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:01 PM

blue streak 1

What are  the rails , or conduit on one side of all the car tops which  seem to be connected somehow.  Some kind of electrical  or the HEP ?

 

 

That's exactly what they are.  Their own car shops' purpose-built HEP conduits.

 

These guys are geniuses in their craft.  Neither of their trains require HEP from the locomotive.

 

Here's a bit of detail:  http://bit.ly/2jSFfFK

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • 1,169 posts
Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, January 26, 2017 7:06 AM

I wonder if NCDOT will be interested in any cars?

They've said that the well is basically dry for 1950's/1960's equipment that's suitable for rebuilding for their needs, so this might present an opportunity to get some rebuild candidates that are structurally sound, have good bodies, and good running gear.

They both run a lot of 1960's Union Pacific equipment for instance. With Ringling Brother's 8 coaches from UP's 1964 order with St. Louis Car Company for an example, they'd then have 14 of the 15 coaches from that order according to the roster data I'm looking at. 

I doubt the redesigned interiors would pose any issues, since that's redone anyways on their rolling stock. No asbestos to worry about during the gutting process, either, since that work presumably has been done during their first transformation.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 11,412 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, March 02, 2017 2:19 PM

RBBX cars to be auctioned off - a quick listing

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=40427&start=21

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 9,861 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 03, 2017 6:49 AM

As was mentioned in the article in April TRAINS, the carbody and running gear are in excellent shape, but that's all that you really have.  You would have to gut the interior and rebuild what you want from scratch.  Windows would have to be repositioned, plumbing will probably have to be rebuilt, rewiring would be needed, etc, etc, etc.  I'm not sure how much money would actually be saved.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
RME
  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • 1,664 posts
Posted by RME on Friday, March 03, 2017 11:05 AM

BaltACD
RBBX cars to be auctioned off

He didn't mention, but it might matter to some who are reading this thread, that you had only ten days from the announcement to place your bids.  (See RyPN for the duration of the auction, via the link Balt provided).

You won't be able to take delivery, of course, until after the show finally stops.  But I expect the point of this quick auction is to ensure that VERY quickly after that point, all the cars will be gone either to new 'forever homes' or to kill clinics.  (And no fancy nickel-and-dime price negotiation hardball or 'requests for donations' at the last minute, either.)

NDG
  • Member since
    December, 2013
  • 458 posts
Posted by NDG on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:46 PM

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Trains free email newsletter
NEWS » PHOTOS » VIDEOS » HOT TOPICS & MORE
GET OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Connect with us
ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Search the Community