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Steam & Excursion > When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!


Date: 09/11/20 02:23
When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: LoggerHogger

Long before the advent of TV and certainly the internet, the Country still had forms of entertainment for the masses.  One of the most popular, because of it's ability to reach even remote parts of the population was that of the Traveling Circus.  Back in the era where these Circuses were in high demand, the only way to quickly transport them from town to town was on board special trainset owned by the Circus itself.

We see one such Circus in the form of "F&B Shows" on the Southern Pacific in the 1930's behind SP 4-6-2 #2444 in Southern California.  These were a sight to behold as they rolled through town on their way to their next set-up.

Sadly, like that of the steam train, the days of the Traveling Circus trains are all but gone themselves.  For those who recall the excitement of seeing one of these trains arrive in your town, the memories will live on.

Martin



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/20 02:31 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 09/11/20 08:34
Re: Second 55
Author: timz

Anyone got a theory where it is? 55 likely
left LA after dark

http://wx4.org/to/foam/sp/maps/perryETT/1936-05-10SP_SanJoaquin156-SheldonPerry.pdf



Date: 09/11/20 08:42
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: A-1

My dad often tells a story about when he pulled the Circus train. For some reason, their tour schedule and routing was different that year, resulting in their having to run north along the Oregon Trunk. They arrived in Bend late, needing to make up time, and the road foreman was going to ride along. Just before departure, he came up to inform my dad he decided he'd ride in the second engine, and its speedometer just happened to be broken. They got some 60 mph running north of Bend when someone reported some kind of poles sticking out of one of the cars. They stopped to inspect and found that the elephant keepers had opened a door to give them some fresh air, and apparently the wind felt pretty good on their trunks. Despite that one stop, it was still his fastest trip from Bend to Wishram.

Posted from Android



Date: 09/11/20 09:52
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: patd3985

And not only is the CIRCUS TRAIN a thing of the past, but so is the CIRCUS!!!



Date: 09/11/20 10:24
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: Barstool

I remember in the early 50's when the Clyde Beatty Circus came to Martinez Calif.  twice with pacifics 2465 on one train and 2475 on the other, the circus was unloaded and reloaded on a siding across from the Martinez depot, didn't have a camera then, but i did make notes..



Date: 09/11/20 10:26
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: PHall

patd3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And not only is the CIRCUS TRAIN a thing of the
> past, but so is the CIRCUS!!!

There are still circuses out there. Circus Vargas was still doing a pretty good business before the pandemic. And they're still doing it in tents!
Circus Vargas operates in the Southwest states and Mexico.



Date: 09/11/20 11:14
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: wabash2800

AFIK, there is a carnival out there that travels by rail (in the East?) , but I forgot the name.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Date: 09/11/20 16:38
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: wpamtk

The train appears to belong to Foley & Burke Shows. Unless I'm mistaken, F&B was a travelling carnival rather than a circus, and based in Santa Rosa, CA. As a child, I remember seeing Foley & Burke flat cars stored on the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad near Sebastopol. 



Date: 09/11/20 21:06
Re: Second 55
Author: Elesco

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyone got a theory where it is? 55 likely
> left LA after dark
>
> http://wx4.org/to/foam/sp/maps/perryETT/1936-05-10
> SP_SanJoaquin156-SheldonPerry.pdf

I'm going to guess Tracy.

The sun angle in the photo is wrong for morning on the valley line, and 55 was scheduled out of Fresno at 8 AM.  Also, a building in the following arial view of Tracy looks similar to the one in the background of Martin's photo.

Edit:    I should mention for persons not familiar with the area that the arial view is looking north-east.  The line disappearing through the top of the picture leads to Lathrop, which is the junction with the valley line from Fresno.  Train 55 and the second section with the carvinal would have come from that direction, and then would have curved right onto the line exiting the picture camera left.  That leads to Martinez and Oakland.  The line running straight out of the bottom of the picture is the Altamont Pass line.

On the other hand, it is unlikely that the carnival train would have followed 55 all the way to Oakland, as it was probably hopping between towns (like Madera) along the line.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/20 01:03 by Elesco.




Date: 09/11/20 21:49
Re: Second 55
Author: MojaveBill

Foley and Buke was a carnival. Attended it with my parents I believe in Madera in the early '40s...

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 09/12/20 09:22
Re: Second 55
Author: timz

Tracy is hard to beat. Where did you get the lovely aerial?



Date: 09/12/20 10:44
Re: Second 55
Author: Elesco

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tracy is hard to beat. Where did you get the
> lovely aerial?

Here:
https://tracyrail.org/
It's an interesting website.  The city is promoting its railroad history.



Date: 09/12/20 14:50
Re: Second 55
Author: mwm237

Foley and Burke used to pull into Turlock ca. Every August, what a colorful Train with there silver sided flatcars and brightly painted wagons, l remember in 1966 or 67 working in a field at daylight when a switch engine pulled it north out of town  WHAT A BEAUTIFUl SIGHT  1969 was the last year Good Memories!!!     Mwm237



Date: 09/14/20 16:50
Re: When One Of These Trains Came To Town It Was A Very Big Deal!
Author: ns1000

wabash2800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> AFIK, there is a carnival out there that travels
> by rail (in the East?) , but I forgot the name.
>
> Victor A. Baird
> http://www.erstwhilepublications.com

James Strates Carnival train....



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