Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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*Sorry for the shaking and sound quality*
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Red Unit circus train is less than a mile from completing its 29 hour trip from San Diego to Oakland as it marches down the Embarcadero in Oakland. The passenger cars will be set out in Union Pacific's East Oakland Yard while the animal cars (first four cars behind the power in the video) and the equipment flats will be taken to a grade crossing near the Oakland Coliseum for unloading.

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Comment by Jordan on August 14, 2013 at 9:16pm

I've never worked a circus train, but yes, they are quite a lot to handle, even for the host railroad's crew in the locomotive. The conductor is given a circus radio to stay in contact with the circus employee in charge of the train. One has to remember that you're not just moving freight, but live animals and people's homes. Circus employees and performers live on the train full time, which is why you never see the insides of any of the cars on TV except the pie car (diner). I did get to go into the train once while it was parked in the Fresno/Calwa yard, including the passenger cars. It's like a long, narrow apartment building in there.

Comment by Jim McCarter on August 14, 2013 at 7:23pm

Thanks for the answer. I saw a show on TV about this train etc, and they have it down to a science. It takes a ton of work and co ordination to move the train, set up, dismantle and move again. Just a lot of stuff....I hope all involved make enough money on the shows that they will keep it up for years to come

Comment by Jordan on August 14, 2013 at 1:24pm

A little less than a week. For anyone out there who wants to catch the train while it's in NorCal, The show plays in Oakland until the 19th, at which time the train will move down to Milpitas for the San Jose show which runs from the 21st through the 26th. The train will then head up the Caltrain line to Bayshore while the show is at the Cow Palace from the 29th til the 2nd. I will then head down to Bakersfield via Caltrain to San Jose, UP Warm Springs, Niles, or Coast Subs to Oakland, UP Martinez Sub to Sacramento, then down the valley. It will be back in NorCal for shows in Sacramento and Stockton mid-September.

Comment by Jim McCarter on August 14, 2013 at 8:54am

Great video. Thanks for taking and posting. How long does the circus stay in one town before they have to move again?

Comment by Jordan on August 13, 2013 at 9:17pm

Railroaders gotta stay in shape.

Also, it appears that the equipment flats had a longer trip than originally planned. They were facing the wrong way for unloading and had to go down to Newark and Niles Junction to spin around. I'm assuming the stock cars were left at the coliseum for unloading. Those animals are supposed to get out of the train ASAP. As previously said, passenger cars were left at East Oakland. Lovely place for the workers and performers to spend their stay.

Comment by Mike Davis on August 13, 2013 at 8:19pm

FRA makes you do a physical? not surprising 

Comment by Jordan on August 13, 2013 at 7:01pm

Recorded with my phone. I was going home from my FRA physical and only had my phone with me.

Comment by Jordan on August 13, 2013 at 6:49pm

59 cars, 5,235 ft.

And yes, RIP headphone users.

Comment by Mike Davis on August 13, 2013 at 6:36pm

btw, how long is the train?

Comment by Mike Davis on August 13, 2013 at 6:34pm

just warning you, turn the volume down, BEFORE YOU HIT "PLAY"

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