In General


In General

Location / Name:
Baltimore MD

What's Here:
The "Blue" Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Train

GPS Coordinates: 39.270440, -76.655426

Access by train/transit:

The Scoop:

2017 marks the end of an era.  Kids will no longer be able to run away from home and join the circus.... dam.  This is the last year for the Ringling Brothers Circus Train.  In fact, they are not even running a full season, as the end of the run is coming at the end of May - they are not going to far west, most of the shows will be on the east coast.  Cincinnati is the exception!

On Monday, April 17th, 2017 around 4:45pm, the Blue Train came into Baltimore, having left Washington DC's Bennington Yard around 1pm.

On the lead was CW44AC's #449 and #216.

The Blue Train has a total of 56 cars on it.  One of the things unique about this train, is the fact that Ringling Brothers decided to drive the trucks and RV's from Fairfax to Baltimore, and as a result of this, all of the flatcars were, well, flat.... with nothing on them.  Apparently, many of the railfans were kind of disappointed about this, saying that the train doesn't look much different than a (sometimes) normal freight train.  But then, when have you been able to see a circus train travelling the main line with nothing on the flatcars.  It's unique, so get over it and enjoy something different for a change.  There are still numerous opportunities available to catch the full train.  The cars in both the RED and BLUE consist are supposed to go up for auction come June 2017.

I chose this photo spot off the end of Gable Ave, off Patapsco Ave by the Salvation Army store, because I knew I could get good side shots of the cars as they went by, and since the train was almost at it's destination, the train would be going very slow, and indeed it was!  Besides, there are extremely very few places around here that you could get close to a full length one mile long picture of the entire train.  If the trees weren't grown up at Thomas Viaduct, that would probably be the photo spot of choice for most railfans.....

The train came into Winans Yard, taking the grade up to the wye, and then onto Mt Clare Yard around the curve.  The front of the train with the flat cars was separated from the passenger cars, as they were left sitting on the main line track going thru the yard while the flat cars were spotted on the yard tracks.  This was all still going on when I left around 6:30pm.

Here is a list of the cars:
RBBX 80704 flat car
RBBX 80714 flat car
RBBX 84706 flat car
RBBX 84707 flat car
RBBX 80703 flat car
RBBX 80715 flat car
RBBX 80718 flat car
RBBX 84711 flat car
RBBX 84712 flat car
RBBX 80710 flat car
RBBX 84704 flat car
RBBX 80702 flat car
RBBX 84718 flat car
RBBX 80708 flat car
RBBX 80705 flat car
RBBX 80707 flat car
RBBX 80713 flat car
RBBX 85702 flat car
RBBX 84719 flat car
RBBX 88802 five section TOFC
RBBX 60001 baggage car
RBBX 40016 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42011 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41301 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42014 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41405 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 43007 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 40006 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 43009 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41308 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41309 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42010 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 43003 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42016 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42015 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 40011 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 63010 postal/storage car
RBBX 63007 generator/power car
RBBX 42001 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41304 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41317 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41307 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 40010 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41316 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42013 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41404 sleeper/passenger car, fluted
RBBX 41312 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 43012 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 40013 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 41402 sleeper/passenger car, fluted
RBBX 41305 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 42006 Pullman car
RBBX 42009 Pullman car
RBBX 42005 Pullman car
RBBX 40014 sleeper/passenger car
RBBX 63005 baggage car

Tour dates for the two trains are as follows:

John Buxton - additional photos and heads up!
CPA RVA photography

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:

Aerial shots were taken from either Google Maps or as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 


The aerial photo below is of the A Yard on Google Maps, with the Ringling Brothers train in the yard...... what luck, huh?


In St Denis at the MARC Station.....

Coming into Mt Clare Yard as viewed from the NB I-95 entrance ramp near Caton Ave.....

Pictures are in order as they were on the train, left to right, top to bottom - pictures are taken from the red "X" shown on the map above.

































This is just a taste of the signals at this location, something to do while waiting for the Circus Train.
Want to see more?  Click here.
The heads with four aspects in them have a LUNAR lens in addition to the standard G-Y-R lenses.





  Taken from Patapsco Ave.


While we were waiting....... Trains between 1:00 and 4:45

The first one we caught had a Citirail  engine and a couple of helpers on the rear, which later came back, and did a reverse move over Zepp's bridge and into Curtiss Bay




  Dam freight trains always getting in the way.....

The helpers from the first train.......

The 3:40 out of Camden Station, headed to DC....

  Smokestack from the Paralysis Plant (one of the first in the country to use extreme heat to burn trash)

  One of the few RBB&B logos on the train....

Crossing the James River in Richmond VA on the CSX A-Line Bridge..... I wish the picture was bigger..... photo by CPA RVA photography, from the Richmond VA railfan group


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.

BTW, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.


NEW 04/17/2017
Last Modified 20-Apr-2017