Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Published on July 25, 2022
Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

This video is dedicated to all those viewers in the United States of America who can still remember the spectacular Ringling Brother’s Barnum and Bailey Circus. This Circus was an American traveling circus company billed as “The Greatest Show on Earth”. It and its predecessor shows ran from 1871 to 2017. The circus maintained a gigantic circus train that brought the show to the big cities. The train was a mile long with roughly 60 cars: Tents, workers, canvasmen, ushers and animals were transported by train. Furthermore, the train had also sleeping cars for the performers. Rolling stock belonging to the circus displayed the reporting mark “RBBX”. As soon as you spotted the train, every child knew: The circus is coming to town!

John Rezuke came to the decision to construct an HO scale replica of the circus train after having seen the real train in person. He simply wanted to build something that very few people had done before and something that would stand out. As a railroad modeler he wanted to build something that he could continuously work on, something that was attractive and something that grab people’s attention. Shortly after he came to the decision to build the train, the circus decided to shut the show down. The animals would be let go and the train would be sold off in pieces. After that, John Rezuke felt he was destined to build the train as a tribute to the “Greatest Show on Earth”. He had to do a lot of research to get the details of the train just right. The cars are all modified versions of pre-existing models. Lots of repainting, decaling and window modifications were required.

Of course what really makes the train come to life is when you see the whole train put together running on a model railroad layout. Unlike some modelers, he built the train to run and not sit in a display case. As was prototypical with the real circus train, the railroad company that the train would be traveling over would supply the locomotives. Thus whenever John Rezuke brings the gigantic model train to a model railroad club, the club has to supply the locomotives. Thus we discover in this video how the gigantic HO scale Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train runs along the model rail layout inside the fantastic Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum.

Bringing the circus train to model railroading clubs and model train shows and letting the public see it up close in person gives John Rezuke the satisfaction of knowing that the memory of the circus train will continue to live on for generations to come. Although it may seem boring for the viewer to watch a model train with 32 cars pulled by three powerful Conrail locomotives, type GE C40-8W, let’s not underestimate the effort of John Rezuke who modeled this train to bring back childhood memories of the circus to many of us.

Picture Gallery

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Ringling Brother's Barnum and Bailey Circus Train - Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

YouTube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6Gr10ss10U


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