Years ago excited crowds would be thrilled by the appearance of a circus or a carnival train. They knew a spectacle of grand proportions was coming to town. Here’s your chance to view the last two modern circus trains and the only carnival that still travels by rail! Circus World Museum at Baraboo, Wisconsin puts together an old-fashioned circus train with antique circus wagons loaded aboard railroad cars by traditional methods. Then vintage diesels power the special train to Milwaukee where these highly prized wagons, pulled by teams of powerful draft horses, star in the annual Great Circus Parade.
The James E. Strates Carnival travels the eastern US aboard a 61-car train. Many of the carnival’s employees live aboard the train, just as in times past. Jimmy Strates, the founder’s grandson, relates what it was like growing up on the train and explains how traveling by rail works better for the company than other transportation methods. These trains and others are shown while underway and as equipment and personnel work to load and unload them. You’ll see the unique methods used to handle heavy equipment and gain additional background on the great American circus trains of the past and present. It’s a railroading experience like no other and one the whole family will enjoy!