UP Cars Sold To Ringling Bros. Circus

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This page was last updated on June 16, 2021.

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (RBBB; also RBB&BC)

A total of 104 former Union Pacific cars were sold to RBBB, either directly in 1972 and 1999, or in other years after service on another railroad. Some cars never entered service and have been used by Ringling solely as a source for parts.

Prior to the purchase of large numbers of former Union Pacific cars, Ringling Bros. used a combination of retired U.S. Army hospital cars for the Red train, and retired New York Central and Rock Island cars for the Blue train when it was started in 1970 (at least 15 ex Rock Island cars were sold to Ringling Bros. in 1968, including cars 754-760, 820-823, and 864-867; all were scrapped by RBBB during 1990).

The June 1966 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine included a three-page spread about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus train. Page 18 included train consists of the three sections of the 1932 train. The first section was called the "Flying Squadron" and included three stock cars for horses, 15 flat cars for the numerous smaller circus wagons, and four coaches, numbered as 70 through 73 for the performers. The second section included five stock cars for horses, 11 flat cars for circus wagons, and six coaches, numbered as 74 through 79. The third section, known as "The Lumber Train," included three stock cars for horses, two baggage cars for supplies and extra equipment, and 12 flat cars for circus wagons. The article also included six photos of a loading operation, with two photos showing the ex U. S. Army "hospital" cars being repainted to the new bright-aluminum color scheme. (Railroad Model Craftsman, June 1966, pages 16, 17, 18)

The following comment comes from Dennis Romain, in response to the above article in RMC:

The 1932 Ringling train could not have used ex hospital cars that weren't built for another ten years. The cars in your photos weren't available for sale until after WWII ended in 1945. Ringling bought the ex hospital cars in 1947 and painted them red. They weren't painted silver until 1948. The article may have referred to the 1952 train.

Ringling did buy ex WWI hospital cars after WWI but I believe these were painted red and were used until the ex WWII cars became available. They were a little different in configuration than the WWII cars, they were heavyweight cars. For more information on these cars see "The Circus Moves By Rail". (Dennis Romain, email dated April 27, 2016)

In 1972, Union Pacific found that it had a large surplus of passenger cars, after the startup of Amtrak in mid 1971, and Amtrak's purchase of more than 100 cars from Union Pacific in late 1971.

Ringling Bros. purchased its first group of former Union Pacific cars in 1972 to replace the old U.S. Army hospital cars that were ready for retirement. Six-axle baggage cars were rebuilt for use to transport the animals, and the four-axle cars were rebuilt with sleeping quarters for the performers. This work was completed at the Ringling Bros. rail car facility in Venice, Florida (later moved to Palmetto, Florida).

A feature that many remember about the Ringling Bros. circus train of the 1960s and 1970s, was the "tunnel" cars. These were former baggage cars with their interiors stripped and their ends removed, and were used to transport circus equipment, such as wagons and animal cages. Due to the limited space inside the tunnel cars, they were replaced by long flat cars similar to the cars used by railroads to move highway trailers and intermodal shipping containers.

The following comes from a summary written by Rhett Coates for the Circus Train group at Yahoo in May 2005:

Railroad equipment is purchased from many sources, including Amtrak. Heritage-type coaches are re-built from the frame up at the show's Palmetto, Florida Railroad Recycling Center (which also has an adjacent show-creation site for the Walt Disney On Ice tours), and thus the FRA / Amtrak inspections allow the passenger cars to be in use beyond the rebuild dates. The Palmetto Recycling Center is along the old SAL Railroad, just under a mile east of the SAL / ACL [CSX] diamond in downtown Palmetto, and north of the Manatee River from Bradenton, where the Tropicana Juice Trains originate.

Circus Flatcars, of the 90-ft. variety, are re-conditioned with chain-binder hookups for wagons, buses, jeeps and other highway vehicles, and the show also employs custom-built (prototype "kit-bashed") bi-levels for transfer cages and automobiles. Some flatcars were former GTW frame-flats formerly used by the automotive industry, and some were former TTX bi-levels, cut down so that they fit through the Penn Station [Amtrak] tunnel under New York City. Also, ten of the show's 90-foot flatcars were the very first prototype TOFC flats built by ACF in the late 1960s. Two "container cars" on each show train are for carrying concessions materials, and were also prototype "kit-bash" cars, using former TOFC and frame flats, with two 40-ft. container permanently mounted and with center-doors added.

"RBBX" reporting marks (with five-digit numbers) are the Circus Fleet's FRA permanent markings, and this began in late 1994/early 1995. "House Numbers" are also on the coaches [smaller numbers in yellow circle decals], and these allow train residents to find their "homes" each night when returning from the arenas in which the shows perform. Sometimes the coaches are split up into varying configurations, when certain spotting locations in the cities they play are arranged differently, so the House Numbers can come in real handy, especially for new employees!


April 18, 1872
William C. Coup converted the P. T. Barnum Circus from horse-drawn wagons to "iron-horse"-drawn flatcars at New Brunswick, N.J. The circus first used Pennsylvania Railroad equipment, but that same year purchased 60 new flat cars because the PRR equipment was in poor condition. The show's first-ever loading takes 12 hours. (Trains magazine, April 2017, page 9, 45)

Ringling Bros.' circus and the Barnum & Bailey circus duel for train-length supremacy. The Ringling brothers field a show using 85 60-foot cars, while Barnum & Bailey field an 83-car show train. (Trains magazine, April 2017, page 9)

Ringling Bros. officially combines its circus show with the Barnum & Bailey circus and fields a 95-car train: 42 flatcars, 26 stock cars, 24 coach cars, and three advertising cars. (Trains magazine, April 2017, page 9)

July 16, 1956
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey closed its traveling tent show using railroad transportation, and began using highway transportation to move its shows from one public arena to the next.

For the 1960 season, Ringling Bros. returned to the use of trains to transport its show. The circus tried highway transportation for three years (1957, 1958, 1959) after it closed its tent show in July 1956, but "highway problems, flat tires and too many traffic lights" forced the circus to abandon its bus-and-truck convoys and return to using its famous circus train. A New York Times news item in late January 1960 stated that "The cars were being made to sparkle with new silver and red paint this week in Sarasota, Florida." The new show was to open in Montgomery, Alabama on February 5th, and would arrive in New York on March 31st. (New York Times, January 30, 1960) The last tent show was on July 16, 1956. (New York Times, April 24, 1967)

January 1960
For its 1960 season, set to start in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 5, 1960, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey would use a newly completed train made up of eight former government hospital cars to carry the show's personnel, and seven additional former government hospital cars that had been converted to shells to allow the show wagons to be loaded. These new show wagons had themselves been design and built to fit inside of the converted rail cars, and could be loaded using rubber-tired tractors. The early shows would continue to use trucks and buses, until the new train was ready in time to load the circus after its stop in New York City in midsummer 1960. The show had last used railroad transportation in 1956. (Tucson Daily Citizen, January 28, 1960; courtesy of newspapers.com)

June 1960
"Fed up with three years of slow travel by bus and truck, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth, is riding the rails again. This outfit is making a 24,000-mile tour covering 75 cities. Before it left winter quarters at Sarasota, Florida, wagons and cars were given fresh coats of silver and scarlet paint. Prior to 1957, when it abandoned the traditional big tent and became an indoor show, the circus moved in three long trains. Now, with less equipment and fewer employees to transport, it needs only one train." (Railroad magazine, June 1960, page 6)

August 1, 1960
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus train departed Sarasota for the last time on August 1, 1960, bound for the first show of the season on August 5, 1960 at Omaha, Nebraska. At the end of the shows tour, the train would return to the new home in Venice, Florida. The 15-car train was made up of six cars for personnel, four cars for animals, four cars for baggage, and a combination club and dining car. The circus had abandoned using its big top tent and old-style circus train in 1956. (Bridgeport Post newspaper, August 1, 1960; courtesy of newspapers.com)

The following comes from the August 1960 issue of Railroad magazine:

Why did the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus give up its tent show and rail transportation at the end of its 1956 season? Why did it return to the rails in 1960?

Like the dinosaur, "The Greatest Show on Earth" was too gigantic for a new age. In its heyday Ringling-B&B boasted 1300 employees, 51 elephants (11 more than Hannibal took over the Alps), a menagerie of wild beasts, 300 horses, trained animals, and thousands of tons of equipment. All of these moved by rail 20,000 miles a year over U. S., Canada, and sometimes down into Mexico, using four trains (technically, one train of four sections).

Ringling-B&B was engaged simultaneously in five different businesses: (a) transportation, (b) serving about 900-1,000 meals a year to employees, (c) supplying sleeping quarters for employees eight months of each year, (d) building an amphitheater and a tented town at every stop, and (e) show business.

Although the circus owned all of the cars it used, its railroad bill alone rose from $180,000 a year in 1941 to $580,000 in 1955. In addition, the movies, autos, and TV had cut the importance of the circus. The only one of the five Ringling-B&B activities that yielded any revenue was show business, so the other four had to go.

The management retrenched sharply, eliminating both the big top and rail transportation, playing indoors in arenas but occasionally in ball parks. For three seasons the circus (now without tents) struggled along dismally with trucks, buses, trailers; and private automobiles, while some performers rode regular passenger trains.

Highway-traffic delays caused so much havoc that the huge circus finally went back to the railroad. Its 1960 season began, as usual, in Madison Square Garden, New York. Then it loaned its menagerie (but not trained animals) to the Providence, Rhode Island, zoo, and loaded its employees, only 18 elephants, about a dozen ring horses, etc., into a 16-car train, every car of which it owns.

This train is now on tour. It does not include the "Jomar," the big boss's private car, although some of the Ringling-B&B four-section trains of long ago boasted as many as three private cars on the road at a time!

In late 1960, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced that they would establish a permanent winter home in Venice, Florida. The 15-car circus train arrived in late December 1960, and performers and circus workers unloaded all of the animals and equipment for the first time. For the previous 33 years, the circus had returned at the end of each season to its winter home in Sarasota, Florida, 18 miles north of Venice. The circus moved its headquarters from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Sarasota in 1927. (New York Times, January 8, 1961) (The circus' rail car restoration center is located in Palmetto, Florida, 36 miles north of Venice.)

On March 28, 1968, Irvin Feld announced that a second company of the circus would begin in 1969:

A second company of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is being planned for early 1969, it was announced yesterday by Irvin Feld, president and chief executive officer of the 97-year old show, which he and his brother Israel and Roy M. Hofheinz bought last year for about $10-million.

The new show will be "as lavish, elaborate and exciting" as the present company, Mr. Feld said. He added that the introduction of the duplicate company had been prompted by "the more than 100 arenas in the United States now capable of housing the show that are constantly calling us for a circus engagement each season."

"Even though we currently run our season for 10 and a half months," he went on, "we can only manage to cover about half that number." The new show will have the same type of acts and production numbers in a three-ring arrangement. The present circus employs about 350 people and uses a 25-car train to transport animals, personnel and equipment.

The circus is now said to be operating in the black, though only a decade ago the Ringlings were losing $1-million a year. In 1956, the tents were pulled up for the last time in Pittsburgh and the following year the circus became an indoor show. The elimination of canvas, portable grandstands and galley cars proved dramatically economical. (New York Times, March 29, 1968)

The Red Unit circus train began its first two-year season.

The Blue Unit circus train started its first two-year season.

January 1972
"Cars To Greatest Show On Earth -- Thirty UP passenger cars have been sold to Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc., for use in their circus trains. The big circus, which still moves by rail, purchased 14 baggage cars and 16 coaches." (UP INFO magazine, January 1972)

June 1972
The following 16 Union Pacific chair cars were reported on sidings in Venice, Florida, waiting to be rebuilt into circus cars: 5401, 5402, 5414, 5417, 5425, 5432, 5433, 5444, 5450, 5451, 5453, 5457, 5458, 5459, 5465, and 5466. Also the following eight UP baggage cars: 6307, 6313, 6317, 6319, 6322, 6323 6327 and 6329. Other rolling stock owned by the circus is stored in Bradenton, Florida, for eventual rebuilding. Altogether, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey had recently bought 30 railroad cars. (Railroad magazine, June 1972, page 7)

RBX After 1975

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey began using the RBX reporting mark at some time after 1975. RBX numbers (similar to today's "house numbers" on the RBBX cars) were subject to change if a car's position within either the red train or the blue train changed for any reason, as cars were either added or removed from the trains, or if cars were swapped between the trains from one season to another. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the trains continued to grow in length; an example is the red train, which was 42 cars in 1985, and 59 cars in 2011. These changes make the use of RBX numbers a problem for car identification, due to the potential RBX number change from season to season as the train consist was adjusted.

On April 20, 1992, officials of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus announced that the circus would not return to Venice for its 1992 winter break. Instead, the circus would return to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, April 21, 1992)

In July 1992, Ringling Brothers leased a nine-acre site in Palmetto, and the 30 employees assigned to circus train car maintenance moved their shop from Venice. Many lived in the Venice area, and commuted the 35 miles to the new work site. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, July 25, 1992)

The last Ringling Brothers show of the 1992 season was in Richfield, Ohio, on November 22nd, and the circus arrived in Tampa on November 25th to take its 1992 winter break and hold its rehearsals for the 1993 season. Rehearsals started at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on December 22, 1992, and the circus did not return to Venice.

January 13, 1994
A broken wheel caused the derailment of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train Blue Unit train. There were two fatalities. Of the 53 cars in the train, 16 cars derailed, with five of those 16 cars being turned turned on their sides. Of those five cars, four were retired.

(Read more about the Lakeland derailment, below)

RBBX After 1995

The change from RBX numbers to RBBX numbers was the most visible change from actions taken after the wreck of the RBBB blue train in January 1994 at Lakeland, Florida. Having its own reporting mark in the nationwide AAR database (known as UMLER, an acronym for Universal Machine Listing Equipment Register) allows Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to provide documentation of inspections and maintenance performed by AAR-member railroads, and by its own mechanics for AAR-applicable items while traveling the national rail network. The most important benefit, however, is that by using and keeping a single RBBX number, each car and its maintenance history is well documented.

In January 2012, Feld Entertainment, parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, announced that the company had purchased a 47-acre site in Ellenton, Florida (on the border with Palmetto). Located at 2001 North US 301 in Ellenton, the site was formerly occupied by Siemens/General Electric, and includes 100,000 square feet of office space and 450,000 square feet of former manufacturing space in two buildings. The new site is to become the new global headquarters for all of Feld Entertainment, with plans to provide space for off-season storage of both the Red unit and Blue unit circus trains. The rail car maintenance facility at Palmetto will be moved to the new site. (Feld Entertainment press release dated January 30, 2012)

August 21, 2014
The following comes from the August 21, 2014 issue of the Bradenton herald newspaper:

Feld Entertainment signs a lease this week that will make Port Manatee the new winter quarters for performers with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who live aboard the circus' train.

Port Manatee -- The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Port Manatee six weeks a year for at least the next decade. Acrobats, clowns and other performers will make Manatee their holiday port of call when their live-aboard train parks on a mile of track alongside U.S. 41 just before Thanksgiving.

Starting Nov. 17, the circus will park up to 61 train cars on a railroad spur that is otherwise used for storing freight cars involved in transport operations to and from the port. About 36 circus cars will house up to 250 performers for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. For the past 20 years, Feld wintered its performers in the Tampa area.

Feld operates two units of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, each performing for two years across about 90 cities. Those units alternate their winter stays in Florida. During the six-week break, Feld rebuilds the circus show, then sends it out with a new theme. In mid-November, the circus' "red unit" will take its "Built to Amaze" show off the road. It will embark for its first January dates in Tampa under the new title "Circus Xtreme." While at the port, the performers will live in the residential train units as they do year-round. Most will commute daily to Feld's nearly 600,000-square-foot facility in Palmetto.

Feld will pay the port $22,000 this year to use the spur and an adjacent lot. The lease term runs through 2024 and can be renewed after that in five-year increments. The lease payment will increase by 2.25 percent each year. Feld will improve parking and turnaround areas at the property to give it better vehicle access. Circus personnel will have room to park about 40 vehicles beside the train.

The cars will occupy about 5,400 feet of track at the north end of the port near Harlee Road, just south of the county jail.

May 2016
More changes are coming in May 2016 when RBBB retires the elephants from all of its shows. There are rumors that the Gold Unit (which uses trucks to reach locations without rail service) will be consolidated with the Red Unit and the Blue Unit trains, which themselves may be consolidated into a single circus train, supporting just one show.

"The annual tradition of rounding up the kids to watch the circus animals parade to or from the train is coming to an end. The Blue "Legends" and Red "Xtreme" editions carried on into 2016 without change (or, in Blue's case, a break) due to the elephant retirement being sped up into May of this year. At that time, Ringling will unroll the new editions of the Red & Blue units, which will require adjustments to the train consists. It was also speculated with this news that the Red Unit may be grounded after 2018, leaving what's left of the Blue Unit to carry on the tradition. Their Gold Unit, that traveled by truck, is no more. It was retired in 2015. This may partially explain why the leased facility in Port Manatee, which was said to be their wintering grounds for the next decade, only needs to accommodate one full trainset. Originally looked like the unit scheduled to winter in Tampa would move here while the other would do so in Orlando, or even Tampa perhaps....and that turned out not to be the case at all. So here, for now, we have the complete Blue Unit speeding towards Tampa...not to winter, but for immediate shows."

According to information shared on Trainorders.com, the Blue Unit "Legends" for 2016 has 40 passenger-type cars, and the Red Unit "Circus Xtreme" for 2016 has 39 passenger-type cars, making a total of 79 passenger cars in service. All are former Union Pacific cars, from the pool of 104 cars that RBBB purchased from UP between 1972 and 1999.

May 1, 2016
The last Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey show with elephant performers. Five elephants from the Red Unit show performed in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The six elephants in the Blue Unit show had their last performance later that same day in Providence, Rhode Island.

RBBX After 2017

January 14, 2017
Feld Entertainment, owners of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced that the circus would end this coming May. Ringling Brothers has two touring circuses during the 2017 season and will perform 30 shows between mid January and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, Rhode Island, on May 7 and in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21. The reasons given included declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups. (Associated Press)

The Red Unit started the 2017 season on January 19, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida (The 2016 season ended on January 16, 2017 in Orlando, Florida)

The Blue Unit started the 2017 season on January 19, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama (The 2016 season ended on January 15, 2017 in Miami, Florida)

March 2017
UP bought three RBBX cars at auction: RBBX 60006 (stock car, ex UP 6312), RBBX 63004 (stock car, ex UP 5764), and RBBX 63013 (power car, ex UP 5780). After the last RBBB trains were operated in May 2017, RBBX 63013 was moved to UP at Council Bluffs and became UPP 2055. Moved from Council Bluffs to Kansas City for repainting on October 24, 2017.

(View a list of RBBX cars, and their subsequent disposition; based on research completed by Jerry LaBoda)

Car Number Cross Reference

Ringling Brothers RBBX Car Number to UP Car Number

Total of 104 Union Pacific cars sold to Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey

(RBBX car numbers are explained, below)

Ringling RBBX
Date To
Ringling Bros.
Builder and Date UP Car
Car Type on UP Notes
RBBX 40001   AC&F, 1953 UP 5450 Chair  
RBBX 40002   AC&F, 1953 UP 5451 Chair  
RBBX 40003   AC&F, 1953 UP 5453 Chair  
RBBX 40004   AC&F, 1953 UP 5457 Chair  
RBBX 40005   AC&F, 1953 UP 5458 Chair  
RBBX 40006   AC&F, 1953 UP 5459 Chair  
RBBX 40007   AC&F, 1953 UP 5465 Chair  
RBBX 40008   AC&F, 1953 UP 5466 Chair  
RBBX 40010   AC&F, 1954; UP, 1965 UP 5543 "Alpine Camp" Coach (ex Sleeper)  
RBBX 40011   AC&F, 1954; UP, 1965 UP 5550 "Alpine Pass" Coach (ex Sleeper)  
RBBX 40012   AC&F, 1954; UP, 1965 UP 5554 "Alpine Scene" Coach (ex Sleeper)  
RBBX 40013 1993 AC&F, 1950 UP "American General" Sleeper  
RBBX 40014   AC&F, 1950 UP 1103 "American View" Sleeper  
RBBX 40015   AC&F, 1953 UP 5460 Chair  
RBBX 40016   AC&F, 1953 UP 5461 Chair  
RBBX 40017   AC&F, 1953 UP 5464 Chair  
RBBX 41312   Budd, 1961 UP 5513 Chair  
RBBX 41313   Budd, 1961 UP 5526 Chair  
RBBX 41407   Budd, 1949 UP 1440 "Pacific Trail" Sleeper  
RBBX 41408   Budd, 1949 UP 1420 "Pacific Lodge" Sleeper  
RBBX 42001   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5401 Chair  
RBBX 42002   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5402 Chair  
RBBX 42003   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5405 Chair  
RBBX 42004   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5406 Chair  
RBBX 42005   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5407 Chair  
RBBX 42006   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5410 Chair  
RBBX 42007   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5414 Chair  
RBBX 42008   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5417 Chair  
RBBX 42009 1994 Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5418 Chair  
RBBX 42010   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5419 Chair  
RBBX 42011   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5421 Chair  
RBBX 42012   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5422 Chair  
RBBX 42013   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5425 Chair  
RBBX 42014   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5431 Chair  
RBBX 42015   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5432 Chair  
RBBX 42016   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5433 Chair  
RBBX 42017   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5434 Chair  
RBBX 42018   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5435 Chair  
RBBX 42019   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5438 Chair  
RBBX 42020   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5439 Chair  
RBBX 42021   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5440 Chair  
RBBX 42022   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5444 Chair  
RBBX 42023   Pullman-Standard, 1950 UP 5443 Chair  
RBBX 43001   St. Louis, 1960 UP 5493 Chair  
RBBX 43002   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5529 Coach  
RBBX 43003   St. Louis, 1960 UP 5507 Chair  
RBBX 43004   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5533 Coach  
RBBX 43005   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5535 Coach  
RBBX 43006   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5536 Coach  
RBBX 43007   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5540 Coach  
RBBX 43008   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5542 Coach  
RBBX 43009   St. Louis, 1960 UP 5488 Chair  
RBBX 43010   St. Louis, 1960 UP 5499 Chair  
RBBX 43011   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5537 Coach  
RBBX 43012   St. Louis, 1964 UP 5541 Coach  
RBBX 60001   St. Louis, 1962 UP 904274 (UP 5749) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 60002   St. Louis, 1962 UP 904280 (UP 5755) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 60003   St. Louis, 1962 UP 904282 (UP 5757) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 60004 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6300 Baggage 1
RBBX 60005 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6307 Baggage  
RBBX 60006 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6312 Baggage  
RBBX 60007 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6313 Baggage  
RBBX 60008 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6315 Baggage  
RBBX 60009 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6317 Baggage 1
RBBX 60010 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6318 Baggage  
RBBX 60011 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6319 Baggage  
RBBX 60012 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6322 Baggage 2
RBBX 60013 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6323 Baggage  
RBBX 60014 1972 AC&F, 1961 UP 6324 Baggage 1
RBBX 60015 1999 AC&F, 1954 UP 904827 (UP 5642) Commissary (Baggage) 1
RBBX 60016 1999 AC&F, 1954 UP 904824 (UP 5663) Commissary (Baggage) 1
RBBX 60017 1999 AC&F, 1961 UP 904807 (UP 6304) Commissary (Baggage)  
RBBX 60018 1999 AC&F, 1954 UP 6301 Baggage 1
RBBX 60019 1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904261 (UP 5735) Tool (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 60020 1999 AC&F, 1961 UP 904702 (UP 6321) Commissary (Baggage)  
RBBX 63001 1972 St. Louis, 1962 UP 6327 Baggage 1
RBBX 63002 1972 St. Louis, 1962 UP 6329 Baggage  
RBBX 63003 1972 St. Louis, 1962 UP 6330 Baggage 1
RBBX 63004   St. Louis, 1962 UP 904292 (UP 5764) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63005   St. Louis, 1962 UP 904819 (UP 5758) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63006 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904815 (UP 5747) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63007 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904706 (UP 5761) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63008 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904700 (UP 5776) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63009 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904707 (UP 5762) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63010 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904708 (UP 5770) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63011 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904293 (UP 5766) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63012 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904298 (UP 5773) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
RBBX 63013 1999 St. Louis, 1962 UP 904823 (UP 5780) Commissary (Postal Storage)  
(wrecked in 1994) 1978 AC&F, 1961 UP 6320 Baggage  
(wrecked in 1994)   AC&F, 1954; UP, 1965 UP 5555 "Alpine Stream" Coach (ex Sleeper)  
(wrecked in 1994)   AC&F, 1954; UP, 1965 UP 5544 "Alpine Crest" Coach (ex Sleeper)  
(wrecked in 1994)   AC&F, 1953 UP 5478 Chair  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904816 (UP 5664) Commissary (Baggage)  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904817 (UP 5665) Commissary (Baggage)  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904803 (UP 5669) Commissary (Baggage)  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904804 (UP 5670) Commissary (Baggage)  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904802 (UP 5674) Commissary (Baggage)  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904813 (UP 5677) Commissary (Baggage)  
    AC&F, 1949 UP 904235 (UP 5704) Tool (Postal Storage)  
  1999 AC&F, 1957 UP 904851 (UP 5725) Tool (Postal Storage)  
    AC&F, 1957 UP 904254 (UP 5727) Tool (Postal Storage)  
    AC&F, 1961 UP 904302/904705 (UP 6314) Commissary (Baggage)  
  1989 AC&F, 1949 UP 903684 (UP 5902) Tool (Postal Storage)  


  1. Seven cars (RBBX 60004, 60008, 60014, 60015, 60016, 63001, 63003) were donated to Florida Railroad Museum, Parrish, Florida, in 2012.
  2. RBBX 60012 was in service 1973-1989 as a "tunnel" car to haul small wagons and small highway vehicles driven inside from either end. Rebuilt to Diner "Pie Car," in service as Pie Car 1990-2017.

January 1994 wreck at Lakeland, Florida

On Thursday January 13, 1994, a broken wheel caused the derailment of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train (Blue unit; 53 cars). Sixteen cars derailed, five cars turned on their sides, of which four were retired.

Of the sixteen derailed cars, two were placed back on the rails and sent to Orlando. To return the track to full service within 24 hours, the other fourteen cars were removed from the track and vicinity to allow the repair of the tracks. The route was a major route through central Florida for CSX freight trains, and Amtrak passenger trains. CSX officials said crew members inspected the train shortly before the crash. Someone had called CSX to report a piece of train dragging on a track. CSX said an immediate walk-through inspection found no problems. (Orlando Sentinel, January 15, 1994)

(The ex Wabash "National Colors" sleeper was one of the 16 cars derailed. The car was badly damaged by the contractor while clearing the derailment site and getting the line back into service. The car was later scrapped because the damage was too much to repair.)

Killed in the train accident was Theodore "Ted" Svertesky, a 39-year-old elephant trainer who was found dead in a sleeper car. Svertesky was in charge of Romeo and Juliet, year-old Asian elephants who headline the show. He also headed the Ringling Elephant Farm, a research and breeding facility near Gainesville. The second victim was identified as Ceslee Conkling, 28, from Fort Worth, Texas, who worked as a clown. Conkling was missing for four hours before her body was found at about 2 p.m. None of the 60 circus animals, including lions, tigers and elephants, was hurt. They were traveling in cages at the front and rear of the 53-car train, which broke in the middle. The crash occurred shortly after 9:15 a.m. at a fork in the tracks near U.S. Highway 92 and Fish Hatchery Road on Lakeland's northeast side. The train was rolling at 38 mph when the 22nd through 37th cars - 13 passenger coaches and three flat cars - jumped the tracks, CSX Transportation officials said. CSX owns the rails and three locomotives that pulled the train. The circus owns the cars. (Orlando Sentinel, January 14, 1994)

The NTSB report was issued on February 15, 1995 (RAR-95-01):

Background synopsis: On January 13, 1994, a northbound Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (RBB&BC) train derailed about 9:08 a.m., eastern standard time, while passing through Lakeland, Florida, on CSX Transportation railroad en route to Orlando, Florida. A witness observed the train go by and saw two pieces of a wheel fly off a passenger car and land in nearby woods. The train continued 2.7 miles, across five grade crossings, with the broken wheel. When it reached the Park Spur turnout, 15 other passenger cars and 3 freight cars derailed, Of the 16 derailed passenger cars, 5 turned on their sides; the rest remained upright. Two circus employees were killed, and 15 received minor injuries.

The post-accident investigation found that the wheel broke from the fatigue failure of a thermally damaged wheel due to fatigue cracking initiated at a stress raiser associated with a stamped character on the wheel rim.

The railroads have long understood the criticality of identifying overheated thermally damaged wheels. However, it is still practically impossible to detect a thermally damaged wheel outside a laboratory. The cracked and thermally damaged wheel was not detected before failure despite the fact that the RBB&BC train was inspected at Tampa by CSXT and RBB&BC personnel, passed a defect detector 18 miles from the derailment point, passed an observant maintenance-of-way gang that paused to inspect the train as it passed by, and was stopped and inspected by the train crew 10 miles from the point of derailment. The Safety Board concludes that thermal damage and cracking in the wheel could not be detected by routine railroad field inspection currently in practice.

Recommendation: The NTSB recommends that the FRA prohibit the replacement of any tread-braked passenger railroad car with rim-stamped straight-plate wheels.

FRA's report for Congress for 1995 included the following:

Lakeland, FL - Circus Train Derailment

On February 14 , the NTSB reported that a damaged wheel caused the January 1994 derailment of a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train in Lakeland, FL. The accident killed two circus employees and injured 15 others.

The 53-car train was en route from Tampa to Orlando when a wheel broke apart. The train traveled almost three miles before 16 cars derailed, with five landing on their sides. The Board found that the wheel had been thermally damaged before the train left Tampa.

The wheel that failed was stamped with a serial number on its outer rim. It also had a straight-plate design that is more susceptible to thermal damage than a curved-plate wheel, which is much more widely used on freight cars. The combination of a thermally damaged straight-plate wheel and a fatigue crack stemming from the "rim-stamp" led to the failure of the wheel and the consequent derailment of the train.

In its report, the Board called on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the industry to prevent future use of rim-stamped wheels like the one that failed on the circus train. The Board also recommended that railroads refuse to haul any cars with such wheels until proper inspection procedures can be implemented.

Noting that many of the circus train cars had been adapted for use as living quarters for employees, the Board found that one of the fatalities might have been prevented if large appliances and equipment in these cars had been better secured. The Board urged the circus company to implement plans for improving safety aboard its rail cars.

Actions taken by RBB&BC include the elimination of rim-stamped car wheels, installing more fire extinguishers, installing an integrated fire alarm system, using non-combustible materials for interior walls for new construction, installing a "push-to-talk" communication system throughout the train, providing three egress points for cars with passageways, and two egress points for each stateroom, securing all appliances, installing a crash tool box in every car, redesigning the car interiors to reduce sharp edges and corners, redesigning interior cabinets with recessed cabinet handles and door latches that lock automatically, and accelerate an existing program to convert all cars to a centralized 480-volt electrical system that would eliminate non-standard electrical appliances. (See FRA letter to RBB&BC, and the RBB&BC response, FRA R-95-6 and R-95-7.)

The most visible change by RBB&BC was the inauguration in late 1994 or early 1995, of its RBBX reporting mark. Having its own reporting mark in the nationwide AAR database would allow Ringling Bros. to provide documentation of inspections and maintenance performed by AAR-member railroads, and by its own mechanics for AAR-applicable items while traveling the national rail network. At the same time, although it is not a "carrier for hire," Ringling Bros. adopted most, if not all of the safety and inspection guidelines required by Amtrak for private rail cars to travel as part of Amtrak trains.

About the Circus Train

(Google Map of locations in Florida used by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus trains)

An excellent article by Rhett Coates, about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train was published in the February 2011 issue of Trains magazine.

The color of the "Globes" at the ends of the cars indicate which train it is. A red globe indicates the Red Unit, and a blue globe indicates the Blue Unit. The Ringling Brother and Barnum & Bailey banner is red on all the cars. There is also the Gold Unit, a smaller one-ring tent show started in 2001, transported by truck to smaller locations that do not have rail access.

The following comes from a summary provided by Rhett Coates to Trainorders.com on June 11, 2002.

In 1969, the late Irvin Feld, then new owner of RBBB Combined Shows, sent out the show's first-ever two-year tour with the first American tour of the late animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams. The nucleus of that 1969 edition was Circus Williams, brought over from Germany in its entirety, personnel and all, which filled out much of that show. Gunther's legacy was, as most know, electrifying, showing a new kind of animal training which never used fear, but only "positive reinforcement" to get animals to do "tricks" (which they already did in the wild anyway), but on cue.

Meanwhile, other Circus acts which were ready for touring with RBBB waited another year, and emerged in 1970 in a second edition of RBBB, which Feld entitled "The Blue Unit," and the previous 1969 show was dubbed "The Red Unit." This continues to this day, allowing the company to play twice as many cities (up to 90) each year, and also to stay longer in each town (a week or two average). Feld was questioned by the surviving Ringling family as to his reasoning for doing this, saying "You can't do that! Which show will be better?" Feld's reply was pure Barnum. "Both shows will be better," he said. The reasoning being that each year the other edition would emerge with a better show that the previous tour, so indeed, both shows would be better. Feld's son Kenneth now owns and runs the two shows, based out of Vienna, Virginia, and also produces eight Disney On Ice shows, as well as Sigfreid & Roy's magic show in Las Vegas.

Feld purchased equipment from Rock Island and New York Central to supply housing for the newer Blue Unit, and the Red Unit continued on "Hospital Fleet" cars, acquired from the government in the 1940s, but they were getting old.

Red Unit (which began in 1969) takes all of the odd-numbered editions of The Greatest Show On Earth on a two-year tour, beginning every odd-numbered year. The Blue Unit (which began in 1970) takes all of the even-numbered edition of The Greatest Show On Earth on the same two-year tour, beginning every even-numbered year.

Union Pacific Railroad's separation from their own passenger service allowed Feld to purchase a major portion of that company's Armour yellow passenger cars in 1972, replacing the older "Hospital Cars" RBBB had used since the late 1940s. Six-axle baggage cars became transportation for the animals, and coaches were gutted out and rebuilt as "sleepers." As of 2002, RBBB's fleet includes at least 80 former UP cars, the rest filled out from purchases of Heritage Fleet equipment from Amtrak, Auto Train, CSX predecessors B&O, C&O, SAL, RF&P, and many more. Both units also contain cars from N&W and PRR.

The flat cars are 89-footers, many from GTW, SP, and a few from TTX, acquired with wreck damage, but rebuilt by RBBB to their own specs. RBBB also has the very first ten 89-foot TOFC flats ACF built in the late 1960s, numbers 1-5 and five more which had no numbers. These were the ACF prototype TOFC flats.

Ever since the horrible wreck of the Blue Unit near Lakeland, Florida on January 13, 1994, in which two died and many were injured, (they lost at least 14 coaches in seconds in a massive pile-up when a wheel set fractured from within, due to a design flaw, then split a switch on CSX) RBBB has made major strides in updating their fleet, now to the point officials at the FRA say the trains are two of the best-maintained in the railroad industry, and rates them each for 60 mph.

(Some of the lost coaches from that Lakeland crash were destroyed when CSX's contractors shoved them off the right-of-way in the process of getting the line re-opened. One was the Wabash "National Colors," which could easily have been re-railed, but the bulldozers managed to bend the car badly during the clearing process.)

As of 2002, RBBB has 54 cars on the Red unit, 57 on the Blue Unit, and at least 50 more in a "recycling" process in their large railroad shop in Palmetto, Florida, just across the Manatee River from Bradenton.

There are over 300 people aboard, all the animals, and lots of cars, trucks, jeeps, buses, wagons, etc. Personnel include a hundred performers, as well as almost a hundred Teamsters (Local 688, St. Louis) which include animal handlers, wardrobe, backstage crew, vehicle maintenance, and railroad car maintenance. There are also electrical staff, which operate the special effects, lighting, and audio for the productions themselves, and a large contingent of concessions sales staff, which not only sell all the programs, toys and cotton candy, but also staff the trains' dining cars, which the show personnel on both units call the "Pie Car."

These two shows also have their own live bands which play music live during the shows. There are also school teachers and tutors for the many children on board, as well as people who hand out the twice-weekly mail, cut hair, paint, etc. There is an office staff to coordinate all these others, and a priest who goes back and forth between both units and other American Circuses during the year.

This is why they have those two mile-long trains, as it's necessary to carry all these people and all that equipment. The show has determined they would never be able to truck such massive productions. The entire shows are aboard their respective trains; rail service is much cheaper to use for such a massive enterprise, and it's also a lot cheaper to house 300+ people free in rail cars than to put them in hotels every night for 11 months.

RBBB In Venice

When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus began using rail transportation again in 1960, they moved their headquarters from Sarasota to Venice, Florida, where they built an arena to stage the premier of each season's show. The site in Venice was at the end of track on the Seaboard Air Line branch, and the rail shop was adjacent to the SAL wye in Venice. The new arena was built adjacent to the northeast corner of the Venice airport, with the Tamiami Trail and Venice waterway separating the two sites. The arena was closed in 1992, and the rail shop was moved north 35 miles to Palmetto. In 2012, Feld Entertainment consolidated all of its shows into a world headquarters in the former Siemens/GE plant in Ellenton, including moving its rail shop from nearby Palmetto to the Ellenton site.

Until 1992, the off-season headquarters for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus train operations were in Venice, Florida, adjacent to the 55,000 square-foot Circus Arena where RBBB held the world premiere for each season's show. Deterioration of the rail spur from Sarasota to Venice forced the circus to move its winter quarters to the State Fairgrounds in Tampa, bringing to an end, 75 years of circus in Sarasota County. The facility in Venice was at the southern end of the CSX rail spur, 35 miles south of the RBBB rail car facility at Palmetto.

The following comes from the Sarasota County Historical Commission.

THE CIRCUS IN VENICE -- Among the number of circuses that have called Sarasota County home, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (RBBB) is the largest and the one that has had the longest association with Venice. Its roots go back to a small show the five Ringling brothers established in 1884. The winter quarters was in Baraboo, Wisconsin, home of the Ringlings. Bridgeport, Connecticut, winter quarters of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, became its second home.

In 1927, John Ringling brought the circus winter quarters to Sarasota, where it remained until 1959. No longer needing the acreage it had in Sarasota, but still needing a rail connection, RBBB moved the winter quarters to Venice in 1960. 

The 30-year lease provided that the circus would occupy 15 acres of undeveloped airport property with an option to renew for an additional 20 years. The rent was set at $1000 a year, with adjustments to be based on the federal cost-of-living index. Since the circus no longer performed under the “Big Top,” construction soon began on a 55,000 square-foot, 5000-seat arena. Adjacent structures housed staging, costumes and wardrobe space.

On Nov. 29, 1960, a crowd of more than 10,000 greeted The Greatest Show on Earth when it arrived at the Seaboard Air Line Railroad Station for the first time. The Venice High School Band played and Mayor Smythe Brohard, atop a new Venice Fire Dept. truck, led the parade of officials, performers and animals to the new winter quarters. 

For the next thirty-two years, the circus was the major tourist attraction for the city. As circus employees made the Venice area their permanent home, they contributed to the city’s circus reputation.

Ownership of the RBBB circus changed in 1967 when the Ringlings sold it to Hoffeld Corp., which was owned by Roy Hofheinz and brothers Irvin and Israel Feld. The following year Irvin Feld established Clown College to pass the skills of the clown masters on to the next generations. The faculty included legendary Lou Jacobs, Frosty Little and Bobby Kaye.

Deteriorating railroad tracks threatened the circus’s stay in Venice. In 1992 the Seminole Gulf Railroad announced abandonment of the ten miles of track into Venice and the RBBB circus closed its winter home in Venice.

Prior to moving to Venice, the circus had been in Sarasota since 1927, and before that, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for 25 years, since 1901. (Bridgeport Post newspaper, December 20, 1959; courtesy of newspapers.com)

John and Mable Ringling had moved their private residence to Sarasota in about 1910. They built a large mansion whose architecture was influenced by Venice, Italy.

The original railroad line to Venice was completed by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in about 1900. SAL became part of the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad on July 1, 1967. SCL became part of the Seaboard System Railroad (SBD) on December 29, 1982. In 1980, Seaboard's parent company had merged with Chessie System to form CSX Corporation. On July 1, 1986, SBD changed its name to CSX Transportation. After allowing service to customers deteriorate, as well as the condition of the track itself, in November 1987, CSX sold the line between Oneco (near Bradenton) and Venice to Seminole Gulf Railway.

Seminole Gulf Railway tried to maintain service to Venice, but the condition of the track made operations very difficult. In the all-too-common downward spiral of railroad abandonment, decreased business resulted in decreased service, which resulted in less business. In addition to the circus train, there were customers all along the route, but not enough to make continued operations realistic. In the final years of operations into Venice, the track was so bad, and the cars of the circus train swayed back and forth so much, that items on every car moved around and fell from storage cupboards and shelves, as well as circus employees on the train feeling very unsafe. Seminole Gulf Railroad did not have the financial resources to upgrade the line and improve its safety, and was forced to apply for abandonment. At the end, there was only $50,000 per year of business for the railroad, but maintenance cost $150,000 per year. Local business and community leaders tried to arrange financing, but were unable to obtain the $500,000 (later raised to $1.5 million) that was needed to repair all parts of the line between Sarasota and Venice.

In a later news item, the reason given was that the Florida Department of Transportation inspector banned further operation of passenger trains along the Venice line due to the condition of the track. Seminole Gulf continued to use the rail line to serve freight customers at least until mid 1994. The figure given to restore safe operation was raised from the $500,000 needed for safer freight operation, to $1.5 million needed to restore for safe passenger train operation. The increased cost fell to the circus because it was the only passenger train on the line, and the circus decided to move its entire operation. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, February 28, 1994)

RBBX Car Numbers

The following table is based on information presented in Rhett Coates' article in February 2011 Trains magazine.

RBBX 6 3 0 07     Using RBBX 63007 (ex UP 5761) as an example.
  | | | |      
  | | | > Sequence number
  | | > -- Metal type of car body, or cushion device for flat cars
  | |         0 - Aluminum
  | |         1 - Carbon steel
  | |         2 - Stainless steel, with carbon steel underframe
  | |         3 - Stainless steel, flat-side coach
  | |         4 - Stainless steel, fluted-side coach
  | |         5 - (none)
  | |         6 - (none)
  | |         7 - Hydraulic cushion device (flat cars only)
  | |         8 - Friction gear (flat cars only)
  | |         9 - Sliding sill (flat cars only)
  | > -- -- -- Builder identification
  |           0 - American Car & Foundry (AC&F)
  |           1 - Budd
  |           2 - St. Louis Car
  |           3 - Bethlehem Steel
  |           4 - Maxon
  |           5 - Whitehead & Kale (W&K)
  > -- -- -- -- Type of car
              4 - Four-axle passenger
              6 - Six-axle passenger
              8 - Freight car (all flat cars) "Eight for freight"

Known RBX Numbers

RBX numbers and their associated RBBX and UP numbers

Between 1975 and 1995, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey used RBX numbers as their formal reporting mark. Similar to today's "house numbers" on the RBBX cars, these RBX numbers were subject to change if a car's position within either the red train or the blue train changed for any reason, as cars were either added or removed from the trains, or if cars were swapped between the trains from one season to another. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the trains continued to grow in length; an example is the red train, which was 42 cars in 1985, and 59 cars in 2011. For interested observers, these RBX number changes make the use of RBX numbers a problem for car identification, due to the potential RBX number change from season to season as the train consist was adjusted.

(Note: Much of this RBX to RBBX cross-reference comes from Jerry LaBoda, who compiled the listings from many sources, including issues of Bandwagon magazine, published by the Circus Historical Society, which included much of the UP equipment that was employed back in the 1970s. A large number of UP coaches and 5700- and 6300-series cars were employed by 1977.)

Ringling RBBX
Ringling RBX
Number (later known as "House Numbers")
UP Car
RBBX 40001 RBX 42 (1985 Red Train) (???)
RBX 38 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 36 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5450  
RBBX 40002 RBX 39 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 61 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5451  
RBBX 40003 RBX 57 (1987 Red Train) UP 5453  
RBBX 40004 RBX 53 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 35 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5457  
RBBX 40005 RBX 60 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 62 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5458  
RBBX 40006 RBX 50 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 48 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5459  
RBBX 40007 RBX 50 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 34 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5465  
RBBX 40008 RBX 41 (1985 Red Train)
RBX 97 (1989 Blue Train)
RBX 92 (1990 Blue Train)
RBX 91 (1993 Blue Train
UP 5466  
RBBX 40010 RBX 63 (1993 Red Train) UP 5543 "Alpine Camp"  
RBBX 40011 RBX 90 (1985 Blue Train)
RBX 92 (1989 Blue Train)
UP 5550 "Alpine Pass"  
RBBX 40012 RBX 56
RBX 95 (1993 Blue Train)
UP 5554 "Alpine Scene"  
RBBX 40013 RBX 95 (1985 Red Train)
RBX 94 (1990 Blue Train)
UP 5555 "Alpine Stream"  
RBBX 42001 RBX 56 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 50 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5401  
RBBX 42002 RBX 45 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 52 (1993 Red Train
UP 5402  
RBBX 42007 RBX 41 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 43 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5414  
RBBX 42008 RBX 40 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 55 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5417  
RBBX 42013 RBX 44 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 60 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5425  
RBBX 42015 RBX 88 (1980 Blue Train)
RBX 51 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 49 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5432  
RBBX 42016 RBX 37 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 33 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5433  
RBBX 42022 RBX 54 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 51 (1993 Red Train)
UP 5444  
RBBX 43001 RBX 87 (1990 Blue Train)
RBX 85 (1993 Blue Train)
UP 5493  
RBBX 60001 RBX 70 (1993 Blue Train) UP 904274 (UP 5749)  
RBBX 60004 RBX 130 (1975 Blue Train)
RBX 230 (Monte Carlo Train 1979)
RBX 130 (1980 Blue Train)
UP 6300  
RBBX 60005 RBX 32 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 65 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6307  
RBBX 60006 RBX 132 (1975 Blue Train)
RBX 67 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6312 Replaced 6319, June 1993
RBBX 60007 RBX 55 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 54 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6313  
RBBX 60008 RBX 134 (1974 Blue Train)
RBX 133 (1975 Blue Train)
RBX 131 (1976 Blue Train)
UP 6315  
RBBX 60009 RBX 42 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 64 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6317  
RBBX 60010 RBX 134 (1975 Blue Train)
RBX 133 (1976 Blue Train)
RBX 133 (1990)
RBX 132 (1993)
UP 6318  
RBBX 60011 RBX 30
RBX 42 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 67 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6319 Replaced June 1993 with UP 6313
RBBX 60012 RBX 26 (1977 Red Train)
RBX 28 (1984 Red Train)
RBX 26 (1985 Red Train)
RBX 28 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 41 (1993 Red Train)
RBX 56
UP 6322  
RBBX 60013 RBX 43 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 42 (1993 Red Train)
RBX 54
UP 6323  
RBBX 60014 RBX 33 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 130 (1993 Blue Train)
UP 6324  
RBBX 63001 RBX 80 (1989 Blue Train)
RBX 78 1993 Blue Train)
UP 6327  
RBBX 63002 RBX 20
RBX 34 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 58 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6329  
RBBX 63003 RBX 31 (1987 Red Train)
RBX 66 (1993 Red Train)
UP 6330  
  RBX 93 UP 6320 Wrecked in 1994
  RBX 94 UP 5555 "Alpine Stream" Wrecked in 1994
  RBX 95 UP 5544 "Alpine Crest" Wrecked in 1994
  RBX 96 UP 5478 Wrecked in 1994


RBX cars, photos at RRPictureArchives.net

RBBX cars, Photos at RRPictureArchives.net

Mike Palmieri's RBBB photos at RRPictureArchives.net

RBBX photos at RailPictures.net

RBBB photos at Vistadome.com

RBBB photos at Harold Driscoll's old Angelfire web site

RBBX photos at Railroadfan.com (scroll through the entire train)

Jerry LaBoda's Web Site

Jerry LaBoda passed away on April 5, 2018, and his web site disappeared. The archived version of his web site is at Railway Preservation News.

More Information

RBBB Car Dispositions -- Information compiled by Jerry LaBoda and Don Strack.

Railway Preservation News forum discussion from February through April 2017, about the March 2017 auction of the RBBB cars

Railway Preservation News forum discussion from May through September 2017 about the RBBB cars being sold