Author Topic: So you want to model the Ringling Bros. Circus Train.  (Read 1056 times)

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So you want to model the Ringling Bros. Circus Train.
« on: July 06, 2010, 01:31:04 AM »
      I spent an enjoyable 110 minutes on Saturday watching the DVD "Circus Train Adventure' From High End Video Productions in Maui,Hawaii. This program produced and mostly filmed by Layne Venardos is of intrest, Layne's son Kevin was untill reciently the Ringmaster for the RB Blue Unit and Layne got to take many trips around the country on the train (Blue Unit) which he filmed and narated from the vestibule of the car his son occupied with his small dog Nestor. There are also many views of loading and unloading,run by's taken at verious locations by other fanzees. Here then is my conclusion about modeling either one of the RB trains with Micro Trains cars. The protype Red & Blue Unit trains (not the smaller Gold Unit which moves by truck) are 58 cars long. Ome would need a club layout the size of Belmont or larger to run the "Silver Snail"as the preformers effectionately call the real trains. A good compromise in N Scale to get that long snakey look would be atleast 30 cars.                                                                               MT has modeled some of the cars so far ,but not all hopefully they will do more. Their latest 6 car runner pack is quite nice. 90% of the cars the preformers travel in ride on four wheel trucks, MT should switch to these for their sleeper cars. The head end cars as I call them (former baggage cars) mostly ride on six wheel trucks. The consists appear to vary at times in position of cars,but to too much. There is always a power generator car at the front and one between the livestock cars and preformers cars. The flat cars are behind these and the converted Auto Rack car sometimes is the very last car on the train, sometimes behind the preformers cars.                                                                                                          To model the train correctly in my opinion you will need two generator cars, MT has done one so far,and four livestock cars. Atleast 10 passenger cars would be nice. MT should take a Con Cor Diner and decorate it to represent the coach converted into a "Pie Car",the duplex sleeper could have a thin strip of plastic covering the upper level windows. This would then give the car the look of some of the converted cars that have large blank areas between the windows.MT should also Use one of the Con Cor Budd coaches ,not the twin window one to represent the Budd cars found in the train. There are a huge variety of different loads on each flat car,I really like the wagons that have red & yellow striped canvas tops, also there are some pickup trucks with trailers (wagons) behind on some of the flats. The Atlas FORD pickup truck with a wagon could be used as a load.                                                                                 In conclusion,the MT train offers a good start so far, but you will have to collect (buy) an awful lot of sets and single cars to to a decient modeling job.Nate Goodman (Nato). Salt Lake, Utah.

Denver Road Doug

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Re: So you want to model the Ringling Bros. Circus Train.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 10:44:45 AM »
I've been thinking about this some as well.  Mine will be a "pike size" train (i.e. not N-Trak) so I doubt mine will ever reach 30 cars but I am looking at "what next".

I want to get this out of the way first though.  I "get" what MTL was doing with this set, but for the life of me I'll not understand why they chose to put the wrong number of freakin' axles on each car.  As "wrong" as the rest of it may be, I think I would have felt much better about things if they'd fixed that.  OK, now I'm better.

The "good news" is that the flat cars are pretty much naked dim data or anything.  So painting some undecs silver/gray and using a fat serif font for the reporting marks and  you can roll out all of those you want.

My plan is probably...
-Paint up some of the more correct Kato cars to fill out the passenger cars.  Hopefully decals will appear for these if not already.  I'll probably only need 2 more cars or so, if that.  Some guy actually had some Kato's painted up at a recent train show...should've bought them but they weren't exactly cheap.
-My hope is that MTL offers another runner pack with another generator car and the kitchen car.
-My hope is that MTL does another runner pack of 3 flats with more trailers.   The trailers are maybe the one good thing we're getting from MTL on this.
-Then I would do some modeling, fix the wheels, scratchbuild some more flat loads, add a pickup, weather the cars, & so forth.

At that point I'd have a 21-car train and if anything I would add maybe another flat or two.  (or not....even at 21 cars I'm not sure it would fit on my planned siding length.)   I still need to go back and study the consists some more.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.