Circus Train through Franklin on the L&HR

Discussion of the L&HR and its predecessor the Warwick Valley Railroad for the period 1860-1976 at its inclusion with ConRail

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Circus Train through Franklin on the L&HR

Postby bullmoose » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:43 pm

Can anyone else remember when the Ringingl Bros. Barnum Bailey Circus Train passed thru Franklin? It was in the mid 50's I was young and My parents took us down the Mine Hill spur to watch it go by. I seem to remember it was more than once. Also if some one could help, I can not remember which line was the predominate coal supplier to B.D. Simmons, Hardens, Mills & Roy? Reading, CNJ or Lehigh Valley? On a lighter note I walked the Mine Hill Line to school and back every day for many years.
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Re: Circus Train

Postby Marty Feldner » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:40 pm

Don't remember it passing through Franklin, but vivid memories of the RBB&B circus train through Warwick in the 50's and 60's.

I lived about a half block from Warwick's Elm Street crossing. When we heard the circus train was coming, all the neighborhood kids would run down to the crossing to wave the train by. I remember eastbounds being daylight runs, but don't remember any westbounds- they may have come through at night. Since all trains had to stop at Warwick for a crew change, the eastbound train would be just starting, on a slight upgrade, so they'd roll by slowly through town. I can still see the performers hanging out the vestibule dutch doors, waving to us kids.

The train passed through twice a year, on its way into and out of southern New England via the Poughkeepsie Bridge. The Maybrook kids got the best show of all; Maybrook was a watering and excercise stop for the animals- so twice a year they got to watch a circus parade in the yards there.

(Note: edited to correct the travel directions- you can blame my creeping senility. I know I do :-)
Last edited by Marty Feldner on Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Circus Train

Postby Paul Miller » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:50 pm

B.D. Simmons and all other adjacent stores/customers were served by the L.&H.R.Ry via the Mine Hill spur. There are maps and pics in Jim Boyd's and my books depicting some of the sidings and customers along the Mine Hill spur. The B.D. Simmons coal pocket still resides in Franklin. Unfortunatley, I never got to see any trains run on the LHR but a lot of the people I interviewed in Franklin also remember the circus trains coming through. There are several pics floating around of LHR steam power pulling the Ringling Bro's cars.Someone else posted a link to Maybrook on another subject here, and there's a few shots of the animals debarking the circus train.
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Re: Circus Train

Postby bullmoose » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:02 pm

Thanks for the replys. I think I phrased my second question wrong. Knowing that the L&HR serviced the mine hill spur ( part of the ROW became part of our back yard) I should have asked what company was the predominate supplier of coal to Hardens and Simmons? Whos hoppers were used for deliverly? I can see them going by and sitting in the companys yard, but I can not remember whos cars they were. Also Mr. Miller is your book available? Thanks
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Re: Circus Train

Postby njtrainspotter » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:09 am

Well, last time I checked, there were TWO authors involved with the Boyd book mentioned in this thread.
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Re: Circus Train

Postby charlie6017 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:14 am

njtrainspotter wrote:Well, last time I checked, there were TWO authors involved with the Boyd book mentioned in this thread.


Yes, Boyd co-authored "Lehigh & Hudson River In Color" along with Tracy Antz, to clarify.

Mr. Miller authored his own book..........

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Re: Circus Train

Postby Paul Miller » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:36 pm

My mistake by leaving Tracy Antz's name off the Boyd book, not fair to Tracy. Tracy helped me with my book as well and is a well respected fan of the LHR. Sorry Tracy! :-D
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