A 208-page hardback, this all-colour 10" x10" book brings back the days when the colourful Circus Train ran through both Wisconsin and Illinois, delighting thousands of spectators.
The new book features 335 mostly colour photographs and illustrations. In text and photographs the book captures the colour and excitement of the Circus Train, how it originated, its passengers, contents, loading and unloading of wagons, rail routes and planning, and finally how it faded away.
"Railfans, circus enthusiasts, former spectators at the Circus Parades and children of all ages will appreciate the detailed documentation this volume presents," says Don Heimburger, publisher. The steam- and diesel-operated Circus Train was the source of the historic circus wagons used in the Milwaukee and Chicago circus parades that drew millions of spectators between 1965 and 2003.
Over the years, the train consisted of up to 29 vintage cars carrying hundreds of guests and almost 90 historic horse-drawn wagons. Pulled at times by restored steam locomotives and at others by the most modern of diesels, the train operated over six different railroads using eight primary routes covering hundreds of miles per year.
People in towns and cities all along the train's route anticipated the annual event. The Circus Parade was once the highlight of the summer season in Milwaukee, capturing the imagination of adults and children throughout the surrounding states and the world.