New Piedmont Roundtrip

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Thirdrail7

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Concerning rolling stock, have they already rebuilt those circus cars they bought? I wonder if they acquired the excursion fleet of cars from NS?
The circus cars to my understanding are still out of service in Nash County. Looking at this schedule I see two trainsets needed.

Almost two years later, they are still sitting in the woods.

NCDOT bought part of a Ringling Bros. circus train and now isn’t sure what to do with it

NCDOT bought the cars shortly after the final performance of the circus in New York in 2017. The state paid $383,000 and planned to have the cars refurbished and used on the Piedmont, the passenger train that makes three round-trips a day between Raleigh and Charlotte.

But then NCDOT received a $77 million federal grant that will allow it to buy 13 new rail cars, forcing it to reevaluate its plans for the circus train, according to Jason Orthner, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. NCDOT, which never publicized its purchase of the Ringling Bros. cars, has kept them on a little-used stretch of rail in Nash County ever since.
This has naturally drawn the attention of posturing politicians.

The location of the train cars was first reported this week by the Carolina Journal, and some Republicans quickly jumped on it as a symptom of mismanagement at NCDOT.

“NCDOT ran out of money to build roads but was able to buy circus trains,” tweeted Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, referring to the department’s financial crisis that forced it to delay pre-construction engineering work on hundreds of road projects last year.

“NCDOT blows $2 billion hole in its budget and buys a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey train for nearly $400,000. Then hides it, unused, in the woods for years,” Treasurer Dale Folwell, a vocal critic of the agency’s handling of its finances, wrote on Facebook. “Life’s a circus at DOT.”
If nothing else, I hope they have funding to rebuild these cars and use them as substitutes.
 
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Almost two years later, they are still sitting in the woods.

NCDOT bought part of a Ringling Bros. circus train and now isn’t sure what to do with it

NCDOT bought the cars shortly after the final performance of the circus in New York in 2017. The state paid $383,000 and planned to have the cars refurbished and used on the Piedmont, the passenger train that makes three round-trips a day between Raleigh and Charlotte.

But then NCDOT received a $77 million federal grant that will allow it to buy 13 new rail cars, forcing it to reevaluate its plans for the circus train, according to Jason Orthner, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. NCDOT, which never publicized its purchase of the Ringling Bros. cars, has kept them on a little-used stretch of rail in Nash County ever since.
This has naturally drawn the attention of posturing politicians.
Maybe they could convert the cars for hospital service, and send them to some rural part of the state to help with coronavirus patients.
 
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Maybe they could convert the cars for hospital service, and send them to some rural part of the state to help with coronavirus patients.
Isn’t Connecticut in serious need for cars for Hartford service? If they’d acquire them now, by the time trains are back on full schedules, they’d have time to refurbish them...
 

Seaboard92

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Why send them to Connecticut, I think they would be great for our tourist railroad. Especially if we ever get serious about our dinner train plans.
 
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Why send them to Connecticut, I think they would be great for our tourist railroad. Especially if we ever get serious about our dinner train plans.
That'd work too, but they would serve a much more useful service in Ct....
 

Seaboard92

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Yes the Ringling cars we're essentially sleepers. Depending on the performing troupe residing in the cars varied on the layout of the cars.
 
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I always wondered what condition Ringling sleeper cars were in. They used to park close to my house back in the 70s when they were at the Forum in Inglewood CA. It was really a show to watch them unload and parade to the Forum a couple of more miles distance. Those sleepers looked well used.
 

Seaboard92

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When you mean well used are you referring to the rooms, or mechanically? Mechanically the car I have experience with had side sill damage, that was cost prohibitive to fix from when Ringling put new slabs on the car body. That would have kept it from being an Amtrak certified car.

The inside of the car wasn't that bad, it was just drab. Of course by the time I worked on it, we had already removed half of the bedrooms.
 
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