- Jul 9, 2014
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
This has naturally drawn the attention of posturing politicians.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.
If nothing else, I hope they have funding to rebuild these cars and use them as substitutes.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.”