In the 1990’s, I photographed the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s circus trains quite a few times. For me, along with seeing the long string of silver passenger cars followed by flat cars laden with colorful circus wagons, the real joy was getting a chance to capture an elephant peering out of an open baggage car door, or better yet, some of the large cats if it was warm enough for their lower wagon doors to be open.
Last month, I photographed both units of the Ringling Brothers circus trains, as they were both within 50 miles of my house on the same day. Although I was well aware that I would not see any elephants, I did not know that the big felines now travel by truck, and I was quite disappointed to learn that this was the case.
Here, in a time when the circus wasn’t so strongly vilified and the permanent closing of the big top was unimaginable, the cats view the eastern Pennsylvania scenery as they roll through Wyomissing Junction, Pennsylvania, west of Reading.