UPDATE…PLEASE NOTE DATE WHEN THIS WAS WRITTEN
This is sad. While the Milwaukee parade is slated for this summer, the Great Circus Train will run no more. Every kid (regardless of age) should be able to experience the joy of the circus train rumbling along the tracks.
The parade, in past years, was always preceded by the circus train meandering through southern Wisconsin, including Madison, a week before the big day. The journeys began at Circus World Museum in Baraboo, where the equipment has a permanent home, and ended with the parade and a display of the circus wagons on Milwaukee’s lakefront.
Circus World Executive Director Steve Freese told The Capital Times today that the train would not be assembled next year to haul the wagons and equipment to Milwaukee because the flatbed train cars used to haul the 60 circus wagons and other equipment are too old and not up to modern safety standards to be permitted on railroad tracks anymore.
The circus wagons will instead by hauled by flatbed trucks, eight at a time, starting July 1, 2009. It has not been determined if there will be a designated route for the flatbed trucks to take so circus fans can see the colorful wagons roll by.
“The train is not possible,” Freese said. “The rail cars are so old they would need to be updated. Even our newest flatbed train cars are over 20 years old. It would cost at least $1 million to get new cars.”