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2002 Circus Train

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All pictures and narrative on this page taken by Marc Van Cleven.



Filling up with 4000 Gallons at Hartford

Coming On to the WC at Waukesha

Crossing the WC at Slinger

Dan and John Enjoying the Ride
I am a crewman for the "Spirit of Wisconsin" Excursion Train which is leased from the Wisconsin and Southern. I serve as a car host, and assistant manager on occasions. Do about a two dozen train excursions a year. My associate Bob Welke is the Operations Manager and has been in the railroad industry over 35 years. For the last dozen years or so, he has handled passenger operations for special excursions, including the operation of the entire leased train set to Bill Gates a couple of years ago and handles the operation of the Circus Train for the last several years.

Eastbound from John H Street

Eastbound Grade Crossing at Hwy 59

North Prairie Depot Ice Cream Shop

Eastbound Out of Horicon
The Circus Train leaves Baraboo, Wisconsin and travels approximately 500 miles throughout Wisconsin for three days until it reaches downtown Milwaukee. From there we unload the 70 plus antique circus wagons, and several passenger coach loads of passengers. It's a big deal, a lot of hard work and great fun. It happens the weekend after the July 4th every year.

Edgerton Eastbound

Firing Up 1003 at Horicon 1

Firing Up 1003 at Horicon 2

Firing Up 1003 at Horicon 3
This year, our two E-9s met up with the 1003 2-8-2 at Hartford, Wisconsin where it is based, and joined the Great Circus Train to pull into Milwaukee. Being a crewman allows me a great deal of access, and this year I performed "chase/pace" vehicle duties. I coordinated with local venders for fuel, water and sewer services, provided immediate needs and provisions on the run, and also coordinated with local authorities when needed. That's me at the hydrant as we're watering the 1003 with 4000 gallons of water on our way to Milwaukee.

Heading West toward Whitewater

Hot and Steamy

Leaving Edgerton Northbound

Mill Pond Mazomanie
As normal we crew and rest on the train. We often have breakfast and lunch on the train, and in the evening we normally meet at someone's house as quests or go out to a restaurant. We use a streamlined Pullman or a leased business car as the crew car for the trip. This year I rode back to Madison from Hartford sitting on the balcony of the business car with a ice-cold miller in my hand. That is after we cleaned and refurbished the entire train first. Life was good. The titles reflect where we were at and the day of the trip.

Milton Eastbound

Northbound at Grade Crossing Hwy 67

Northbound at Grade Crossing Hwy 67 Large Image

Northbound at Rubicon Curve
Soo Line No. 1003 was one of ten 2-8-2 Mikado-type locomotives built in 1913 by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, NY, for the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste Marie Ry. The "Mikado" designation for this type of locomotive came about because the 2-8-2 wheel configuration was originally used to fill an order for the Emperor of Japan in 1897.

Northbound at Rubicon Curve Large Image

One Happy Brian

Rolling into Horicon Yard

Rolling into Horicon Yard Large Image
No. 1003 operated over the Soo Line for over 40 years hauling freight through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. No. 1003 was retired in August 1959 and presented to the city of Superior, Wisc. In 1994, 1003 Operations L.L.P. purchased No. 1003 and restored it to operating condition by 1996. No. 1003 pulls two excursions a year.

Rolling North at Duplainville WC

Southbound at Lake Wisconsin

Southbound E9s at Lake Wisconsin

South of Lodi Curve
Soo Line No. 1003 Type: Mikado (2-8-2) Cylinders: 28" x 30" Valves: 16" x 7" travel Driving wheels (8): 63" diameter Weight (operating): 493,1000 lbs. Tractive power: 53,940 lbs. Boiler pressure: 170 lbs. Super heated temperature: 525 degrees Fahrenheit

Turning the Train with Bill G and Bob W

Waiting at Slinger

White Rock Waukesha

Whitewater Eastbound Fueling


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