The Ringling Bros Quick Hits

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The Quick Hits are back, and we’re walking a tightrope today! That’s right, the Ringling Bros decided to bring the circus to, and I’ve decided to try my hand in some acrobatics. Actually, more like model train acrobatics! You heard that correctly, I’ve got N-Scale cars jumping through flaming hoops, O gauge passenger cars diving into the deep tank, and a steam locomotive ready to put on a grand finale like you’ve never seen before! Check out all of this and more in the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Quick Hits extravaganza! 

Micro-Trains 99300051 N Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Runner

Kicking off with our death-defying ring of fire act is this 3-car set from Micro-Trains! These N-Scale passenger cars are fearless performers, each braving intense heat and scary heights to make it to your layout. The first Ringling Bros show was over a century ago in 1919 with their history being tied to the railroad industry more than one might think. 

The history between the two industries is pretty straightforward – Ringling Bros needed their equipment (and animals in the earlier days) transported around the United States and railroad companies offered freight transportation services. With Ringling Bros taking to the rails, things only made sense to get some marketing and advertising out of the traveling cars. 

Like the N-scale cars you see listed above, several passenger and baggage cars would be designed with a Ringling Bros theme, typically displaying the show’s name on both sides of the car. The cars weren’t over-designed in the way we see with most advertisements – with the name usually sitting on a small strip of red or blue background and just some simple lettering. In my opinion the subtle design was a great move, both from a marketing and aesthetic perspective.

The small addition of red/blue stripes and simple lettering still brings a ton of attention to the name, but also gives the aluminum bodies just enough pop to catch a few eyes while it rounds the track. If the ring of fire and this 3-car set is just your kind of circus act, then check out the listing here. Lots of N-scale trains and passenger cars auditioned for the ring of fire routine, so be sure to check them out at 

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Micro-Trains

Model Number: 99300051

Road Name: Ringling Brothers - Barnum & Bailey

Scale/Era: N Scale

Model Type: Passenger Cars

K-Line 6-21235 Ringling Bros Coach #41305

Next up for our show is the deep dive tank! That’s right folks, this Ringling Bros coach car is doing things that other O gauge cars can only dream of. Now that the introduction and applause are out of the way, let’s get to know this O gauge daredevil. 

You may recall from the N-scale feature that most of the Ringling bros designs were kept pretty simple. Well, that’s pretty much the same for this K-Line coach. The design team opted for a red banner this time instead of the blue we saw on the N-scale models. The red is definitely the better fit in my opinion – giving just a little bit more pop to the car than the blue. 

I also like the features that come with this O-gauge coach car, particularly the interior illumination. Ok, I know interior illumination is pretty much a common staple for nearly all passenger cars nowadays, but I still appreciate the little things. Ringling Bros passenger cars were travel warriors seeing everything from deserts to cities. The versatile design and real-life use of these cars translates to an O-gauge model that fits onto just about any layout. Whether you’re rolling through the Mojave, or passing through the coast of California, this coach car is ready for the trip! I’ve got the listing for this O-gauge performer here, and plenty more O Gauge cars stationed back home at

Product Info:

Manufacturer: K-Line

Model Number: 6-21235

Road Name: Ringling Brothers - Barnum & Bailey

Scale/Era: O Modern

Model Type: Passenger Cars

Bachmann 90083 G Scale Barnum & Bailey Circus Steam Starter Train Set

Ok, the “Greatest Show on Earth” has officially rolled into your city. Hear those roars? Yeah, that’s just the lion and bear making their presence felt. This awesome G-Scale set is a massive ready to run starter set with twenty sections of track, lights, sounds, smoke, and circus animals.

If you’re read to put your first circus show together, then your wait is finally over. This convoy is led by a 4-6-0 steam locomotive sporting a beautiful Ringling Bros themed paint job. In fact, every car including the locomotive decided to break from the traditional single-banner design to bring out this grand fleet. I appreciate attention to detail, and Bachmann knew this could be just another run of the mill train set. I’ll post a full list of the features below just so you know what you’re in store for.

  • Ready-to-run electric train set comes complete with a 4-6-0 steam locomotive (with operating headlight, smoke, and speed-synchronized sound)
  • Coal tender
  • Performers’ car
  • Elephant stock car
  • Flat car with vintage wagons, lion and tiger circus animals
  • 8' 2” x 4' 3” oval of track (20 pieces)
  • Power pack and speed controller
  • Illustrated instruction manual
  • DVD-format video instructions

While the simplicity in design might have been ditched, things were still kept the same for operational function. My favorite thing about ready to run to run sets is that they’re designed for collectors and operators of all skill and age levels. It’s the perfect gift for a young hobbyist ready to dive into the world of G-scale trains, or for a seasoned vet who needs a break while their Challenger is in for some routine maintenance. 

I’ve got some new and used listings on the website, all of which you can find here. If you’re in the market for G-Scale train sets, then you’re in luck because this is the G-Scale time of the year, and we have plenty in our inventory. 

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Bachmann

Model Number: 90083

Road Name: Ringling Brothers - Barnum & Bailey

Scale/Era: G Scale

Model Type: Starter Sets

K-Line 6-22252 Ringling Bros Operating Billboard

The layout accessory pick is here for the show’s evening entertainment, and it looks like this is a performance dedicated to all of our O-gauge runners out there. How do you get attention for your show (other than plastering it on your cars)? – By leasing 672 square feet of canvas saying the circus is in town! Billboards have been a cornerstone of advertising for decades, and Ringling Bros knows just how effective one can be. 

The billboard sits on a small grassy hill, so I’d definitely recommend setting it near an elevated point on your layout to match, or by a small overpass where spectators will get a full view of your billboard. Well that’s as soon as the sign is completed. Don’t worry, our little guy looks like he’s almost finished. The poster he’s putting up is an awesome Ringling Bros vintage design, and K-Line added some lighting for a little extra razzle dazzle. 

It’s a fun O-gauge layout accessory that might challenge you just a little bit when you’re looking for the right spot on your layout – but that’s really where the fun is. I’ve got the announcement..err, I mean listing here. If billboards aren’t up your alley, I’ve got plenty more O-gauge accessories for you to choose from in our inventory. 

Product Info:

Manufacturer: K-Line

Model Number: 6-22252

Road Name: Ringling Brothers - Barnum & Bailey

Scale/Era: O Modern

Model Type: Accessories

Roundhouse 311 Barnum & Bailey Circus 0-6-0 Steam Locomotive Kit

And now it’s time for the show’s grand finale, and this one gets the audience involved. That’s right, I’ve decided to make you a part of the show, but don’t worry we’ve got a special locomotive to lead us through the act. The budget pick is always my favorite, and a Ringling Bros special doesn’t change that. 

I managed to find something fun and interactive at the same time with this Roundhouse 311 Barnum & Bailey Circus 0-6-0 Steam Locomotive Kit. Unlike the ready to run set we saw earlier in the showcase, this Roundhouse kit is a completely DIY model that’s gonna require you to put on your engineer’s cap. It’s a simple kit that takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half to put together. An open frame motor is included as well, so be sure to mind those wires! If you want to see a similar kit put together, I’ve got a YouTube video from a user named JerseyHighlandsBruce that's got a pretty in depth video of the locomotive’s construction from start to finish. 

The kit is a fun way to test your engineering skills for an incredibly rewarding experience. I mean what’s better than watching the locomotive YOU built hit the tracks? Really not much, but don’t take it from me, give it a try for yourself. I’ve got the kit listed here if you’re ready to build your own locomotive. Maybe an 0-6-0 isn’t your cup of tea, not to worry, I have plenty more locomotive kits back at home base. 

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Roundhouse

Model Number: 311

Road Name: Ringling Brothers - Barnum & Bailey

Scale/Era: HO Scale

Model Type: Steam Loco

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