Like circus trains, carnival and show trains have been a part of the railroad scene for over a century, with many outfits traveling by rail with a great ontourage of animals, entertainers, equipment, scenery and workers. Like the modern James E. Strates Shows, which did not start going by rail unti around 1933, and the Circus trains, these smaller Circus and Show trains sometimes would be upwards of 20 to 25 cars, bringing everything with them so that their shows could be performed.
The listings on this page include Show Trains, smaller Circus and Show related operations, Display trains and Carnivals. While there were a large contingent of cars that often accompanied the passenger cars of various shows only passenger cars are listed here, though, where possible, links to photo albums and websites that feature other car types have been included. As can be seen with a lot of the listings the history of a number of cars for various operations are either unknown or incomplete, but I hope that if you can help to fill in any of the cars' past that you will email me using the link below.
I cannot promise you that all links will remain working since I have no control over this. To contact me my email address is jmlaboda[at]gmail.com.
Listings include cars used for the original 1947 Freedom Train (FT) as well as the 1976 American Freedom Train (AFT) which was operated in conjunction with America's Bi-Centennial, as well as the Preamble Express which preceeded the AFT.
America's Freedom Trains - The America's Freedom Trains website is dedicated to remembering both the 1947 Freedom Train as well as the 1976 American Freedom Train. This site features extensive information and coverage about the train, its locomotives and cars, with a large number of photos that can be viewed (passenger car photos listed below). A must see for any Freedom Train fan!!!
This train's operations have been discontinued and the display cars sold to Mid-America Railcar Leasing. The observation car, ARTX 105, however apparently is not included in the sale with the other equipment. Three of the cars showned up on Disney's The Christmas Carol train last year but their current status is unknown.
ARTX 1 - (ex-B&O 3703, nee-5245) Mod. HW coach rblt. to display car. (NORTH EAST RAILS)