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The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Car and Historic Depot Tour in Venice

Featuredwed11jan10:00 amwed9:00 amThe Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Car and Historic Depot Tour in Venice303 E. Venice Ave. Venice, FL 3428510:00 am - 9:00 am AreaVeniceTypeOther,Ongoing,For kids

Event Details

                  Circus Train Car Update

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were wintered in Venice, Florida between 1960 and 1992.  With the help of numerous donors from the Venice area and around the nation, VAHS brought a retired circus train car to the Historic Venice Depot Campus.  VAHS found an ideal car, built by Pullman Standard and once owned by Ringling, at the Florida Railroad Museum (FRRM).  The Society has raised the funds to purchase it, restore and reconfigure it, and prepare the Depot site to receive it.  Originally called the Short Leaf Pine, the 85-foot-long rail car had its last brake check in Venice in 1993.

Watch a 19-minute video of the Circus Train Car move to the Depot by clicking here.

The Historic Venice Train Depot (303 E. Venice Ave., Venice FL 34285), built in 1927 and renovated in 2002-2003, was central to the founding and development of Venice, Florida.  Volunteer docents from VAHS provide free public tours of the Depot and surrounding campus.  Panel displays and artifacts in the Depot’s two waiting rooms illustrate key events in Venice’s history and the history of the Depot itself.  For more information about the history of the Depot and its role in the history of Venice, click Train Depot Brochure.

Tours of the Depot start in the main waiting room.  The length of tours can be tailored to your needs.  In addition to docent-led tours, self-guided tours are an option.  The Depot, Circus Car, and the caboose are accessible facilities.  Donations are appreciated to help defray expenses.

Other Features of the Depot Campus

  • Refurbished and retired 1953 Pullman Standard built for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and formerly owned by the Ringling Bros. Circus.  Now being used to tell the history of the Circus in Venice.
  • Louisville and Nashville 6445 caboose, built in 1974, donated by CSX Transportation, Inc. to Sarasota County
  • Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park with picnic tables
  • Statue of Gunther Gebel-Williams, world-famous animal trainer and mega-star of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
  • Access to the Legacy Trail and the Venetian Waterway
  • Opportunities to rent Depot freight room covered north-end platform or deck behind the caboose*
  • Legacy Park, located across from the 1927 Historic Venice Train Depot, includes Venice’s newest, train-themed playground.  The shaded playground structure, climbing apparatus, cornhole equipment, and swings enhance the multi-use trail, kayak/canoe launch, picnic shelters, restrooms, and parking facilities.**



(Wednesday) 10:00 am - 9:00 am


303 E. Venice Ave. Venice, FL 34285


March 2023

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