This was the rail car created in 1965 to be used for presidential candidates and presidents to get around the country with, while drumming up votes with speeches.
When the car was completed, it had been more than a year in the making, and with its upholstered walls, wood paneling, decorative painted panels, and etched-glass windows, it was one of the most lavishly appointed railroad cars ever built.
Its 16 wheels were built extra wide to ensure it could travel over nearly all gauge railroads, and its sides were ironclad, with armor-plating between the outer and inner walls.
The trucks were made from burst cannon from the civil war by the Lubbock Co
The car was 42.5 feet long and 8.5 feet wide and had a newly developed heating system. It contained a stateroom, a sitting room, and a sleeping apartment.
So, it was finished not long before it was needed to carry Abe Lincoln from Washington DC to Illinois after he was assassinated. It was no doubt the longest, most visited, funeral procession in all human history as it traveled from the East coast to near the middle of the continent
After Lincoln’s burial, the funeral car returned to the Military Car Shops in Alexandria. It was soon discovered, however, that keeping the car and protecting it from vandalism was too costly. So in 1866 the funeral car followed other military rolling stock to the auction block where it was purchased by T.C. Durant of the Union Pacific Railroad.
Durant moved the car to Omaha, Nebraska, and used it as his personal car. At some point in the 1870s the car was stripped of its luxurious fittings and may have been used as a pay car. During the next decade it also served as a standard passenger car, living quarters for Unions Pacific superintendents, and a dining car for railroad construction workers.
In the fall of 1905, it was sold to Thomas Lowry, moved the to Minneapolis, and put it on display near his proposed suburban development of Columbia Heights in the hope of attracting potential home buyers despite its poor condition and its descent to from presidential car to advertising gimmick.
After Lowry’s death in 1909, the car came into the possession of the Minnesota Federation of Women’s Clubs, which planned to restore and exhibit it. On March 18, 1911, before it could be moved from its storage site in Minneapolis, the Lincoln funeral car was destroyed in a prairie fire.
It was replicated though