Here’s the history behind the Presidential Train Car that will transport George H.W. Bush


DECEMBER 6, 2018

George H.W. Bush in the cab of Union Pacific Locomotive No. 4141 at its 2005 unveiling. – Union Pacific

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Former President George H.W. Bush will travel to his final resting place in a one-of-a-kind train.

The Union Pacific Locomotive No. 4141 was made to honor the 41st president, who died Nov. 30, the transport company states on its website.

Instead of the usual yellow paint, the custom-painted train is different shades of blue, featuring the colors of the Air Force One used during Bush’s presidency to symbolize national pride and strength.

The locomotive’s rear panel features elements from Air Force One’s wings and tail, including the American flag and sweeping lines of forward motion to represent progress, the website states.

Bush’s casket will travel the railroad route through Texas cities Spring, Magnolia and Navasota before stopping at College Station on Thursday, where he will be buried at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The rail route from Spring to College Station is roughly 70 miles and takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

More about the 4141 train

On Oct. 18, 2005, the George Bush Locomotive was unveiled during a ceremony near his presidential library on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

The Union Pacific locomotive marked the sixth train painted in colors other than the usual “Armour Yellow” paint.

Since production, the locomotive has delivered shipments across all 23 states served by Union Pacific.

“The powerful locomotive continues to lead the way today, a fitting tribute to celebrate President Bush’s lifelong service to our country,” the website states.

The diesel-electric locomotive measures 15 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 420,000 pounds with a full tank of diesel fuel that holds 4,900 gallons. It’s equipped with a 4,300 horsepower engine and can travel up to 70 miles per hour.

Presidents on trains

Before aircraft, if a president needed to travel anywhere in the United States, he went by train. Presidents used trains to travel for business, to campaign and even to get to their final resting places.

Former presidents who traveled to their resting places by train included:

  • Abraham Lincoln, 1865
  • Ulysses Grant, 1885
  • James Garfield, 1881
  • William McKinley, 1901
  • Warren Harding, 1923
  • Franklin Roosevelt, 1945
  • Dwight Eisenhower, 1969

Courtesy/Source: USA Today – This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times