MAGNOLIA, Texas (FOX 26) - The George H.W. Bush funeral train will travel more than 70 miles from Spring to College Station where the 41st president will be laid to rest Thursday.
Small towns along the train’s route are preparing for the historic moment when the train will pass through.
“I’m really excited,” said Lola Jordan, a 4th grader at Magnolia Elementary School in Magnolia. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Jordan says her parents will be taking her out of school early on Thursday to watch the historic train ride.
Some teachers at the school are using the moment as a living history lesson for their kids. They plan to live stream the train’s trip for their students during class.
“I am super excited, and I can’t wait to see it,” said Kadie Tacker, another 4th grader at Magnolia Elementary School.
Heading north on the train route, the train, dubbed “UP 4141,” will go through Navasota, where the mayor is expecting large crowds to line the tracks.
“We actually got word through some government officials about five years ago when he was having some health trouble, and it was going to be one of his wishes to be buried at the museum, so they knew Navasota was on that Union Pacific route, so it’s been on our minds and in our planning for a number of years now,” said Burt Miller, mayor of Navasota.
Navasota ISD’s superintendent arranged for an early release from school for all 3,000 kids in his district.
“To allow families to take their kids down there [and] ...pay their respects as they feel is appropriate,” said Navasota ISD superintendent Stu Musick.
Navasota’s Veterans of Foreign Wars commander Carl Dry told FOX 26 he’s rallying his members to honor the memory of the President who served in World War II.
“We’re going to be passing out little flags to anybody that wants flags so that they can wave their flags in the air and show respect for the past President,” said Dry.
There will be many road closures along more-than-70-mile train route.
The engine will leave Union Pacific’s facility in Spring after church service Thursday. It will arrive in College Station in the afternoon where the president will be buried next to his wife and daughter.
The train will travel through Spring, Tomball, Magnolia and Tomball. Heads-up! It will not make any stops along the way. The train instead will be traveling at a slow pace so that people can pay their respects in each Texas town.