SPRING, Texas (FOX 26) - In keeping with the long presidential tradition which started back with President Lincoln, President George H.W. Bush will be transported by rail to the final resting place in College Station.
Known as the George H.W. Bush funeral train, the engine of the Union Pacific train is called UP 4141 as a tribute to President Bush as the 41st president.
“There hasn't been a funeral train since President Eisenhower died, so to be involved with a presidential funeral is something that all of us feel very honored to participate in,” says Brenda Mainwaring with Union Pacific.
The engine will be pulling 11 historical cars to harken back to a previous era. One of the cars in the presidential train, the “City of Portland”, was built in 1955 as a dome diner and continues to be used as a diner.
The train will leave Union Pacific’s facility in Spring after church services on Thursday and will arrive in College Station several hours later—a route of more than 70 miles. While the president's train is not open to the public, there are plenty of places where is the public can say a final goodbye.
The train will travel through Magnolia, Navasota and Wellborn before arriving in College Station.
“We anticipate a lot of people along the route. That is one of the exciting things that I feel like maybe President Bush knew this was a way to share this experience with people,” Mainwaring.
UP 4141 was unveiled in 2005 at the George Bush Presidential Library. After being displayed in the transportation exhibition, UP 4141 was sent back into business pulling trains across the country. This next journey may be most important ever.
Union Pacific shared these safety tips for people who wish to view the train along the route:
- Only cross railroad tracks at designated crossings. Designated crossings are marked by a sign, lights or a gate.
- Look both ways before crossing railroad tracks. Remember, trains can come from either direction at any time.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the tracks when a train approaches. Trains are three feet wider than the rails.
- Avoid distractions including loud music, texting or talking on cell phones. Look up and listen for train horns.