It is arguably one of the most famous trains in American History. Certainly one of the most famous with a connection to the President. President Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train was more than just a means to transport him to his resting place, it was a chance for America to say farewell.
Lincoln arrived in Washington by rail in 1861 – often traveling in secret or by night for his safety. His return home was quite the opposite. Along the journey from Washington to Springfield, nearly 1700 miles, millions of mourners came out to view Lincoln’s body and pay respects.
Much has been written on the assassination of Lincoln, and the train itself. The itinerary of the 13 day journey is also thoroughly recorded. What is much less certain however are the details of the train itself. The Lincoln Funeral Train represents one of the most extensive research projects ever done for a model at Lionel.
We know the train changed locomotives and cars
many times during the route. Black and white photos of some of the locomotives and the President’s Car are a big help – but what were the colors? Lionel worked with noted rail historians to make the best attempt possible at matching one of the Lincoln consists in every detail. The result is this striking model, one worthy of the legacy it represents.
The locomotive, Nashville, is quite petite by O Gauge standards, but she’s modeled to scale. The locomotive’s all-metal construction makes even the small details durable. The finish on the locomotive speaks for itself. Even the small details like the three portraits of Lincoln are reproduced in stunning accuracy. The locomotive’s bright colors, typical of the era, stand in stark contrast to the somber duty to which she was assigned. We’ll be making a few more tweaks to the pre-production sample seen here to get even closer. Also not pictured are the flags and bunting which adorned the engine and will be included with the final model!
As with the locomotive, no detail was overlooked on the palace car which bore the President and his son. In fact, you can see both President Lincoln’s flag-draped coffin and his son Willie’s smaller coffin through the windows. From the 16 wheels to the roof, the car is complete to the last detail. In order to keep the authentic look, scale link-and-pin couplers are used to couple the train.
An add-on set of two coaches will also be available to complete the consist. These were used by the press and by traveling dignitaries along the route.
So, how do you get one? The Lincoln Funeral Train is available only to members of the Lionel RailRoaders Club. Of course there are many other advantages of club membership, but access to this and future releases like it is reason enough to join. Join today! Once you have your membership number, you can place your order for the train and the add-on cars. The locomotive and funeral car will be available around the end of this year. The add-on cars will follow shortly thereafter. Supplies are very limited, so don’t wait. Secure your piece of history today!