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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / UP 4141 expected to participate in Bush funeral train NEWSWIRE

UP 4141 expected to participate in Bush funeral train NEWSWIRE

By | December 1, 2018

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UP No. 4141 rests at Ney Yard in Ft. Worth, Texas on July 4, 2008.
Steve Schmollinger
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Early this morning Union Pacific’s Jenks locomotive shop in North Little Rock, Ark., outshopped another diesel. That happens every day. In this case, the unit was a specially-painted SD70Ace No. 4141 in honor of the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, who died Friday night. The unit, whose paint scheme resembles Air Force One, is on its way to Houston, Texas, to pull the president’s funeral train, those familiar with the matter tell Trains Newswire.

The unit has been in storage since 2012 at the UP locomotive shop, waiting for this important assignment. Over the years, it was periodically taken out of storage and checked over. Sources also say that UP’s salute to veterans unit, No. 1943, is also on its way to Texas, although Trains has not confirmed that. But since Bush was a World War II Navy fighter pilot, that would be appropriate.

Funeral details for Bush were still being worked out, but it is known that a state service will take place in Washington, D.C., followed by a private service in Houston, and then the funeral train to the Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the grounds of Texas A&M University in College Station, about 100 miles northwest. UP was expected to provide the passenger consist.

Presidential funeral trains began with Willliam Henry Harrison in 1841 and ended with Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1969, according to Bob Withers’ landmark 1996 book, “The President Travels by Train.” Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train followed most of his 1861 route from Illinois to Washington, D.C., in reverse and lasted almost two weeks. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1945 funeral train from Warm Springs, Ga., to Washington, D.C., was perhaps the best known of these moves.

Bush campaigned by train in the Midwest and Southeast in his unsuccessful re-election bid for the White House in 1992. For that train a CSX unit was repainted 1992 and emblazoned with a giant American flag on its sides.

How UP No. 4141 came to be painted in honor of Bush and his presidential museum and library has never been described in detail, but it is believed that it came about through his relationship as vice president under Ronald Reagan with Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis, who later became UP chairman and CEO. In 2005, UP Chairman and CEO Dick Davidson, said of the newly painted unit for Bush, “Union Pacific felt … that creating UP 4141 was an appropriate way to recognize President Bush and his life-long service to our country.”

13 thoughts on “UP 4141 expected to participate in Bush funeral train NEWSWIRE

  1. For more details go to UP.COM, then to the media section, there is a complete media package there, including route map, consist, sound bites, etc

  2. Here’s hoping we get some beautiful HD footage of this funeral train delivered to our living room via the national news media. I’ll be watching.

  3. Pardon the length of this story, but it is a cool one…
    At the time UP 4141 was dedicated in President Bush’s honor, I was a student at Texas A&M in College Station. It just so happened that I was a student bus driver for Texas A&M, and the university chose to use the bus barn parking lot for the grand dedication ceremony because there was an old rail spur that used to service the food services commissary next door to the bus barn. The dedication organizers (UP RR and TX A&M) erected a massive tent to house the locomotive until the day of the dedication ceremony. The whole buildup to the dedication was conducted in utmost secrecy. In fact, UP 4141 was brought in to College Station in the middle of the night to be parked in the tent. Fortunately for me, I was one of a half dozen student bus drivers who were enlisted to escort guests of the Bush Library on a regular basis around College Station, so I was by default there to escort guests to the 4141 dedication. Late in the afternoon after the locomotive was dedicated, and most all of the guests had left the tent, I was allowed to enter the tent. After gazing in awe at such a beautiful paint job on that massive locomotive — much to my surprise UP representatives agreed to let me, along with the five other Bush Library special event drivers climb aboard 4141 for a full tour! I still have a photo of all six of us standing on the front platform outside the locomotive cabin entry doors posing for the photo. Needless to say, that day is forever etched in my mind. The 4141 dedication ceremony culminated with a massive scale model train exhibit in President Bush’s library that ran for about three months. Some say UP’s choice to dedicate a locomotive to Bush had to do with a common bond between Bush and UP’s upper management (can’t remember the specific executive), but I think more than anything that President Bush really loved trains! My prayers to the Bush family, and I am forever thankful for the opportunity I had (albeit very small) to serve President Bush and his Library Foundation.

  4. I heard that Miss Katty will also make an appearance. It is fitting that these three units will pull his train Bush had a deep love for the railroads. Bush and Reagan signed the Staggers Act, Bush signed the Carrier Act with Executive Order 12714, Bush also signed Labor Act, he and Clinton created NAFTA which Trump renewed, and he, GW, and Obama where there when the PTC Act was signed. Love him or hate him Bush had railroader and railfan written in his blood and these acts that he and his predecessors and successors signed made is safe for our railroads and encouraged trade. His dad Prescot was a railroad tycoon and served on the transportation committee a seat he himself would win. Bush has done more for our railroads then the rest the presidents combined and we will thank him for his accomplishments.

  5. UP 1943, Spirit of the UP locomotive leading 21 passenger cars departed Parsons, KS at 4:15 pm Sunday on way to Texas for the Bush funeral.

  6. To be honest the first time I heard of the UP 4141 when as a conductor I was called on duty for the ZSEME 14 Seattle ws. to memphis tn. Z train out of marysville ks to Kansas city mo. When my engineer and I arrived at the crew change location I said omg what is that? I had no idea that UPRR had painted a locomotive in honor of Bush 41. As we left Marysville my engineer gave me a brief history of the engine and that he had been on it once before. As we rounded the curve in topeka ks roughly 1:30 in the morning the night turned to day as the flashbulbs from all over the place lit up the night sky like something I’d never seen before. A big thumbs up to UPRR for what they are doing this next week. RIP George h w Bush.

  7. “41” was the last President I can honestly say I admired. Mr. Bush was a man of honor and spent a considerable portion of his adult life in service to our country. I don’t believe we make them like him anymore.

    Rest In Peace Mr. President.

  8. I’ve heard rumors recently that the engine will be gutted and sent to the presidential library afterwards. Is this true or will it keep running?

  9. Gave a salute to President Bush on his way to College Statoin. Have a video I’d post if I could. I flew him to Bogota about 10 years ago. He wore his Air Force One slippers and couldn’t have been nicer. A great man and they sadly haven’t made them like that since, in either party.

  10. FDR’s funeral train also ran on PRR from DC north to New York and then to Hyde Park. I watched it pass through Stemmers Run north of Essex, MD with my parents in 1945. God Bless 41.

  11. Sorry to nitpick, but the Staggers Act was signed into law by President Carter. It was preceded by the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act signed by President Ford. Under Clinton the ICC was eliminated and replaced by the STB. Carter also signed laws deregulating the airline and trucking industries.

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