History in the Making

The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train project has been featured on Illinois Central TV in this video:


Another recent video was produced for a local student video magazine show:


Watch as master builder, Dave Kloke, tells the story behind his plan to rebuild the Lincoln funeral train.

The History of the Lincoln Funeral Train

In early 1865, the United States Military Railroad delivered the 1865 equivalent of Air Force One to President Lincoln, a private railroad car. Lincoln never used the railroad car, named The United States, while he was alive.

On April 21, 1865, President Lincoln’s body and the body of his son, Willie, left Washington D.C. in The United States, which had been modified to serve as a funeral car. Over 12 days, The United States traveled about 1,600 miles through more than 160 communities, carrying the martyred President back home to Springfield, Illinois. In 12 major cities formal funerals were held, and many more memorial services were organized in communities along the train’s route.

 Click on the images below to see them enlarged.

The “United States” was the railroad equivalent of Air Force One. Lincoln never rode in it alive. It was converted to a funeral car after his death.

The Lincoln funeral car blueprint

The Lincoln Funeral Train