Wed July 18, 2012
Command train used by Eisenhower traveling to England
A train engine used by then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II is leaving the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay. The locomotive will be on loan to a museum in York, England.
The coal-fired steam-powered locomotive and its “tender” car will be loaded on a flatbed truck, then a ship, bound for York, England. That's the home of Britain's National Railway Museum.
The engine, aptly named the Dwight D. Eisenhower, is one of only six surviving A-4 locomotives.
Jacqueline Frank is the executive director of Green Bay's National Railroad Museum. She says the General used the train in 1944 going through France, Belgium, and eventually Germany, “He used it basically like we have Air Force one now. This was his command train.”
Frank says the A-4 set speed records back in the late 1930s. That's why the British museum wants to borrow it. “Next year is the 75th anniversary of it. And what they're doing is trying to gather all the A-4 locomotives that are left for a huge celebration, excursions, educational programming. So they're taking the four they own in Great Britain plus hauling the Eisenhower and one more, the Dominion of Canada, that's in Montreal for the celebration.”
The Eisenhower will be returned in 2014. Frank says the British National Railway Museum will do a cosmetic restoration of the locomotive, returning it to its original green paint finish.