The train is perhaps one of the more unusual ways to be taken to one’s last resting place, but that is the very way that the former president of the USA, George H.W. Bush, was transported to his. Painted in presidential colours that gave it the appearance of Air Force One, Locomotive 4141 is the eighth such presidential funeral train – the first since 1969 – and transported Mr Bush on a 200-mile journey through five Texas towns, from Houston to College Station. The 41st president, who died aged 94 on 30th November, had been a great admirer of the train and American railroad industry since he was a boy.
As can be seen in this video, the sides of the train’s sixth carriage were opened up, giving mourners a view of the US flag-draped coffin that allowed them to pay their last respects from the trackside.
George H.W. Bush has said before what joy locomotives brought him throughout his life, notably calling trains the “Air Force One of the railroads”, so it was fitting that he was transported in such a way. Also fitting were the words that his son, the 43rd president George W Bush, said of him during his eulogy, and which could easily be applied to train travel: “He was born with just two settings: full throttle and then sleep."
The customised train was provided by Union Pacific, the rail operator that originally commissioned the train 13 years ago for the opening of a an exhibit at Mr Bush’s library, when it was named 4141.