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The funeral procession of the President will be the first in almost 50 years



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The locomotive was painted to resemble Air Force One, but George H.W. Bush joked that he would have preferred it if he had been traveling during his presidency, instead of climbing the sky.

"I might have left Air Force One behind," Bush joked during the revelation of 4141 in 2005. A blue and gray locomotive commissioned in honor of the 41st President and hosted at Texas A & M University was revealed. [1

79354] On Thursday, the same 4300-horsepower machine will carry Bush's casket along with relatives and close friends for about 70 miles (113 kilometers). The journey through five small towns in Texas should take about two and a half hours. It will bring the coffin from the suburbs of Houston to College Station.

A motorcade will bring Bush to his presidential library at the university, where he will be buried next to his late wife Barbara at a private ceremony in April and his daughter Robin, who died in 1953 at the age of three.

The sixth vehicle of the train, a converted luggage transporter named "Council Bluffs", has been provided with transparent sides so that the mourners can see the footsteps on Thursdays from Thursday. Bush's flag draped the coffin.

It will be the eighth funeral procession in US history and the first since Dwight D. Eisenhower's body traveled 49 years ago from the National Cathedral in Washington through seven states to its Kansas hometown of Abilene. The funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln was the first in 1865.

Robert F. Kennedy was never president, but he ran for the White House when he was assassinated in 1968 in Los Angeles. His body was later transferred to New York City for a funeral mass and then a private train to Washington for funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Thousands of mourners lined the route for the more than 200 kilometers long journey.

Originally Union Pacific had commissioned the Bush locomotive for the opening of an exhibition in its presidential library titled "Trains: Traces of the Iron Horse". It was one of the few times that the company painted a locomotive in a different color than the traditional yellow. After brief training during the unveiling of 4141 13 years ago, Bush took the engineering seat and helped take the locomotive for a two-kilometer trip.

"We've just been on the train all the time, and I've never forgotten them," Bush said at the time, remembering how he used to travel with his family and often slept during his travels as a child. He also called the locomotive "Air Force One of Railroads" (19659004). Bush, who died at his home in Houston last week at the age of 94, was praised on Wednesday at a memorial service in the National Cathedral. By the evening, his coffin was at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.

The funeral procession has been part of the official planning for his death for years, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said.

Union Pacific was contacted by federal officials In early 2009, at Bush's request, he asked for a funeral procession, and company spokesman Tom Lange said at some point.

"We said," Of course we also have this locomotive, which we obviously want to join in, "said Lange. He noted that trains were the means of transport that Bush first used in World War II as a naval aviator and later back home.

Eisenhower was the last president to travel regularly by train. A major reason was his wife Mamie, who hated to fly. During the 1952 campaign, Eisenhower covered more than 51,000 miles and made 252 stops. And while he flew often, his wife drove the train all the time, Union Pacific said.

When Bush defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis and won the presidency in 1988, both candidates used trains to make some campaign stops. Bush also occasionally traveled by train in 1992 when he was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton, including stopping the Midwest aboard a train called "The Spirit of America."


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