A master mechanic based in Elgin, Illinois, is building a replica of the historic Lincoln funeral car, along with an officers’ car, to be included as part of the remembrance of Lincoln’s death and funeral procession, which will mark 150 years in 2012.
Elgin, Illinois, November 12, 2012
Dave Kloke has already constructed a working replica of an 1860s steam locomotive, Leviathan 63, which has been featured at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL, as well as other railroad museums and events across the country. National Metal Fabricators has been a part of this spectacular recreation supplying rolled brass and carbon steel components for the Leviathan 63.
Now Kloke and his team are working on a project of historic proportions—the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train.
Kloke has teamed up with experts in the railroad industry and Lincoln history to get detailed plans drawn up for both the exterior and interior of the funeral and officers’ car. He’s currently working to acquire the necessary materials to construct the cars, matching the exterior and interior as closely to the original as possible.
“I really wanted to build the train for educational purposes. Lincoln’s funeral was the highest attended funeral in our country’s history, and I’d love for people today to have an opportunity to experience even a little bit of what people 150 years ago witnessed,” Kloke said.
In 2015 Kloke and his team hope to take the Lincoln Funeral Train to Washington, DC, to recreate the journey the original train took upon Lincoln’s death. They hope to do as much of the original route as possible, knowing that they will not be able to complete the entire route due to missing tracks and the congestion of modern-day train traffic. Where they are able, they will run the train on the tracks. When not able, they will stop in towns along the original route where onlookers can come view the train. Ultimately, the train will land in Springfield, IL for the major events taking place during the weekend of May 2, 2015 in remembrance of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s return home.
The Historic Railroad Equipment Association, a non-profit organization Kloke founded to fund the Lincoln Funeral Train endeavor, hopes to work with cities, schools, museums, railroad associations, and historical societies across the country to raise awareness and bring participants on board for the project.
National Metal Fabricators is proud to endorse and support the Lincoln Funeral Train project. The team is looking for volunteers who would like to participate in the project with everything from fundraising and promotions, to construction and logistics. More information about the project and how people can get involved or donate is available at www.The2015LincolnFuneralTrain.com.
The Historic Railroad Equipment Association exists to educate the public concerning the life of Abraham Lincoln and his influence on American railroad development through the time of his death and return to Springfield, Illinois, by constructing and operating historically accurate operating equipment representative of that era. The Historic Railroad Association is a registered 501(c)(3), tax-exempt charitable organization.