National Railroad Museum Features Eisenhowers WWII Train

The Eisenhower, a WWII train ridden by the eponymous president, is going to be housed in the National Railroad Museum after a long vacation across the pond. Having spent the past two years in Great Britain, the engine is now crossing the Atlantic to return to whence it came. There have been no issues as of yet in the transport of the WWII train, nor do officials at the museum foresee any issues in the future.

Transport of the engine is expected to be completed by sometime in June, and its exhibition is going to change slightly. The locomotive itself has been restored, and now there will be some improvements made at the National Railroad Museum itself. The WWII train has been a part of the museum since the mid-1960s, so it was long overdue for some refurbishments. The repairs themselves were actually made by the British museum which housed the engine for the past two years.

The Eisenhower has traditionally been stored with two additional locomotives ridden by Dwight Eisenhower during the war. They almost were not reunited, as some war buffs in Britain decided they would rather keep the WWII train on their own side of the pond. The National Railroad Museum was offered at least one million dollars to make this happen, but they graciously declined. The Eisenhower was shipped back to the United States as scheduled, and has a few thousand miles to travel before it returns safely back to Green Bay.

To keep the museum aesthetically sound, repairs have had to be performed on the two accompanying cars that are generally exhibited alongside the Eisenhower. The WWII train will thus return to relatively unfamiliar surroundings, including displays and exhibits utilizing interactive technologies to bring museum visitors a more profoundly educational experience. The museum is raising money for the additions, which they feel will turn their exhibits into something almost completely new, the USA Today reports.

Since the WWII train was restored by the British, American museum-goers will be largely reintroduced to the locomotive upon visiting the National Railroad Museum in June.  Improvements made include the exterior being completely repainted, with the former color of green paint being unavailable in the United States. This helps the Eisenhower to achieve a close proximity to its former look, which will help educate visitors on what things looked like during the war. The museum is currently raising money not just to improve exhibition of the WWII train, but also to ensure future repairs if needed to maintain the current level of quality.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE