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Re: PC: RFK Funeral Train
- Subject: Re: PC: RFK Funeral Train
- From: lnrr@xxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 19:07:36 -0600
There is a mention of this train in TLC's book "The President Travels by
The Kennedy family ran this train to maximize publicity and draw out
spectators. I recently saw a documentary on television that had film of
this train, and trespassers covered the railroad. At least one person was
killed while he was trespassing on the tracks to see the circus and was
struck by a train on another main. Several other people were severely
shocked (but none killed) when they were on a box car; they were under
catenary and one of the trespassers stood up.....
Because of the trespass problem, the railroad ended up shutting down all
operations well in advance of and behind the Kennedy family publicity
Mamie Eisenhower was so disgusted by this spectacle that she had Ike's
funeral train ran like a secret military movement when he died in 1969.
(Of course, it was almost impossible to keep something like this secret.)
I highly recommend the book by TLC. It is interesting and it contains a
wealth of information. There is a lot of interesting presidential history
relating to railroads - Lincoln slipping into DC under cover to take
office, Coolidge refusing VIP treatment and being gawked at by other
passengers in his compartment, FDR slipping off of a secret train in WWII
to visit his mistress, Truman and Eisenhowers campaigns, JFK going to the
Army/Navy game, Reagan bringing back the Ferdinand Magellan, and much
more. Except for the first six, every president has had at least one
train ride while in office, and some travelled extensively by rail.
This book is loaded with railfan information, including quite a few
consists. (OK, you might know the RFK funeral consist, but do you know
what was on the pilot train???).
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