The Lincoln Funeral Train
Q:What happened to the original funeral car?
A: The car was put up for sale before it arrived in Springfield for President Lincoln's funeral. It would go on to belong to Union Pacific Railroad, where it was stripped down and used as a daily work car before being passed on to a handful of other owners. It ended up in the collection of Thomas Lowry, who intended to restore it, but a prairie fire just outside Minneapolis, where the car was stored, destroyed it in 1911.
Q: Who used the stateroom aboard the Funeral Car?
A: The stateroom was designed for use by President Lincoln during his travels, but since he never traveled aboard "United States" while he was alive, we believe the space was likely used by dignitaries and/or officials who traveled with the funeral train.
Q: Did Mrs. Lincoln travel with the train?
A: No. Mrs. Lincoln was so distraught following her husband's death that she did not even attend his funeral in the White House. She did not leave Washington, DC until after the president's burial in Springfield.
Q: How is the car transported?
A: "United States" is transported over the road just like a semi-trailer. In fact, it IS a semi-trailer! Crews use a crane to hoist the body off of the road-wheel setup and onto the trucks (train wheels). We will post video of this process soon!
Q: How long did it take your team to build the Lincoln Funeral Car?
A: Four years.
Q: The coffin looks smaller that I imagined; would Mr. Lincoln really have fit in there?
A: Yes. The replica coffin aboard "United States" is 6'8" long; President Lincoln was 6'4" tall.
Q:Was there really a bathroom aboard the car in 1865?
Q: How much does the car weigh?
A: The car itself (minus the trucks) weighs about 32,000 lbs. The trucks weigh another 33,000 lbs., for a total weight of approximately 65,000 lbs.
We love seeing and visiting with people as we bring Lincoln history to life. At each stop, we hear many interesting questions about our locomotive and the Lincoln Funeral Car. Here are some of the most popular:
Q: When was Leviathan built?
A: Between 1999 and 2009. Her debut came at Owosso, Mich., in June 2009.
Q: Is she a rebuilt locomotive?
A: Leviathan is an exact replica of a Central Pacific steam locomotive by the same name. Our version was built from scratch and therefore is not a rebuild.
Q: What kind of fuel does Leviathan use?
A:Recycled waste oil.
Q: Why not use wood or coal for fuel?
A:Wood is not practical. It takes a tremendous amount of wood to fire and maintain a boiler of Leviathan's size. Coal-fired engines leave a layer of black dust everywhere and coal is expensive. Oil is a cleaner, more cost-effective source of fuel.
Q: How much does Leviathan weigh?
A:Leviathan and her tender combined weigh approximately 88,000 lbs.