The Train Carrying George H.W. Bush To His Final Resting Place Is Very Presidential

Benny Johnson | Columnist, Viral Politics

President George H.W. Bush’s casket was transferred to a train Thursday in Houston, Texas, for the final leg of the journey to his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

The train has been retrofitted for the special journey.

The locomotive is painted to look like Air Force One in honor of the former president and features a special car painted in stars and stripes with a glass window where the president’s coffin can be viewed from. The train procession will last two and a half hours. According to the New York Times, Bush loved the train and even drove it once.

The train itself was unveiled in 2005. Mr. and Mrs. Bush toured it at an event held at Texas A&M, posing for pictures in which they peeked out of the window of the cab, above the side emblazoned with “4141.” Inside the cab, Union Pacific officials, including Mike Iden, then an engineering executive for the company, explained to Mr. Bush how the train operated.

“It was at that point that President Bush said, ‘Can I take this for a drive? Can I run it?'” Mr. Iden, now retired, recalled in a Union Pacific video. Mr. Bush, he said, climbed into the engineer’s seat and got a brief tutorial.

Then, for about two short miles, he took his funeral train out for a spin.

A Union Pacific locomotive, painted to look like Air Force One, will carry former President George H.W. Bush to his resting place in College Station, Texas waits at the station on December 6, 2018 in Spring, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Union Pacific locomotive, painted to look like Air Force One, will carry former President George H.W. Bush to his resting place in College Station, Texas waits at the station on December 6, 2018 in Spring, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Union Pacific locomotive, painted to look like Air Force One, will carry former President George H.W. Bush to his resting place in College Station, Texas waits at the station on December 6, 2018 in Spring, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard on December 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)

A Military honor guard carry the casket of former President George H.W. Bush aboard a Union Pacific locomotive, painted to look like Air Force One, on December 6, 2018 in Spring, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former President George W. Bush, Laura Bush and other family members watch as the flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard on December 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)

Former President George W. Bush, Laura Bush and other family members watch as the flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard on December 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)

Members of the public line the route to pay their respects as the train carrying former President George H.W. Bush to his final resting place passes by on December 6, 2018 in Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 06: (AFP-OUT) The flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush is carried by a joint services military honor guard on December 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas. President Bush will be buried at his final resting place at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. A WWII combat veteran, Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president and 41st president of the United States. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)

The Bush family followed the remains of their patriarch from the funeral service at St. Martins Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, to board the train on their way to College Station. (RELATED: Here’s A Look Back At George H.W. Bush’s Life In Pictures) 

President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to travel to their funeral by train. The tradition has not occurred in 49 years since Eisenhower was laid to rest. George Bush will be buried next to his late wife, Barbara Bush, who passed away earlier in April of 2018.

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