The replica Lincoln Funeral Train car will be present at a sesquicentennial event in Springfield on the first weekend in May.
At one time, the builder had planned to re-enact the funeral train movement from Washington City to Springfield. Realities intervened.
At first, the group planned to put the car on display in Washington, D.C. next month as that city holds ceremonies marking the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. Then the train was to run along railroads duplicating the original funeral train's 1,600-mile route, from Washington through Philadelphia, New York, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago and Joliet to Springfield in time for the burial commemoration.The train crew are still making the locomotive and car available to communities along the original train route, and elsewhere, for suitable remembrances.
The car was to be pulled by an authentic 1870s-era steam locomotive that [locomotive and car builder David] Kloke already had built, named the Leviathan. They would be accompanied by an 1860s-stye railroad passenger car similar to an "officers car" on the original funeral train that carried soldiers escorting the body.Early in the process, the planners realized it would not be practical to run the train from town to town along the original railroad tracks.
"We would be moving a train whose steam locomotive can go 25 mph at best along railroads that now are mainlines for CSX and Amtrak, who need the tracks for trains that go twice that fast," said Shannon Brown, the project's media coordinator.