1947 - 1949 FREEDOM TRAIN
WHEELS TO THE DREAM
many people to learn that the 1947 Freedom Train was not a government
could not have happened without impetus, encouragement and support
from the Truman Administration and others in Washington. But the
train was funded and operated by a nonprofit national organization,
created to produce the most important part of the National Rededication
That group was
the American Heritage Foundation, and their task was without precedent
in all of history. Never before had any nation contemplated sending
on tour its most precious treasures, its most important national
symbols. Not only was that the task, but safeguarding the irreplaceable
objects and providing for their interpretation to those who would
see them were also necessary.
If you doubt
the ability of those chosen to achieve the task, read on.
participation and enthusiasm of the railroads was crucial -- and
the rail industry delivered in every way:
Locomotive Company (ALCO) of Schenectady, New York, had agreed since
the inception of the idea to furnish the train's motive power. This
pledge supplied the legendary PA-1, co-built with General Electric.
Topeka and Santa Fe Railway loaned a baggage car for the train's
equipment car. The Pennsylvania Railroad loaned the cars that would
become the Freedom Train's three display cars, and the Pullman Company
lent the three cars that would accommodate the staff for the journey.
railroads and the Association of American Railroads cooperated fully
in meeting the train's need for frequent interchange and priority
over the regular traffic of each railroad to meet its display schedule.
The train ran on 52 different railroads and had Presidential priority.
talented young designer Chester Mack to design the train's presentation
scheme. Defying all conventions of the sooty, coal-smoke world of
1940's railroading, Mack selected white as the principal color for
the train, with red and blue striping, rather than the obvious choice
of dark blue with red and white stripes.
train that resulted was stunning.
Text by Mr.Larry
to Freedom Train...