Replica of Abraham Lincoln funeral car looking for new home

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ILLINOIS – The Historic Railroad Equipment Association (HREA) that built the world’s only full-scale replica of the rail car that carried President Lincoln’s body home is taking proposals for a new home.

HREA, a group of historians, train buffs, Lincoln aficionados and skilled tradesmen, re-created the funeral car at full scale back in early 2015. They accomplished it in time for the 150th commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s Springfield funeral.

The car made its debut on May 1, 2015, and from there, it went on a five-month, 12-city tour that saw more than 52,000 visitors tour the tribute to America’s 16th president.

Now, the creators say they are looking to give the replica a permanent home where it can remain on display.

“We have always wanted [the car] to be an educational piece, a way for people to get up close to history and learn about Lincoln, and we enjoyed every stop on the 2015 tour, but it was never out intent for the car to travel for an extended period,” HREA President and car builder, Dave Kloke explains.

Kloke says HREA continues to get requests for communities to exhibit the car, and the frequent requests have spurred the HREA’s decision to seek a permanent home for the piece of history.

“We certainly want it to remain accessible to people, and the best way to do that is to place it in a permanent location. That’s what is best for the Car,” Kloke adds.

HREA began accepting proposals on August 29. Anyone interested in receiving guidelines should email HREA at ThoseTrainPeople@gmail.com. Questions about the process should be sent here. Organization name and location, along with contact information, should be included in all emails.

Special consideration will be given to proposals that originate in cities that held visitations for President Lincoln and those where the train passed through in 1865. Kloke says HREA will evaluate all proposals that meet their criteria, but they are especially interested in locations with direct ties to the funeral ride.

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