Thursday, August 26, 2010


Also at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History was Georgia's Merci Train Boxcar. After World War II, the French people sent a train of 48 "40 et 8" boxcars to the United States, laden with gifts as a way of saying "thank you" to the American people for the liberation of France in World War II. The boxcars were called "40 and 8" cars, as they were designed to hold either 40 men or 8 horses. One boxcar went to each state, with Hawaii and Washington, D.C. sharing the 49th. Each boxcar had a variety of gifts including paintings, toys, silks, clothing, and other items. Since their arrival, these boxcars have lived varied lives. For example, the Illinois boxcar disappeared after the 1949 Railroad Fair in Chicago. Here, we see the Georgia car, restored, inside and on display. A nice and fitting tribute to the Greatest Generation!


Scott Greig said...

One of these 40 & 8s (probably the Wisconsin car) is at Mid-Continent.

David Wilkins said...

The Kentucky car was restored at KRM when I was there. The car itself was restored by the local technical/trade high school as several class projects. They did a nice job, stripped the car down to metal, sandblasted the metal, repainted, installed new wood. The plaques on the side were replicated by a high school art class as a project. It not sits under a dedicated pavillion.

Randall Hicks said...

And wouldn't you know it, there's a site dedicated to this subject, covering each state's car in detail:

C'est en francais aussi!