Having talked with David Kloke about the construction of the Lincoln Funeral Car, I was eager to see it upon completion. This past weekend I had my chance at the Lorain & West Virginia Railroad in Wellington.
When I arrived, the first thing I did was chase Leviathan 63 on one of its excursions. Note that in the bottom right photo is David Kloke, builder of the locomotive and the funeral car. I’ll admit that I was disappointed that the car was not running, but according to Dave there have been delays for getting the car certified by the Federal Railroad Administration. I hope that this is overcome soon, as I cannot wait to see the car in action next time!
I then took my first look inside the Funeral Car. It really is incredible how much effort has been placed on every single detail. Historical interpreter Dale Moorhouse provided an excellent overview of the project as well as talking about the relatives of the Lincoln family he has met by being part of the car’s tour.
The detailing on the exterior is equally as impressive as that inside. The trucks in particular really ‘pop’ in a manner unusual for rolling stock. Civil War reenactors were on site posing with the car and occasionally providing music.
It’s worth acknowledging the road vehicles involved with the event. There was an old bus providing shuttle service to downtown Wellington. Kloke’s trucks which haul the locomotive, tender, and funeral car were parked nearby.
After a fun couple of hours on my way home, I had dinner at the Berea Union Depot Taverne. The food was good, and the view of both the CSX and Norfolk Southern mainlines was great. Afterwards, I went up on the bridge and lucked out with this three-way meet.
It was a great day of connecting with railroad history, and I look forward to seeing the Lincoln Funeral Car again. If you can make it to one of their upcoming events, I highly recommend it!