A Century of Railroad History
The Roald Amundsen Pullman Car
The Roald Amundsen Pullman Car was built in 1928 for $205,000. As one of the last cars built by the Pullman Company, the Roald Amundsen is best known for being used by every president from Herbert Hoover through Dwight Eisenhower. It was on this car in 1940 that President Franklin Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister W. L. McKenzie King signed the agreement that provided for the joint defense of North America, now known as NORAD. The car was donated to the park in 1971 by Mr. and Mrs. Franz Talley. The car has been placed on the National Historic Register.
Following World War II, many cities of Europe found themselves nearly unable to continue. The rain of bombs and shelling leveled everything. An American Newspaper Columnist, Drew Pearson, wrote an article depicting the hardships Europeans were still enduring. This time instead of the military leading the march, the people of America banded together behind Drew Pearson and delivered more than 250 railroad cars of aid to the people of France. Less than a year later, word got out that France was planning a train of her own. When it arrived, there were (forty-nine) 40 & 8’s carefully packed full of amazing treasures.
For a country who had nothing to spare, France generously gave what was most dear to their hearts, and placed their items on the train as it passed through their town. A list of items would include: wooden shoes, toy Renault cars, wedding dresses, war medals from dead husbands, brothers and sons, children’s dolls, games, brass trumpets and the list goes on. The people of France showed a grand generosity.
The 40 & 8 Boxcar got its name from its use during WW I and WW II as a cargo space large enough to carry 40 men or 8 horses.