College Station

Arrival of President George H.W. Bush's Beloved Train in Texas Marks Beginning of Museum Expansion

Foundation officials said they want to complete the expansion in time for the 100th anniversary of Bush's birth

The Texas A&M University System

The historic Union Pacific No. 4141 Engine, a locomotive painted to match Air Force One, has arrived at its permanent home in front of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The iconic locomotive's journey, which ended Monday, started approximately 16 years ago when a museum director asked a railroad executive to borrow an old caboose.

Now, Union Pacific No. 4141 Engine sits near the museum's front door where it will remain as the George & Barbara Bush Foundation embarks on a multi-year, multi-million dollar expansion.

The engine is covered with a blue tarp to protect it from construction hazards as a pavilion is built around it.

A new building featuring a restaurant and a Marine One helicopter that Bush used while president will eventually be housed in a building nearby.

Foundation officials said they want to complete the expansion in time for a 2024 celebration marking the 100th anniversary of Bush's birth.

The Union Pacific No. 4141 Engine returned to College Station in December 2018, when it led the Bush funeral train to where the former president was laid to rest alongside First Lady Barbara Bush.

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP File)/Austin American-Statesman via AP
In this Dec. 6, 2018 file photo, the body of President George H. W. Bush arrives by train to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, for burial at the George Bush Presidential Library. The locomotive painted to resemble Air Force One that carried the flag-draped body of former President Bush to his burial has returned to his presidential library in College Station where it will become a permanent exhibit. Union Pacific No. 4141, named in honor of the 41st president, was pulled into College Station on Sunday, March 21, 2021.

On Sunday, No. 4141 reached in College Station one final time as it arrived at its permanent home.

The engine pulled by another iconic locomotive, No. 1943 - The Spirit, which honors U.S. military veterans, as it traveled north past Kyle Field a rail near Wellborn Road shortly after 10 a.m.

No. 4141, which weighs 315,000 pounds, was then lifted off its rails by two, 500-ton cranes, placed on a 12-axle trailer and driven to the museum at approximately 6 p.m.

On Monday, the engine was lifted off of the trailer and placed on its permanent outdoor pad.

The move was handled by Supor Services LLC, a company which specializes in unique, heavy-duty hauling challenges such as moving the original Statue of Liberty torch to a new museum and removing a ditched commercial airline from the Hudson River.

The public will likely be able to access No. 4141 in a year or more as the George & Barbara Bush Foundation begins fundraising, planning, and construction for the museum expansion.

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