SOURCE: National Railroad Museum

National Railroad Museum 2014

October 15, 2014 14:32 ET

Tours Offered for the New Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive Exhibit

Programs Demonstrate Both Historic and Scientific Significance

GREEN BAY, WI--(Marketwired - October 15, 2014) - The National Railroad Museum recently celebrated the opening of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive Exhibit, a new exhibit featuring the locomotive Dwight D. Eisenhower and cars from the general's World War II command train. The exhibit, which is now open to the pubic, will also be featured as part of Museum interpretive programming.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive Exhibit showcases the British A-4 class locomotive named to honor Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and the two London and North Eastern Railway (L.N.E.R.) passenger cars that were used by Eisenhower as part of his command train during World War II. 

Interactive exhibit elements encourage Museum visitors to immerse themselves in the World War II era as they explore the history and science behind the train. Visitors are now able to tour portions of the locomotive and cars that were previously closed to the public. You can step into the cab of the Dwight D. Eisenhower locomotive and imagine what it would have been like rocketing down the rails at over 100 m.p.h. Entering the command cars gives you the opportunity to explore Gen. Eisenhower's quarters and experience the tight confines of a 1937 British Pullman sleeper. Recreating the look of the command train included adding armor plating to L.N.E.R. #1592 during the restoration process. The car was armored for Eisenhower's protection during the war.

"Exploring Gen. Eisenhower's command coaches is like stepping into a time machine," commented Bob Lettenberger, Museum director of education. "To think of the discussions held in these cars and the decisions that were made here makes one pause and truly reflect on the world's history."

While highlighting the shared history between the United States and the United Kingdom during World War II, this exhibit also discusses the scientific theories and principles found in the locomotive design. Sir Nigel Gresley, chief mechanical engineer of the L.N.E.R., insisted on a specific aerodynamic shape for the boiler shroud and developed a unique mechanical apparatus to operate the locomotive's three cylinders.

"Dwight D. Eisenhower, the locomotive looks different enough from the outside, with a shape modeled after a British airship and the airplane wing," said Lettenberger. "However, as you further explore this beautiful machine, Gresley's genius as a mechanical engineer shows through in many ways."

Educational programs based on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive Exhibit are available for groups of all ages. Interpretive programming explores both the historic and scientific stories of the locomotive and command train in an interactive, hands-on manner. Those interested should contact Bob Lettenberger, director of education, at (920) 437-7623, x-16.

Marketing efforts for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive Exhibit are generously supported through a Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.

Founded in 1956, the Museum educates the public through programs, exhibits, and preservation projects about the ongoing impact of railroads in our lives. Visiting the National Railroad Museum offers an opportunity to explore our railroad heritage. The Museum is one of the oldest and largest institutions of its kind in the United States.

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