Lincoln Funeral Train Visits Painesville

Amtrak No. 48 with the Phase I heritage locomotive on the point rushes past the Painesville depot and the Lincoln funeral train.

Amtrak No. 48 with the Phase I heritage locomotive on the point rushes past the Painesville depot and the Lincoln funeral train.

Large crowds turned out in Painesville on Saturday and Sunday to visit the Lincoln funeral train.

Akron Railroad Club Treasurer Edward Ribinskas and his wife, Ursula, reported that they arrived at the former New York Central station in Painesville at about 11:20 a.m. and had to wait just over an hour to get inside the replica of the railroad car that carried the body of Abraham Lincoln from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Illinois, in 1865.

Also on hand was the Leviathan, a reproduction of a 19th century steam locomotive. Although the train sat next to a set of railroad tracks it actually arrived on site by truck.

An unplanned visitor to the site was Amtrak train No. 48, which was operating about an hour and 45 minutes late.

However, the Lake Shore Limited had P42DC No. 156 on the point, which is the Phase I heritage locomotive.

“With all the clutter it was the best I could do to incorporate the Leviathan and funeral car,” Ed reported.

Before arriving in Painesville, the Lincoln funeral train had already made stops in Ashland and Wellington.

The original Lincoln funeral train would have passed through Painesville in 1865. The train made 26 stops on a 1,600-mile journey that included Cleveland on April 28.

A special pagoda structure was erected on Public Square so mourners could pay their respects.

After Cleveland, the train proceeded down the Big Four to Columbus.

Ed reported that he was told that 2,400 people visited the funeral train in Painesville on Saturday and he said it appeared that a similar-size crowd turned out on Sunday.

Visitors were asked to make a $5 donation that will go toward the expense of restoring the ex-NYC Painesville station.

Sponsors of the Painesville visit included the Painesville Railroad Museum, which owns the depot; Division 5 of the National Model Railroad Association, the Cuyahoga Valley S Gaugers, and the Lake County Visitors Bureau.

Also on hand were actors portraying Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

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