First Unveiled in 2005, Engine That Led Iconic Funeral Train Coming to Bush Library and Museum in 2020 Following Year-Long Preparation Process
College Station, Texas — On Friday, November 8th, Union Pacific officially announced it is donating the UP No. 4141 George Bush Locomotive for permanent display at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Scott Moore, UP’s senior vice president for corporate relations and chief administrative officer, made the announcement at an invitation-only, trackside media event in front of 40 Bush Foundation guests and the 4141 Locomotive itself.
“With today being its final day of service to Union Pacific, it’s appropriate now that this locomotive will find its final home here in College Station,” Mr. Moore said. “For today, I am announcing that UP is working with the George and Barbara Bush Foundation to donate UP 4141 for permanent display on the grounds of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.”
The 4141 engine was pulled into College Station for the announcement by another iconic train engine — the Big Boy No. 4014 steam engine, which is on a tour across the Southwest to mark the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion. The 4141 will be taken to a locomotive shop in Little Rock, where it will undergo a year-long process preparing it for permanent display.
Sometime later in 2020, it will be brought back, taken off the tracks, and moved to the Bush Library and Museum. The exact location of the exhibit has not been determined yet, but it likely will be placed somewhere around the front of the presidential library near the Annenberg Conference Center.
The design of the exhibit is also still being determined in coordination with Texas A&M, but early designs depict the 4141 on display in a partially enclosed, outdoor exhibit with one side open.
“For this train that has this iconic moment in dad’s life to be resident on the museum property is just an amazing tribute to a great man and a great life well lived,” Neil Bush said. “We are so grateful to Union Pacific for this generous gift.”
“It is safe to say that our relationship with Union Pacific is woven into the DNA of the Bush Library, Texas A&M and the George & Barbara Bush Foundation,” added David Jones, president and CEO of the Bush Foundation.
Other speakers at the announcement included Dick Davidson, former CEO of Union Pacific; Bush Foundation board member and former Transportation Secretary Andy Card; Warren Finch, director of the Bush Library and Museum; and Elaine Mendoza, chairman of the Texas A&M University Board of Regents.
With its paint job matching the color scheme of Air Force One, the George Bush Locomotive was first unveiled at an event in College Station in October 2005. Dick Davidson was heavily involved in the creation of No. 4141, and he recalled how, after he retired from UP, President Bush asked him if the 4141 Locomotive could carry his casket to the Bush Library — which it did on December 6, 2018.
“What drew dad to Texas A&M and to trains is the common thread of something nostalgic,” Neil Bush summarized. “Something patriotic. Something that lifts us up and reminds us of goodness and kindness and gentleness. This is the perfect marriage of a wonderful blending of the things dad loved the most.”