Merci Train


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The Merci Train, or Gratitude Train, consisted of 49 box cars given by French citizens to each state in the US as thanks for assistance rebuilding their country after World War II. Read about it and it will warm your heart. We like to visit the ones that are still in existence when our travels permit.


Visited (17)

Arizona

November 2017, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Scottsdale

The boxcar is in great shape after undergoing restoration in 1989.

Arkansas

November 2019, American Legion Post #41, Helena

The boxcar is in great shape after undergoing restoration led by an Eagle Scout.

Delaware

April 2018, American Legion Nanticoke Post 6, Seaford

The boxcar is in great shape.

Indiana

September 2019, National Veteran's Memorial Shrine, Fort Wayne

Previously visited exactly one year earlier in September 2018 but didn't get to see the inside of the building housing the boxcar. Visited again in 2019. The boxcar is just starting to be restored.

Iowa

November 2016, Antique Acres, north of Cedar Falls

This was the first boxcar we visited. It didn't occur to us to photograph the other side until we had visited several other boxcars.

Florida

July 2018, Veteran's Memorial Park, Holly Hills

The boxcar is in great shape.

Kansas

April 2020, Hays

The boxcar is in great shape. It has a large box attached to one end.

Kentucky

March 2021, New Haven

The boxcar is in good shape.

Minnesota

July 2019, Little Falls

The boxcar is in great shape. There is a small exhibit inside.

Mississippi

November 2019, Jackson

The boxcar is in great shape. The shields on each side were not the original wood. Instead, they were images printed on something like plexiglass.

New Mexico

April 2020, State Fairgrounds, Albuquerque

The boxcar is in great shape. This is the only state that has two boxcars, having used an additional purchased boxcar for restoration and leaving the original unrestored.

New York

April 2018, Oneida County 40&8 Club, Whitesboro, New York

The boxcar is in great shape and the other side has a ramp so that it is completely accessible. It appears that the boxcar can be opened, so there's probably a display of some sort inside, but we didn't investigate further.

Ohio

September 2019, Camp Perry

The boxcar is in great shape. The other side is not visible because the boxcar is placed against the back wall of the shelter it is in.

Pennsylvania

April 2021, Fort Indiantown Gap

The boxcar is in great shape, but none of the shields are present, so it may be undergoing restoration. It has a large box attached to one end.

West Virginia

April 2021, Welch

The boxcar is in great shape.

Wyoming

November 2016 and February 2021, American Legion Post 6, Cheyenne

The boxcar was in the process of being restored the first time we visited, since none of the traditional markings were on the outside of the box car. Instead, they were stacked neatly underneath. Restoration was completed in 2017 and we visited it again in 2021.

Utah

February 2021, Union Station Museum, Ogden

The boxcar is intact but has lots of peeling paint. It is on display outside the museum so we were able to see it even though the museum was closed.

Not Yet Visited (26)

State Future Travel Notes
Alabama Huntsville
California Fresno
Georgia In a museum near Atlanta
Hawaii and DC Ewa, Oahu
Idaho Boise
Louisiana Baton Rouge
Maine Boothbay
Maryland In a museum in Baltimore
Michigan Lansing
Missouri Sedalia
Montana Helena
Nevada Carson City
New Hampshire Manchester
North Carolina Spencer
North Dakota Bismarck
Oklahoma Norman, south of Oklahoma City
Oregon North Bend
Rhode Island Woonsocket
South Carolina Bishopville
South Dakota Huron
Tennessee Bristol
Texas Austin
Vermont Colchester
Virginia Newport News
Washington Yakima
Wisconsin Ashwaubenon, near Green Bay

No Longer In Existence

State Notes
Colorado Missing
Connecticut Destroyed by fire
Illinois Missing
Massachusetts Missing
Nebraska Missing
New Jersey Destroyed by fire

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