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 (29)

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.

Idaho

May 2021, Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise

The boxcar is in great shape.

Indiana

September 2019, National Veterans 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, Veterans Memorial Park, Holly Hills

The boxcar is in great shape. We saw it again when we happened to drive by in September 2021and got sunny pictures to replace the cloudy ones from our first visit.

Kansas

April 2020, Veterans Memorial Park, Hays

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

Kentucky

March 2021, Kentucky Railway Museum, New Haven

The boxcar is in good shape.

Louisiana

September 2021, Old State Capitol Museum, Baton Rouge

The boxcar is in good shape. It is stored on the grounds of a museum and we didn't go in, so we weren't able to get a picture of the back.

Maine

September 2021, Railway Village Museum, Boothbay

The boxcar is in great shape.

Maryland

September 2021, B&O Railroad Museum, Baltimore

The boxcar is in rough shape but appears to be completely original. Most shields are intact.

Michigan

June 2021, The Forty & Eight Society, Lansing

The boxcar is in great shape. It had been restored in 2005.

Minnesota

July 2019, Camp Ripley, Little Falls

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

Mississippi

November 2019, The old Gulf, Mobile, & Ohio Railroad Depot, 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. We saw many like this after visiting this one.

Montana

May 2021, Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena

The boxcar is in great shape.

New Hampshire

September 2021, Manchester

The boxcar is in great shape.

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.

North Dakota

May 2021, North Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck

The boxcar is in great shape.

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.

Rhode Island

September 2021, Museum of Work & Culture, Woonsocket

The boxcar is in great shape and is displayed in a room dedicated to it along with several gifts from the boxcar.

South Carolina

September 2021, Memorial Park, Bishopville

The boxcar is in good shape and has a full gallery of displays inside.

South Dakota

May 2021, Near State Fairgrounds, Huron

The boxcar is in great shape.

Washington

May 2021, Sarg Hubbard Park, Yakima

The boxcar is in great shape.

West Virginia

April 2021, Veteran's Park, 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 (14)

State Future Travel Notes
Alabama Huntsville
California Fresno
Georgia In a museum near Atlanta
Hawaii and DC Ewa, Oahu - as of 6/21, boxcar is partially disassembled for restoration
Missouri Sedalia - unwittingly drove within 1/2 mile of it in 2/2021
Nevada Boulder City
North Carolina Spencer
Oklahoma Norman, south of Oklahoma City
Oregon North Bend
Tennessee Bristol
Texas Austin
Vermont Colchester - museum was closed when we visited in 9/2021
Virginia Newport News
Wisconsin Ashwaubenon, near Green Bay

No Longer In Existence (6)

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

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