Eisenhower train returns to National Railroad Museum

The Dwight D. Eisenhower locomotive returns to storage at the National Railroad Museum in Ashwaubenon, June 6, 2014. The train had spent two years at the National Railway Museum in York, England. (WLUK/Ben Krumholz)

ASHWAUBENON - A special locomotive is back at the National Railroad Museum after two years away.

Back in 2012 National Railroad Museum officials offered a special goodbye with a ribbon cutting to its main visitor attraction. They loaned the Dwight D. Eisenhower locomotive to a museum in England.

"It's really a shared part of our military history with Great Britain. During the war it was the fastest type of passenger train and it was the type of train used for General Eisenhower during the war. It was his mobile command center," said Jacqueline Frank, museum executive director.

After a two year absence the Eisenhower's arrival back in Green Bay came with little fanfare.

Museum member Dennis Ouradnik was on the grounds when it came in covered in a tarp.

"This is amazing and it's a treat , a privilege to be here with this thing. A lot of history to it," said Ouranik.

And the history has been restored. The deal with England included a cosmetic restoration in addition to its prompt return--despite several offers from England to buy the railroad treasure.

"It was brought here for the public trust and that's something we keep because that's an important thing," said Frank.

England donated the Eisenhower to the National Railroad Museum, first arriving in 1964. It's been here all but the last two years. And now that it's back the museum is working to restore two companion passenger cars, to once again place on permanent exhibit.

The public can get its first look at the restored Eisenhower when it goes on permanent display August 2nd.

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