On Thursday, Union Pacific Engine 4141 will transport the former president’s remains from his funeral services in Houston to his burial plot in College Station, Texas.

Meghan Overdeep
December 4, 2018
Facebook/Union Pacific Railroad

Thirteen years after Union Pacific unveiled the locomotive bearing the number 4141 in his honor, the powder blue engine will shepherd former president George H.W. Bush to his final resting place.

On Thursday, the train built as a tribute to the 41st president’s tremendous life of service, will transport his remains from his funeral services in Houston to his burial plot 70 miles away in College Station, Texas. Bush will be laid to rest alongside his late wife and daughter. The trip is expected to take about two and a half hours.

"This particular train trip...is a great opportunity for Texans and people all across the country to say their final goodbyes to this great man," Scott Moore, a Union Pacific senior vice president, told CNN.

The custom-painted locomotive incorporates colors and elements of the Air Force One used during Mr. Bush's presidency. According to CNN, it is one of only a handful in Union Pacific’s fleet of trains to feature a color scheme other than the company's traditional blue and gold.

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While touring his namesake engine after its unveiling in 2005, Bush reportedly paused in the conductor's cab. "It was at that point, President Bush said, 'Can I take this for a drive?'" retired Union Pacific General Director Mike Iden recalled to CNN. It took a little training (and a lot of supervision), but Bush successfully operated 4141 for about two miles. His final journey will be a bit longer.

“Having a train like this pulled by a locomotive specifically about this man is just really unprecedented” Moore noted in a release.