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Engine 4141, train honoring George H.W. Bush, to have permanent home in College Station

The historic locomotive, painted to match Air Force One, served as the funeral train for President George H.W. Bush. It will be part of a new exhibit.

HOUSTON — Union Pacific Engine 4141, the historic train painted to match Air Force One and the funeral train for President George H.W. Bush, will soon have a permanent home in College Station.

Editor's note: Video above is from 2018 shortly after President George H.W. Bush died.

It's expected to arrive in Spring 2021, according to Texas A&M University.

The TAMU Board of Regents on Thursday approved a yearly $1 annual lease, basically donating two acres to expand the grounds of the President George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

The area will house an exhibit for the locomotive, helping to fulfill a promise by Union Pacific to donate Engine 4141 to the museum. The expansion also includes a Marine One helicopter exhibit, a new meeting space and a restaurant.

“Texas A&M is proud to host these icons of the Bush presidency,” Chancellor John Sharp said in a release. “We do everything we can to keep alive the memory and accomplishments of this wonderful president and public servant.”

According to the university, the George and Barbara Bush Foundation expect to complete the project before 2024, in time for the 100th anniversary of Bush's birth.

The project has faced some delays due to the looming COVID-19 pandemic, so the official arrival date of Engine 4141 has yet to be determined, officials said.

Engine 4141 led the Bush funeral train from Houston to College Station in December 2018, when the former president was laid to rest alongside First Lady Barbara Bush.

Credit: KHOU 11

In 2005, the railroad company had surprised Bush by painting it to resemble Air Force One in connection with a train exhibit. At the time, Bush is quoted saying he would have rode the railways more often instead of Air Force One.

Bush had fond memories riding and sleeping on trains as a boy. Trains also carried Bush to his service as a naval aviator in World War II and back home. He also used trains for “whistle stop” campaign events during his presidential runs in 1988 and 1992.

“Union Pacific is proud and honored that the UP 4141 is one step closer to being on permanent display at the Bush Library,” said Scott Moore, the Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President of Union Pacific. “President Bush’s love of trains is well known and we are pleased that we can be a part of honoring his legacy.”