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Showcasing America

The feature cars of the 1975-1976 "American Freedom Train" were its showcase and display cars. The 12 cars carried an array of Americana as diverse as a piece of the original "Star Spangled Banner" and a lunar exploration rover. The train is shown visiting Boston, Mass. during its first month of operation.

All 12 were rebuilt from former New York Central baggage cars originally constructed by American Car & Foundry in 1946, and even hit the high iron again after the final run of the AFT.

From 1978 to 1980, 15 cars from the AFT -- the entrance car, the display cars and two power cars -- made yet another transcontinental journey, this time under the auspices of the National Museums of Canada.

The "Canadian Discovery Train" roamed the length and breadth of the country with displays taken from throughout its provinces.

The train was stored on the Union Pacific for a number of years before the display cars and the entrance car were scrapped in 1995. The two AFT power cars survive, one on the UP and the other in Portland, Ore. with the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association.

Photographed by Thomas McCann, April 27, 1975.
Added to the photo archive by Thomas McCann, June 13, 2010.
Railroad: American Freedom Train.

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