"God Bless, and Save America"

Building Lincoln's Funeral Car  

"United States"

More photos on page 2

View of partially completed half-inch model of Lincoln's Funeral Car "United States" March 2009.

The same model on November 5, 2009

Scott D. Trostel, author of THE LINCOLN FUNERAL TRAIN is also a scratch-built model maker.  In early 2008 he started construction of the Lincoln Funeral Car United States in half-inch to the foot.  His materials are walnut, cherry, white oak, hard maple and ivory scrap with some deer antler and bone.  All of the materials used to construct this model come from my scrap box.  I saw my own veneer and carve items that would be too fragile to attempt on any machine tool.

The frame is made up of longitudinal walnut sections and the floor is cherry.  The link and pin coupler pockets and carrier irons are carved ivory with removable links.  The bolsters are all walnut

Frame is 24 1/2 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide.

The floor is made of cherry and the roller rail is ivory.  The end sill and steps are walnut.

Interior of car body.  The walls are stick framed in walnut and the exterior is sheeted with individual strips of walnut. The span tie is there representing an interior partition that is uet to be built.  The interior will be fully finished when the car is completed.  This is the end of the car in which Lincoln's coffin rested. The window frames and sashes have been installed and doors and hinges are in place.  The hinges are carved ivory with 1/32 inch hinge pin holes.  Window panes are plastic CD cases that have been cut down.


Here is an exterior view of the body before the window sill drip strips have been applied.  The corner caps have not yet been installed.


Door is three ply of walnut veneer with carved

ivory door handle and hinges.                                               Close up of exterior near the over with first layer of ledger board install above window frame. 

                                                                                                        The windows have not been trimmed out as yet.  No molding details have been carved into                

                                                                                                        the oval.

The roof is hard maple with the clearstory being walnut.  None of the roof detail has been installed as yet.

Basic truck assembly.  The truck frames are white oak that has been stained dark brown with a solution of vinegar and dissolved steel wool. The

white parts  are ivory scrap.  To come yet are journal boxes and lids, brake beams with brake shoes  and span bolster center bowl.  The wheels are turned cherry, the axles are oak.  The rails are milled walnut with dark stain, the spikes are ivory and the ties are stained walnut.  The base is natural finish cherry.

LEFT Trucks sitting on display track and base.  The base is 25 inches long by 5 inches wide.  RIGHT A close-up of a truck showing the

first of 16 carved pedestal guides and other details cared in ivory.  The axle stubs are visible because the journal boxes have yet to be

applied.  Prototypes have been constructed and tested but have not been applied

Here is the car as it looked when the parts finally began to come together in early 2009.  There were no windows nor doors in the

openings at this point.  This was after nearly a year of component and subassembly construction.

Window frame and sash construction.  In the window openings of the car body are several window frames,  Stacked in front of the car are

several stacks of completed frames with sashes with glass.




The painting of the UNITED STATES, the presidential funeral car used to carry the body of Abraham Lincoln from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois in April and May 1865.  Water color painting by Scott D. Trostel



This book is one of the first to cover new and unexplored history of Abraham Lincoln. It is a fascinating recounting of the 1,700 mile journey and national funeral for Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Conducted over the railroads, this text details preparations, the eleven national funerals en route, and many trackside ceremonies. The logistics included passage over 22 railroads and two street railways involving 42 locomotives, approximately 80 pieces of passenger equipment and ferry moves.



GOTO Page 2  3  4