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40 & 8 Merci Train
The country of France was in ruin and barely able to continue following years of war and occupation by the Nazis following WWII. Where the Marshall Plan provided a government sponsored form of aid to the French, newspaper columnist Drew Pearson appealed to the heart of the American people for a grass roots form of relief aid. Americans responded with 40 million dollars worth of food, clothing and medical supplies from all 48 states. It was loaded into 700 box cars referred to as the Friendship Train and shipped to France in 1947.
"The first steam-operating railroad museum in the U.S.A."
In an effort to promote the museum, the 40 & 8 Merci Train Box Car on loan to Rail City Museum, was placed on display in Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse, NY in the summer of 1956 . [Photograph by Stanley A. Groman].