ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — Fundraisers need to find another $100,000 to complete a project to send a replica of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Illinois, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his death, organizers said.
The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Train project has $150,000 of the $250,000 needed for the trip, said Shannon Brown, the group's director of media and public relations.
"We don't want to have to tell people the train is not going to make the trip," she told the Daily Herald (http://bit.ly/1KQaDdp ). "We still believe that, with corporate sponsorship, this is doable. It's entirely doable."
Meanwhile, in Elgin, master mechanic David Kloke of Bartlett is working 10-hour days to finish building a replica of Lincoln's funeral train car by April 15, the day Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Organizers hope it will be on display in Washington from that day until April 21, when it would begin the trip to Springfield.
The replica is made from steel and wood and is 48-feet long and 13-feet tall. Kloke has been studying drawings and photos as he builds it with the help of volunteers.
Brown said the logistics of a train trip from Washington to Springfield won't be easy. A 19th-century steam locomotive that Kloke built years ago will pull the replica funeral car.
"We could be competing with freight trains, CSX, Amtrak passenger trains, so it is logistically difficult to be on tracks," she said. "It's like trying to take a horse and buggy in the middle of the interstate."
The funeral car also is to be on display in Springfield in May as part of a two-day commemoration by The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition.