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Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Preamble to the Constitution, I Mean Freedom Train

The Union Pacific Railroad loaned one of their engines (Number 951) to Freedom Train movement in 1976. We see a picture of it here on the front of this post card. It is called "The Preamble Express". It was named this for at least two reasons: 1) The Constitution of the United States has a preamble. I quote it here: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
2) A preamble is a preparatory statement or introduction to what follows. The train in this picture was the introduction to the train which followed it. The locomotive chosen for this job was an E9 that belonged to the Union Pacific RR. The E9 was a 2,400-horsepower (1,790 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train-hauling diesel locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois between April 1954 and January 1964. 100 cab-equipped A units were produced and 44 cabless booster B units, all for service in the United States. The E9 was the tenth and last model of EMD E-unit and differed from the earlier E8 as built only by the newer engines and a different, flusher-fitting mounting for the headlight glass, the latter being the only visible difference. (Taken from Wikipedia).
This seems like it would be an honor for the people sitting in the passenger coaches and for the crew chosen to pilot the train. However, as I read the words on the back of the post card describing what is on the front, I read these words: "The Preamble Express was used to check security for the Freedom Train." That is code to me for this train was used to go ahead of the Freedom Train to discover and hidden mines or bombs on the tracks or bridges. This makes the people involved in the Preamble Express true heroes in my books.
The post card was published by Mary Jayne's Railroad Specialties. I only had one interaction with Mary Jane, but I think she must be a saint. I wrote her a letter asking if she had a catalog of the post cards that she published. I explained about my train post card collection and how I look at both the front and back of the post cards. I asked that, if there was a catalog could I somehow get a copy. I fully expected that I would have to pay something for the printing or photocopying. She wrote me a personal letter (along with the catalog) thanking me for my humble approach. She had received many DEMANDS from people that she send them the catalog. All she asked was that I give some money to a charity of my choice. I gave money to the "Feeding Hungry Minds" endowment fund. If you want to know more about the fund leave a comment below. I was deeply impressed by her kindness.
The train in the picture above is passing through Hollywood, Florida. The printer of the post card is also from Hollywood, FL

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.