40 and 8 Boxcars

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Sep 17 07:52:14 EDT 2005

Jerry Kay, et. al.,

Does anyone know of a resource giving the current status of all of the original "Merci" (40 Hommes/Chevaux) boxcars?

Although I have often read these cars were called "forty and eights" by the doughboys, I assume it meant 40 men or 8 horses.

Albert Burckard

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From: nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
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Subject: Unique U.S. Rail History

Virginia's 40&8 car is located at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News. It is the featured item in an exhibit called "Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation".

This exhibit commemorates the role of the Hampton Roads region of Southeast Virginia during World Wars I and II as a center of activity for numerous paramilitary organizations and as a hub for the movement of millions of troops. The focal point of the exhibit is the railway boxcar that houses it; one of the finest remaining examples of a "Merci" Train boxcar (40/8) - one "Merci" boxcar was given to each of the States of the Union after World War One to show appreciation of American sacrifices in an effort to help protect France from the Central Powers. It was rededicated after World War Two.

Jerry Kay


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