901 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223
Detailed Information

Name: PLM No.J57121, "Maryland Car"
Railroad of Record: Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean (Mediterranee) Railway
Type of Car: European Boxcar, wooden, "40 and 8" (meaning it could hold up to 40 men or eight horses) 
Manufactured by: Unknown
Date Built: c. 1915

In 1947, newspaper columnist Drew Pearson wanted to help aid the war stricken countries of Italy and France after World War II. The American Friendship Train was a grass roots initiative that gathered supplies for these countries. The train traveled cross country on 54 different railroads and on 37,000 miles of track gathering supplies.  The American Friendship Train collected about $40 million dollars worth of relief and supplies.

One year later, the French people wanted to say thank you to the American public and responded with their own "Merci Train." The "Merci Train" contained 49 cars that carried gifts to the United States. Each of the cars represented a State in the Union and the 49th car represented both the District of Columbia and Hawaii. The cars on the train were standard European "40 and 8" boxcars, which were capable of carrying 40 men or eight horses.

The "Maryland" car on the "Merci Train" was built around 1915 for the Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean Railway as the PLM No.J57121. The "Maryland" car is one of the few cars in the "Merci Train" that has been stored indoors since its arrival. The B&O Railroad has displayed this car since 1949.


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