Merci Train – Forty and Eights

Scottsdale, Arizona.

After World War II, it was no secret that Europe had a long road to recovery and in 1947, more than 700 American box cars containing about $40 million dollars in relief goods provided by principally individual Americans were delivered to France and Italy to help the formerly occupied nations recover. Two years later, in February 1949, forty-nine French railroad box cars filled with thousands of gifts of gratitude were shipped to the United States. There was one boxcar for each of the 48 states and a boxcar to be shared by Washington D.C. and the territory of Hawaii. The rail cars were French box cars, military transport freight cars dubbed Forty-and-Eights because they were rated to carry 40 troops or 8 horses. Continue reading