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  • These days, American presidents travel around the country on Air Force One,

  • but in the 1940's, there was no Air Force One.

  • Actually, there wasn't even a U.S. Air Force,

  • they were still part of the Army.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first sitting U.S. President

  • to fly in an airplane, back in 1943.

  • But for most of his presidency, he used a very different form of travel.

  • This is the Ferdinand Magellan, officially known as U.S. Car Number 1.

  • 120 tonnes of armor-plated, bulletproof rail car.

  • - The rail car is the heaviest U.S. rail car ever built.

  • They had to build special trucks just to support the extra weight.

  • The reason it only weighs 285,000 pounds is that was the weight limit

  • for U.S. railroad bridges and trestles at that time.

  • So, the entire car is not armor-proofed, only where the President is.

  • The car has ⅝-inch thick bulletproof steel through most of the car,

  • up to this point here.

  • You can see where the rivets change from double rivets to single rivets.

  • Regular steel here versus the bulletproof steel here.

  • So, there's bulletproofing, there's 12-ply laminated glass,

  • there are two escape hatches in the car to get the President out.

  • It was never painted red, white, and blue like Air Force One.

  • It was always painted Pullman green.

  • When they had to park it somewhere,

  • they would hide it with other Pullman rail cars,

  • so it was basically hiding in plain sight.

  • - After Roosevelt's death, President Truman used the Magellan for a while,

  • asking the engineers to get the train up to 80mph, if they could.

  • Before television was a way to reach the masses,

  • Truman toured America in this train,

  • campaigning for re-election, travelling tens of thousands of miles

  • between tiny stations known as whistle-stops, and making up to eight speeches a day.

  • And it worked. The famous moment where he held up the newspaper

  • that wrongly announced his defeat,

  • that was just there, on the back of this train.

  • - Now in 1928, air-conditioning was accomplished by ice.

  • There are ice bunkers in the car, blocks of ice were put in there,

  • and ceiling fans across the whole car

  • would then blow the cold air as it dropped down.

  • So, now we're heading into the armoured part of the car

  • where the President stayed.

  • Here, we have the dining room.

  • All the rooms in the car had a phone in them.

  • When the car was underway, the phones were

  • hooked up to a radio car called the General Myer.

  • And when they were in stations, they were hot-wired

  • into the phones in the station.

  • This is the desk the President would use, he could sign papers.

  • This is what the windows look like.

  • This is 12-ply, laminated glass, about three inches thick,

  • so all the windows from this point to the rear of the car

  • are sealed, you cannot take them out,

  • which is why they have air-conditioning.

  • Stateroom C here, this is the President's quarters.

  • The President has a fixed bed, giving him a little bit of extra leg room.

  • That is what a commode chair looks like.

  • The back folds down as a sink

  • and the seat folds up to be a toilet underneath.

  • The wheelchair was built specifically for Roosevelt's use in this car,

  • so he could get up and down the narrow hallway.

  • Here we have the Presidential bathroom,

  • and the first of the two escape hatches are here.

  • What would have been a window has been converted to a steel plate

  • that they could push out and they could get

  • the President out that way if they needed to.

  • What looks like a soap dish hanging by the door here,

  • is actually a cigar holder.

  • Roosevelt would sit in there and smoke cigars.

  • Here we have the observation lounge of the car.

  • This is where Presidents would sit in the back of the car

  • and watch the rails pass behind them,

  • entertain their guests that were on the car with them.

  • We also have the second escape hatch.

  • This was fashioned from a submarine.

  • It was designed if the car was ever knocked over on its side,

  • they could open this door and go out it.

  • This door leads to the rear platform.

  • The door alone weighs 1500 pounds.

  • That's about half the weight of the car

  • that most people come to visit our museum in.

  • It was fashioned after a bank vault.

  • Out here is the rear platform.

  • This is where Presidents would give their speeches.

  • When Truman ascended to the presidency,

  • after Roosevelt died,

  • he pretty much lived in this car for a few months

  • as he did a run across the campaign trail,

  • and he made more than 350 whistle-stop speeches

  • from this back platform.

  • That's what allowed him to connect with the American people.

  • - Of course, air travel became easier and cheaper and safer

  • and eventually the Ferdinand Magellan fell out of use.

  • Nowadays it's a museum piece,

  • but in an era where the "Trump Train" is just a metaphor,

  • it's interesting to note that there were other Presidents

  • whose train was... a little more real.

  • - America as a country, except for certain parts of the country,

  • doesn't embrace rails the way that we used to.

  • This piece is historic, it is unique,

  • it is hearkening back to a simpler place and time,

  • and a simpler pace of life.

  • And that's what I wish we could kinda... get a little piece of that back.

  • Still keep our cell phones, I'm not giving that up(!)

  • - Thank you to everyone at the Gold Coast Railway Museum.

  • Pull down the description for more about them

  • and about the Ferdinand Magellan.

These days, American presidents travel around the country on Air Force One,

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米大統領の防弾車 (The US President's Bulletproof Railcar)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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