The Best Christmas Story – Special “Liberty Limited” Train to Army Navy Game – Wounded American Heroes Traveled Aboard Famous Private Railway Cars to the game…
This is a YOUTUBE video of the hero’s train racing to Philadelphia. A little boy watches the train speed pass with total awe. The cars carrying the heroic soldiers aboard classic Pullman private and passenger deluxe equipment from the past. The original Liberty Limited was the Pennsylvania Railroad’s premier passenger train between Washington D.C. and Chicago.
A great holiday and Christmas story celebrating the true spirit of giving happened on December 10th. Wounded soldiers were honored as they traveled on the “Liberty Limited”! A special chartered a train transported soldiers from Walter Reed Hospital to the Army Navy Game. The train was organized by American patriot Bennett Levin.
They traveled in luxury aboard some of the most famous historical private railway Pullman cars still operating in America. The trip was completely for the soldiers.
Besides the train crew, car owners and staff – only the soldiers were allowed.
Self-aggrandizing Washington DC Politicians were prohibited from taking the train – avoiding their using the event to promote themselves. The media were barred and no military brass.
Just American heroes!
At 1,850 feet—19 private passenger cars and two classic EMD E-8 diesel-electric locomotives in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s famous Tuscan Red/gold pinstripe keystone livery—the Liberty Limited was a sight to behold, roaring up the Northeast Corridor at 90 mph on December 10, on its way from Washington D.C. to the 2010 Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.
Inside the gleaming private-varnish consist, with Liberty Limited operator Bennett Levin’s Pennsylvania 120 open-platform business/observation car bringing up the markers, were 70 “Wounded Warriors”—U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel from Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda Naval Medical Center. With them were 25 family members and guests, 24 military support staff, 16 car owners (who donated use of their equipment), 42 food preparation and wait staff, 30 crew members and police officers—“and no politicians or media,” according to Levin, who with wife Vivian and son Eric (Conrail’s Superintendent of Motive Power and rebuilder and caretaker of his father’s 1951-vintage E-8s), has operated this special trip three times at the behest of U.S. military.
During the course of the all-day event, there were 225 breakfasts, 160 lunches, and 250 dinners served on board private cars that came from Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, and New Jersey. This included ground crews from CSX Transportation and Conrail in Philadelphia, on site security and police escorts, and SEPTA drivers.
The following story is reprinted from the Philadelphia Daily News, written by Ronnie Polanescky.
And now, I bring you the best Christmas story you never heard!
“We have to let them know we care,” Vivian told Bennett.
So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on Dec. 3.
The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it.
Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains. Bennett Levin – native Philly guy, self-made millionaire and irascible former L&I commish – is one of them.
He has three luxury rail cars. Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas. He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard.
One car, the elegant Pennsylvania, carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and ’62. Later, it carried his brother Bobby’s body to D.C. for burial.
“That’s a lot of history for one car,” says Levin.
(The train speeds. The Chapel Hill – with the yellow stripe – was once owned by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. The wounded heroes lived a moment of history aboard such cars.)