POTUS* Special to Michigan City, Indiana 1996

* President of the United States

In 1996 when President Clinton was running for re-election he wound up his campaign with a 4 day "whistle-stop" campaign train from Huntington, WV to Michigan City, IN. He was to give a speech there before flying on to Chicago. I said to my mom that we should go check it out and see the president in person. So I drove us out there and we went to where the speech was to be which was in some sort of park as I recall...a little distance from where the train was to pull in. Enough that they would limo him over from the tracks. There were metal detectors and heavy security. Having gotten in I did some thinking and decided I really didn't need to hear him give a stump speech but would much rather see him getting off the train. So we exited the secure area and went back out to where the train was to stop by a road crossing. The Secret Service was all over and were telling people they couldn't stay there. But there was a little bar right next to the crossing. Well this was private property and they couldn't order it closed so all the people kind of crammed inside. Eventually I think they checked us over with metal detectors and then allowed us out on to the bar's open terrace. So that's where we waited with all the others. The photos are not too clear as I was shooting right into the sun. But I did get to see a sitting president.

The train consisted of two GE "Genesis" locomotives, several Superliner double deck cars and two privately owned cars, the MKT 403 and Georgia 300, both of which have ferried presidents before and since. MKT 403 was at the recent train festival in Owosso, Michigan.

Michigan City is where the South Shore still runs down the middle of the street. No, the President's train didn't arrive this way but wouldn't it have been cool?

Security was very tight. Among the many Secret Service agents were these who wore bulletproof vests labeled "POLICE - SECRET SERVICE". They carried machine guns.

Lead locomotive One of three Genesis units

President's Car Ex-Georgia Railroad

Just stopping beyond the crossing

President Clinton going to car

Presdent Clinton waving at onlookers

A better view of the MKT & Georgia RR cars

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