Immersive “Train Car Experience” Opens in New Orleans

Inside a recreated Pullman sleeper car at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA, visitors can peek into the world of the millions of Americans who joined the services in the 1940s. The “Train Car Experience,” which opened on Veterans Day, uses archival stock footage and authentic sound effects to create an immersive environment. Within the train car, the stories of real WWII veterans convey the emotions of those setting out from home to serve.

NLP is proud to have1383861063000-pullman-1 produce1383861768000-pullman2d the media for this innovative exhibit which honors the journeys of Americans who volunteered their services in a time of national need. The media experience begins in the pavilion outside the car, where portrait-oriented monitors display news headlines and propaganda from the era.

Once inside, a series of monitors fill the car’s windows with footage of train stations and the countryside; the imagery pans across the coordinated monitors, producing the effect that the train is rolling across the country. Newer footage was digitally distressed to blend with older archival footage, creating a seamless presentation. Seat-back monitors tell the stories of veterans who traveled by train to basic training, troop ships in various ports, and, finally, to return home after the war.

The railroads were a tremendously important tool for the military. To maintain secrecy around troop movements and training camp locations, soldiers were not always informed of their destination. Many set out from home unsure of where they were headed.

Another thought-provoking point to remember is that the U.S. military was a racially segregated organization during WWII, as was all military travel. Even at a time when national unity was so celebrated, many servicemen and servicewomen were treated as second-class citizens. (President Truman’s Executive Order 9981 officially abolished racial discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1948.)

The “Train Car Experience” was funded by a gift from Bobby and Lori Kent Savoie; Lori’s father Leroy Wayne “Pete” Kent served in the Navy during the War.

We hope you’ll check it out when you’re in the Big Easy!

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