City OKs resolution to maintain WWII boxcar at Scottsdale park

The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is at 7301 E Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. (Submitted photo)

Scottsdale City Council approved a revised agreement to house and show-off a special boxcar, dating back to World War II, for an indefinite term.

Located at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park since 1996, the Merci Train was given as a gift to the people of the United States of America from the people of France to express gratitude for the United States’ assistance after World War II.

Each state received their own individual 40/8 boxcar, which was filled with gifts from the people of France.
Each boxcar was decorated with plaques representing the individual provinces of France. Arizona’s boxcar arrived in 1949 and was presented to Gov. Daniel E. Garvy on Feb. 18.

On Nov. 28, 2016 Scottsdale City Council passed a resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the Capitol Museum, a branch of the Arizona State Library, regarding the loan and care of the boxcar and the possible future loans of boxcar artifacts for public display at the park.

Following council’s approval, the state determined it needed to revise the agreement to shift responsibility from the state to the Arizona Capital Museum. By adopting the resolution on consent, during a May 9 city council meeting, the former resolution is repealed and a revised agreement is now in place.

The revised loan agreement contains most of the same substantive terms as the previously approved contract, just in a different format, the city staff report states.

The city will be responsible for repair of the boxcar as well as the conservation and maintenance of the boxcar, and the shade structure that covers it.

The estimated cost is $4,000-$5,000 each every five to seven years, but the state will reimburse the city for 20 percent of the annual cost of repair, conservation and maintenance.

The former contract included language outlining the responsibility of the state to reimburse the city for 20 percent of the annual cost of the identified conservation and maintenance costs. The revised agreement allows for the continued display of the boxcar at the park for an indefinite term.

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