Restored Lister hospital car debuts at National Railroad Museum | WFRV Local 5
ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – For more than three decades, the Joseph Lister Hospital car transported people from Chicago to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. You now have the chance to see it in all its glory after nearly two years – a year and a half restoration.
“It’s had years and years of service,” National Railroad Museum curator Daniel Liedtke said.
Boarding the train is like being transported back in time.
“We had the main fighter and the frame here, so everything else is really a labor of love,” Liedtke said.
The train is only two examples in the entire United States. It is named after Joseph Lister, a famous English surgeon who is best known as the founder of antiseptic medicine.
“Honestly, it’s so much better than we imagined because of the starting condition,” Liedtke said.
The train originally arrived on museum property in 1988 and has remained there ever since. It wasn’t until July 2019 that the museum began to take a look at the car and put it back where it is now.
“Honestly, it’s so much better than we imagined because of the starting condition,” Liedtke said, as he stood in the main cabin of the car.
There is also a private living room, with its own private bathroom. There are four bedrooms, two of which are specially designed for the Lister.
“They had exterior doors. So if people were on stretchers, they could get people in and out on those stretchers to get out and straight into those rooms,” Liedtke pointed out.
The museum has used original plans as much as possible. There is only one problem.
“There were drawings and photos, of course, but they were all black and white,” Liedtke joked.
In total, volunteers and museum managers spend thousands of hours getting the Lister back on track.
To see the timetables and the price of admission to the museum, visit his website.