Railsplitter Covered Wagon – Lincoln, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Railsplitter Covered Wagon

The world's largest covered wagon is piloted by a giant Lincoln lawyer. 


Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Largest Covered Wagon,” an honor that is unlikely to have a number of challengers, Illinois’ Railsplitter covered wagon is a roadside novelty driven by a titanic Abraham Lincoln. 

Created in 2001 by Illinois local David Bentley, the Railsplitter began as a project to kill time during his recovery from surgery. The four-wheeled wagon is built out of steel and oak and stands an impressive 25 feet tall and 40 feet long. It is designed like a classic prairie schooner with a deep central bed and a bench at the front where the driver would command the, in this case frighteningly large, chargers. Sitting in the bench of the Railsplitter is none other than beloved 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, albeit a 12-foot tall, fiberglass version of the man. In an oddly modern twist, Lincoln is molded here reading a book simply titled, “Law,” while he steers the wagon across the metaphorical plains. 

The wagon was finished to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the novelty-rotten road, Route 66, along which the Railsplitter now sits. The wagon was originally placed outside of Bentley’s house but was moved to its current home in Lincoln, Illinois in 2007. A large storm did a great deal of damage to the vehicle in 2014, but with the dauntless perseverance of the American frontier, local volunteers had it repaired in no time.

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