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The Crewe Railroad Museum and returning to Roanoke 8/1/2018

by Chris Guenzler

We left the Knights Inn for good and headed up US 1 to Interstate 85 north with a stop to gas the rental car for the final time and breakfast at MacDonald's in South Hills, Virginia. From here it was a short trip on Interstate 85 to Virginia Highway 46 to US 460 that took us to Crewe.

The Crewe Railroad Museum 8/1/2018

The Crewe Railroad Museum is located on Highway 460 in the heart of town, four miles from the junction of 360/460. In the yard climb on a diesel engine, a caboose and our steam engine 606 that has recently arrived. View a baggage cart and other railroad articles that were used. In the station, enjoy a room full of pictures and artifacts with their history. We have a display of the Crewe Roundhouse and trains of the steam era by Al Gerard of Washington, NC and a model train layout by Ron Timma of Jetersville, VA to delight the young and old railroad buffs alike! During the month of December every year we have a Holiday and Christmas Layout Tour planned to include our trains and a 50 foot layout that is fantastic.

I had contacted this museum to let them know that we were coming this morning at 10:00 AM but no one from their group showed. This was only the third time in all my trips that this happened. So Robin and I would have to take pictures through the fence and while we would not be able to see what was in the station, this was our only option.

Our Visit

Across the driveway we learnt about Robert E Lee's retreat. You never know where you will find history!

Norfolk and Western coach 1723 built by Pullman-Standard in 1941.

United States Army 2-8-0 5846 later 606, painted as Norfolk and Western 606, built by Lima in 1945.

The Crewe Railroad Museum sign.

Two more views of Norfolk and Western 2-4-0 606.

Norfolk and Western caboose 518501 built by International Car in 1969 as 518510.

Norfolk and Western box car 604143 painted as this number but is really Norfolk and Western 600651.

Norfolk and Western box car 518704 originally 515028 built by Ralston Car in 1937.

Norfolk and Western triple bay hopper 26004 built by Norfolk and Western as 41812.

Santa Fe GP7 2739 built by EMD in 1952. At some stage, it was rebuilt as a GP7u. The locomotive went to the Georgia Southwestern, where it was renumbered 2185 and then to the Virginia Southern. After being acquired by the Crewe Railroad Museum, it was repainted in the Norfolk & Western livery.

The Crewe water tower has a painting of Norfolk & Western 611 on it.

Another view of their display train.

A Norfolk and Western railroad signal.

Another Crewe Railroad Museum sign on the east side of their property.

N&W trackside shed.

At the south side of the museum is Norfolk and Western GP7u 2185.

The replica Crewe train station which serves as the museum.

Museum view.

Norfolk and Western hand car. We departed here and drove west down US 460 where I had an idea. I asked Robin if he had ever been to the Appomattox Court House and he replied that he had not. So when we arrived in Appomattox, we drovenorth to the Appomattox Court House National Park.

Appomattox Court House National Park 8/1/2018

We parked the rental car then started into the park.

The McClean House and kitchen.

Isbell House with kitchen and smokehouse behind it.

The Appomattox Court House which is the vistor center for the park.

Mecks Store.

Woodson Law Office.

Side view of the Appomattox Court House.

Clover Hill Tavern.

The Tavern Guesthouse.

The Tavern Kitchen.

Meeks Stable.

The outhouse.

Another view of the Clover Hill Tavern.

McClean House with Kitchen and Slave Quarters.

The McClean House which was the surrender site on April 9, 1865 between Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union General Ulysses S. Grant, ending the Civil War, also known as the War Between the States.

Lafeyette Meeks' grave.

The Appomattax County Jail constructed in 1867.

The rear of the Appomattax Court House.

A country view.

Kelley House.

This sign tells about the surrender ceremony.

From this spot was fired the last shot from the artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865.

Here is the cannon that fired the last shot of the Civil War.

Peers House.

Lee and Grant meet sign.

Salute of Arms.

On this spot Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee met on the morning of April 10, 1865.

Two views of the countryside.

This ends my coverage of the Appomattax Courthouse National Park. We walked out to the rental car and headed our final miles back to Roanoke.

Roanoke 8/1/2018

This time I knew to go further south of Williamson Blvd and this time we found our prey and the last official stop on this southern trip, the Virginian Railway passenger station.

Virginian Railway passenger station

The Virginian Railway passenger station, also known as the Virginian Station is a former rail station listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the South Jefferson neighborhood of the independent city of Roanoke. Located at the intersection of Jefferson Street SE and Williamson Road, the Virginian Station served as a passenger station for the Virginian Railway between 1910 and 1956. The station was the only station constructed with brick along the entire length of the Virginian's 608 miles network. Severely damaged by fire on January 29, 2001, current plans for its restoration are underway.


Standing at the division point between the New River Division and the Norfolk Division of the Virginian Railway, construction commenced on the Virginian Station in September 1909 and was complete by early 1910. Measuring 162 feet long by 32 feet wide, the station consists of a pair of one-story buildings, connected by a covered overhang and features a tile roof, a blond brick facade and terrazzo floors.

Overshadowed by the larger Norfolk & Western Railway, this would serve passengers traveling between West Virginia and Norfolk through 1956 when passenger service was discontinued. By 1959, Virginian would merge with Norfolk & Western, and the former station would be leased out and subsequently operated as a feed and seed store.

By the late 1990s, the station was threatened with demolition to make way for an expansion of the Carilion bio-tech campus resulting in its placement on the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation's 2000 list of Most Endangered Sites. Operating as the Depot Country Store, on January 29, 2001, the former station suffered severe damage as a result of a fire. Despite the extensive damage, the station was cited for both its unique design and contribution to the railroad industry in Roanoke, and has been listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register since April 2003 and the National Register of Historic Places since June 2003.

A grass-roots effort to rehabilitate the former station into office space for the Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in addition to additional leaseable office space is underway.

I walked through the station breezeway to get pictures of the Northfolk Southern DPU's on coal trains in the old Virginian Railway yard.

Behind the station is this Virginian Rock.

There is also a Virginian Railway signal on display here.

Virginia Historicial Marker.

The Roanoke Virginian Railway passenger station.

Norfolk Southern ES44DC 7593. From here we went back to the Virginia Transportation Museum so Robin could buy a red N&W 611 hat. We cleaned out the car then drove to the Hotel Roanoke and checked in. We returned our great rental car at Enterprise and they gave us a ride back to the Hotel Roanoke.

Once back, we picked up our cameras and exited the hotel.

The Hotel Roanoke. It was great to be back here.

The historicial marker for the Hotel Roanoke. After these two pictures, we crossed the bridge and went to the Amtrak station to hopefully catch some Norfolk Southern train action. It did not take long.

The view both ways in Roanoke.

Norfolk Southern 1004 west. This train had NS SD70ACe 1004 and NS ES44AC 8019. After this train I saw an eastbound train coming so I went up to the Martin Luther King walkway over the Norfolk Western. I did beat that eastbound train to my photo spot.

Norfolk Southern 7529 east. This train had NS 7529, NS 8348 and NS 8106. The weather started to become stormy so we headed back to the Hotel Roanoke.

Roanoke City buses crossing the Norfolk Southern mainline.

As it started to sprinkle, I got into the escalator and looked up at the top and saw this roundhouse turntable artwork.

There are plaques on this bridge telling the railroad history; this one tells about the Roanoke shops. We returned just before the sky let loose and I put up my last story on the website and then on I also put the pictures from today into the computer and named them before we went down to the Pine Room Lounge where I had chicken wings and Robin enjoyed a Turkey Club House sandwich with bacon along with bread pudding with rum sauce for dessert. I returned to the room and worked on some of today's story then showered and called it a night.