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Virginia Museum of Transportation 7/27/2018

by Chris Guenzler

We got up at the Hotel Roanoke and after showering and shaving I took a walk while Robin slept to see some of Roanoke.

The Hotel Roanoke built by the Norfolk and Western Railroad in 1882.

The lobby area of the Hotel Roanoke. I walked out onto the glass bridge over the Norfolk Southern mainline.

Looking west are the mainlines,the Amtrak Roanoke station and downtown Roanoke.

Looking east the mainline splits with the one to the right going to Norfolk and the one to the left heading to Harrisburg with the Roanoke Shops in the middle of this picture.

The Norfolk Western station in Roanoke that houses the Winston O'Link Museum and the Roanoke Visitor Center. I returned to the room and we packed up and went to the lobby to call Enterprise to pick us up which they did in the car we rented, a Ford Fiesta. We went to the McDonald's where I had hotcakes and sausage. Next I drove us over to an impressive chuch

Saint Andrews Catholic Church in Roanoke.

NS B4 222 by the Roanoke Shops. From here are arrived at the Virginia Museum of Transportation early but the old railroad walk was displaced by the new Amtrak Roanoke station so they moved it here.

Locomotive cab of NS 8661.

One of the old railroad walk display now by the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation for the east side.

More of those old railroad walk displays.

Norfolk and Western Tricolor Signal display out in front of the museum.

Virginia Museum of Transportation

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is a museum devoted to the topic of transportation located in Downtown Roanoke, Virginia, US.


The Virginia Museum of Transportation began its life in 1963 as the Roanoke Transportation Museum located in Wasena Park in Roanoke, Virginia. The museum at that time was housed in an old Norfolk & Western Railway freight depot on the banks of the Roanoke River. The earliest components of the museum's collection included a United States Army Jupiter rocket and the famous N&W J Class Locomotive 611, donated by Norfolk & Western Railway to the city of Roanoke where many of its engines were constructed. The museum expanded its collection to include other pieces of rail equipment such as a former DC Transit PCC streetcar, and a number of horse-drawn vehicles including a hearse, a covered wagon, and a Studebaker wagon.In November 1985, a flood nearly destroyed the museum, and much of its collection. It forced the shutdown of the facility and the refurbishment of 611. In April 1986, the museum re-opened in the Norfolk and Western Railway Freight Station in downtown Roanoke as the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The museum has earned that title, being recognized by the General Assembly of Virginia as the Commonwealth's official transportation museum.

The locomotives Norfolk & Western 611 and Norfolk & Western 1218 were originally property of the city of Roanoke due to the museum's original charter. On the April 2, 2012, VMT's 50 Birthday, the city officially gifted the locomotive titles to the museum.

The Norfolk and Western Railway Freight Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The station consists of two clearly identifiable sections, both of which were completed in 1918. They are the two-story, fifty-bay-long, freight station proper which was built parallel to the railroad tracks and now is oriented south, and the one-story-with-basement brick annex that formerly housed the offices of the Shenandoah and Radford divisions of the Norfolk and Western. The building closed for railroad freight business in 1964.

Our visit

Robin and I was greeted by Courtney, Acting Director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation who assigned us a tour guide to take us through the railyard behind the old freighthouse that has the indoor displays of this museum. Robin was making his first trip here and this was my second time here.

NS SD-40 1584 locomotive cab display on our way outside.

The Big Lick station display.

Your first view as you step outside.

Washington DC Transit PCC 1470.

Norfolk & Western Class A Locomotive 2-6-6-4 1218.

Norfolk & Western 2-8-0 6.

Norfolk and Western YA 4-8-8-4 2156.

Virginian Railroad Caboose 321.

Museum view.

Wabash Railroad E8A 1009.

Norfolk & Western Redbird GP-9 521.

Chesapeake & Western T-6 10.

Norfolk & Western Bi-Centennial SD-45 1776.

Norfolk & Western RS-3 300.

Chesapeake & Western DS-4-4=660 662.

Norfolk & Western Blue C-630 1135.

AEP Glen Lyn switcher 02.

Boxley Quarries Whitcomb Switcher.

Celanese Porter Fireless #1.

Virginia Railroad SA 4.

Virginian Railroad Caboose 321.

Museum scene.

NS TOP Gon 23760.

Mead 200 Plymouth built in 1935.

Panama Canal Mule 6T.

Track speeder.

Norfolk and Western BRNH 612.

Norfolk and Western cabooses 518539 and 518409.

AEP Glen Lyn Plant RNRH 1.

Nickel Plate Road CY bay window caboose 470.

Norfolk and Western T6 41.

Lost Engines the Norfolk & Western M2 Class 1151.

Museum view.


More Buses.

This business car once belonged to the President of the Illinois Terminal Railroad Company.

Museum views.

Virginia Central Porter Rod Driven 3.

Virginian Railroad Electric Motor E-LC 135.

Pennslyvania Railroad GG-1 4919.

Norfolk Southern Training Car.

Ellett Shanty.

Museum view.

Norfolk and Western Dining Car China. Robin was given a tour of the avaition museum and since I had seen the rest of this great museum once before I watched the Trains Magazine DVD of the Return of the Norfolk and Western 611. Once Robin was done I thanks Courteny for having us both here today while Robin bought a T-shirt