The Norfolk & Western Class J 611 Steam Passenger Locomotive—known affectionately as the Spirit of Roanoke—has returned to the Virginia Museum of Transportation after a great set of inaugural runs!
Homecoming Events were made possible by: Norfolk Southern, O. Winston Link Museum, Virginia's Blue Ridge, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., Access, Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, TRAINS magazine, Woods Rogers, PLC, Farmer Auctions, Eugene M. Elliott, Jr., Attorney at Law, the Norfolk & Western Historical Society, Grand Home Furnishings, and Northfork Lumber. 611's restoration would not have been possible without the support from the more than 3,000 donors from around the world. Thank you!
The fundraising continues! Now our emphasis shifts to keeping 611 operational and protected for future generations. We anticipate breaking ground soon on her new home, a preservation and education facility at the Museum that will be home to 611, the N&W Class A 1218, and the N&W Class Y6a 2156 while she is here on loan from the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis. Learn more and donate here...
IN ROANOKE, the Norfolk & Western Railway designed and built America's most advanced steam locomotives.
The Virginia Museum of Transportation's outstanding rail collection includes the only remaining examples of the N&W's legendary success: the N&W Class A 1218 and the Class J 611. The last of third type of engine that formed the N&W Big Three, the Class Y6a 2156, is now at the VMT on a five-year loan from the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis.
In our Rail Yard, explore historic steam and diesel engines, cabooses, and other rail equipment as modern trains rumble past. Inside the Museum, enjoy model trains and hands-on exhibits, stroll among our antique automobiles, and explore our truck, bus, and aviation exhibits!