The Class J 611 is at the NC Transportation Museum through October 23, traveling back to VMT on October 24.
Where is 611?
Antique & Classic Car Show
Saturday, October 22, Participants: 8 AM to noon
Museum open 10 am to 5 pm
Proud of your car? Display it at the VMT! Be one of the first fifty to register and enjoy coffee and free exclusive admission to the Museum starting at 8 AM (preview admission limited to a driver plus a maximum of three passengers per car). Cars will be parked inside the Museum's gates. Show your car off to Museum guests beginning at 10 AM. Museum visitors will vote for their favorite car with the winning car receiving an award at noon. Register early to guarantee your spot by calling Tracy Bishop at 540-492-2920 or Ron Vanderpool at 540-309-6945. There is no registration fee. More information...
611 Returns for an Early Bird Homecoming Celebration!
Monday, October 24
611 will be home in Roanoke until 2017. Join us for breakfast for her arrival back into the Museum or lunch while she is still under steam. Museum opens at 7 AM. 611's arrival expected between 7:30 and 9:30 AM. Breakfast and Lunch available for purchase from Hamm's Fine Foods. Climb in the cab and blow the whistle for an additional $25. Closed toe shoes are a must!
Boy Scout Merit Badge Day: Truck Transportation
Saturday, October 29
Hands-on opportunity for scouts to spend the day at the VMT and earn the Truck Transportation Merit Badge. Visit a truck terminal and learn from trucking experts. Lunch and a VMT patch are included. Space is limited. Register through the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountains Council.
Model Train Open House
Saturday, November 5, 10 AM to 5 PM
November is National Model Train Month! To celebrate, the Roanoke Valley Model Railroad Club, which has its layouts in VMT's basement, is holding an Open House! Come see their extensive layouts, pick up tips about building and design, and learn how to operate a model train! Open House admission is free, although regular admission rates apply for the Museum. Unfortunately, the model train layouts are only accessible by stairs. The Club meets every Tuesday evening. New members of all ages are always welcome.
Roanoke Chapter NRHS Open House at the Virginian Station
November 12, 11 am to 4 pm
The Roanoke Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, is celebrating the completed restoration of the Virginian Railway Passenger Station. The Chapter has been recognized for saving and restoring this unique structure (1910), which was nearly destroyed by a fire in 2001. Join them for an Open house with music by the Norfolk Southern Lawmen. There will be food vendors with goodies and drinks for sale. The station is located at 1402 S. Jefferson Street, at the corner of Williamson Road, Roanoke, Virginia!
Chasing the Powhatan Arrow Book Release
Friday, November 18, 5 to 8 PM: FREE
Join author Michael Abraham for the release of his new book, Chasing the Powhatan Arrow: A Travelogue in Economic Geography.
From its inception in the 1880s, The Norfolk & Western Railway primarily carried freight, principally conveying coal from the central Appalachian coal fields in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky to the eastern seaboard port of Norfolk and to Cincinnati for transfer to the steel mills and power plants of the Great Lakes region. But as a sideline, it always provided passenger service. A profitable, well-run company, N&W only accepted the very best.
As World War II ended, N&W offered several named trains along its main line, including the Cavalier, the Pocahontas, and its daytime flagship the Powhatan Arrow. Pulled initially by the magnificent Class J steam locomotives that N&W manufactured at its Roanoke Shops, the Powhatan Arrow provided fast, luxurious, and memorable service for three decades before passenger service was discontinued, giving way to automobile and airplane travel nationwide.
The corridor traversed by the Powhatan Arrow is a wonderfully complex, geographically fascinating, socially diverse, and economically mixed path through Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. The vicissitudes of time have endowed the communities along the way with a broad spectrum of fortunes, branching from prosperity to failure.
With railroads no longer carrying passengers, Michael Abraham duplicated the route as closely as possible by car, motorcycle, bicycle, and even canoe, gathering each area’s history and culture and profiling entrepreneurs, historians, railfans, and everyday people in this enlightening, humorous look at a swath of America’s past, present, and future.
Candy Cane Express
Saturday-Sunday, December 3-4
Train rides, model trains, special holiday activities, and SANTA! Stay tuned for more details...
Boy Scout Merit Badge Day: Aviation
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Mark your calendars! This will be a hands-on opportunity for scouts to spend the day at the VMT and earn the Aviation Merit Badge. More details to come! Lunch and a VMT patch are included. Space is limited. Register through the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountains Council.
Safety Car Theatre: Now showing "Going Home"
"Going Home," is a documentary produced by Norfolk Southern (1983) about the N&W Class J 611. Watch the 611 being built in the Roanoke Shops, restored for excursion service in 1982, and running under her own steam. Learn why this important engine is the Pride of Roanoke! (run time: 21 minutes, suitable for all ages.) Monday - Saturday showtimes: 11:15 am and 2:30 pm. Sunday showtimes: 2 pm. Showtimes subject to change. The safety car has a narrow hallway and is not wheelchair accessible.
Rail Yard Restoration Projects
The Museum has begun the cosmetic restoration of several pieces of rail equipment. The following are not on display, or may be intermittently closed, while work is in progress:
- N&W M-1 Railway Post Office Car
- Southern Pullman Sleeping Car "Lake Pearl" # 2422
- Pennsylvania Railroad GE GG-1 #4919
Roanoke Valley Model Engineers
The Roanoke Valley Model Engineers' ON3, HO, and N scale layouts are located in the basement of the Museum. The entrance is on the back of the Museum just off the Rail Walk and around the corner from the Jupiter Rocket. To drive to the back of the Museum, take Salem Avenue to 1-1/2 Street at Warehouse Row, turn left and head under the 2nd Street bridge to the back of the Museum. The Club's layouts are down the stairs. For more information...
International Plastic Modelers' Society, Roanoke Valley Chapter
Second and Fourth Thursdays, 7pm
The Chapter hosts builds and business meetings each month, as well as compteing in area shows. The entrance is on the back of the Museum just off the Rail Walk and around the corner from the Jupiter Rocket. To drive to the back of the Museum, take Salem Avenue to 1-1/2 Street at Warehouse Row, turn left and head under the 2nd Street bridge to the back of the Museum. The meeting room is up the stairs. For information, email Tim Ward, Chapter President.