Class J 611 travels back to the VMT on August 8 for display beginning August 9
611 has been at the North Carolina Transportation Museum for a series of special events and opportunities. The engine returns to NCTM after Labor Day in September.
Where is 611?
VMT is a Blue Star Museum!
Through Labor Day, September 5
The Blue Star Museums program offers free admission to the nation's active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps - and up to five family members. The military ID holder can either be active duty service member or other dependent family member with the appropriate ID card. The active duty member does not have to be present for family members to use the program. A family member of active duty military may include a spouse or child, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.
611: American Icon Premiere
Wednesday, August 24 at 7:15 pm
Grandin Theatre, 1310 Grandin Road, Roanoke, VA 24015
General Admission: $15
611: American Icon is the story of the most famous steam passenger locomotive in the world. Exclusive restoration footage takes you inside the locomotive’s massive boiler and firebox, the cab and iconic nose. Interviews with the restoration team and historians give you eye-opening insights to 611’s superior engineering. Rare historical footage tells the story of the famous N&W Shops and how the 611 became an enduring survivor loved by millions around the world. Director: Rex Teese. Writers: Rex Teese and Peg McGuire. Runtime: 83 minutes.
Tickets now on sale... | Buy the DVD... | Buy the BluRay... | Watch the Trailer...
N&W 611 Fire Up Behind-the-Scenes Experience
Friday, September 2, 7am to 5pm
$100 per person, includes museum admission. Tickets go on sale online on Monday, August 15 at 10am
Get up-close and personal with the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 during the locomotive's fire-up process. The day starts with a light breakfast and safety briefing. Exclusive access to the locomotive includes explanations from the crew as they do their work, time in the cab, and up-close photography. Closed-toed shoes are required. It takes a full day for the locomotive to be fired up, so expect time to explore the museum. Not recommended for small children. Locomotive is stationary during fire-up. Limited to 10 participants. This event is rain or shine, no refunds.
611 Steamin' at the Virginia Museum of Transportation
Labor Day Weekend: September 3-5
Special activities with a steamy 611!
- Included in admission: Learn about 611's history from the Museum's official 611 historian, Col. "Bud" Jeffries. Times TBA.
- Blow the whistle and ring the bell on the Norfolk & Western Class J 611. Closed-toed shoes are required. Participants must be able to walk up a set of stairs to climb into the locomotive. $25 per participant in addition to admission. Times TBA. Tickets go on sale online on August 15 at 10am.
- Take a bus tour of historic N&W sites around Roanoke, including Shaffers Crossing and the NS East End Shops. Enjoy the ride on a vintage bus courtesy of the Commonwealth Coach & Trolley Museum. Participants must stay on the bus. Times TBA. $30 per participant. Does not include admission. Tickets go on sale online on August 15 at 10am.
Grandparents Day: Celebrating First Responders
Saturday, September 17
Grandparents, First Responders, VMT members, and children under 3 are FREE
Family members of First Responders: $5
Adults (19+): $7; Children (3-18): $5
- Train rides pulled by a vintage diesel engine provided by the Roanoke Chapter, NRHS, $3 per person per ride.
- Gift to the first 250 guests and free ice cream for everyone (11am-3pm) provided by AARP
- Come see fire trucks! Can you bring a fire truck or other EMS vehicle? Please contact Tracey Bishop!
- Model Train Open House by the Roanoke Valley Model Engineers
- Photo booth and craft
- Free parking in the Brandon Lot
Virginia Science Festival School Day
Friday, September 30
The Virginia Museum of Transportation partners with the Virginia Science Festival and the Science Museum of Western Virginia to welcome school groups for a hands-on investigation into transportation science. Pre-registration opens soon.
Boy Scout Merit Badge Day: Railroading
Saturday, October 1
Hands-on opportunity for scouts to spend the day at the VMT and earn the Railroading Merit Badge. Tour historic equipment, visit an operating locomotive, and go for a ride. Lunch and a VMT patch are included. Space is limited. Register through the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountains Council.
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.
Candy Cane Express
Saturday-Sunday, December 3-4
Train rides, model trains, special holiday activities, and SANTA! Stay tuned for more details...
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.