Norfolk & Western Safety Instruction Car #418

Visiting Safety Instruction Car 418

The Safety Car features a 48-seat theatre which is now showing “Going Home,” the story of the N&W Class J 611.

This is an historic car not designed for ADA access, although there is on-grade access into the car. No wheelchairs or strollers, and no food, drink, or smoking, please.


  • Manufacturer: Pullman Standard Manufacturing Co.
  • Due to the inherent danger of railroad work, rail companies required their employees to attend instructional seminars each year.
  • Most were set up like a movie theater with rows of seating, a screen and a projector.

# 418

  • Manufactured in 1947 in Worcester, MA
  • Began service as a stainless steel cafe lounge car #70 called the “Bald Eagle” on the Boston & Maine Railway.
  • Traveled on the Boston & Maine and the Wabash railroads. In fact, the Wabash included this car as part of its famed train, the “Wabash Cannon Ball.” The car continued in passenger service following the 1964 merger of the Wabash and the N&W.
  • In 1971, the #418 received an extensive makeover from lounge car to instructional car. New features included an office, a bedroom for the instructor, bathroom, and shower as well as an instructional theater capable of holding 48 people.
  • The remodeled unit functioned as a safety instruction car traveling to railroad facilities and rail festivals mostly in Midwestern states until its retirement in 1986.
  • This car was donated to the Museum by Norfolk Southern Corporation.

Now Showing in the Safety Car Theatre:

“Going Home,” 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.)

Showings Monday – Saturdays at 11 am and 2 pm. Sundays 2 pm. Show times subject to change.

Learn more about the Safety Car:

Meet Retired Safety Instructor, Dan Maguire
Learn about life and work on the car
Details of the 418’s history
Where did the car travel?

Norfolk & Western Safety Instruction Car 418