Experience the romance of the rails: Train Lovers Saturday at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, February 12
Just in time for Valentine’s Day
(Roanoke, VA)—The Virginia Museum of Transportation is hosting a day of fun and excitement for all ages: Train Lovers Saturday on February 12, 2011, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event kicks off a rare opportunity to see three of America’s steam locomotive powerhouses as the C&O 614 joins Museum favorites N&W 611 and N&W 1218 for a limited time. Check www.VMT.org for details and an activities schedule.
Highlights of Train Lovers Saturday include:
- Discounted admission: $5 for all ages all day.
- Opening Day for the new exhibit: Thoroughbreds of Steam: N&W 611 and C&O 614, the Pinnacle of Steam Locomotive Technology. These rival passenger locomotives have never before been seen together; in fact, the C&O 614 has not been publicly displayed anywhere in a decade.
- Special guest, renowned railroad artist Andrew Fletcher from California, will display a collection of his work. His prints will be on sale and he will be available to sign prints for visitors, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Kids’ activities: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- Roanoke Valley Model Engineers Open House: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., featuring an HO track that kids can run, plus a model sale. The group’s ON3, HO, and N scale layouts are only open a few times each year, located in the Museum’s basement. The entrance is on the back of the Museum just off the Rail Walk and around the corner from the Jupiter Rocket.
- Shop for your train lover’s valentine gift: all rail-related merchandise in the Museum Store is 15% off all day.
Both Norfolk & Western J 611 and Chesapeake & Ohio J-3a 614 were among the last steam engines to pull passenger trains in America. Both share the same 4-8-4 wheel arrangement, both represented the crowning technological achievement of their respective builders, and both are the last remaining examples of their class. The Museum’s Norfolk & Western Class J 611 was designed and built in 1950 by the N&W in its Roanoke Shops, while the C&O 614 was the last commercially manufactured 4-8-4, built by Lima (OH) Locomotive Works in 1948.
The exhibit is a joint project of the Virginia’s Rail Heritage Region partners. Thanks to Greenbrier Express Company for the loan of the 614, and to Norfolk Southern for moving the locomotive. The 614 will travel to the C&O Railway Heritage Center in Clifton Forge, VA at the end of April.
About the Virginia Museum of Transportation
Home to two of the most powerful steam locomotives in existence today—the N&W Class A 1218 and the N&W Class J 611—the Virginia Museum of Transportation regularly attracts visitors of all ages from across the U.S. and the world. Through exhibits, artifacts, and an outstanding collection of rail equipment, cars, trucks, airplanes, and more, the Museum tells the rich story of Virginia’s transportation history.
The Virginia Museum of Transportation is the Official Transportation Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but receives no state funding. In 2010, the Museum was named Non-Profit Arts & Culture Small Business of the Year by the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Museum is located in the historic N&W Freight Station at 303 Norfolk Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5. 540/342.5670. www.vmt.org
Submitted by Fran Ferguson.