Norfolk and Western Class A Steam Locomotive #1218

Norfolk and Western Steam Locomotive Class A 1218










  • Manufacturer: Norfolk & Western
  • Production era: 1930s - 1950s.
  • Designed for power and low maintenance
  • 43 produced
  • Pulled freight and coal trains for the N&W between 1936 and 1959
  • During World War II, the Class A's were used to move troops and equipment for the military.
  • Speed: Up to 70 mph
  • Regularly pulled 190 loaded coal cars (17,000 tons) between Williamson, WV and Portsmouth, OH and 200 cars (18,000 tons) between Crewe and Norfolk

# 1218

  • Built for the N&W and began service on June 2, 1943
  • Cost: $163,872
  • Constructed in just over 2 weeks, breaking all N&W Shop records
  • Pulled coal trains between Roanoke and Norfolk (252 miles).
  • Retired in July, 1959.
  • The 1218 was one of three (1202, 1230) sold in July, 1959 to Union Carbide at Charleston, W. Va. to serve as oil-fired stationary boilers.
  • In 1963, it was sold to Nelson Blount and moved to Bellows Falls, Vermont to be displayed at Blount's Steamtown exhibit.
  • In 1969, it was obtained for the Museum and moved to Roanoke, given a cosmetic overhaul and displayed at the old museum in Wasena Park.
  • In 1985, it was taken out of the park and moved to Birmingham for restoration and excursion service, an overhaul which took two years.
  • Retired from excursion service in 1994
  • Featured in Vanity Fair magazine and photographs in the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke
  • Moved to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in 2003
  • The 1218 is the last remaining Class A