Virginia Museum of Transportation assumes full ownership of 611 and 1218 as 50th birthday celebration starts
(April 2, 2012) Today, the City of Roanoke, with the support of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, gifted the Virginia Museum of Transportation the country’s last remaining examples of the most advanced steam engines of their kind– the Norfolk and Western Class J 611 and the Class A 1218.
The proclamation was made on the Museum’s 50th Birthday at a press conference in Roanoke, VA. Roanoke Mayor David Bowers delivered the news. Members of Roanoke’s City Council, special guests, Museum board, members and volunteers were on hand to cheer the announcement.
“What a wonderful birthday present,” says Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., the Museum’s executive director. “This gift shows great faith in the Virginia Museum of Transportation by our city leaders and administration. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this important day and to kick off the next 50 years.”
The VMT was originally known as the Roanoke Transportation Museum and was founded by the City of Roanoke. The charter was created on April 2, 1962. The Roanoke Transportation Museum opened its doors for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend in 1963. The City of Roanoke transferred operation of the Museum to a private non-profit organization in 1976.
Because of the original charter, the city of Roanoke still owned 40 percent of the equipment on display at the Museum until recently. All the assets, with the exception of the Norfolk & Western (N&W) Class J 611 and the Class A 1218, became property of the Museum in February 2012.
Today’s announcement transfers the two most significant pieces of Roanoke’s history to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Virginia Museum of Transportation announces the installation of an electric vehicle charging station, the first in Roanoke
(August 30, 2011) The Virginia Museum of Transportation announces it is installing an Eaton Level 2 Pow-R-Station electric vehicle charging station at the Museum in downtown Roanoke. The charging station is part of the Museum’s efforts to highlight emerging transportation technologies and their impact on community development throughout the Commonwealth. The Level 2 Pow-R-Station will easily fill a depleted all-electric vehicle battery in four to six hours.
The charging station is mounted in front of the Museum. When the installation is completed, the charging station will accept credit cards for payment. The project was made possible by the Eaton Corporation, City Electric Supply, the Davis H. Elliot Company, and Advance Auto Parts. Read more...
Norfolk Southern Challenge
In 2008, Wick Moorman, the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norfolk Southern Corporation, offered the Virginia Museum of Transportation a $1 million Challenge Match toward improved infrastructure and the development of new exhibits. In response, the Museum has undertaken a two-year planning process and welcomes the public’s comments and suggestions.
The Museum’s lead project consultant for this planning process is William L. Withuhn, Curator in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. He is widely considered the nation’s leading transportation exhibits producer and is familiar with the Museum, its strengths, weaknesses, audiences, and great potential.
“The Virginia Museum of Transportation has a wonderful opportunity ahead of it to do a better job of sharing the wonderful stories of Virginia’s transportation heritage with current and future generations,” said executive director Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr. “We are extremely grateful both to Norfolk Southern and to the public for the contribution of ideas and for the financial support necessary to bring the best of these ideas to fruition.”