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Norfolk & Western Class J 611
Steaming home on May 30!
611 has been undergoing a complete restoration at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC, thanks to support from Norfolk Southern and thousands of donors worldwide.

611 Homecoming Celebration -- FREE!
May 30, 11 am to 5 pm in Downtown Roanoke

611 will return home to Roanoke on Saturday May 30, with arrival anticipated between 2 and 4 pm behind Roanoke's former passenger station, now home to the O. Winston Link Museum. Click here for parking information.

We remind all of 611's fans to practice safe railfanning and stay off NS tracks.

  • The O. Winston Link Museum will help welcome home the recently restored 611! In honor of this historic event, the Link Museum will be offering $1 admission from 10am – 7pm on May 30th!
  • The Roanoke Valley Model Engineers will set up displays in the Link Museum lobby.
  • Book Signing for Dash Dupree and the Queen of Steam: meet author Ali Standish and illustrator Ann Glover at the world premiere of the first children's picture book to celebrate children's (and adults') love of the 611! Purchase your book at the VMT, the Link Museum, or the 611 Souvenir Tent and get it autographed. Sure to become a collector's item! 11 am to 1 pm, in the lobby of the Link Museum.
  • Music by the Norfolk Southern Lawmen!
  • Activities for the kids
  • Cookies from the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center
  • Learn telegraph communications by the Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club
  • The VMT will be open 10 am to 5 pm, regular admission applies.
  • Meet our Rail Heritage Partners and learn more about this region's remarkable rail heritage and the people who are preserving it!
  • Food trucks will have food and refreshments available for purchase.
  • 611's Homecoming Welcome: Look for the stage near 611's cab for her official welcome back to Roanoke! The welcome takes place about a half hour after the engine's arrival. After that, her fans are welcome to view the Queen of Steam!
  • Sponsored by Norfolk Southern, O. Winston Link Museum, Virginia's Blue Ridge, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., Access, Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, TRAINS magazine, Farmer Auctions, Eugene M. Elliott, Jr., Attorney at Law, and the Norfolk & Western Historical Society.

Celebrate STEAM!
May 31, 10 am to 5 pm at the Virginia Museum of Transportation
$25 per person. $20 for Museum Members. Ages 12 and under FREE.
Buy tickets...
For the first time in 60 years, the Class J 611, Class A 1218 and the Class Y6a 2156 will be in the same rail yard. (Because of recent track work, the Big Three will not be staged like the iconic photo we all know and love.)

  • Get inside the cab of the Class J 611 (bring your camera!).
  • Talk to the 611 restoration team and learn how they restored the famous locomotive!
  • MUSIC by the Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band.
  • Meet Tom Garver, assistant to O. Winston Link and learn the stories behind the iconic photographs. Talks at noon and at 3 pm.
  • Model Train displays and activities for the entire family!
  • Food and refreshments available for purchase.
  • Sponsored by Norfolk Southern, Grand Home Furnishings, and Northfork Lumber.

611 will be on display on May 30-31, and then will be in transit and pulling excursions in June and July. She will be back at the Museum after the Fourth of July weekend. For information, excursion dates, destinations, and ticket prices, visit Fire Up 611!

African American Norfolk & Western Heritage Celebration
Saturday, June 20
This annual celebration highlights the many contributions that African Americans have made to the rail industry, and to the Norfolk & Western and Norfolk Southern.

VMT Annual Meeting
June 25 at noon
All members are invited to the Annual Meeting.

Star City Motor Madness
Cruise-in June 26; Car & Truck Show June 27
Star City Motor Madness is a celebration of America’s passion for the automobile and the love of cruising. The event enters its 14th year in 2015 and is held annually on the last Friday and Saturday in June. Star City Motor Madness draws from throughout the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. Through fees from the participants and donations from sponsors, the event raises money for the Virginia Museum of Transportation as well as other non-profit organizations. For spectators, all activities are free! Learn more...

Boy Scout Community Event: STEM, History and Art at the Transportation Museum
September 5, 10 am - 2 pm
For more information, visit the Boy Scouts of America, Blue Ridge Mountains Council.

Boy Scout Event: Railroading Merit Badge Day
October 3, 10 am - 2 pm
For more information, visit the Boy Scouts of America, Blue Ridge Mountains Council.

Boy Scout Event: Truck Transportation Merit Badge Day
November 7, 10 am - 2 pm
For more information, visit the Boy Scouts of America, Blue Ridge Mountains Council.

Safety Car Theatre: Now showing "Going Home"
Ongoing
"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
Ongoing

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:

Roanoke Valley Model Engineers
Tuesdays, 6:30-8pm
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.