September 5, 10 am - 5 pm
Presented by AARP
Discounted admission: $5 per person. Grandparents, Museum Members, and children 2 and under get in FREE!
Train rides: $3 per person per ride. Children 2 and under ride FREE!
Come see the cars and locomotives your grandparents loved!
- Diesel train rides (sorry, not 611) presented by the Roanoke Chapter, NRHS. Enjoy a trip in a historic coach or vintage caboose!
- Free gift to the first 250 children.
- Free ice cream, 11 am to 3 pm, while supplies last.
- The engineer’s cab of the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 will be open for tours. Learn from a member of the engine crew what it takes to operate the steam locomotive.
- The Roanoke Valley Model Engineers located in the Museum’s basement will welcome guests to their Open House. Their O, HO, On30, and N scale layouts are only open to the public a few times each year. Plus, there is a layout for children to run!
- Learn how to make a model tree and help the forest in the Museum’s O Gauge layout grow.
- Antique automobile experts will be on hand in the Advance Auto Parts Automotive Gallery to answer questions and enable guests to explore some of the cars in the Museum’s collection.
- Dash Dupree and the Queen of Steam is a special children’s story book that tells a fanciful story of one child’s love for the Class J 611. Nancy Ruth Patterson, Dash’s “grandmother,” will be on hand to read the story at 11, 1 and 2, and share the beautiful illustrations. Afterwards, children are invited to join our educators for a special activity related to the book.
- Families can capture the memories and fun of the day by taking a family photo in a photobooth with a 611 backdrop.
- Food will be available for purchase.
Roanoke Science Festival
September 26, 10 am - 5 pm
The VMT celebrates STEAM: Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math! Learn all about transportation science through hands-on activities! Make paper helicopters and planes as you learn what makes them fly. Place tiny boats on the water as you play sink or float. Design your own train, plane or car of the future. See steam created right before your very eyes. Museum activities will include (but not be limited to) force and motion, potential and kinetic energy, steam vs. diesel engines, Bernoulli's principle, sinking vs. floating, train braking systems, coal, train design, casting metal, helicopter and jet plane flight, steam, pistons, steam, the principles of flight, and wheels. This event is a part of the Virginia Science Festival, presented by the Science Museum of Western Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Boy Scout Event: Truck Transportation Merit Badge Day
October 3, 8 am - 3:30 pm
Calling all Scouts in the Great Valley District! Spend the day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation with full access to the rail yard and galleries, earn the Truck Transportation merit badge, ride on a historic bus courtesy of the Commonwealth Coach and Trolley Museum to visit the local Old Dominion Freight Line truck terminal, and learn from truck experts; lunch and a Virginia Museum of Transportation patch are included. Space is limited on a first-come-first-served basis to 30 Scouts. The gift shop will be open. Cost is $15 per Scout. Download the flyer for more information and to register by September 26.
Boy Scout Event: Railroading Merit Badge Day
November 7, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Hands-on opportunity for all Scouts in the Great Valley District to spend the day at VMT with full access to the rail yard and museum activities. Earn the Railroading Merit Badge, tour historic equipment, visit an operating locomotive, and go for a short train ride. Lunch and a VMT patch are included. Space is limited on a first-come-first-served basis to 30 Scouts. Cost: $15 per Scout includes full VMT access, knowledgeable instruction, lunch, patch, and use of individual tablet computer. Download the flyer for more information and to register by October 24.
Safety Car Theatre: Now showing "Going Home"
"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
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:
- N&W M-1 Railway Post Office Car
- Southern Pullman Sleeping Car "Lake Pearl" # 2422
- Pennsylvania Railroad GE GG-1 #4919
Roanoke Valley Model Engineers
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.