The Class J 611 is on display at the VMT through Labor Day
611 returns to the North Carolina Transportation Museum on September 6, 2016..
Where is 611?
VMT is a Blue Star Museum!
Through Labor Day, September 5
The Blue Star Museums program offers free admission to the nation's active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps - and up to five family members. The military ID holder can either be active duty service member or other dependent family member with the appropriate ID card. The active duty member does not have to be present for family members to use the program. A family member of active duty military may include a spouse or child, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.
SOLD OUT---N&W 611 Fire Up Behind-the-Scenes Experience
[Museum Open All Day Friday, September 2]
$100 per person, includes museum admission.
Get up-close and personal with the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 during the locomotive's fire-up process.
611 Steamin' at the Virginia Museum of Transportation
Labor Day Weekend: September 3-5
Special activities with a steamy 611!
- Included in admission: Enjoy the Museum and visit 611's cab--closed toe shoes are required. Presentations by Chief Mechanical Officer Scott Lindsay on Saturday 10:30 am and 2 pm and Sunday 2 pm. The Museum's official 611 historian, Col. "Bud" Jeffries, will speak on Monday at 10:30 am and 2 pm. Get your tickets here...
- Blow the whistle and ring the bell on the Norfolk & Western Class J 611. Closed-toed shoes are required. Participants must be able to walk up a set of stairs to climb into the locomotive. $25 per participant in addition to admission. Get your tickets here...
- Take a bus tour of historic N&W sites around Roanoke, including Shaffers Crossing, the NS East End Shops, and the Virginian Yard and Station. Enjoy the ride on a vintage bus courtesy of the Commonwealth Coach & Trolley Museum. Participants must stay on the bus. Saturday and Monday 10:30 am and 2 pm; Sunday at 2 pm. $30 per participant in addition to admission. Get your tickets here...
- 611/521 Photo Session! Choose Late Saturday evening (6-8:30pm) or early Sunday morning (6-8:30am), or both! Purchase of Museum admission is not required for the photo session. Get your great photo of 611 under steam in the early morning or late evening light. We are positioning our EMD GP-9 521 next to 611 for a great 1950s image. The 521 is one of the "Redbirds" that took over passenger service on the N&W when the Class Js were retired. Each photo session is limited to 25 participants. For information, 611 is positioned out in the open facing East behind the Claytor Pavilion. Get your tickets here...
Grandparents Day: Celebrating First Responders
Saturday, September 17
Grandparents, First Responders, VMT members, and children under 3 are FREE
Family members of First Responders: $5
Adults (19+): $7; Children (3-18): $5
- Train rides pulled by a vintage diesel engine provided by the Roanoke Chapter, NRHS, $3 per person per ride.
- Gift to the first 250 guests and free ice cream for everyone (11am-3pm) provided by AARP
- Come see fire trucks! Can you bring a fire truck or other EMS vehicle? Please contact Tracy Bishop!
- Model Train Open House by the Roanoke Valley Model Engineers
- Photo booth and craft
- Free parking in the Brandon Lot
Virginia Science Festival School Preview Day
Friday, September 30
The Virginia Museum of Transportation partners with the Virginia Science Festival and the Science Museum of Western Virginia to welcome school groups for a hands-on investigation into transportation science. Registration and information.
Boy Scout Merit Badge Day: Railroading
Saturday, October 1
Hands-on opportunity for scouts to spend the day at the VMT and earn the Railroading Merit Badge. Tour historic equipment, visit an operating locomotive, and go for a ride. Lunch and a VMT patch are included. Space is limited. Register through the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountains Council.
Boy Scout Merit Badge Day: Truck Transportation
Saturday, October 29
Hands-on opportunity for scouts to spend the day at the VMT and earn the Truck Transportation Merit Badge. Visit a truck terminal and learn from trucking experts. Lunch and a VMT patch are included. Space is limited. Register through the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountains Council.
Candy Cane Express
Saturday-Sunday, December 3-4
Train rides, model trains, special holiday activities, and SANTA! Stay tuned for more details...
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.