Virginia Museum of Transportation
The Virginia Museum of Transportation, located in downtown Roanoke, is housed in the former Norfolk & Western Railway Freight Station. Built in 1918 in the Colonial Revival style, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Virginia Landmarks Register. The museum contains around 2,500 transportation-related objects, over 50 locomotives and trains cars, and the largest collection of diesel locomotives in the American south. The museum also has planes, vintage automobiles and other transportation artifacts. It is part of with the Virginia Rail Heritage Region, an organization formed in 2010 dedicated towards celebration the region's rail history.
Backstory and Context
The museum opened in 1963 in a Norfolk & Western Railway freight station in Wasena Park in Roanoke. Back then, as now, the museum focused on Roanokes locomotive history but automobiles, planes and other modes of transportation were represented as well. In 1983, the museum became the official transportation museum in Virginia. Unfortunately, two years later a flood caused $1.4 million dollars in damages. Norfolk & Western Railway decided to donate their downtown freight station to the museum, which opened in 1986