Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

VA Museum of Transportation gets full ownership of 611 & 1218

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • VA Museum of Transportation gets full ownership of 611 & 1218

    Virginia Museum of Transportation assumes full ownership of 611 and 1218

    City of Roanoke gifts the Virginia Museum of Transportation the country’s most powerful and advanced steam locomotives of their kind ever built– the Norfolk & Western Class J-611 and the Class A-1218

    The beloved engines were gifted to the Virginia Museum of Transportation on its 50th birthday. The announcement means that for the first time in its 50-year history, the Virginia Museum of Transportation owns 100 percent of its collection.

    The announcement kicks off the Museum’s yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration. The year will be filled with special events, exhibits and celebrations.

    ROANOKE, VA – APRIL 2 – 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.

    The J-611 and the A-1218: Reflections of our legacy and our future

    The massive Norfolk & Western locomotives were designed and built by people in the Roanoke Valley in the famous N&W Shops. They are known to be the most advanced steam locomotives of their kind ever built. They are also the only ones left in existence.

    The Class A 1218 was put into service during World War II transporting troops and supplies to the east coast so they could be shipped to Europe. The Class J 611 debuted during the post-war era and helped to fuel the massive growth and economic activity during the post-war boom years.

    “The Virginia Museum of Transportation celebrates the skilled craftsmen from the Roanoke Valley who designed and built the best steam locomotives in the world,” Mayor Bowers said. “The 611 and 1218 say a lot about our citizens, our legacy and our future.”

    In the past, the locomotives contributed to Roanoke’s economic success by hauling coal, freight and passengers. Today, the massive locomotives are world-renowned and are contributing to modern-day economic success for the city.

    “One third of our visitors come from out of state – and most come just to see these powerful locomotives up close,” Fitzpatrick says. “These visitors sleep, eat and shop in Roanoke and generate over $2.2 million in direct tourism spending.”

    Fitzpatrick says that people of all ages come to Roanoke and the Museum to learn about the great strength of these locomotives. “They are a wonderful educational asset to the community,” he says. “School children, scouts and adults can learn history, science and math through these massive machines.”

    A brief history of the Virginia Museum of Transportation

    The City of Roanoke signed the proclamation creating the Roanoke Transportation Museum on April 2, 1962. The Museum was located in the Wasena neighborhood along the banks of the Roanoke River. It was managed by the City’s department of parks and recreation. In 1976, the City of Roanoke transferred operation of the Museum to a private non-profit organization.

    In 1983, the Museum was designated as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official transportation museum and was later renamed the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

    In 1985, floodwaters surged through the Museum, destroying the Museum and washing most of its collection down the Roanoke River. The Museum sustained an estimated $1.4 million in damages and no longer had a home.

    The Norfolk Southern Corporation generously offered to loan a portion of its Roanoke Norfolk & Western freight station, built in 1918, for the Museum’s new home. The Museum reopened with new interior exhibits within a year of the flood. Norfolk Southern later donated the entire building to the Museum.

    Several years ago, the Commonwealth of Virginia eliminated all funding for non-state agencies, forcing the Museum to lay off most of its staff. Even though the Virginia Museum of Transportation is designated as the “official transportation museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” the Museum does not receive any state funding.

    July 26, 2006: “Museum in Crisis”

    On July 26, 2006, the front page of the Roanoke Times told the tale of a museum in crisis. Fitzpatrick, the newly appointed executive director, was facing unprecedented issues on many fronts.

    The Museum was seven months behind in paying bills. A major storm ripped off portions of the roof of the Museum causing extensive damage and lost revenue. The Museum had no volunteers and almost no visitors.

    The Virginia Museum of Transportation was on the brink. Conventional thinking throughout the community was that it was only a matter of time before the doors would close forever.

    But, in the past five years, the VMT has experienced a remarkable turnaround:

    · Attendance: 182 percent increase in five years, with double-digit increases in the each of the last five years.

    · Membership: 66 percent increase since 2010.

    · Volunteers: 125 volunteers donated over 9,700 worth of hours in 2011. (A value of nearly $200,000.)

    · Educational Groups: 159 percent increase in 2010 and a 29 percent increase in 2011.

    · Museum Store sales: 61 percent increase since 2008.

    “We’re proud of the story our exhibits tell and the people they represent,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re also proud of what we accomplished in the last 50 years – and especially in the last five. What a wonderful birthday present to the community!”

    About the Norfolk & Western Class J-611 and the Class A-1218

    The Class A-1218 locomotive was known for its durability and power. It routinely pulled troop trains at 70 miles-per-hour. The locomotive was the mainstay of the Norfolk & Western line. The Roanoke shops built 43 Class A engines in the 1940s. The 1218 on display at the VMT is the only one that escaped the scrap yard.

    The sleek Class J-611 locomotives could pull a 15-car passenger train at 110 mph across level terrain. Only 14 such engines were built. The J-611 on exhibit in the Museum is the only one in existence today.
    Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

  • #2
    After destroying the wood beer car, it was the least NS could do........
    sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

    Comment


    • #3
      Foamers.
      "I HAVE MADE MY FINAL POST ON THIS FORUM. MY THANKS TO A FEW WHO HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFULL, HOWEVER I AM NOT GOING TO WASTE MY VALUABLE REST, READING AND RESPONDING TO "US vs THEM" VITRIOLIC PEOPLE."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JohnEasley View Post
        Foamers.
        Used to be. Now just have an appreciation for them & their history along with what it took to build something like that back in the day. If you've ever ridden behind either, or stood trackside & watched them go by in a blur of rods & wheels, and felt the earth shake... and to hear those whistles... man I just can't help but marvel at that & think it is cool to this day. And to think those engines were designed by & for the N&W in their own shops when other roads were ordering from Lima, Baldwin, & ALCO, well, that says something special about the pride they had in those engines & what those engines accomplished & stood for back in their time. I do have lots of fond memories of when they were in service with the NS Steam Program; it was really something to see & I'm grateful for every time I encountered them. I'm hopeful one day they will be pulled out of the museum & run some trips once again. I know if I won the $640 million powerball, they would be on their way to being restored ASAP
        Last edited by nsrlink; 04-04-2012, 08:15 PM.
        Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well 611 only needs a good overhaul, flues for sure and some other work, as she was put up in running condition and kept clean and under roof, fixing up would be no biggy. As for the other I think it's in good nick too. But on both counts there are new FRA boiler standards and they would have to be made compliant to get their blue cards and boiler certificates.
          sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

          Comment

          Working...
          X