Hidden Gem: Virginia Museum of Transportation
303 Norfolk Ave. SW, Roanoke, Virginia From vintage locomotives to an official post-office bus, this museum celebrates the history and
303 Norfolk Ave. SW, Roanoke, Virginia
From vintage locomotives to an official post-office bus, this museum celebrates the history and development of vehicles that have kept people and businesses moving in Virginia and throughout the world. Its impressive collection of rail and road veterans includes a Norfolk & Western Class J Locomotive, a 1942 Ford/American LaFrance Fire Engine, a DC Transit Company Streetcar—retired in 1945—and a classic Model T Ford.
In addition to celebrated trains, trucks, and cars, the museum offers an array of exhibits exploring the impact of the transportation industry on the region. Highlights include a continually expanding documentary honoring the contributions of African-Americans to the Norfolk & Western Railroad, from 1930 to 1970, and an exhibit called “Working the High Iron,” displaying photographs of the men and women who worked for Norfolk & Western over the years.
Visitors can also peruse many vehicle-related photographs, including rare shots of early wagons, carriages, and airplanes in the Roanoke Valley; an eclectic assortment of railroad artifacts; and some early automotive ads.
Classic car enthusiasts can catch up on the progress of the museum’s developing automobile gallery. Kids and lifelong fans will delight in the huge model-train layout, with four tiers of track, swift-moving trains, and viewing levels to accommodate all sizes.
? Open daily Memorial Day – Labor Day. Tues.-Sun. Sept. – May. Closed major holidays. Admission charged.