The Virginia Museum of Transportation is a museum devoted to the topic of transportation located in Downtown Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.A.
Galleries and Exhibits:
- The first exhibit to be featured in the Automobile Gallery is the "From Mud to Mobility : A History of the Virginia Department of Transportation." The gallery's floor has been painted to reproduce the theme of this exhibit, beginning with a dirt road and graduating to a full-fledged interstate highway.
The Virginia Department of Transportation will sponsor this exhibit, featuring motorized dioramas, Burma-Shave signs, billboards, and a video history of the department. Many of the museum's antique automobiles are on display here as well. The museum also features occasional special exhibits such as the "Hollywood Star Cars" exhibit which showcased famous cars from the history of television and movies.
Five on-going exhibits cover sundry aspects of railroad life in America, especially Virginia. In addition to these on-going exhibits, the museum maintains an O-Gauge train layout modeled after Roanoke, Salem
, and Lynchburg
- "Working the High Iron- A pictorial history of the N & W Railway": This exhibit features many photos of the men and women who worked for Norfolk & Western throughout the years.
- "The Claytor Brothers - Virginians Building America's Railroad": Detailing the lives of Graham and Robert Claytor, this exhibit explores their past and their relationship that led to the merger of the Norfolk & Western and Southern Railways.
- "African American Heritage on the Norfolk and Western Railroad - 1930-1970":This exhibit is the result of an oral history project sponsored in part by Roanoke area businesses and individuals to document the often-ignored roles played by African-Americans on the rails. The exhibit includes pictures, artifacts, and recorded interviews with African-Americans who worked for the railroad.
- "Big Lick":This exhibit reproduces a 1930s rural train depot, featuring freight scales, a telegrapher's office, time tables, and a velocipede hand car used for servicing track.
- Aviation Gallery (Future):This area will showcase aircraft past and present. Artifacts include a hot air balloon, a gyrocopter, as well as two experimental planes, and a hang glider. Various models and photographs flesh out this exhibit. In the works are plans to add an interactive cockpit model with flight simulators, and a U.S. Army Cobra helicopter.
From January 20, 2011 to May 3, the museum was home to Chesapeake
and Ohio 614 as part of the museum's "Thoroughbreds of Steam" exhibit. Other pieces include automobiles such as a 1913 Metz, a 1920 Buick touring car, a Highway Post Office Bus, and an armored car used to showcase the Bill of Rights in 1991.
Though the most prominent pieces of the museum's collection are the two Norfolk & Western engines, there are more than fifty pieces of rolling stock in the collection. Some exhibits may be closed to the public as restoration is in progress on some pieces.
While the most of the railyard is ADA accessible to view the rolling stock, entry into the piece are not as they were built long before the standards of 1990. Some of the museums collection needs heavy restoration and is stored offsite on a track allowed by Norfolk Southern.
The museum is currently sought exhibts for their aviation gallery while it is under construction.