The railroad completely changed the course of US history, and every town has it's own story about how transportation altered way of life - and at the Virginia Museum of Transportation, you can hear the story of Roanoke!
The railroad arrived to Big Lick in the 1850s, and changed what was then a little hamlet, into Virginia's LARGEST city west of Richmond! Yes - the railroad had THAT much of an impact!
The Norfolk & Western Railway was headquartered in Roanoke, and they created the world's most powerful steam locomotives. Sound exciting? Well, what if we told you that ONLY at the Virginia Museum of Transportation can you see and board the last two that still exist?
If that isn't reason enough to visit, we don't know what is!
If you want more, how about if we told you that The Railyard is home to over 50 pieces of rolling stock, along with the largest collection of diesel locomotives in the South?
Kids can learn about the Claytor Brothers, who were local Virginia brothers and giants in the railroad industry. You can climb aboard the actual cab of a diesel locomotives, plus see the Rail Gallery in the mini-theatre.
Also at the Virginia Museum of Transportation is an automotive gallery filled with cars and other vehicles from nearly ever decade of the 20th century (and Virginia license plates dating from 1917!), and don't miss the Star Cars of Hollywood - where cars from your favorite TV shows and movies feature!
Explore maritime history with models of historic sailing ships, and go back in time with a view of photographs of Roanoke Valley from 1900 to 1920!
If you love cars, trains, and other modes of transport, then a visit here might just have to be on the cars!
All aboard - choo choo!
$10 + tax
$6 + tax (Ages 3 to 12) / $8 + tax (Ages 13 to 18)
Seniors & students 19 to 25 years with ID: $8 + tax
3 years (and free for members too)
The Museum is large and much of their collection is outdoors. They recommend comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for outdoor temperatures
Grab something to eat in the area before or after your visit!
There’s so much to learn at the Virginia Museum of Transportation and they are eager to have you visit! Whether you go with a school group or other group, they can customize a visit that meets your learners’ needs. Their programs are fun, hands-on, interdisciplinary experiences. Costs vary depending on the activities you select for your group.
Bring that pocket money - there's a Museum Shop! From ornaments, to toys, apparel, wooden trains, books, and a host of other museum related gifts and souvenirs - there is something for everyone!
Most of the Museum—including the Rail Yard, main gallery exhibit areas, rest rooms, and the museum store—is accessible to persons with disabilities. The Safety Instruction Car is an historic car not designed to modern ADA standards. There is on-grade access to the car, but the theatre is not accessible by wheelchairs or strollers. The Model Circus Exhibit is in an upstairs gallery accessible only by stairs. Stairs are also necessary to enter the rolling stock that is open to the public and the Roanoke Valley Model Engineers’ layouts in the Museum’s basement that are open for some special events.
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10am - 5pm Monday to Saturday, 1pm - 5pm Sunday
Open year round but closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day; New Years Eve, New Years Day
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Virginia Museum of Transportation