Virginia Room Digital Collection

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The Virginia Room Digital Collection includes photographs, oral histories, books, pamphlets and finding aids to items in the Virginia Room. Continue to check back for new additions.

Browse Items (67 total)

RVNH40250.jpg
Virginian Railway Engine No. 127 in Roanoke.

FE236 N&W Shops.jpg
Aerial view of Norfolk & Western east end shops.

FE094 Old 97.jpg
The wreck of the "Old 97" was an American rail disaster involving the Southern Railway mail train, officially known as the Fast Mail, while en route from Monroe, Virginia, to Spencer, North Carolina, on September 27, 1903. Due to excessive speed in…

FE089 Old 97.jpg
The wreck of the "Old 97" was an American rail disaster involving the Southern Railway mail train, officially known as the Fast Mail, while en route from Monroe, Virginia, to Spencer, North Carolina, on September 27, 1903. Due to excessive speed in…

FE086 Old 97.jpg
The wreck of the "Old 97" was an American rail disaster involving the Southern Railway mail train, officially known as the Fast Mail, while en route from Monroe, Virginia, to Spencer, North Carolina, on September 27, 1903. Due to excessive speed in…

HNWR160.jpg
Here is but one example of how mechanization assisted significantly in the maintenance of tracks. A machine removes cross ties for the crew.

HNWR153.jpg
An aerial view of Bellevue Yard in Ohio, looking east. The classification yard is at left center and immediately to the right is the car repair facility. In the distance are the receiving and departure yards.

HNWR104.jpg
This view shows the early Roanoke passenger station (center),the N&W office building (center right), and the Hotel Roanoke (right).

HNWR044.jpg
This history of the Nickel Plate Railroad is an amassment of histories from other lines, such as Lake Erie and Western, Clover Leaf, and the Wheeling and Lake Erie. The Nickel Plate was officially the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad…

HNWR038.jpg
This photograph shows track crews at work along the N&W line. Track laying and maintenance was an awesome undertaking, given the thousands of miles of track owned and operated by N&W. Only in the middle part of the 20th Century did track work…

HNWR028.jpg
Engine No. 2165 is northbound near Waynesboro, Virginia, hauling a small but varied freight load.

HNWR026.jpg
A hopper with coal is ready to go. 1970 was the peak for N&W coal traffic, when the railway carried 90.6 million tons of coal. While coal was profitable, it was not always a source of revenue. Floods, miner strikes, and other labor disputes cut…

HNWR023.jpg
A foreman gauges track to make certain the distance between the rails is exactly 4 feet, 8 inches. In 1883, the N&W operated primarily on a 5-foot gauge; however, on June 1, 1886, the N&W and other southern railroads adopted the now-standard gauge…

HNWR021.jpg
In the late 1920s, the N&W developed a new strategy in rail safety education - the motion picture car. Carrying the "Safety First" logo, the car traveled various rail lines of the N&W as a mobile classroom for the purpose of providing safety…

HNWR019.jpg
This photograph was taken at east Radford coal wharf. It depicts Engine No. 138 and crew. Mr. Akers, engineer; Charlie Roby, fireman; Mr. Allen and Mr. Adkins.

HNWR013.jpg
Passengers board an N&W coach. Passenger service when into a steep decline after the mid-1940s. In 1946, for example, the N&W carried 3.4 million passengers. By 1950, that figure was about 900,000. The automobile was taking its toll on the…

HNWR012.jpg
Engine No. 500 pulls out of Norfolk with the Pocahontas. The Pocahontas' maiden run occurred on November 21, 1926, when she ran between Norfolk and Columbus, Ohio. That run replaced the former "Norfolk-Chicago Express".

HNWR011.jpg
This photograph of the crew of Engine No. 82 was taken when Goodwin, West Virginia was a western terminus. The engine was standing on the Wye track. Crew members are S.D. Clowers, engineer; R.S. Brown, engineer; James Emmons, fireman; George…

HNWR010.jpg
An N&W passenger train speeds between Roanoke and Christiansburg, Virginia. The N&W provided extensive passenger service through southwestern and southeastern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, West Virginia, and into parts of North Carolina. With…

HNWR009.jpg
On July 2, 1889, a night storm swelled Wolf Creek near Thaxton, Virginia, which rose out of its banks just as passenger train No. 2 was crossing. The situation became N&W's first major disaster. There was only one survivor, trainmaster James…

HNWR008.jpg
An early N&W mail car. The N&W purchased the car, which was built in 1892. Railroads were a popular and effective way to distribute mail around the country. Clerks aboard the cars would actually cancel the letters en route with the initials RPO,…

HNWR006.jpg
Employees at the N&W roundhouse in Lynchburg. While Lynchburg served as the divisional point for the N&W during its first few years, increased coal and ore traffic caused the N&W to move its divisional points farther west in 1888.

HNWR005.jpg
Here is the Old Yard Office located upstairs from the N&W Passenger Station at Radford. Pictured from right to left are Zince, Stump, E.E. Allen, Lawrence Allen, Louis Lucas, Horace Price, Tom Heslep, H.A. Hall, J.C. Turner, O.C. Charlton, J.H.…

HNWR004.jpg
This photograph captures the station and crew at Welch, West Virginia. It is believed that the building in the background is the courthouse. Notice the freight car to the left.

HNWR003.jpg
The carpenter crew has almost completed work on the station at Vicker, Virginia in this photo. Carpenters built everything from depots to boxcars and cabooses, to the finished interiors of passenger coaches.

sr180.jpg
“Memphis Special” made its debut through the Roanoke Valley on June 20th, 1909, running between Memphis, Tennessee, and New York City. The Memphis Special remained for years a popular passenger train, being the fastest and most direct route to New…

sr113.jpg
For many years, Salem had also benefited from passenger service provided by the Virginian Railroad. Virginian passenger service in Salem ended in 1954, five years prior to its merger with the N&W.

sr112.jpg
Passenger service at the Salem depot ended on April 30, 1965. On that day, YWCA kindergartners boarded the Powhatan Arrow for a trip to Christiansburg. That same year, the N&W donated the station to the town of Salem.

sr111.jpg
The N&W Railway donated and created a park near the passenger station in 1933 at College Avenue and 8th Street. The park was one of several that were developed in Salem during that time period.

sr110.jpg
The passenger station hosted a prominent visitor on October 19, 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt came to dedicate the new Veterans’ Hospital. After the ceremony, the President came to Salem where he was escorted by Salem’s mayor and a cadre…

sr046.jpg
The official arrival of the Norfolk and Western Railroad (later Railway) into the Roanoke Valley occurred on June 18, 1882, when an N&W locomotive steamed into the newly-named Town of Roanoke. With the coming of the railroad, the population and…

Creasy5 N&W Yards.jpg
The Norfolk & Western yards.

PC 122.8 N&W Buildings.jpg
"Moonlight scene showing new viaduct, Roanoke Hotel and N&W office building, Roanoke, Virginia."

PC 122.7 N&W Terminal.jpg
"Sunset view of Roanoke, Virginia with Norfolk & Western terminal in center."

PC 122.51 N&W Passenger Station.jpg
"Norfolk & Western Train Station, Roanoke, Virginia."

PC 122.5 N&W Passenger Station.jpg
"Roanoke, Virginia - The Star City of the South. This city is headquarters of America's most prosperous railroad, the Norfolk & Western, and located here are its shops and offices. Today, Roanoke is a beautiful city - replete with fine schools and…

PC 122.4 N&W Depot.jpg
"Norfolk & Western Station from Auditorium, Roanoke, Virginia."

PC 122.3 Norfolk & Western Station.jpg
"Norfolk & Western Station, Roanoke, Virginia."

PC 122.22 Norfolk & Western Depot.jpg
"Norfolk & Western Railroad Depot, Roanoke, Virginia."

PC 122.2 Norfolk & Western Depot.jpg
"Norfolk & Western Depot, Roanoke, Virginia."

PC 122.1 N&W Depot.jpg
"Depot, Norfolk & Western Offices and Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia."

Scyphers28 Pocahontas.jpg
Passengers aboard the Norfolk & Western Pocahontas, possibly on its last excursion. The passenger train ran from November 1926 through May 1971.

Scyphers26 Pocahontas.jpg
Norfolk & Western employees stand in the doorway of the Pochontas, possibly on its last excursion. The passenger train ran from November 1926 through May 1971.

Scyphers23 N&W GP9.jpg
Norfolk & Western GP9 #516 locomotive pulling the Pocahontas near the N&W shops.

Scyphers21 Pocahontas.jpg
Passengers aboard the Norfolk & Western Pocahontas, possibly on its last excursion. The passenger train ran from November 1926 through May 1971.

MP 58.0 Ole 97.jpg
The aftermath of the wreck of the "Ole 97". Due to excessive speed in an attempt to maintain schedule, the train derailed at the Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia where the train careened off the side of the bridge, killing eleven personnel…

MP 27.3 Engine 609.jpg
Engine 609 of the Norfolk & Western Railway.

MP 27.2 Engine 604.jpg
Engine 604 of the Norfolk & Western Railway.

MP 27.1 Engine 601.jpg
Engine 601 of the Norfolk & Western Railway.

MP 27.0 Engine 2151.jpg
Engine 2151 of Norfolk & Western Railway.

Underwood 19 N&W Yards.jpg
Aerial view of the Norfolk & Western Railway yards.

Davis GL 242 Shaffers Crossing.jpg
North entrance to Shaffer's Crossing.

Davis GL 237 Walnut Avenue Bridge.jpg
Side view of the Walnut Avenue and Jefferson Street bridges.

Davis2 61.25 Virginian #104.jpg
An unidentified group stands in front of Virginian #104, a class EL-#3A electric locomotive.

Davis 66.811 Franklin Road RW Bridge.jpg
Norfolk & Western railway bridge over Franklin Road.

Davis 66.81 Franklin Road RW Bridge.jpg
Railway bridge over Franklin Road under construction.

Davis 66.3a Jefferson Street Bridge.jpg
Jefferson Street Bridge was built in 1926

Davis 61d N&W General Offices.jpg
Original Norfolk & Western General Offices, formerly located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Shenandoah Avenue. The building was destroyed by fire on 4 January 1896.

Davis 61b N&W Rails.jpg
Member of the Travelers Protective Association prepare to leave for Denver.

Davis 61a N&W Rails.jpg
View of Norfolk & Western rails. Southwest Virginia Memorial Bridge crossing the New River in background is under construction.

Davis 61.31 N&W Bridge Construction.jpg
American Bridge and Iron Company constructs a Norfolk & Western bridge over the south branch of the Elizabeth River near Gilmerton.

Davis 61.24 Powhatan Arrow #4.jpg
Norfolk & Western Powhatan Arrow Locomotive #4 east of Vinton.

Davis 61.23 N&W Class N Locomotive.jpg
Norfolk and Western Class N passenger locomotive near Radford.

Davis 57.381 Booster Club.jpg
Members of the Roanoke Booster Club.

Davis 45 Roanoke Machine Works.jpg
Roanoke Machine Works was founded in 1881. By 1883, the Shenandoah Valley Railroad acquired the facility. Norfolk & Western acquired the facility in 1897. From then on, it became known as the N&W Roanoke Shops. It is still an active maintenance…
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