The Walnut Street Depot, Roanoke, Virginia

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

The city of Roanoke in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Virginia is a city that not too many travel writers talk about. Nestled in a valley, it has been called ‘The Star City of the South’ as it is the home of the largest man-made star in the world. The city is a rail fan’s haven as it has the main line of the Norfolk Southern Railway passes right through downtown. Until recently, it was the home to the Norfolk Southern Railway shops (now closed) which were originally owned by the Norfolk and Western Railway. In these shops, the world famous Norfolk and Western Railway Number 611 was built, and it is the only surviving ‘Class J’ locomotive in the world, and it remains one of the most popular locomotives in the world. The city is the home of the O. Winston Link Museum. Housed in the…

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