Locomotive Coming Home to Roanoke

Roanoke, VA - Virginia Museum of Transportation officials say it is one of Roanoke's finest accomplishments and it will be back in the Star City after a 55-year absence. The Class Y6a steam locomotive number 2156 is the last of its kind and once it returns, it will complete the set of historic locomotives that originated in the East End Shops. Museum officials are pretty excited about this news... coming just days after another famed engine, the Class-J 6-11, was taken to North Carolina for restoration. There is no timeline yet as to when the Class Y6a 2156 will make its way from St. Louis to Roanoke, but we do know that Norfolk Southern has pledged its support to make it happen. The engine has been stationary for some time, which means there will need to be quite a bit of prep work first. The engine itself was built in Roanoke back in 1942 and was used primarily as a coal hauling locomotive in mountainous areas. Along with the 611, the Y6a will eventually join the Class-A 1218 marking a reunion of the three Roanoke engines that are now each one-of-a-kind. "It is thrilling rail fans. What we are seeing on the rail fan boards and on our Facebook page. People are just thrilled. [It's a dream come true," said Fran Ferguson with the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The engine was traded, as a loan, for a different locomotive that will be sent to St. Louis, although museum officials are optimistic the trade will eventually become permanent.