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Lost Engines of Roanoke

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2008-03-11 - S 917 1151 rj 001

Lost and found; W2 2-8-0 no. 917, M2c 4-8-0 no. 1151, and M2 4-8-0's 1134 and 1118, minus their cover of vines and asbestos boiler cladding, awaiting rescue from the scrapyard. (R. Jenkins photo, 3/11/2008)

Hidden among the creepers at the Virginia Scrap Iron and Metal Co. yard on South Jefferson Street in Roanoke, Virginia, were four steam engines that time forgot. Norfolk & Western locomotives 917 , 1118 , 1134 , and 1151 had been sold for scrap in 1950, at which time the N&W was still building new steam locomotives and had yet to order a single diesel. For nearly sixty years they awaited their fate, later accompanied by vintage Baldwin diesels Chesapeake Western 662 and 663 among other rolling stock.

Today, these "lost engines" are lost no more, with all of the locomotives and rolling stock from the Roanoke scrapyard having found new homes in preservation. Although they are saved from scrap, the process of transforming them from rusting scrapyard hulks into lovingly restored museum pieces is ongoing. This website will continue to support these restoration efforts, and to tell the remarkable story of the "Lost Engines" of Roanoke, along with other similar tales of scrapyard survival from around the country.

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