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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Norfolk and Western Passenger Station

The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk

 
 
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
1. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
Inscription. Across the tracks and east is N&Ws last passenger station, now home to the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and O. Winston Link Museum.

The little town of Big Lick changed its name to Roanoke in 1881. In the summer of 1882, the N&W completed a Union Station located between the tracks of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad (to the north) and the N&W (to the south) located approximately in front of the Hotel Roanoke. The pressed brick station, two buildings under one roof, was styled to coordinate with the other railroad-owned buildings here.

A replacement station, located on the site of the present depot opened June 29, 1905 (see below). This refers to the vintage postcard of the 1905 Union Station

In early 1941 remodeling was planned but war stopped progress. With war ending in 1945, remodeling came back to the surface. Architect Allmon Fordyce of Raymond Lowey and Associates of New York provided plans for a modernistic remodeling. However, with steel and other materials in short supply after World War II, construction did not begin until February 1948. The restyled building opened April 1, 1949.

The building became office space with the end of passenger service in 1971. IN 1991, the concourse was removed to allow clearance of double stacked container trains. Today the building
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
2. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
This marker is mounted on a railroad axel and wheel assembly.
has been remodeled beautifully, mimicking some of the original features. The original schedule board has been restored to represent the schedules of June 3, 1956, the date O. Winston Link took his self portrait has a traveler next to the board. At track level, galleries house several hundred of Links steam era photos taken on the N&W.

Links work, mostly at night, is a masterpiece of synchronized flash photos of trains and people, all carefully posed, depicting a vanished American era. The photos Link made on the N&W between 1955 and 1960 are highly acclaimed and known world wide. The Museum is a world class experience and opens daily, excepting some holidays.
 
Erected 2007.
 
Location. 37° 16.387′ N, 79° 56.369′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker is on Norfolk Avenue SE west of Market Street SE, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Roanoke VA 24011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Market Square Walkway (here, next to this marker); Hotel Roanoke (within shouting distance of this marker); Roanoke - A Railroad Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Operation Fast Freight
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
3. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
1905 Union Station from a vintage postcard.
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Finest Steam Passenger Locomotive (within shouting distance of this marker); Power Behind the Nation (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk and Western Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Roanoke Shops (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Roanoke.
 
More about this marker. All pictures are Norfolk and Western Railway photos provided for the marker from the collection of Kenneth L. Miller.
 
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
4. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
In February 1948, the company photographer recoreded the work underway. The overhead walkway from the old station across to the City Market area is still in place, but not for much longer.
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
5. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
Floor and elevation plans from Railway Gazette of the 1905 Station as planned. This depot was a two story design by N&Ws own architects, very similar single story stations were located at Portsmouth, Virginia and Ironton, Ohio.
Almost ready to open for business, April 1, 1949. The floorplan is from Railway Age, later that same year.
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
6. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
Top: The ticket lobby featured a huge system map of the railroad as well as models of some of the oldest locomotives and one of the newest Class J passenger locomotives.

Bottom: The lunchroom looked out on the tracks, and today is the site of the Gift Shop.
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
7. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
The stations design featured stainless steel, the concourse over the tracks had large glass windows offering a view of the tracks below. Note the stainless in the baggage area at right. The concourse was removed in 1992 to allow double-stack container trains to clear under the building. The train sheds (beside the track) were removed less than a year after the end of passenger service in the winter of 1971-72.
Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
8. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station Marker
Above and below: Clean modern design was featured in the 1949 remodeling. The baggage room, below, and looking into the concourse above featured a large terrazzo tile logo in the floor.
N&W Passenger Station Train Schedule Board Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, July 1, 2012
9. N&W Passenger Station Train Schedule Board
The station, now a museum, shows the board from Sunday June 19, 1955. All the trains were on time.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,483 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   9. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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