Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Collections and Connections

This and that:

The Messimer Collection has had its grand opening. Housed in the front of the museum, near the gift shop, the exhibit displays an abundance of Greyhound bus memorabilia covering three-quarters of a century. The exhibit also includes Trailways items, a full size front of an Abbott Trailways bus and photos of local transit buses provided by the Commonwealth Coach and Trolley Museum of Roanoke.

Located in the same area is a new display celebrating Roanoke’s “other” railroad, the Virginian Railway. Though much smaller than the Norfolk and Western, the Virginian competed neck-and-neck with the N&W hauling West Virginia coal to Norfolk. The two railroads merged in 1959. This area is not finished. We plan to do a formal opening once the storyboards are completed and mounted.


VMT is in negotiations with two other Virginia museums regarding the N&W locomotives at the Virginia Scrap Iron and Metal Company property. Hopefully the remaining vintage steam locos can be salvaged through a cooperative effort. We’ll keep you posted.

This week the museum unveils the Jim Hyams serigraph collection. Serigraphs are prints made using the silkscreen process. The result is highly detailed paints of an almost photographic quality. Afterward the screens are destroyed, limiting the print run to a small number, sometimes only one.

The collection is being displayed at VMT in conjunction with the Roanoke Arts Festival and will remain there through the end of the year. The transportation-related serigraphs were produced by some of the premier artists in the genre.


Soon we will feature a locomotive cab inside our building. Norfolk Southern donated the cab after converting an SD-40 diesel electric into a “calf,” a unit that cannot be operated solo but is lashed together with other locomotives to provide additional power. The six-axle SD40 was manufactured by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division beginning in 1966 and became the best-selling locomotive of all time.

The cab should be in place early in 2009. It will allow visitors to experience the inside of a diesel loco. In the future we hope to add a locomotive simulator to our collection.

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At November 5, 2008 at 7:55 AM , Anonymous craig said...

Why on earth does Roanoke need two museums displaying buses and trolleys? It's a waste of resources for VMT. It should stick to what has primary historical significance for Roanoke, i.e. trains, specifically N&W trains.

At November 6, 2008 at 2:31 PM , Blogger Philosofik said...

Do you have any photos from the grand opening that you could post to the blog?


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