J 611, Ralph Yoder Photo
UVA OLLI Outing to Roanoke: Photography and Transportation Museums
Thursday, April 3, 2014
On April 3 our OLLI Outing will take us to Roanoke, where we’ll visit two museums and have lunch in a “food court with a history.” Our bus will depart from the Fashion Square Mall Sears’ parking lot at 8:00 a.m. and return by approximately 5:15 p.m. And we’ll have some en route entertainment! Ross Thomas, who last fall taught the OLLI course “Railroads of Charlottesville and Virginia,” has agreed to supply archival train videos, along with his own remarks.
Roanoke’s history is that of a boom town created by the coming of rail. It was a little hamlet called Big Lick until the 1850s, when it became a rail junction and the gateway to the west for the Norfolk & Western Railway. Our tour will trace this dramatic history.
Our first stop will be the O. Winston Link Museum situated in a restored Norfolk & Western passenger train station. The museum is dedicated to the photography of O. Winston Link, the twentieth-century railroad photographer widely considered the master of the juxtaposition between steam railroading and rural culture. On display are hundreds of photographic prints, along with interactive displays including audio that provides information on Link’s photographic subjects. We’ll see the documentary film What a Picture I Got and have a guided tour.
A short bus ride will take us to the historic City Market Building for lunch on our own. After lunch we’ll visit the Virginia Museum of Transportation, which has one of the finest rail collections in the United States. This museum is housed in the old Norfolk & Western freight station. Outside in the rail yard there are more than 50 pieces of rolling stock, historic steam and diesel engines, cabooses, and other rail equipment. Of special note, the rail yard features the internationally known Norfolk & Western Class J 611 and the Class A 1218, the most modern steam locomotives ever built. (Restoration of the J 611 is imminent and it may be off-site when we visit.) Inside the museum you’ll find model trains and automotive and aviation exhibits, plus a gift store with hard-to-find, transportation-related gifts. You are free to wander the museum inside and out until we depart for home at 3:15 p.m.
The cost of the Roanoke Outing is $60. OLLI members and nonmembers alike are welcome! Note, however, that if you reserve a spot and then cancel, you will not receive a refund unless we find someone to take your place.
How to Register for this OLLI Outing:• Register online https://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/olliuva/ and pay with your credit card; OR
• Mail a completed registration form (available on the OLLI website and at the back of the spring 2014 catalog) with your check payable to UVA Fund/OLLI to OLLI, 1160 Pepsi Place, Suite 114, Charlottesville, VA 22901; OR
• Telephone the OLLI office (434.923.3600 or 877.861.9207) and pay with your credit card.