NWHS 2019 Convention - Roanoke, VA

Thursday, May 2 through Saturday, May 4

Location: Blue Ridge Hotel, Roanoke, VA

Back to Roanoke! Every five years, we hold our convention in our homebase of Roanoke. Roanoke is still the heart of the N&W, and as always there is a lot to see. Come home to Roanoke and see old friends, make some new ones and see what is going on in town.

Roanoke Shops, Shaffers Crossing, Virginia Museum of Transportation, O. Winston Link Museum, N&W General Office Buildings, N&W station, newly restored Virginian passenger station, are amongst our many features for Roanoke. N&W Big 3

Of course, that does not even mention our own Archives, which is always worth a visit and will be available on Friday, Saturday and if demand warrants, Sunday.

One of the biggest changes in Roanoke since the last time we were here is the addition of Amtrak. Daily service is now offered with destinations to Washington D.C. and beyond. While we cannot offer a large train ride on a tourist line or the mainline, we do have a short ride arranged for our attendees.

Everyone's question is, of course, will 611 be there and fired up? We wish we could answer that, but 611’s plans are unknown at the moment, and likely will not be known until Convention time. We expect her to be here, with Class A No. 1218 and the rare chance to see Y6a No. 2156. This may be your last chance to see the 2156 in Roanoke as it is due to return to St. Louis sometime in 2020.

Please bear in mind, that all events are tentative and can change even up to the last moment. We have no guarantees on anything, but expect everything to work according to schedule.

Please send in your ticket orders early for the paid events (see order form) or you can go online to the N&WHS website and place your order conveniently from there. If a tour or event is not selling well, we will cancel the event if costs are not covered by ticket sales. So, the earlier the better, please!

We are expecting to have more clinics or discussions as we get closer to time, but due to print deadlines, this is what we have for now.

If you have an idea for a clinic, suggestions for topics, or can present a clinic, we’d love to hear from you! Please email Todd Arnett (arnett@nwhs.org) or Ken Miller (miller@nwhs.org) with your suggestions or offer to help.

Convention Tours and Activities

On Thursday, May 2nd registration is running all day in the Blue Ridge Hotel. During the scheduled hours, at the Blue Ridge Hotel a variety of clinics and presentations will be offered for the attendees. The exact schedule will be updated as we firm them up, please check the website for updates. That evening is a meet and greet barbecue at Virginia Museum of Transportation, come meet old friends and make some new ones.

We have arranged a special, limited tour for Thursday, May 2nd. For the first time in several years, we are going to tour the Roanoke Shops, couresty of Norfolk Southern. This tour is strictly limited to 40 people! The tour will leave the Hotel via charter bus at 1:00 PM, be sure to eat lunch before you leave, no food is planned. We will proceed to our Archive space at General Office Building East, or the former Storehouse. This will be a short tour, then on to Roanoke Shops at 3:00. For all visitors, railroad-appropriate attire (long pants, boots) is required. No shorts or open-toed shoes! Hardhats, hearing protection and safety glasses (will be provided). This is a rare opportunity, and limited by Norfolk Southern, everyone will be required to sign a waiver of liability and no photography allowed. After the tour it is back to the hotel for a brief respite, then we will have a picnic barbeque at Virginia Museum of Transportation, where you can visit the big three, enjoy fellowship with a fine meal, and conditions permitting a short train ride featuring former Appalachian Power No. 1, which spent its career at the Glyn Lyn plant. Virginian Roanoke Station

On Friday our tour will be a more casual local tour leaving from the Blue Ridge Hotel. Since our last convention, the former Virginian station has been completed and is beautfiul! It has been leased and is now open as a gift shop. There is also a small display area that will be open for visitors. Outside, depending on traffic, will be NS motive power. Then we make a short drive-by tour of the former Virginian engine terminal and a short tour of "Roanoke's Other Preserved Steam Engine" at the water department's Crystal Spring Steam pump. Then its off to Rocky Mount to visit to their restored N&W station. We then head off to visit the Boones Mill depot, which is in the beginning stages of restoration work. Return to town will be a very reasonable time. Riders will be provided a boxed lunch and drink which will be handed out during the trip.

We will have a night photo session at Roanoke Chapter NRHS' 9th Street Coach yard with N&W’s first GP30 (and only one preserved) No. 522. If T6 No. 41 is available, it will be included.

During the convention, your convention name tag will get you a half price ($3.00) admission to the O. Winston Link Museum in the former N&W passenger station.