Train history society builds structure to speed up rail car restorations

Shelter will protect both train cars and volunteers from the weather

The organization responsible for restoring many rail cars in the Roanoke Valley is building a shelter for its collection.

ROANOKE, Va. – A new addition to a Roanoke rail yard will help keep the city’s train history alive.

Roanoke’s chapter of the National Railway Historical Society built a structure on its property to protect both train cars and volunteers from the weather.

The structure will soon house Norfolk & Western car 512, a formerly segregated passenger car, as volunteers work to restore it.

Chapter vice president Gary Gray said volunteers have often been interrupted in their restoration work by the weather.

He estimates they can finish projects in half the time solely because of the new addition.

“We’ve been working for 40 years without a shelter outside in the weather," said Gray. "It’s going to be great to be able to not get wet.”

According to Gray, the new shelter costs $50,000 to construct, which the chapter paid for themselves.