Queen of Steam could soon have new enclosure, along with other historic locomotives

VMT planning to build big three enclosure

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE - Preserving the 611 steam locomotive continues to take priority at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

VMT is planning to expand its facility in downtown Roanoke to build an enclosure to house the famous steam locomotive.

Although the project is in the very early stages of planning, Peg McGuire with VMT showed 10 News an initial concept drawing that is now displayed near the museum lobby.

The goal is to build a shelter that could help protect the 611 along with other historic engines like the 1218 and the 2156 and other pieces of historic machinery.

All are jewels that continue to attract tourist, attention and fame from around the world.

“We do need to get a protective shop for so that they are undercover,” McGuire said. We really need to protect these treasures because they are the last ones left of these classes.”

The project has been dubbed the big three enclosure. McGuire said they had originally hoped to break ground in 2015 but were faced with other challenges that the time. No time frame has been given on when the project could break down or be completed. McGuire said they are working with a firm to find out how much the project could cost.

Donations for the project can be made to the 611 fund.

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