N&W 1218 Departs Roanoke – October 12, 1991

The 1218 departs Roanoke, Virginia in spectacular fashion for Walton on October 12, 1991, in what would turn out to be one of the steam locomotive’s final excursion runs. The class A 1218, built in 1943 in the Norfolk & Western’s Roanoke Shops, was due for its five-year inspection the following Spring, and was never returned to service. Three years later, Norfolk Southern abandoned their steam excursion program, retiring the class J 611 and leaving the fate of the disassembled 1218 uncertain. In January of 1996, the 1218, now with only a shell of a boiler, was towed from the former Birmingham steam shops back to Roanoke, and in 2003, after cosmetic restoration, it was moved to the Virginia Museum of Transportation for permanent display.