The Western Virginia Railroad Preservation Society

Welcome To Railroading In Western Virginia

Welcome to the online headquarters of The Western Virginia Railroad Preservation Society. Centrally located in the foothills of Virginia, we are a varied organization that takes pride in the fact that it calls the great state of Virginia home. Since our first humble beginnings in late 2003, we have grown into a working nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation of railroad artifacts great and small, especially those in immediate danger of being destroyed.

Press Release: TWVRPS Donates Lost Engines Appeal Funds to Roanoke Chapter, NRHS

September 24, 2009

Natural Bridge, VA: The Western Virginia Railroad Preservation Society (TWVRPS) launched its Lost Engines Fundraising Appeal in the summer of 2008 to support the rescue of the historic steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock from the former Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal yard in Roanoke. In all, TWVRPS raised $3948, after expenses.

In August of 2009, the "Lost Engines" were successfully removed from the yard, with funding provided by the Railroad Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, VA, and equipment and manpower for the move provided by North Fork Lumber of Goshen, VA. For their contribution, the Railroad Museum of Virginia received N&W steam locomotive no. 1134 and one of the tenders from the scrapyard, while Mr. Will Harris of North Fork Lumber was given N&W 1118 and the flatcar. Roanoke-built steam locomotive no. 1151, Chesapeake Western diesel no. 662, and the other tender went to the Virginia Museum of Transportation (VMT) in Roanoke.

Also instrumental in the move was the Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, which provided the use of their 9th Street yard as a staging area for both the move and the cosmetic restoration of N&W 1134. The Roanoke Chapter also traded their E.J. Lavino 0-6-0T no.34 to Will Harris in exchange for N&W 1118, and took on the cosmetic restoration of Chesapeake Western 662 for the VMT in exchange for the unclaimed no. 663, which had been threatened with scrapping. The Chapter is setting up a dedicated fund for the restoration of N&W 1118, Chesapeake Western 663, and the VMT’s No. 662.

Now that the locomotives are saved and the long process of restoration has begun, TWVRPS has chosen to donate the funds it raised in the Lost Engines appeal to the Roanoke Chapter, NRHS to support its efforts to restore these historic locomotives. TWVRPS members, including the society’s president Andrew Martin, and Richard Jenkins of the Lost Engines of Roanoke website, will be on hand at the Roanoke Chapter’s open house at the 9th Street yard in Roanoke on Saturday, September 26th to present the Chapter with a check for $2000. The remainder will be given at a later date, after outstanding pledges have been collected. TWVRPS would like to encourage all who have followed the "Lost Engines" saga over the years to join them in their support of the Roanoke Chapter.

Lost Engines Fundraiser: Message From the President

Welcome and thank you for visiting our website. When The Western Virginia Railroad Preservation Society was formed back in 2003 our original mandate for the "preservation of railroad artifacts ... especially those in immediate danger" was in part due to the ongoing situation with the "Lost Engines of Roanoke". While we as a society have faced many challenges over the last 5 years, none have had as much significance to the society compared to the one we face now. Given recent circumstances regarding the possible fate of the Lost Engines, we have decided to join forces with the Virginia Museum of Transportation in a massive fundraising effort to see the remaining locomotives moved out of the scrapyard and into a location where they can be given a new lease on life.

Since Ohio native Terry Byrne recently rescued the 917 from being turned into scrap metal interest has been renewed in saving the other locomotives and rolling stock that are still lingering in the scrapyard, yet at the same time keeping them in the state. This turn of events gives us all an opportunity to make a difference in a project that we will most likely remember for the rest of our lives. It is at this time that we must band together to preserve our heritage that these locomotives represent.

I ask each and every one of you now to help in this exciting adventure. There are people the world over who are already participating in the effort to preserve our heritage. By helping even in the smallest of ways, you are contributing to making an impact toward preserving your own local history.

I know that there are naysayers out there, and to those of you who say this task is impossible or not worth the effort, I say to you if we heed your words then we have already failed. But to do anything in this world we must fight for what we believe in and never back down no matter the odds.

You may ask, "What can I do to help? I am just one person." To answer this, you must do whatever your hearts tells you to do. It does not matter if you live in Roanoke, Virginia or even Sydney, Australia, you can still make an impact with preserving the history of our community. You can spread the world of what we are doing. You can donate time and effort to help move the program along. Monetary donations, while not all we require, are a major necessity to our operation and are always welcome. It does not matter if your donation is only $1 or $1000, it all goes to help preserve our history for future generations.

Again I would like to say Thank You to everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of the contributions that you are making to this project so that it will be a success.

Andrew Martin


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TWVRPS is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation