Roanoke Locomotive Shops and the Norfolk & Western Railroad
Roanoke Shops has been an indispensable part of the Roanoke Valley and the “Magic City” for more than 125 years. Founded in 1881 as an independent company, Roanoke Machine Works built new locomotives and cars for the Shenandoah Valley and Norfolk & Western Railroads. Situated between the picturesque Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountains, the facility caused an economic boom in the nearby village of Big Lick and the surrounding area. By 1891, Big Lick had become Roanoke and had emerged as one of the most important economic centers in the New South. Today, Roanoke Shops employs skilled craftsmen who provide the highest-quality overhauls and repairs to diesel locomotives. This book takes a look into its history, particularly at production during that exciting and enchanting era of the steam locomotive.
Author Bio: Wayne McKinney began a railroad career in 1974 with Southern Railway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In January 1997, he transferred to Roanoke Shops and spent the remainder of his career there, retiring in 2012 with more than 38 years of service. Preparation for the shops’ 125th anniversary, in 2007, complemented his natural love of history, and his interest is reflected in this book.
Soft Cover 128 Pages
Coal was mined in Southern West Virginia even before the state's birth in 1863 but was mostly consumed within a few miles of where it was dug. When the railroads arrived on the scene, they not only provided a means of getting that coal to market, they also brought in trainloads of workers to the sparsely populated region. With the mines generally located in remote, out-of-the-way spots, operators were forced to build housing for those workers and their families, as well as company stores, schools, and churches- everything needed in a small community. Overnight, the nation's demand for coal turned sleepy, little places in Southern West Virginia into boomtowns and helped cities such as Charleston and Huntington grow and prosper as gateways to and from the coalfields.
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing and The History Press