St. Louis, Virginia Museums Trade Historic Locomotives

The Museum of Transportation in St. Louis and the Virginia Museum of Transportation are in discussions to bring Norfolk and Western Y6a steam engine No. 2156 back to its place of origin at Roanoke, Va., on a five-year loan for display at the Virginia museum.

The locomotive is currently in the St. Louis museum. The transaction was facilitated by Norfolk Southern.

“This will reunite the last surviving Y-class locomotive, one of the hardest pulling steam locomotives ever built, with the J-611 and the A-1218 in Roanoke, where all three were designed and built by Norfolk and Western,” Molly Butterworth, cultural site manager for the St. Louis Museum of Transportation, said in a news release. “In return, our historic FTA, built in 1939 to demonstrate to the rail industry the efficiency of diesel power, will be reunited with its complimentary B unit.”

In exchange, the Virginia museum will send to St. Louis a Southern Railway diesel General Motors EMD FTB unit to complement the St. Louis museum’s FTA demonstration unit.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Y6a home again,” Bev Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation, said in a news release. “We’re grateful to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation for this opportunity to reunite three powerful sisters of steam in their home town.”