Will the Y6 stay in Roanoke or return to St. Louis?

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N&W 2156 rests with N&W Class J 611 and Class A 1218 at Roanoke, Va,, in May 2015, soon after its delivery to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
ROANOKE, Va. — Museum officials are discussing the future of Roanoke-built Norfolk & Wester Y6a steam locomotive No. 2156 as the end of its five-year lease to the Virginia Museum of Transportation nears.

Will Harris, board member and former president of the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, tells Trains News Wire that representatives from VMT and the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, which owns the engine and put it on loan in 2015, are “still talking” about the disposition of the 2156 once the lease expires. Harris said VMT’s lease of the massive 2-8-8-2 steam locomotive ends in May, and the museum has experienced a “very good response” and “unprecedented” interest in the Y6a since it arrived. Harris said while negotiations are ongoing, he anticipates that without an agreement, No. 2156 will return to the Midwest. “Unless something changes, and the lease is extended, it will likely go back to St. Louis,” Harris says.

Coby Ellison, curator at the National Transportation Museum, said the museum has no comment about the locomotive. He also indicated that discussions about the 2156 are ongoing.

The locomotive was leased to VMT by the St. Louis museum in May 2015 and was pulled dead-in-tow across Norfolk Southern trackage to Roanoke, arriving in time for the return of famed Class J steamer N&W No. 611 to operation in late May 2015. It was built in 1942 in Roanoke and was retired in 1959. It’s one of only two N&W 2-8-8-2s that survive. The other is at Illinois Railway Museum. The arrival of the Y6a also marked the reunion of the 611, the 2156, and N&W Class A No. 1218, the first such reunion of N&W’s three famed locomotive types built in Roanoke in more than a half-century. In exchange for the 2156, VMT loaned the National Transportation Museum its FTB diesel locomotive.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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