N&W Steam Locomotive to Return to St. Louis

A former Norfolk & Western Y6a steam locomotive that has spent the past five years in Virginia will return to St. Louis.

Engine No. 2156 is being prepared for shipment to the National Transportation of Museum in Missouri after being loaded to the Virginia Museum of Transportation since 2015.

Officials say there is no timeline for the locomotive’s return and the St. Louis museum is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The St. Louis museum loaned the 2156 to the Virginia museum in May 2015 in exchange for the Virginia museum’s EMD FTB demonstrator diesel.

The N&W steamer was pulled dead in tow by Norfolk Southern to Roanoke, Virginia, arriving about the time that N&W Class J No. 611 returned to operation.

No. 2156 was built in Roanoke in 1942 and is one of only two N&W 2-8-8-2s that survive.

The Virginia museum sought to purchase the 2156 but its offer, which included some exchange of equipment, wasn’t accepted by the St. Louis museum.

Virginia museum board member Will Harris told Trains magazine that he hopes a exchange and/or purchase can be worked out in the future.

When the 2156 is returned to St. Louis, the FTB diesel will be moved back to Virginia.

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