(Words and Photos by Benoit Pigeon) For the past 12 years, Roanoke Virginia has been the home of Star City Motor Madness. And why Star City? Well, if you ever pass through Roanoke, it’s nearly impossible to miss it’s gigantic star at the top of Mill Mountain. It even lights up at night. But Roanoke is known for more than just it’s giant star. It is also known for it’s rich heritage in trains, particularly steam engines. And even though steam trains are long gone, Roanoke has not forgotten, and at it’s very center is the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The home of trains, cars and planes with history.
Years back someone came up with the idea of a car show as a fund raiser with all profits going directly to the Museum, and for over a decade now Roanoke comes alive with a Friday night cruise open to all and a car show downtown on Saturday. This repeats each year on the last week end of June. While the bulk of the cars are from the region, many come from out of state as well. Profits come from sponsors, optional paid parking on Friday, which is really just a donation, T-Shirt sales and so on.
And what does the Museum do with funds raised? Well, there are plenty of good uses for them, but certainly 2013 is a special year as the Museum is attempting to get it’s 611 steam locomotive back on the rails, on a regular basis, with a belly full of water to show us what steam can do. It does not matter if the name is Thomas or 611, all generations love steam trains, so please check out their new project. I also encourage you to search images on O Winston Link to get a better idea of what part of history the Museum is attempting the revive.