O. Winston Link Museum

Top choice museum in Roanoke

Trainspotters aren't the only ones who will find this museum fascinating. It is home to a large collection of photographs, sound recordings and film by O Winston Link (1914–2001), a New Yorker who in the 1950s spent nine months recording the last years of steam power on the Norfolk and Western Railway. The gelatin silver prints of Link's black-and-white photographs are hugely atmospheric – many were shot at night, a rarity at the time – and are very dramatic.

As well as photographs including Link's well-known Hotshot Freight, Eastbound, at the Iaeger Drive-in (1956), the collection includes some of his photographic equipment and a recreation of his darkroom.

The N&W Railway was the last major American railroad to operate exclusively with steam power – it carried locally mined coal, so stayed profitable when other such railway lines closed.

The museum is housed in the former passenger station of the Norfolk and Western Railway, a handsome 1949 building designed by Raymond Loewy.

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