The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk
Across the tracks and east is N&W's last passenger station, now home to the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and O. Winston Link Museum.
The little town of Big Lick changed its name to Roanoke in 1881. In the summer of 1882, the N&W completed a Union Station located between the tracks of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad (to the north) and the N&W (to the south) located approximately in front of the Hotel Roanoke. The pressed brick station, two buildings under one roof, was styled to coordinate with the other railroad-owned buildings here.
A replacement station, located on the site of the present depot opened June 29, 1905 (see below). This refers to the vintage postcard of the 1905 Union Station
In early 1941 remodeling was planned but war stopped progress. With war ending in 1945, remodeling came back to the surface. Architect Allmon Fordyce of Raymond Lowey and Associates of New York provided plans for a modernistic remodeling. However, with steel and other materials in short supply after World War II, construction did not begin until February 1948. The restyled building opened April 1, 1949.
The building became office space with the end of passenger service in 1971. IN 1991, the concourse was removed to allow clearance of double stacked container trains. Today the building has been remodeled beautifully, mimicking some of the original features. The original schedule board has been restored to represent the schedules of June 3, 1956, the date O. Winston Link took his self portrait has a traveler next to the board. At track level, galleries house several hundred of Link's steam era photos taken on the N&W.
Link's work, mostly at night, is a masterpiece of synchronized flash photos of trains and people, all carefully posed, depicting a vanished American era. The photos Link made on the N&W between 1955 and 1960 are highly acclaimed and known world wide. The Museum is a world class experience and opens daily, excepting some holidays.