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Wasena a Roanoke neighborhood located in south, central Roanoke next to the Roanoke River. Wasena is a Native American word meaning “beautiful View” and the neighborhood began as an early suburb of Roanoke in the 1920s. Most of the neighborhood’s buildings were built in the 1920s and 1950 giving the area a craftsman architecture. It is primarily a residential district with single-family homes.
Wasena Park is a large landscaped green space that harbors a long stretch of the River Greenway, a playground for younger children, Restrooms, two picnic shelters, Roanoke Skate Park, Baseball Diamond and Basketball Court. The larger (27 x 37 ft) brick Picnic Shelter has 6 tables, lights, electrical outlets, drinking fountain and one Grill. The smaller (20 x 30 ft) brick picnic shelter has 3 tables, water spigot and one Grill.
Train Model Layout VA Transportation Museum
Wasena Park Greenway Bridge
BMX Day at Wasena Park (Skate Feature)
This multi-use park provides a one-mile paved walking trail along the Roanoke River. The walking trail is lined with large willows, maple, oaks with rocky shorelines in some areas and weedy embankments in others. This area harbors a multitude of birds’ species that will entice many birdwatchers to observe during migration, warblers, tanagers, thrushes, and flycatchers. In the hot days of summer, yellow warbler, indigo bunting, yellow-billed cuckoo, and American redstart. Year-round one can find Northern flicker, pileated woodpecker, Carolina wren, and white-breasted nuthatch. For the Bug watcher dragonflies, wandering glider, eastern amberwings and damselflies line the weedy shorelines.
Virginia Museum of Transportation located in an historic 1918 NW freight station. This is a museum focusing on vintage modes of transportation. Antique automobiles and trucks, vintage steam locomotives and electric and diesel locomotives. The Highlight is the Railyard with several beautifully restored steam and diesel locomotives. This is the only place visitors can see and board 2 steam locomotives that have been restored: the massive Class A1218, known as the “Mercedes of Steam” and the air streamed Class J 611 (the most advanced passenger steam engine ever built).
Another very popular exhibit loved by all ages is enormous model train layout with several trains running at an eye level conducive to little ones.
O-Gauge Model Train Layout:
four tier model layout depicting major rail sites around the region with multiple trains operating over 600 feet of track, the layout was constructed and is continuously upgraded by the Roanoke Valley O-Gauge Club.
The Model Train Circus Exhibit:
The railroad made it possible for circuses to travel quickly from one city to another, performing one-day shows during their seasonal operations. Trains allow all components of a circus from the animals to the necessary equipment to travel together. These specially designed railcars continually evolved during the circus’ golden era, 1872-1947. The museum model was built by George I. Neal over a period of 15 years. The large tent housing the exhibit is hand-sewn adding a further aspect of realism.
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