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N&W 611 Inaugural Run -May 30, 2015

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  • N&W 611 Inaugural Run -May 30, 2015

    Norfolk & Western No. 611 inaugural run set for May 30; excursions in June and July

    ROANOKE, Va. – Legendary Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 will shake off 20 years of inactivity to pull its first mainline passenger train May 30 from its restoration site in Spencer, N.C., to its hometown of Roanoke where a gala celebration awaits the reborn 4-8-4.

    Later, you will have 11 opportunities to ride or photograph the Tuscan red streamlined beauty in action on Virginia rails in June and July with departures from Manassas, Lynchburg, and Roanoke, officials with the Virginia Museum of Transportation say.

    Trains News Wire has learned that the 2015 Norfolk Southern excursion plans will also be announced soon for the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765, as well as the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Southern Railway 2-8-2 No. 4501.

    The 220-mile, one-way May 30 trip will see the powerful Class J stride along the former Southern Railway main line and enter home rails at Lynchburg. There, the engine will retrace its regular service route when it pulled N&W’s named passenger trains across the fabled Blue Ridge grade. The locomotive is expected to arrive between 2 and 4 p.m., stopping at the O. Winston Link Museum in the former N&W passenger station in downtown Roanoke. The engine is expected to run with no diesel helpers.

    The train will be for invited guests and VIPs and no tickets will be sold. The celebration at the depot will be free and open to the public and additional events will be announced for that weekend, Virginia Museum of Transportation officials say. May 30 is significant because it is 65 years and one day after the engine entered service, and one year after its appearance at the Streamliners at Spencer festival, kicking off the restoration at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.
    The first opportunity for the public to ride behind No. 611 will come the following weekend with excursions between Manassas and Riverton Junction, a 102-mile roundtrip on former Southern Railway tracks. A morning trip will take place June 6 and both morning and afternoon trips will take place June 7. This takes place during the 21st annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival.
    The following weekend, June 13 and 14, the engine will pull 260-mile round trip excursions between Lynchburg and Petersburg.

    Independence Day weekend will see No. 611 running July 3, 4, and 5 from its hometown. Each day it will pull morning trips from Roanoke to Lynchburg, a 98-mile roundtrip, and each afternoon it will pull a 42-mile roundtrip to Walton and back. The afternoon trips send the locomotive across famed Christiansburg grade.

    Donors to the Fire Up 611! Campaign will receive ticket ordering information by mail and tickets will go on sale to the general public May 6. More information will be available soon at 611 | Virginia Museum of Transportation.

    Last week, restoration crews insulated the locomotive’s massive, 300 psi boiler. Jacketing and painting are to come next. A test fire to test appliances will precede test runs.

    The Class J locomotive was built at Roanoke in 1950 as one of 14. It operated in revenue service until 1959. No. 611 was placed on display in Roanoke’s Wasena Park, was restored in 1981, and began a second career pulling excursions in 1982. That ended in 1994 and the current Fire Up 611! campaign is responsible for the locomotive’s 2015 return to service.

    The Virginia Museum of Transportation launched a study on the 611’s restoration in 2013 and concluded that $3.5 million was needed to restore, operate, and house the locomotive and another $1.5 million would be needed for an endowment. Contributions to date have totaled more than $3 million from across the U.S. and 19 countries. The museum continues to raise funds for an on-campus shop and education facility, and hopes to break ground on the building in summer 2015.

    Donations to the Fire Up 611! Campaign can be made through 611 | Virginia Museum of Transportation.

    Trains Magazine will cover No. 611 with its live streaming webcam, a feature in the August issue, and a special 76-page magazine, 611 in Steam and a companion DVD by the same name, available in July and October, respectively.
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  • #2
    I've heard reasonable rumors the restoration crew wants to do a 50 /60 mile test run /shake down run out of Spencer before this to ensure everything is working as intended. The question is just the when & where will it go. Best bets are Greensboro or Charlotte in that order I'm told.
    Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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    • #3
      Hard to believe it was August 1982 the first time it was restored. Where does the time go?! Here's a video produced at that time by NS, N&W 611 Going Home.
      [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeuPEE-Meso"]N&W #611 "Going Home" - 21 Minutes - YouTube[/nomedia]
      Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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      • #4
        It's hardly been noted, but the fact the she was put up in running condition and kept under roof helped a good deal in her rehabilitation.
        sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
          It's hardly been noted, but the fact the she was put up in running condition and kept under roof helped a good deal in her rehabilitation.
          That and most of the crew that used to run her & maintain her during her last active life have had a hand in restoring her.
          Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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          • #6
            I hope people that ran her will do so again, she's a hybrid of the highest order. 26 brake, MU control, and I don't know what all. But I will say, any steamer that is to run in a realistic way ought to be updated to a current spec, as 611 is. For any revenue power would certainly get new things intalled as long as it stayed in revenue service. Well, in an ideal world. Sd40's with Wabco EPIC brakes? We got them!
            sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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            • #7
              611 does not have MU control. It does however have 26 brake. Now the C&O 614 has MU control.
              Last edited by trainman51; 04-24-2015, 07:24 PM.
              Thick as Valve oil, Black, White, and Tuscan Red
              That's how thick the Railroadin' in my blood is!

              Ich sehne mich wieder Meister der Iron Horse werden


              Nothing about this is normal!

              There is no place like 127.0.0.1

              1/20/17

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              • #8
                Hmmm.....easy to get 'em confused............
                sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh View Post
                  Hmmm.....easy to get 'em confused............
                  If GE survived past the Universal series, anything is possible on a steam loco!
                  "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - Confucius

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                  • #10
                    Someone said back in '94 when they put her away, never say never again.

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                    • #11
                      Yep it was always a possibility and the very reason she was put to bed properly and taken care of. And I may be mistaken but I seem to recall they occasionally built small fires in her to make sure the insides were dried out. The humidity around here would amaze!
                      sigpic ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them" Leonidas I to Xerxes, at Battle of Thermopylae

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