NW2016040530 - Norfolk & Western 611, Spencer Shops, NC, 4/2016

NW2016040530 - Norfolk & Western 611, Spencer Shops, NC, 4/2016

611 photo shoot, North Carolina Transportation Museum, Spencer Shops, NC, 4/11/2016.

611 history
Norfolk & Western’s Roanoke Shops built No. 611 in May 1950, finishing the job on May 29. The locomotive was one of 14 Class J 4-8-4s, Nos. 600-613, that were homemade and employed on the railroad’s crack passenger trains between Norfolk and Cincinnati and on other lines, such as the route to Bristol, Va. The Tuscan red, gold, and locomotives were powerful, developing more than 5,100 hp, and they could sprint at speeds up to 110 mph. The coming of diesel locomotives in the late 1950s meant the end for N&W steam and the Class J locomotives. The railroad retired No. 611 in 1959 and donated it to a city park in 1963. In 1981, N&W management decided to restore No. 611 and it operated on excursions under the new Norfolk Southern Corp. banner from 1982-1994.

611 restoration
In 2013, the Virginia Museum of Transportation organized the Fire Up 611! Committee to restore No. 611, to build a permanent home for the locomotive at the museum, and to create an endowment for its perpetual maintenance. Thanks to generous donors and the Norfolk Southern Corp., the committee raised more than $3 million to begin the work. The locomotive was moved to Spencer, N.C., where work took place in the roundhouse at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.


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