GREG SCHOLL 75 minutes
Norfolk and Western Class J 4-8-4 number 611 was one of 14 streamlined engines built by owner Norfolk & Western. It ran for the N&W between 1950 and 1959. It was restored and operated once again in excursion service from 1982 to 1994. Now in 2015 we get to enjoy the locomotive once again for its third tour in operation. First we have a segment shot in Spencer at the North Carolina Transportation Museum where a photo day was held being the first public event for the locomotive. Background information on 611 is mentioned in this section as we enjoy the engine on the turntable, entering the roundhouse and making a few runbys with a freight train consist. A couple of historic autos are aso used during the event. The next part of our show is the much anticipated "Homecoming Trip" as 611 travels with a passenger train of invited guests returning from Spencer to Roanoke. The train travels the former Southern Mainline to Lynchburg, then the former Norfolk and Western(Home Rails), to Roanoke. All this today of course is Norfolk Southern Corp. Most of this segment is trackside runbys, but we also get a couple of views from onboard the train. The bulk of the video is the great action over the July 4th weekend in 2015. For three days 611 puts on a great show tackling the many grades on these 2 a day roundtrips. In the morning the train would run from Roanoke to Lynchburg over the famous Blue Ridge Grade east of Roanoke, and on the return traverse the eastern slope back to Roanoke. Wet rails on one trip create some dramatic slipping. We also see the engine passing the Roanoke Shops where the engine was built in 1950. In the afternoon each day the 611 hauled passengers from Roanoke to Walton, where there is a junction between the mainline to Bluefield and the line to Bristol. We enjoy the westbound climb up Christiansburg grade through places like Shawsville, and watch the eastbound climb on the other side of the mountain passing through the old coaling tower at Vicker, and Christiansburg. 611 sounds great on these trips as locations with some slight grade or bigger climb were selected for better viewing and sound. Two different photographers contributed to this video.