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NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:31 p.m.

Today is Norfolk & Western #611's 70th birthday. Its kind of crazy to consider that the "Queen Of Steam" was built that late. Alco hadn't produced a steam locomotive in 2 years (seven Pittsburgh & Lake Erie 2-8-4s), Lima had produced their last steam locomotive in 1949 (Nickel Plate #779, also a Berkshire), and Baldwin had also wrapped up production in '49 (C&O 2-6-6-2s, #1309 being the last). She had a relatively short career in revenue service as well, only 9 years.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:43 p.m.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:44 p.m.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:44 p.m.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:47 p.m.

She did have a derailment at Tug Fork in '56, which dumped her on her side and almost into the drink. Supposedly, there is still a pretty good crease in the the dome and the boiler (covered up by the streamline jacketing) and the tender had a pretty prominent gouge that was visible until her 2014 restoration.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:49 p.m.

Resting between her first and second excursion career next to old excursion teammate #1218. In 2014, they restored #611, but it seems unlikely #1218 will be running anytime soon.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:50 p.m.

A cool photo of #1218 negotiating a switch and demonstrating why they are called articulated engines.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 3:50 p.m.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 5:18 p.m.

That Hancock 3-chime whistle she wears these days really bellows

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
5/29/20 5:22 p.m.

#611 really flying on the old Nickel Plate tracks during her original excursion career

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/1/20 12:46 p.m.

N&W #1218, one of the N&W's excellent homebuilt A-class 2-6-6-4s, had the opposite of #611's career. The #1218 was built in '43 and served until '59. Then, in 1987 it was restored by Norfolk Southern in '87, but was only in excursion duty until the end of '91. The way things currently look, I would not expect to see a a fire in the firebox of #1218 anytime soon.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/1/20 12:46 p.m.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/1/20 12:47 p.m.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/1/20 12:48 p.m.

 

The single-chime "hooter" whistle on the #1218 is eerie sounding.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/1/20 12:49 p.m.

#1218 hauling 100 loaded coal cars in 1987. Just like she would have done back in the day.

 

ScottyB
ScottyB Reader
6/1/20 2:24 p.m.
NickD said:

N&W #1218, one of the N&W's excellent homebuilt A-class 2-6-6-4s, had the opposite of #611's career. The #1218 was built in '43 and served until '59. Then, in 1987 it was restored by Norfolk Southern in '87, but was only in excursion duty until the end of '91. The way things currently look, I would not expect to see a a fire in the firebox of #1218 anytime soon.

awesome to see some info on this guy!  i had a chance to see 1218 and 2156 in Roanoke in 2018.  the size of both of them cannot be emphasized enough, they're just overwhelming.  defintely worth seeing that museum if you're ever travelling through the I-81 corridor in SW VA.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/1/20 2:31 p.m.

In reply to ScottyB :

I've been through Roanoke a couple times, but haven't stopped. Next time I am in the area I will make sure to not miss it.

ScottyB
ScottyB Reader
6/1/20 2:51 p.m.
T.J. said:

In reply to ScottyB :

I've been through Roanoke a couple times, but haven't stopped. Next time I am in the area I will make sure to not miss it.

its a great museum considering what a small city Roanoke is.  in addition to the sizable outdoor rail displays (you can go in some of the rail cars too) they have a good sized model railroad, classic cars and trucks, and even some airplane stuff. 

if you've got time to kill, do yourself a favor when you're done and head up the street to the Roanoke Star on top of mill mountain.  great view of the entire city, airport, and surrounding valley.  and if you have even a little more time, just drive a little further and jump on the blue ridge parkway for a while.  the drive south towards Peaks of the Otter is fantastic.

(my parents and my inlaws live in Roanoke so i've done that trip about a million times)

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/1/20 3:10 p.m.
ScottyB said:
NickD said:

N&W #1218, one of the N&W's excellent homebuilt A-class 2-6-6-4s, had the opposite of #611's career. The #1218 was built in '43 and served until '59. Then, in 1987 it was restored by Norfolk Southern in '87, but was only in excursion duty until the end of '91. The way things currently look, I would not expect to see a a fire in the firebox of #1218 anytime soon.

awesome to see some info on this guy!  i had a chance to see 1218 and 2156 in Roanoke in 2018.  the size of both of them cannot be emphasized enough, they're just overwhelming.  defintely worth seeing that museum if you're ever travelling through the I-81 corridor in SW VA.

Sadly, #2156's lease to Norfok Southern (who was choosing to display it at VMT) expires this year, so everyone is uncertain if she is staying there or returning to St. Louis and the National Museum of Transportation. It has more of a historical connection to Roanoke, but I get NMoT not wanting to give her up either.

Equally sad is that there was not a Y6b saved. #2156 is a Y6a, which was the earlier, slightly less powerful version. The Y6b actually produced more tractive effort than Union Pacific's Big Boy. There was at least one Y6b in a scrapyard as late as 1974, with plans for a historical society to buy it, but then the scrapyard owner died and the new owner refused to recognize the deal and scrapped it almost immediately.

ScottyB
ScottyB Reader
6/1/20 3:47 p.m.

good to know.  i'm heading back to Roanoke in July hopefully, might have to take one more look before she's potentially gone.  

that's very interesting about the tractive effort, i had no idea.  considering the terrain throughout the appalachians i can understand why they'd need something with the highest possible grunt.  

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/1/20 6:47 p.m.
914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/1/20 6:50 p.m.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/1/20 6:52 p.m.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/1/20 6:54 p.m.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/1/20 6:56 p.m.

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