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My First Live Encounter with N&W 611 moving 4/8/2016

by Chris Guenzler

After I was done taking pictures for my North Carolina Transportation Museum, I would wait for the N&W 611 to move before me for the first time in my life.

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 611

The Norfolk and Western Railway's J class steam locomotives were a class of 4-8-4 locomotives built by the railways East End Shops located in Roanoke, Virginia between 1941 and 1950. The first batch, numbered 600 to 604, were built in 1941 - 42 and were delivered streamlined. In 1943, 605 - 610 were delivered without shrouding and lightweight side rods, due to the limitations on the use of certain materials during the war; they were classified J1. When N&W showed the War Production Board the reduced availability numbers because of this, the Board allowed the J1s to be re-fitted as Js with the lightweight rods and shrouding in 1944. The last batch, 611 - 613, were built in 1950, all streamlined. The Js were built and designed completely by N&W employees, something that was uncommon on American railroads. The class should not be confused with the much earlier J class of 1903. The total cost for building 611 was $251,544 in 1950 (equivalent to $2,441,000 in 2015).

I was now ready to watch the N&W 611 move for the first time in my life and I could not wait for it to happen.

N&W 611 is getting ready to move onto the Spencer turntable.

The Norfolk Southern AS-416 1616 and a Norfolk Southern caboose. I set up for my pictures.

The N&W 611 came out onto the Spencer Turntable.

A few pictures of the N&W 611 on the Spencer Turntable.

The N&W 611 backed off of the Spencer Turntable.

The Norfolk Southern AS-416 1616.

Two more pictures of the N&W 611 before the coaling of the engine would take place.

The cab of N&W 611.

The coal loading of the N&W 611. It sure takes a lot of coal to fill its tender.

The Museum train came by my photo location.

I caught the museum train engineer in this pose. I moved to my next photo location.

Coaling is still taking place.

The diesel for our two N&W 611 excursion trains came by my photo location. Dave Pressley next arrived and joined the photo line wih others you soon joined me.

Next the N&W 611 backed by my photo line.

Next the N&W 611 ran our my photo line. We headed back to David's car.

One last view of my N&W 611 for today. Tomorrow I will have my first ride behind her.

One last view of the North Carolina Transportation Museum before David and I headed to Charlotte.