11 Excursions Behind N&W 611 Set for June, July

The first public excursions in more than two decades featuring Norfolk & Western J Class No. 611 will run in Virginia during June and July.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation, which owns the 611, said there will be 11 excursions with trains departing the Virginia cities of Manassas, Lynchburg and Roanoke.

The first trips will be 102-mile excursions on June 6 and 7 between Manassas and Riverton Junction over former Southern Railway tracks.

A morning trip will run on June 6 while morning and afternoon trips will operate on June 7. The excursions, which have been named The American, will be part of the annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival.

The weekend of June 13 and 14 will feature 260-mile round trip excursions between Lynchburg and Petersburg. Operating as The Cavalier, the trips will feature a two-hour layover in Petersburg.

For Independence Day weekend, the 611 will pull 98-mile roundtrips on July 3, 4, and 5 between Roanoke and Lynchburg in the morning and then an 84-mile roundtrip between Roanoke and Radford (Walton Junction.

Operating as The Pelican, there will be no layover and passengers will not be permitted to leave the train during the trips to Lynchburg.

The afternoon trips, which operate as The Powhatan Arrow, will put the 611 and its train over the fabled Christiansburg grade. There will be no layover and passengers will not be permitted to leave the train.

Tickets for the excursions will go on sale on May 6. Additional information will be posted at www.fireup611.org.

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