N&W 611 Gets Parts Back on; Fire Up 611! Committee Assigns Claytor Additional Duties

Workers have placed the lagging, jacketing, skyline casing and bullet nose of the Norfolk & Western No. 611 back onto the locomotive boiler

The J Class 4-8-4 is now ready to be painted. Other tasks that remain to be completed to restore the locomotive to operating condition include the application of main rods, piston valves and pistons, final servicing of the air brake and electrical systems, and installation of the air compressors.

The work is being done at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, N.C.

The Fire Up 611! Committee also announced the appointment of Preston Claytor as excursion director.

Claytor, the son of the late Robert B. Clayor, has already been serving as project manager for the 611 restoration. The senior Claytor served as the first chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern and pushed for restoration of the 611 in the early 1980s.

The junior Claytor has been negotiating equipment leases, communicating with Norfolk Southern about upcoming operations, and coordinating arrangements with the cities that are origin and destination stations for upcoming excursions to be pulled by the 611.

Gary Gray has been named Fire Up 611! excursion manager and will oversee car hosts, concession staff and telephone support representatives. He also coordinate arrangements for parking and destination entertainment.

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