Steam Saturday: A Photo Runby in Danville

I didn’t ride behind Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 all that many times during the heyday of the Norfolk Southern steam program. Nor, for that matter, did I ever go trackside to watch and photograph it passing by.

But one instance in which I rode and photographed the “Queen of Steam” occurred on Oct. 1, 1989, in Danville, Kentucky.

I had boarded the train in Ludlow, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, for the trip down the fabled “rat hole” line of the former Southern Railway.

At Danville passengers disembarked and lined up for a photo runby, which is shown above. The train was then turned and it returned to Ludlow.

It was not my first trip behind the Class J locomotive nor would it be my last. This day, though, remains the one and only time I railfanned on the rat hole.

I had almost forgotten about his excursion, which was sponsored by the Cincinnati Railroad Club, until I ran across the color film negatives from that trip this past week.

Article and Photograph by Craig Sanders

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