Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk & Western 611’

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Virginia

September 24, 2022

Paul Woodring, Jim Bacon, and I were chasing some of newly-restored Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No.  611’s very first fan trips in early September 1982.

Some locations are easy to identify while others are almost impossible. N&W 611 is on one of her first fan trips somewhere in Virginia.

This image might have been the Independence Limited, which operated on Sept. 4 between Roanoke and Norfolk, or, if it was made on Sept. 6, running between Roanoke and Alexandria.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

N&W 611 to Operate This Fall at Strasburg

September 3, 2022

Norfolk & Western J Class No. 611 will be back in action this fall on the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

The 4-8-4 ran on the tourist railroad in 2019 and 2021 and is already on the property receiving maintenance work following last year’s excursions.

This year’s excursions will operate between late September and mid-November.

Among the events announced are “At-The-Throttle-Experiences,” stationary cab tours, excursions, and a photo charter hosted with by tour operator Peter Lerro.

For more information, visit strasburgrailroad.com/611-experiences/

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Virginia

August 27, 2022

Jim Bacon, Paul Woodring and I found Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 in Bedford, Virginia, on Sept. 6, 1982. It was pulling an Independence Limited excursion from Roanoke to Alexandria, Virginia. The J class locomotive had made its inaugural runs after being restored to operating condition the month before.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Southern Ohio

July 16, 2022

We’re standing alongside the former Norfolk & Western south of Columbus as N&W 4-8-4 No. 611 chugs past with the Independence Limited.

The train was en route to Chicago from Richmond, Virginia, where that year’s National Railway Historical Society convention had been held.

On this day the 611 started its journey in Portsmouth, Ohio, and ran to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where it spent the night.

Also on hand at this scene was Paul Woodring and another railfan friend of the photographer.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Virginia

July 8, 2022

Here are a pair of images of Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 made on Sept. 6, 1982, as the Class J locomotive was pulling the Independence Limited from Roanoke to Alexandria, Virginia, on a one way move. The steamer is shown in Lowry and Lynchburg. The latter photo shows the train crossing the Tye River. Also there that day were Paul Woodring and Jim Bacon.

Photographs by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: N&W 611 in Cleveland

February 26, 2022

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 pulls a westbound excursion through the Flats in Cleveland in early August 1985. The train is on former Nickel Plate Road tracks on a bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River Valley. The 611 pulled two round trips between Erie, Pennsylvania, and Bellevue on Aug. 3 and 4 that year.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Trestle Tales: Vestiges of the N&W

February 6, 2022

The Nickel Plate Road built a steel trestle over the Grand River in Painesville in 1905. It continued to stand through two changes in railroad ownership, the transition from steam to diesel power, and the end of passenger service.

But even a structure as imposing as a steel trestle is not forever. In March 2017 contractors hired by Norfolk Southern began building a new bridge largely constructed of pre-cast concrete.

That 1,318-foot structure opened to rail traffic on Sept. 30, 2018, when eastbound intermodal train 206 was the first train to use it.

The contractor then began removing the trestle, which was located north of the new bridge, and before the end of the year it was gone.

Since 2003 Ed Ribinskas has lived minutes away from the Painesville trestle. He attended Riverside High School, which was and still is a stone’s throw away from the trestle’s location.

The trestle appears in many of his railroad photographs made on the Nickel Plate Road mainline in Painesville.

This is the first of series of articles with photographs showing how the environment around the trestle and rail operations on the ex-NKP mainline between Cleveland and Buffalo have changed over the years.

Today, Ed looks back to the late 1980s during the first decade of NS operation.

In that era, the trestle was mostly clear of trees and brush. The top two images are thought to be train CN 90 and were made on March 29, 1986.

The CN 90 is shown the next day in the third photograph running long hood forward, which was the usual operating practice during the Norfolk & Western era of the 1970s and 1980s.

The last photo shows Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 headed to Erie, Pennsylvania, on a ferry move on Aug. 1, 1986.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Steam Saturday: An N&W 611 Memory

January 1, 2022

Paul Woodring, Jim Bacon, and I were in Roanoke, Virginia, on Sept. 6, 1982, for one of Norfolk & Western 611’s first excursions. This particular trip operated as the Independence Limited on a one way jaunt from Roanoke to Alexandria, Virginia. It operated after the 611’s inaugural trips on Aug. 20, 21 and 22 from Birmingham, Alabama, to Roanoke.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: My First and Only Photograph of Observation Car ‘Lookout Mountain’

October 9, 2021

After seeing the article and photograph of the ex-Southern Railway (Iowa Pacific) passenger car  Lookout Mountain being transported to the Reading & Northern it prompted me to search through my archives.

I knew it was the tail car of two Southern excursions I rode in 1979 and 1980 behind Royal Hudson ex-Canadian Pacific No. 2839.

I for sure remember it being at the 1983 National Railway Historical Society’s Richmond Convention.

It was a special outing since it was my introduction to Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611. My first excursion behind it was the trip on the ex-Chesapeake & Ohio from Richmond to Balcony Falls, Virginia.

My very first photo ever of the Class J 611 was the first photo runby. The image is not great at all but it is the first.

The second and third images are from the second runby the latter being my only photo of the Lookout Mountain.

I do remember riding in it on the return trip along the James River. I do have footage from riding in it on the 8 mm movies I shot.

My photography improved at the runby at Balcony Falls as shown on the bottom image. All the pictures are from that July 21,1983, convention excursion.

My bucket list for 2022 is to see and ride the Lookout Mountain behind Reading 4-8-4 No. 2102.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

N&W 611 to Remain at Strasburg for Winter

October 9, 2021

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 will continue its stay at the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania through the winter.

The J class locomotive is owned by the Virginia Transportation Museum but will undergo an annual inspection and any needed maintenance in Pennsylvania.

That includes a Federal Railroad Administration mandated inspection of the boiler’s flexible staybolts and caps.

The 611 has been at the Strasburg since May and hosted excursions and other events throughout the summer.

A news release announcing 611 is staying at the Strasburg did not indicate any future plans for the locomotive.