Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk & Western 611’

N&W 611 Traveling to Strasburg

May 26, 2021

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 departed Roanoke, Virginia, on Monday for the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

The Class J steam locomotive had been set to make that trip two weeks ago but was delayed due to a broken stoker screw.

The damaged part has since been repaired. The 611 will participate in a series of events at the Strasburg through Oct. 3.

N&W Stoker Issue Still Being Fixed

May 25, 2021

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 continues to have issues with its stoker that is delaying its move to the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation, who owns the 611, said its workers have confirmed that the stoker problem is due to a break in the stoker screw.

Workers have separated the locomotive from its tender to reach and repair the problem area. The museum said the break was likely caused by a weak spot in the original casting.

The museum has not said when the repairs are expected to be finished and the locomotive ferried to Pennsylvania.

N&W to Travel to Pennsylvania Soon

May 21, 2021

Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 is expected to travel to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, in the coming days after its coal stocker was repaired.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation, which owns the Class J locomotive, said “barring any unforeseen circumstances” the ferry move will be made.

Officials have cited safety and security concerns for declining to say when the 611 will travel.

The locomotive had been scheduled to be in Pennsylvania by now and operate this weekend on the Strasburg Rail Road.

But that was delayed by problems with the coal stocker that were discovered when in preparation for the ferry move last Monday the locomotive’s fireman found the stoker screw was not moving.

An inspection found it had broken a few feet into the tender. 

After separating the engine from its tender, workers removed 35 tons of coal. Museum officials said the cause of the stoker screw break was likely a weak spot in the original casting.

They said an internal void was observed extending toward the edge of the stoker screw.

One it arrives in Strasburg, the 611 is scheduled to participate in a series of events and pull excursion trains through October.

Steam Saturday: Last Time N&W 611 Visited Strasburg

April 24, 2021

This week the Strasburg Rail Road announced that Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 would return to the Pennsylvania tourist railroad in May and spend the summer and early fall there.

There won’t be any high speed running, but visitors will be able to take cab tours, blow the whistle and watch the locomotive be prepared for excursions.

Engineer for a half hour opportunities sold out the first day they were posted.

Here is a look back to fall 2019 when the 611 offered similar events on the Strasburg.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Strasburg Rail Road to Host N&W 611

April 21, 2021

The Strasburg Rail Road said this week that Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611 will spend much of the year on its grounds and pull a series of 45-minute excursions.

The 611 will be on site between May 21 and Oct. 3 and will be the motive power for the day’s main train on select days running to Paradise, Pennsylvania, and return.

Dates the 611 is expected to operate are May 22-23; May 29-30; June 5-6; July 2-4; July 10-11: July 17-18: July 24-25; Aug. 20-22; Aug. 27-29; Sept.4-5; Sept. 24-26; and Oct. 2-3.

Fares for coach and open air cars are $16.50 and $18.50. Tickets for first class are $22.50 and $27.50 and include parlor, lounge and club cars. Also available will be a dining car option and a wine and cheese event.

To purchase tickets for these events visit https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/611-at-strasburg/

On the website select “Regular Daily Steam Train” then search by date or accommodation.

Other events set to be offered include a hand-on-the-throttle event, a fireman’s seat event and a jump seat event.

The engineer’s eat event is described as a 30-minute experience allows participants to operate the locomotive.

Participants will receive an orientation about the controls and operate under the direction of a certified steam locomotive engineer.

The fireman’s seat experience also is a 30-minute event in which participants will serve as a locomotive fireman under the direction of an experienced steam locomotive fireman.

Some of these events have already sold out or are expected to sell out soon.

Also being advertised on the Strasburg website are various other experiences including blowing the whistle of the 611, working as a “hostler,” cab tours, and helping to fire up the locomotive before it sets out on its journeys.

The Strasburg Rail Road is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Steam Saturday: Double Header in Bellevue

March 20, 2021

How is this for a steam double header? It’s June 17, 1989, in Bellevue and Norfolk & Western J Class 4-8-4 No. 611 and Nickel Plate Road 2-8-2 light Mikado No. 587 have teamed up for an Independence Limited trip that began in Cleveland and would pause overnight later today in Muncie, Indiana.

The train’s ultimate destination was the National Railway Historical Society Convention in Roanoke, Virginia.

The 611 had earlier this month pulled excursions between Buffalo and Ashtabula, and even did a Conneaut-Bellevue round trip.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: The J in Cleveland

December 26, 2020

Norfolk & Western J Class No. 611 is westbound in Cleveland on Aug. 4, 1985. The visible matching set of cars makes this all the more special.  I believe that Paul Woodring was also here when when this image was made. The train was making a roundtrip between Erie, Pennsylvania, and Bellevue. It made two roundtrips betwen those points that weekend.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Now I Remember

August 2, 2020

It’s amazing how the mind works. In putting stories and photos together I’ve always remembered locomotives and locations that I want to share.

So many I can remember details like they just recently happened even though they’re up to 40 year memories.

Then I come across an event and location that I completely forgot. In the top photograph is the

Norfolk &Western 611 photo from May 7, 1989, at Fremont that I shared on the blog about two  weeks ago.

Then I found a photograph of N&W 1218 photo from a year later on May 27,1990, at Fremont that was completely gone from my memory.

This was from a weekend of Bellevue-Toledo round trips. Now I remember.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Sampling Marion in Spring 1990

July 31, 2020

A westbound Conrail train on the on ex-Erie on April 29, 1990.

Marion is one of Ohio’s most popular railroad hotspots. At one time four railroads crossed here, the New York Central, Erie, Chesapeake & Ohio, and  Pennsylvania.

Railroad consolidations of the 1970s left just three railroads and today there are two railroads using three rail lines.

Back in 1990, the railroads of Marion included Norfolk Southern, CSX and Conrail.

Here is a sample of some of Ed’s favorites photographs made in Marion in spring 1990.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A northbound CSX train on the former C&O. AC Tower still stood tall on the north side of the tracks in April 1990.

Riding an excursion train pulled by Norfolk & Western 1218 on NS (former PRR) tracks on May 20, 1990.

An eastbound NS train on former Pennsy, later N&W, tracks passing AC Tower.

Didn’t Those Retire 30 Years Ago?

July 27, 2020

Norfolk & Western No. 1218 is westbound in Painesville station on Aug. 18, 1990.

Nickel Plate Road No. 765 is westbound at the former NKP depot in Painesville on Aug. 7, 1989. The station has since been razed.

Norfolk & Western No. 611 westbound in Painesville on June 16, 1989.

In a span of fourteen months between June 1989 to August 1990 three different steamers passed the same location. I’m sure people were saying, “I thought these things were retired 30 years ago.” Also I’m sure many people were happy to see these beauties again.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas