Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina Transportation Museum’

Blue Water Donating Observation Car to N.C. Museum

October 25, 2019

A crew member rides the rear of a former Seaboard Air Line observation car owned by the Blue Water Michigan Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society during an excursion pulled by Pere Marquette No. 1225.

A Michigan group plans to donate its tavern lounge observation car to the North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation.

The streamlined car was built in 1947 for the Seaboard Air Line and was for many years a fixture on excursions operated by the Bluewater Michigan Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

The chapter is disbanding and disposing of its collection of passenger equipment.

No. 6604 is an 85-foot stainless steel rail car featuring a hidden bedroom for hostesses and a rounded observation section with swiveling chairs.

Most recently the car has been used by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“I’m happy to return this car to its home rails,” said Bluewater President John Moore.

During it days at the SAL, No. 6604 ran in the consists of such New York-Florida streamliners as the Silver Meteor and Silver Star.

It was saw use on the Silver Comet, running between New York and Birmingham, Alabama.

The North Carolina museum plans to use the 6604 for such special event train rides as Brew & Choo, The Polar Express, and Wine & Dine.

Plans are being worked out to move the car to Spencer, North Carolina, after its lease with the TVRM expires.

N&W 611 to Appear in North Carolina in November

September 19, 2019

The North Carolina Transportation Museum announced this week that it will offer several events later this year featuring Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611.

Among the events to be offered will be cab tours, night photo shoots, caboose rides pulled by the 611, and hand on the throttle sessions.

The events will held Nov. 1-3. at the museum in Spencer, North Carolina.

The 611 will travel to North Carolina after it completes a series of excursions and other events that begin later this month at the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

Tickets for the one hour VIP tour will include a presentation on the 611’s recent operations, a visit to the cab and a chance to blow the whistle.

The throttle time sessions will cost $611 and allow ticket holders to operate the 611 under the supervision of a qualified engineer for a half hour.

For $305.11 a ticket hold can work as a fireman including sitting in the fireman’s seat.

For $100, a ticket holder can ride for a half hour in the jump seat of the 611.

During these half-hour events, the 611 will pull a N&W caboose on the museum grounds.

Visitors can ride in the caboose for $10 plus museum admission.

The night photo shoot will held on Nov. 2 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the 611 posed at the Bob Julian Roundhouse.

Tickets for the photo shot are $30 per person.

Event times and tickets are available at

N&W 611 Won’t Offer Excursions in 2018

June 18, 2018

In an announcement that was not really much of a surprise, the Virginia Museum of Transportation said over the weekend that there will be no mainline excursions this year for Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611.

However, the 4-8-4 built in Roanoke, Virginia, will be steamed up at a later date and available for public view.

“We are very pleased to announce that we are engaged in substantive conversations about exciting potential 2019 excursions and special appearances for 611,” said Trey Davis, chairman of the Forward 611 Committee. “We will continue to seek opportunities for the public to experience a pivotal piece of American history firsthand, under steam.”

Museum officials cited Amtrak’s new policies restricting excursions and specials for grounding No. 611.

Amtrak has expressed a willingness to meet with museum officials later this year to discuss future excursion opportunities.

No. 611 is currently at the North Carolina Transportation Museum having mechanical work done at the Spencer shops.

The locomotive is expected to return to Roanoke later this summer amid some public events. Details about those events have yet to be announced.

“We’re working hard to ensure the public continues to have opportunities to engage with 611 and are planning unique events to provide opportunities to experience 611 under steam in 2018,” said Will Harris, president of the VTM board of directors. “The Virginia Museum of Transportation and NCTM are both planning special events with the locomotive in Roanoke and Spencer, respectively.”

One event at which the 611 is expected to appear is the Sept. 29 annual Big Lick Train Tug at which teams of six and 12 people will try to pull the locomotive by hand.

VTM is also raising money to equip the 611 with a positive train control apparatus and to build a permanent home for the locomotive in Roanoke that will also serve as an education center.

Amtrak’s policy changes have also led to the cancellation of planned trips this year by Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261 and Southern Pacific 4-8-4 No. 4449.

C&O F7 Going to CSX Paint Booth

September 15, 2017

A former Chesapeake & Ohio diesel is headed for the paint booth at a CSX shop in West Virginia, but it is not clear what livery it will have when it emerges. It is now painted in C&O colors.

F7 No. 8016 is being transported from the North Carolina Transportation Museum to the Huntington locomotive shops, Trains magazine reported.

The unit had been at the Spencer, North Carolina, museum since a streamliners festival in 2014.

Built by EMD as F3 No. 800 for the Clinchfield Railroad, the unit was converted to an F7 in the 1950s. It later served C&O and CSX.

The Trains report said it is not clear how extensive the painting will be or where the locomotive might operate after it leaves the shop.

VTM Has Sold 28% of N&W 611 Trip Tickets

January 18, 2017

Ticket sales for steam excursions next spring sponsored by the Virginia Museum of Transportation have been good thus far.

Fire up 611The museum told Trains magazine that it has sold about 3,000 tickets for excursions to be pulled by Norfolk & Western J-class No. 611. That is 28 percent of the tickets available.

The North Carolina Transportation Museum is sponsoring trips of its own in early April whereas the VTM trips are set for late May.

VTM told the magazine that tickets are still available for most excursions with the strongest sales thus far having been for the May 27 roundtrip between Roanoke and Walton, Virginia.

Ticket sales for the NCTM trips have been slower because those tickets were recently placed on sale.  Thus far 350 tickets have been sold for that museum’s two trips.

Thus far, the two museums have announced 13 excursions for the 2017 season.

N&W 611 Makes Ferry Move to North Carolina

January 7, 2017

The first trip under steam of 2017 of Norfolk & Western No. 611 occurred on Friday when the J class locomotive left Roanoke, Virginia, for North Carolina.

Fire up 611The 4-8-4 left the home of its owner, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, to travel to the North Carolina transportation Museum for overhaul work.

No. 611 is scheduled to pull public excursions over Norfolk Southern tracks in April and May in North Carolina and Virginia.

The ferry move followed the former Virginian Railway to a connection at Hurt, Virginia, to a former Southern Railway route.

The consist of the train included an auxiliary water car, two tool cars, and a gondola.

The April trips will depart from the North Carolina cities of Spencer and Greensboro while the May excursions will depart from the Virginia cities of Lynchburg and Roanoke. Tickets will go on sale at noon on Jan. 12 at

3 More N&W 611 Trips Set in North Carolina

January 5, 2017

Three more excursions featuring Norfolk & Western No. 611 have been announced.

NC Transportation MuseumThe J Class 4-8-4 will pull trips in early April sponsored by the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

The excursions include a day-long roundtrip from the museum to Lynchburg, Virginia, on April 8.

Shorter trips will run from the museum in Spencer on April 9 to Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Ticket sales will begin at noon on Jan. 12 for the public with select museum members having the chance to purchase tickets starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 10.

The excursions will use Norfolk Southern tracks that were once owned by the Southern Railway.

N&W 611 To Pull Excursions in Spring 2017

December 22, 2016

Steam will return to Norfolk Southern rails in 2017. The Virginia Museum of Transportation said its Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-4 No. 611 will pull excursions in Virginia and North Carolina in April and May with additional trips possible.

Fire up 611Tickets will go on sale in January for the excursions that will include:

• From Greensboro, North Carolina, to Roanoke, Virginia, via the former Southern Railway main line to Altavista, Virginia, and the former Virginian into Roanoke on April 22 to 23.

• Lynchburg, Virginia, to Petersburg, Virginia, on May 6 and 7.

• Roanoke to Lynchburg on May 27, 28, and 29 with trips up the Blue Ridge grade in the morning and up Christiansburg grade in the afternoon.

The 611 is slated to run on Jan. 6 from Roanoke to the North Carolina Transportation Museum where it will receive its annual maintenance.

N&W 611 To Return to Roanoke on Oct. 24

October 20, 2016

Norfolk & Western No. 611 will return to Roanoke, Virginia, this month during a welcome back event at the Virginia Transportation Museum.

Fire up 611The J-Class 4-8-4 has been at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina.

It will leave in the early morning hours from Spencer and travel over Norfolk Southern tracks to Roanoke.

The VTM will open at 7 a.m. with the 611 expected to arrive between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.

The steamer is expected to operate under its own power with a dead head consist.

Museum visitors will have the opportunity to purchase breakfast and lunch at the museum grounds.

For an additional $25 fee, visitors will be permitted to climb into the locomotive cab and blow the whistle.

N&W 611 Travels to North Carolina

September 9, 2016

Norfolk & Western No. 611 traveled this past week to the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer where the 4-8-4 will be pulling the museum’s train during the weekend of Sept. 10-11.

Fire up 611The J-Class locomotive was accompanied by two tool cars and five gondolas.

The 611 is expected to return to its home at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke in early fall.