Posts Tagged ‘N&W 611’

Steam Saturday: A Photo Runby in Danville

October 22, 2022

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

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: The J at Night

November 13, 2021

Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-4 No. 611 was a primary star on Norfolk Southern’s steam schedule in 1984.

It’s first set of excursions near us were roundtrip Erie, Pennsylvania, and Buffalo, New York, trips, the weekend of Aug. 11 and 12, 1984.

We learned that the locomotive was laying over near downtown Erie prior to the trips. After work on Friday, Aug. 10, I joined Marty Surdyk and his brothers Robert and John to capture some night photography in Erie prior to the weekend excursions that we chased.

Dan Pluta had recently hooked up as a volunteer with the steam crew and aided us with our photography. We were happy with our results that night along with images captured on the next day’s excursion. Above are a couple of my night shots.

Photographs by Edward Ribinskas