N&W 611 Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I went down to Roanoke, Virginia to chase the N&W 611 as it ran excursions to Lynchburg and Radford.  This is the third year that The Virginia Museum of Transportation has run excursions with the 611, and they remain as popular as when they first started.

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N&W 611 moves through Webster on its way to Lynchburg on May 27.

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N&W 611 passes through Forest on its way back to Roanoke on May 27.

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N&W 611 crosses Villamont Rd. as it nears Roanoke on its way back from Lynchburg on May 27.

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N&W 611 passes under the coaling tower at Vickers as it begins the return leg to Roanoke on May 27.

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N&W 611 passes by a portion of the Roanoke Shop Complex, run by Norfolk Southern, as it returns from the morning trip on May 28.

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The beautifully restored end observation car, the Silver Solarium, is pulled back to Roanoke on May 28.

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N&W 611 crosses the Roanoke River near Wabun on its way to Radford on May 28.

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N&W 611 works upgrade in Shawsville towards Radford during the first morning trip on May 29.

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N&W 611 passes through the curve at Riverside on its way back to Roanoke during the morning trip on May 29.

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N&W 611 works hard to clear the grade in Shawsville on its way to Radford during the afternoon trip on May 29.

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N&W 611 passes through the signals at Riverside on its way back to Roanoke, closing out another successful season of excursions.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation once again did a fantastic job running excursions this year, and as always I must thank them for continuing to do so, giving people like me the privilege of seeing this great locomotive run.


California 2017

This past April, I went to Northern California to see the Sierra Nevada’s along with Yosemite.  Both are spectacular locations; Yosemite for its amazing falls and granite outcroppings, and the Sierra Nevada’s for their unbelievable ruggedness.

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Donner Lake

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Donner Lake

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Donner Pass, note the snowshed which runs along the side of the mountain. This was part of the original Transcontinental Railroad.

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Tunnel View at Yosemite National Park

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Tunnel View at Yosemite National Park

N&W 611 Fire Up Event 2017

Early in the month of January, the Virginia Museum of Transportation fired up the Norfolk and Western 611 in preparation for its move down to the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, where it would undergo its yearly inspection before performing this years upcoming excursions.  This was one of the most interesting events I’ve taken part in, as the entire process was on display for those who purchased tickets to it.  Many thanks to the volunteers who take time to maintain this piece of incredible history, and to the museum for allowing folks like me to witness this very interesting process.


The view the engineer has in the cab of the N&W 611.


The fire is roaring as the boiler begins to build pressure, eventually working its way to 300 PSI.


N&W 611 sits on the museum grounds in Roanoke as smoke begins to billow from its stack.


A volunteer stands atop the auxiliary tender while preparing the 611 for its journey the following day.


Brake controls in the cab of N&W 611.


The fire roars away in N&W 611 at well over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The pressure in the boiler at this point is well past 100 PSI.


As pressure continues to build, steam begins to find its way through the maze of pipes located on the locomotive.


The number plate of N&W 611.

A Mish Mash of Things

I haven’t posted anything here in a while, so I figured that I would post a bunch of stuff I’ve taken previously that hasn’t made it here yet.


Ford GT40 Mk 1v, winner of the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans.  Housed at the Henry Ford Museum


B-29 Fifi’s propeller nose cone, taken in 2016


Mack Truck Mirror at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.  Taken in 2015


Baldwin 26 sits on the turntable at Steamtown during Railfest 2016


Baldwin 26 sits on the turntable in Scranton

Tools of the Trade

Over the Labor Day weekend, I traveled down to Scranton for Steamtowns annual Railfest.  One thing in particular that I like about this event is that the backshops are open to the public.  Steamtowns shops are filled with a variety of tools used to complete restorations of both steam and diesel locomotives, along with a variety of rail cars.  This makes it one of the most well equipped shops in the East when it comes to this type of work.  Tools like the ones in the backshop were specially made to handle this kind of work, and it’s not often you get to see them up close.








N&W 611 Manassas Excursions

Over the weekend of June 4 & 5 of this year, the Virginia Museum of Transportation ran the N&W 611 on three excursions From Manassas, VA to Front Royal, VA, along with participating in the Heritage Railway Festival located in Manassas.  This would be the second time that the N&W 611 would traverse what is known as the “B-Line”, a former Southern Railway line now owned by Norfolk Southern.  I am happy to report that some of these images, along with a host of others, were published in the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s “611 Magazine” Summer 2016 issue.  A very big thanks to Walker Nelms, Marketing and PR Coordinator, and everyone in the program for publishing my photos, and for running such a great program.

I hope to be posting more pictures in the future.  Unfortunately as it often does, life sometimes gets in the way, but I will try my best to post on this blog as often as I can.

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N&W 611 arrives in Manassas to unload passengers and partake in the Heritage Railway Festival

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N&W 611 continues to roll through Manassas in preparation for unloading the passengers on Saturdays excursion

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A portion of N&W 611’s running gear


The crew of the N&W 611 sit in Manassas


N&W 611 travels up grade through Happy Creek on its way back to Manassas


Rain runs down the side of one of the cars on the train in Manassas


The crew of the N&W 611 fill the sand dome in preparation for the excursion to Front Royal