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


N&W 611 Asheville & Lynchburg Excursions

In early April of this year, the Virginia Museum of Transportation ran two excursions out of the North Carolina Museum of Transportation in Spencer, NC.  I was able to capture a few shots of these runs.

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N&W 611 passes through Danville, VA, having just crossed into Virginia on its way to Lynchburg.

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N&W 611 crosses the bridge in Alta Vista not far from its destination in Lynchburg

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N&W 611 runs through Calvin, NC on its way to Asheville

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N&W 611 works hard as it climbs through “The Loops” on its way to Asheville.

A Second Look

This is a shot I recently took in North Carolina of the N&W 611, which was running an excursion from Spencer, NC to Asheville, NC.  When I first took this photo in the field, I thought it wouldn’t be any good, but after looking at it back at home and studying it for a bit, I realized that it had some potential.  This was taken around 9:00 in the morning at a road crossing which was heavily wooded, giving the area a tunnel like effect.  I shot the photo at 1/500 of a second at F16, with an ISO of 400.  I was worried when I initially took  the picture that it would be too dark because I was not able to change the F-stop fast enough (the crossing was much more brightly lit in the other direction).  Just goes to show that you should always give your pictures a good second look before passing final judgement on them.

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N&W 611 heads towards Asheville, NC on a brisk April morning.