Steam Engine 611

A crowd gathers as Steam Engine 611 visits Union Station in Petersburg, Virginia.

On June 13 and 14, 2015, a restored Norfolk & Western Class J 611 locomotive roared into Historic Old Towne Petersburg, Virginia for a two hour layover at Union Train Station.

The classic steam engine visited Petersburg for two excursions from Lynchburg, Virginia as part of Norfolk Southern Railroad’s “21st Century of Steam” program.

Number 611 rolled out of the shop on May 29, 1950 for the Norfolk and Western Railway at a cost of $251,344. The J series were the most powerful steam locomotives ever built.  611, as well as other Js pulled N&Ws premiere passenger trains.

While there were a total of 14 Class Js built, the 611 is the only remaining.

The 611 was involved in a derailment on January 23, 1956 where it overturned and nearly slid into a river.  The engine was completely overhauled and returned to service.

When N&W decided to switch to diesel locomotives in 1957, 611 was spared because of its good condition.

After pulling a "Farewell to Steam" expedition in 1959 and a period of time as a reserve steam generator at a N&W shop, 611 was donated to the Roanoke Transportation Museum (now the Virginia Museum of Transportation), where it came out for excursions in 1981 and again after the 2013 "Fire Up 611!" initiative. We are all excited to see this piece of history rolling down the rails again!

The last few months, I have been busy working on a few film projects, so I haven’t been able to shoot many photos. I’m glad I got the opportunity to go out and be creative. Shooting for myself is something that relaxes me.

I also love learning, especially history. I think it’s awesome to take a step back in time to see how things were.

Steam Engine 611 rolls through Petersburg, Virginia

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Does history interest you as well? Tell me about it below!