hawkinsrails.net / steam / 611 / May 2016
Norfolk & Western #611
The Powhatan Arrow, Roanoke, Virginia to Lynchburg, Virginia: May 7 & 8, 2016
The Powhatan Arrow is a 98-mile morning round trip from Roanoke to Lynchburg over the famous Blue Ridge grade. Our journey begins by the renowned N&W East End Shops where 611 and her thirteen sisters were built. We’ll then travel through the Blue Ridge Mountains, passing the setting of one of O. Winston Link’s most famous photographs, as well as the iconic the of Otter. Cross a stunning, high steel bridge over the Big Otter River, then ride past the village of Forest before our return to Roanoke.
Boarding location: boarding will take place adjacent to the former N&W Passenger Station, now home to the O. Winston Link Museum and the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 101 Shenandoah Avenue NE, Roanoke, VA, 24016. Plan to arrive at least 1 hour prior to departure. The Powhatan Arrow departs Roanoke at 8:00 am and returns at 12:30 pm. No layover on this trip. No diesel assist anticipated.
The Pelican, Roanoke, Virginia to Walton (Radford), Virginia: May 7 & 8, 2016
Ride from Roanoke to Walton on this 84-mile afternoon round trip. Enjoy the view as we parallel the former Virginian Railway and begin our ascent of the famed Christiansburg grade. We climb the Appalachian Mountains to an elevation of 2,050 feet, and take in the picturesque view along the South Fork of the Roanoke River. Our journey will also take us through the twin-bore Montgomery Tunnel and along Crab Creek down to the New River. See remnants of the original grade constructed by the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad prior to the Civil War.
"Powhatan Arrow" / Bonsack, Va / 1950s / web
WILL: Hey, isn't that Casey Thomason?
WILL: Up there, where you were, taking pictures!
ME: Really? Are you sure?
WILL: I think so. Sure looks like him.
ME: I'm not sure. Ask him. Ask him!
And so my brave brother-in-law and partner-in-chase asked him if he was, in fact, Casey Thomason, Norfolk Southern's official company photographer. Why yes he was, somewhat embarrassed to be treated like a celebrity by two J class foamers. He could not have been a nicer guy. We chatted for a few minutes and thanked him for his spectacular work in recent years covering the 21st Century Steam Program, the Spencer events, and the Norfolk Southern heritage units. It was almost as exciting as seeing the Queen herself. Here's a snap of three of us, with the old Norfolk & Western office building in the background, across the NS main:
May 2016 / Will Hankins