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hawkinsrails.net / steam / 611 / May 2016

Norfolk & Western #611

May 2016 Roanoke excursions

My favorite memory from Thursday's test run will be No. 611's spirited departure from a planned inspection stop on the main line adjacent to Norfolk Southern's Spencer Yard. We could see the engine about a mile down the track, and by the time No. 611 passed us at control point Lee, No. 611 was accelerating on a slight upgrade, rods blurring, cinders raining down, and exhaust booming, just like the good old days, whether they were 1950-1959 or 1982-1994. Welcome to the new good old days as No. 611 enters its third career. She may be days away from her 65th birthday, but retirement is not an option.

Jim Wrinn, TRAINS, 2015

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.

Current excursion information available on the Fire Up 611 Excursion page