Strasburg adds more Norfolk & Western No. 611 events

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Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611, shown at Jamestown, N.C., in September 2018, will star in more public appearances at the Strasburg Rail Road in September 2019.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
STRASBURG, Pa. — After record-breaking ticket sales, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, Inc., of Roanoke, Va., and the Strasburg Rail Road Co., announce more opportunities to experience the iconic Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-4 No. 611 and the Norfolk & Western Class M 4-8-4 No. 475 steam locomotives up close as passengers, engineers, firemen, and photographers.

The expanded opportunities include:
• Friday, Sept. 27: Ride behind 611, behind-the-scenes tours, cab tours,
and the whistle blow
• Monday, Sept. 30: Ride behind 611, behind-the-scenes tours, cab tours,
and the whistle blows
• Friday, Oct. 4: Ride behind the 611, behind-the-scenes tours, cab tours,
and whistle blows
• Monday, Oct. 7: Railfan Photography Extravaganza (morning and afternoon sessions available)
• Saturday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 27: At the Throttle of Norfolk & Western steam
(engineer, fireman, or sit in the jump seat.)

Members of Virginia Museum of Transportation’s 611 Society have already begun using advance ticket purchasing opportunities. The general public can purchase tickets beginning at 2 pm on Friday, March 29.

“The response to the news that the 611 and the 475 would appear together at the Strasburg Rail Road was overwhelmingly positive,” said Brian Barton, VMT board member and 611 operations director. “Fans of Norfolk & Western Railway steam are coming to Strasburg from across the country. It will be an unprecedented celebration of Norfolk & Western steam.”

Tickets for Nos. 611 and 475 events sold quickly after they were announced on March 15. Most opportunities sold out after just 48 hours.
“It’s an exciting time for the Strasburg Rail Road,” said Steve Barrall, station master. “Railfans, tourists and families, regardless of age or knowledge of steam locomotives, can experience the majesty of seeing the 611 and the 475 side-by-side.”

With the locomotives side-by-side, visitors will see, hear, and feel how the Norfolk & Western Railway revolutionized steam technology in under 50 years, Barrall added.

The N&W Class M No. 475 was built in 1906 by Baldwin Locomotive Works and put into service by the Norfolk & Western hauling freight and coal trains. Soon after, the railroad decided to design and build its locomotives using cutting-edge technology and engineering.

The N&W Class J No. 611 is the sole survivor of 14 Class J steam locomotives designed and built by the Norfolk & Western Railway. The locomotive rolled out of Roanoke’s East End Shops in 1950. Its mission was to pull the Powhatan Arrow, a 15-car passenger train, from Norfolk, Virginia, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Source: VMT press release

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