Historic Steam Locomotive Lives Again…

After languishing in a Roanoke train museum for twenty-one years, one of the last steam engines ever made was resurrected this week after a full year of a total rebuild. The “Spirit of Roanoke”, the last of fourteen monumental locomotives built in Roanoke by Norfolk and Western Railway in the late forties and early fifties was rededicated at the Spencer, North Carolina, railroad shops to an adoring crowd of train fanatics and just regular Americans who appreciate the history represented by this behemoth machine. Machinists and mechanics had spent an entire year bringing the relic back to life.

J Class #611 Approaches...

J Class #611 Approaches…

Powerful and Beautiful...

Powerful and Beautiful…

J Class 611 Profile
The glossy black paint highlighted by a dramatic red stripe make this locomotive totally distinctive

Norfolk and Western 611 Tender

J Class 611 Front View

I made this short video to give you some idea of the excitement surrounding this dedication on Saturday, May 23rd. Keep an eye on Holly, the dog. The steam whistle was way too loud for her…

Two days before, the J-611 was rolled out for the first time to make a roundtrip run from Salisbury to Greensboro, pulling eleven vintage rail cars. Speeds exceeded 65 mph during the flawless inaugural run. Here is a video that was made by Ben Earp, a model railroad videographer. You MUST watch this amazing short documentary of history being brought back to life. It was made during the Salisbury to Greensboro trip on Thursday, May 21st.

3 thoughts on “Historic Steam Locomotive Lives Again…

  1. I have ancestors including my Grandfather who lived in and around Roanoke – mainly Bedford County and who worked for the railroad. One was a detective for the railroad. One was an engineer who was killed on the job. Story too long to go into but it was sad.
    Always enjoy your pictures! Nancy

  2. Beautiful train pictures…….I lived on railroad tracks of N & W growing up in the coalfields of Southern WV and we had a coal train and a passenger train come up the hollow every day……..my Uncle Roy was an Engineer on the steam locomotive……an earlier version of this, and not nearly so fancy.Thanks for the memory!Patsy From: Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog To: pjcar119@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, May 25, 2015 8:55 AM Subject: [New post] Historic Steam Locomotive Lives Again… #yiv8070901204 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8070901204 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8070901204 a.yiv8070901204primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8070901204 a.yiv8070901204primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8070901204 a.yiv8070901204primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8070901204 a.yiv8070901204primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8070901204 WordPress.com | Carolina Vann posted: “After languishing in a Roanoke train museum for twenty-one years, one of the last steam engines ever made was resurrected this week after a full year of a total rebuild. The “Spirit of Roanoke”, the last of fourteen monumental locomotives built in Roanoke” | |

  3. Thanks so much for the pictures & video. I love the old trains. My father’s father & grandfather were engineers & his mother sold tickets for the railroad in Virginia in the early 1900’s, the last was around 1940. My father was a collector of anything railroad & got me interested. I have some of his collection now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: