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1  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Fire Up N&W 611! on: July 12, 2013, 11:28:55 AM
I know that there are more fans of 611 on here. 611 will run again by next year, if they raise at least $3.5 million by the end of October of this year.

Here is the press video:

And the story from Trains Mag:

ROANOKE, Va. – Famed Norfolk & Western Class J No. 611, one of the most famous 4-8-4s in American railroad history, will steam again — if a $3.5 million fund raising campaign is successful. The Virginia Museum of Transportation announced today its intention to return the iconic Roanoke-built locomotive to excursion service.

“We are pleased to say that we can Fire Up 611! But the time is now and it will take 611 fans around the world to stoke her fire,” says Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., executive director of the Virginia Museum of Transportation. “Today we are kicking off the official capital campaign.”

The Fire Up 611! Committee determined that $3.5 million would be needed to return the locomotive to service. The costs include a complete mechanical restoration of the locomotive, a shop maintenance facility and support to develop the excursion program.

Ultimately, the goal is to raise $5 million so that No. 611 has an endowment to keep it running for years. “The Virginia Museum of Transportation does not have the resources to fund this project alone,” Fitzpatrick says. “We are asking her fans across the globe who want to see her run again to be a part of this important capital campaign. Her appeal extends to people everywhere who value heritage, craftsmanship and the thrill of bringing an American icon to life.”

The inspection and restoration would take place at the North Carolina Transportation Museum roundhouse at Spencer, N.C., pending the conclusion of a formal agreement with North Carolina Transportation Museum Foundation. Work would be done by a combination of paid contractors and experienced volunteer labor. “We are lucky that the guys who did this work in the 1980s and 1990s were in their 20s and 30s then,” Preston Claytor, chairman of the Fire Up 611! Committee tells Trains News Wire. “While they are older, we can still use these guys.”

Claytor says the goal is to have enough money to see the project through before rebuilding work begins. “We have to feel we can make it go without negatively impacting the rest of museum operations,” Claytor says, “because museum operations simply can’t bankroll the locomotive.”

The Virginia Museum of Transportation must reach its fundraising goal by Oct. 31, 2013 for the locomotive to join NS’s 21st Century steam program in 2014. “If her supporters bring No. 611 back to life, NS will be eager and excited for this incredible part of rail history to join the 21st Century Steam Program,” says Norfolk Southern spokesman Frank Brown. “The return of 611 would represent a great opportunity to celebrate our heritage while educating a new generation about the critical role railroads play in today’s economy.” Currently the 21st Century Steam Program includes Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630, and the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Railroad Historical Society’s Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765.

Claytor says the committee feels that having the locomotive running next year is a realistic goal. “We feel very confident, especially with the work that was done in the late 80s and early 90s, about what we will have to do and what we won’t have to do, says Claytor. We are the real beneficiaries of the work that was done in the 1980s and 1990s. Realistically it needs some engine truck work, and it needs the form 4 (federally mandated inspection), and of course all the other things that must be done after this much time has passed, such as air brake work. But with the right amount of volunteers and labor and some good luck, six months is very realistic,” he says.

As far as mechanical condition, Claytor says one area that would need attention is the wheels. “The wheels are approaching the end of their useful life to where they would not be FRA compliant,” Claytor says. Replacing the wheels was work that was planned over the winter of 1994-95 that was never conducted with the end of the original NS steam program. “One of the main mechanical focuses will be to put new wheels on the locomotive,” he says. At the same time all the wheel bearings will be inspected. All N&W J class locomotives were roller bearing equipped.

The new shop would be built on the museum grounds in Roanoke, but it could be a year to 18 months before it is constructed. It will include one track with a drop pit, while another will be just rails and concrete. The building will be designed to handle other purposes such as special events, where tables and displays could be set up as needed.

When the locomotive isn’t undergoing maintenance, it will not remain in the shop but be put on display at the museum, although it may swap display positions from its current location so the J is more prominent, Claytor says. “We would prefer to keep it closer to the main displays as opposed to people having to go over to the shop to see it, where they can get up close and touch it as opposed to just looking at it through glass,” he says.

One nod to the 21st Century will be the return of a twin seal beam headlight the engine had when it was returned to operation in 1982. Claytor says the original single bulb headlight the engine was built with is too dim to allow crews to see adequately during night operations.

N&W built No. 611 in its Roanoke shops in 1950, and the engine was in regular service until its retirement in 1959. It was placed on display in Wasena Park in 1962 and withdrawn in 1981 for overhaul and mainline excursion work for Norfolk Southern from 1982 to the conclusion of its steam excursions in December 1994. NS announced its return to a limited excursion program in 2010 and trips began in 2011.

Perhaps Bachmann could do what a certain other company did and donate x amount from each model sold.
2  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Fire Up N&W 611! on: June 28, 2013, 12:14:03 PM
I am surprised that there wasn't anything about this posted on here sooner. Better late than never, I guess.

They need plenty of donations and volunteers to make this happen, so try and help to support the cause.
3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Name That Quote! on: October 13, 2012, 09:14:55 PM

"Never mind I'll manage."

You Can't Win

"He'll rattle himself to bits!"
4  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: September 19, 2012, 04:07:48 PM
Well, with school in, and more parts for the streamlined K2 found than the M2, this is now the project on hold. Oh well, I'll get around to it.   Undecided
5  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: N&W K2 on: September 19, 2012, 04:04:56 PM
This project is going to be put on hold, as my modeling interests have changed slightly. Undecided
It seems that my interests have changed again. I've obtained the proper style tender for a K2 (from an old Rivarossi Y6), and an old B-man plus J shell. All I need is a donor light/heavy/IHC mountain. With school in, however, I'm unable to focus my efforts entirely on it.
6  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 28, 2012, 01:44:51 PM
Well, I found a set of cylinders that are suitable for my project. Just need the crossheads and such. I may have to wait until Sept. to find "donor" locos  and parts for this project, and others as well.
7  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 21, 2012, 12:18:30 PM
Sorry for the late reply, but I already have that info. I don't think that I should try my hand at that just yet. I'll have to rummage about in the parts/junk locos that I have.
8  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 20, 2012, 11:58:42 AM
An update, of sorts. It seems that I have hit a stumbling block. The version of the decapod that I have started with, has the wrong type of crossheads. And, I don't want to have to fork up the $$$ for the other type of crossheads, guides, and cylinders.
9  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 17, 2012, 12:21:12 PM
Thank you very much! I get a lot of jeers from some of the members of my modular group, but we all get along. As for your tenders, here's an article that I found that may help as well. It uses the old bachmann excursion tender, but the spectrum could be used as well. Also, here's the #1 resource for N&W info.
10  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 16, 2012, 04:07:04 PM
Bear in mind, I am NOT a "rivet counter", "perfectionist", or a "professional modeler". I simply model by the "three foot rule". If it looks and sounds good from three feet away, you did a good job. I'm also only 15, so I cannot afford to purchase "the best" things to do a job with, so that's mainly why.

 Anyway, here's some pictures. 

11  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 15, 2012, 08:34:08 AM
I've started tender work, too. I've started to cut up a spectrum auxiliary.
12  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 14, 2012, 08:54:56 PM
I'll probably use a spectrum 2-8-0 boiler, or similar.
13  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 14, 2012, 02:28:43 PM
Out of a Bachmann 2-10-0 mechanism. I've already removed the first driver, and ground out space for a pilot truck.
14  Discussion Boards / HO / Instead of a K2, I will build this. on: August 14, 2012, 02:24:08 PM
A Norfolk and Western M2 4-8-0.
15  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: N&W K2 on: August 14, 2012, 02:15:50 PM
This project is going to be put on hold, as my modeling interests have changed slightly. Undecided
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