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Author Topic: Will n&w 611 ever run again  (Read 6439 times)
RLS

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« on: April 12, 2010, 10:08:09 PM »

Well will 611 ever run again Huh? Cool
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jettrainfan

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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2010, 10:35:11 PM »

I'm sure one day she will.
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pipefitter


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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2010, 11:18:10 PM »

Here's a nice vid from her NS excursion days

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ijmkNd-BPU
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Guilford Guy


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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 11:36:39 PM »

I remember being told NS made modifications to the insides of the boiler when 611 was stuffed and mounted, so it may take some effort to get all the parts back and the loco in operating condition. If 611 was to run it would not be on NS unless a HUGE change in management occurred. Right now they seemed satisfied with the 4 F9s.
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Alex

ebtbob


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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 10:50:07 AM »

Good Morning All,

      It would great to see 611 run again,  but there is one large fact going against that resurrection.   NS used to do all their steam work at Irondale, Alabama.   After the decision was made to drop all steam activities,  the facilities there were shut done and much of the equipment needed to take care of 611 and 1218 was sold off.
       Unless there is a major about face from management and a willingness to spend big bucks,  I would tend to doubt you will see any NS owned steam operating again.
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Bob Rule, Jr.
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ebtnut

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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 11:30:06 AM »

I'm pretty much with Bob on this - There would have to be a wholesale change in NS management philosophy and a willingness to spend hundreds of thousands of $$$ to get her back on the road again.  I won't say never, but probably not in my lifetime now. 
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SteamGene

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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 06:49:04 PM »

The word when 611 dropped her fires was that there was one driving force for steam excursions on NS and he retired.  The next day the order came to stop the excursions.   That was some 18 years ago. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
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termite

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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 12:41:35 AM »

The only way NS will ever put the 611, or any other steam engine, back online is if they believe they will make more money than it costs to refit and run one. From what I have seen of the higher ups, if it can't make a profit, or get a big tax write off, it ain't gonna happen
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 12:11:43 AM by termite » Logged
jward


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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 11:50:53 AM »

keep in mind also that the 4 f units are for executive train use only. i've never heard of them being used  for excursions. the care, upkeep and running of the f's isn't that much different than any other diesel, and there is no shortage of people qualified to operate and maintain them.

steam, on the other hand, would require specialized facilities and trained personnel. it isn't just the cost of the rebuild, but the labour intensive maintainance and operation of steam as well. there are very good reasons why even junk diesels such as baldwins and early ge's were preferrable to steam. the conversion to diesels came in an era of cheap labour when there were thousands of people qualified to work on steam.

to-day, staem is a lost art for the most part. the cost of labour, especially the specialized workforce to maintain steam, is astronomical. most railroads will not spend that kind of money on one or two locomotives in an era where their fleets are so standardized that classes numbering under 20 are considered orphans and are stored or retired when traffic conditions don't absolutely demand their use.

tourist railroads and museums rely alot on volunteers to keep their costs down, donated labour isn't something a huge for-profit corporation like ns is able to tap into.

it is a shame. i'd also love to see the j run again, like i'd love to see the pennsy k4 at altoona run again. but it's just not going to happen.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
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RAM

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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 04:58:52 PM »

You have one other big roadblock.  Insurance.  The high cost of insurance has killed many fan trips.  Both steam and diesel.
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MB425

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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 09:55:15 PM »

Will the 611 run again someday? I'm sure ONE DAY it will but right now or in the near future, no.

In 1994 the 611 was basically put away in operable condition which DOESN'T mean you could go over right now and fire it up. Boiler rules have changed and the engine will need a complete rebuild to legally allow it to run again.

I can say that the engine is maintained so that it can be run again. The museum keeps all necessary points lubricated and once or twice a year, they move her up and down her display track to keep her automatic lubricators running.

Will they run public excursions with the 611 if/when restored? No. Just as UP uses their steam for PR purposes, NS would likely do the same (just like what the Fs are used for). The current CEO of NS has tossed out numerous hints of a return of some sort of steam operations for executive/PR service but right now, the Fs do the job just fine. Also, the fact that there are no materials to maintain steam means that a return to steam is unlikely. Another reason is simply "Is it necessary?" Railfans may think it is "necessary" to run steam for their enjoyment or PR purposes but it ISN'T (although it can be a plus for PR related purposes)! Steam is a little extra "plus" and the railroad obviously doesn't see the need to have an operable steam locomotive. Not to mention the liability of people running all over the place when the steamer is run. I know if I was the NS CEO, there would be NO steam or if there was, PRIVATE, UNANNOUNCED steam trips ONLY just one or two times per year. Other than that, it stays locked away. That way, you run a little less risk of having the whole state out along the tracks to watch you chug by.


Another thing is that NS DOES NOT the 1218 or 611. They are owned by the City of Roanoke. There would have to be an arrangement worked out by the museum and the railroad if the A or the J were returned to service. Do NOT count on the A to run ever again as she was in the middle of an overhaul when the plug was pulled on steam. The A is basically a pretty looking shell of a steam locomotive. That boiler is more or less HALLOW!


There is also a strong possibility that 4501 is going to be returned to service for it's 100th birthday. One of the rumors going around for a while is that NS is picking up some/most/all of the bill for this. We shall see...
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RAM

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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 11:57:16 PM »

The U.P. does run fan trips under steam.
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jettrainfan

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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2010, 12:14:10 AM »

The U.P. does run fan trips under steam.

Quite frequently too. The Daylight is another engine running a lot too.
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Guilford Guy


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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2010, 12:50:14 AM »

The U.P. does run fan trips under steam.

Quite frequently too. The Daylight is another engine running a lot too.
Yes, but 4449 is run by a non profit organization, not a Class I railroad.
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Alex

MB425

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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2010, 07:36:36 AM »

RAM & jettrain,
If you think that each steam trip the UP runs is a public "fan trip" than YOU ARE WRONG!

The Union Pacific usually only runs 1 or 2 PUBLIC steam trips per year. If you happen to look at this years steam schedule, you will see that there are 2 (really 1) trips open to the PUBLIC! All other trips ARE NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. 1 of those public trips is for members of the LCCA their families and their guests ONLY.

Other than the DPCFD Special, and the somewhat private LCCA trip, all other trips ARE PRIVATE CORPORATE TRIPS meaning NO PUBLIC "EXCURSION" PASSENGERS!!!


Let me tell you both that the UP does NOT run steam or any other heritage trains for the enjoyment of railfans. If you think this is true, you are DEAD WRONG! The railroad does this as a PR move not for the enjoyment of railfans or the general public. Again, each passenger train the railroad runs are NOT "fan trips." Maybe one or two per year is a brief passenger excursion open to the public but other than that, they are PRIVATE and you are lucky that the UP publishes the schedules for these PRIVATE trips so you can go out and foam them.
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