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Steam & Excursion > Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?


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Date: 11/07/06 08:44
Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: cforssi

I am hoping she was stored in Norfolk ready to run. Could she possibly run again as is? She sure is a beauty. Anyone out there know her status. What about the other mallet that used to run with her? Are they stored ready to run, or is this just a pipe dream of mine? Thank you, Charles



Date: 11/07/06 08:51
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: steaminfo

1218 (the articulated you referred to) was part way through an overhaul when the NS pulled the plug on their steam program. The boiler is essentially gutted, the flue sheets are out, the tubes are out and their are other deficiencies.

The last I heard was that it would probably take about $1.2 million to get the 1218 through a Part 230 inspection and ready to roll.

As for the 611, I don't know its condition, but if it were to run again it would have to have a complete Part 230 inspection and that means time and dollars. Dunno if the NS would allow it to be restored.



Date: 11/07/06 09:22
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: aottinger

I am pretty sure that the city of Roanoke, VA owns the 611, not NS. As for the 1218, I want to say it was donated to the city of Roanoke as well to get it off the NS tax rolls. And judging by the financial and other internal woes of the VA Museum of Transportation don’t look for them to do restoration to operation any time soon on either locomotive...unless there are some really generous benefactors out there with deep pocketbooks. Sadly, the days of mainline steam on the eastcoast are over; memories last a lifetime.



Date: 11/07/06 09:38
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: Auburnrail

Seems like restoration these days is only a small part of the whole picture. The problem seems to be that the RR's are both so full up with revenue traffic and the insurance situation to run any steamer is so expensive that even the restored ones (with the exception of the UP owned steam program) have no place to run. When is the last time SF 3751 made a significant run ? Sad but true, with a few exceptions mainline steam excursions east or west coast are probably a thing of the past.

Regards,

Auburnrail



Date: 11/07/06 10:18
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: steaminfo

It would seem to me that Doyle and the 4449 operate pretty much every summer. As does the SP&S 700. And of course, in the Midwest, 261 romps all over the place every summer. The better question might be why some operations are successful in operating main line excursions, and why others seem to have so much difficulty.

I'm sure there's a real answer to that question, but I assure that I DO NOT know what it is.

And by the way, look for the 261 to run a very full schedule next summer, before going in for it's 15 year inspection next fall. Sandberg says they'll be down for the Winter of 2007-2008 and back up in the spring of 2008.



Date: 11/07/06 10:50
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: ctjacks

The reason (or the main one - there are others) the 261, 700, and 4449 have operated recently is that they are near host RRs that have allowed trips over the years, such as regionals (MRL) or class 1s that have allowed Amtrak steam trips (CP and select parts of BNSF). NS or CSX will likely never allow steam trips over their rails again - thus even if 611 was restored it would remain landlocked at the museum.

Chris .



Date: 11/07/06 14:15
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: tomstp

In addition to what has already been said, when the N&W and Southern merger took place, in just a couple of years the new corporate head honcho ordered all steam machinery used to work on steam engines in Birmingham sold. They no longer have wheel lathes and other machinery necessary to care for steam engines. That was the pitiful part. If they had just not sold everthing off it could be possible at a future time to return to steam excursions. But he did it in such a way the it would be prohibitively expensive to get back in it.



Date: 11/07/06 14:20
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: Robert

Let me add to this last post. It is somewhat correct and then it is not correct. I will start with the 261. This engine run by a good crew does run because it is located in an area that is not impacted by frieght traffic. Namely the China container traffic. The Pacific Northwest, home of the 4449 and 700, are currently under a case by case determination if they are allowed to run. This is soley because of the China container traffic that is now impacted that area as well. The 3751 is in the worst possible spot and situation. Their location would place them in jurisdiction of both Amtrak and BNSF however the China container traffic is so bad that it is near impossible for the 3751 to do anything out of Los Angeles.

So the previous post cited that being near or on a railroad that allows this activity is correct. The overriding decision however is how busy the railroad is.



Date: 11/07/06 16:19
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: alco636

"Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?"

Yes. When? Hell if I know. Although the current NS management seems a little more interested in their heritage, that doesn't mean they've even thought about the 611. If the NS wanted to operate the 611 again, they could do it. It would be a great PR tool for them.



Date: 11/07/06 17:48
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: bnsfbob

Robert Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Let me add to this last post. It is somewhat
> correct and then it is not correct. I will start
> with the 261. This engine run by a good crew does
> run because it is located in an area that is not
> impacted by frieght traffic. Namely the China
> container traffic. The Pacific Northwest, home of
> the 4449 and 700, are currently under a case by
> case determination if they are allowed to run.
> This is soley because of the China container
> traffic that is now impacted that area as well.
> The 3751 is in the worst possible spot and
> situation. Their location would place them in
> jurisdiction of both Amtrak and BNSF however the
> China container traffic is so bad that it is near
> impossible for the 3751 to do anything out of Los
> Angeles.
>
> So the previous post cited that being near or on a
> railroad that allows this activity is correct. The
> overriding decision however is how busy the
> railroad is.

Of the three most active engines, 261 benefits the most from lightly used lines but 700 and 4449 have run recently on the extremely busy BNSF routes east of Portland. This fact tends to diminish your argument that heavy trafficked lines preclude steam.

In my opinion, the reason why 261,700 and 4449 run as much as they do is a combination of four things:

1) desire to run
2) reputation of the steam organization with potential host railroads
3) cooperation of the local host railroads (may be a function of the preceding)
4) management and leadership acumen of the steam organization. This factors in the ability to get insurance, excursion equipment, financing and to overcome the inevitable obstacles to running trips.

Bob



Date: 11/07/06 19:09
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: muzzlez

Attached is a photo inside of the 1218 taken in 2003. The 1218 does have it's rear flue sheet installed. NS just bought F units and maybe in time they will restore the 611. The new CEO seems alot more heritage friendly.




Date: 11/07/06 20:01
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: Robert

> Of the three most active engines, 261 benefits the
> most from lightly used lines but 700 and 4449 have
> run recently on the extremely busy BNSF routes
> east of Portland. This fact tends to diminish your
> argument that heavy trafficked lines preclude
> steam.
>
> In my opinion, the reason why 261,700 and 4449 run
> as much as they do is a combination of four
> things:
>
> 1) desire to run
> 2) reputation of the steam organization with
> potential host railroads
> 3) cooperation of the local host railroads (may be
> a function of the preceding)
> 4) management and leadership acumen of the steam
> organization. This factors in the ability to get
> insurance, excursion equipment, financing and to
> overcome the inevitable obstacles to running
> trips.
>
> Bob

Mr. Bob R.
All of your points are valid, I don't dispute any of them however I did not state that the China traffic is a factor of Steam running on BNSF as an argument. It is a fact and I have been told by my BNSF contact that this is true for the Transcon and the west coast including Portland. Any steam or otherwise excursions will be on a case by case basis period.



Date: 11/07/06 20:56
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: RealSteam

basically all 611 would need to go through would be a tube job and a recalculation of the form 4. That girl is just sitting there sleeping away her time until called upon again. With the right people in the right places, yes she could come out again.



Date: 11/07/06 21:00
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: southern_steam_nut

Yeah, if that someone aint NS. As someone posted earlier, what with all of the necessary repair equipment in Birmingham gone you would be better off on the Chicago Cubs winning the world series. On another note, there is a NCStL 4-8-4 sitting in Nashville,TN thats practically begging to be restored but again the local RR (CSX) could give a crap less.



Date: 11/07/06 21:38
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: xtra1188w

Never say never about any of these or even any other long dead engines not running ever again. Go back, say 45 years to 1961. Most of the preserved or unscrapped steamers had been cold less than 10 years, many of them were still in pretty good shape. Imagine that there was an internet with a Trainorders type of discussion site back then and someone posed a similar question; "does anyone think that any big mainline steam other than 8444 or CB&Q #5632 will ever steam up and run again"? I'll bet that not many folks back then could have ever foreseen 614, 1218, 611, 4449, 3751, 700, 1522, 1225, and etc, and this just lists some of the big steamers, what about the Mikes, Consols, and Pacifics and etc that are still being used in tourist ops. Never say never, indeed!

Con



Date: 11/08/06 06:48
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: ctjacks

> 1) desire to run
> 2) reputation of the steam organization with potential host railroads

Bob, while I agree the above are important, neither have any effect on whether CSX or NS will allow steam excursions on their lines - if 261, 4449, or 700 were located in Roanoke instead of Portland or St. Paul they likely would have run about as often as the Cotton Belt 819 over the past decade. Don't expect this policy to change any time in the near or far future on NS or CSX.

Chris.



Date: 11/08/06 09:20
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: SJH

The real answer is yes. And, never say never.



Date: 11/08/06 10:44
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: 576

southern_steam_nut Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>On another note, there is a NCStL 4-8-4 sitting in
> Nashville,TN thats practically begging to be
> restored but again the local RR (CSX) could give a
> crap less.


Yeah, that sucks. But you know what would be a better place to run it? None other than the Nashville & Eastern Railroad. They are restoring a portion of the line between Cookeville & Monterry around Brotherton Mountain. This will include the wye at Monterry. And there is also another wye at Nashville. So all that they have to do is to add a turntable at Watertown and steam can run on the line again. I for one support this engine.

Brian



Date: 11/08/06 11:05
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: 5-String

Sure hope so.
Do you think a NS-UP merger would improve the odds?



Date: 11/08/06 14:55
Re: Do you think N&W 611 will steam again?
Author: CPRR

5-String Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sure hope so.
> Do you think a NS-UP merger would improve the
> odds?

No. UP has a standing order of no steam other than theirs on the track. 4449 runs on BNSF and MRL. Would love to see her come down the Coast line again, but not any more.



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