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Steam & Excursion > Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611


Date: 01/06/17 03:03
Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

I've been wanting to post some of the pictures I shot in the year 2016 of the steam that I encountered. There were 3 primary steam adventures that I was on during the year, the first being a trip from Colorado to North Carolina in April to see Norfolk & Western #611. My dad, a friend, and I arrived in NC on April 7, and departed on April 12, the highlight being the two days of chasing 611.

We decided on this trip for a few reasons: we figured if we wanted to see mainline steam, we would need to travel. It was unknown at the time what NS would allow on their line now that Wick Moorman was gone, plus CP was making a large push at the NS (which actually got shut down while we were there). And finally, it was a chance to see a new part of the country. I've got a cousin who lives in Asheville and I had never been to the Eastern Time Zone.

Our first encounter of the locomotive was at the North Carolina Transportation Museum the evening of April 8. We had just chased train 135 with the Central of Georgia heritage unit 3rd out, then visited one of my dad's clients in Spencer. We then hung out in and around Spencer for the rest of the day before going to the hotel to gear up for the chase. April 9 saw the locomotive pull an excurstion from Spencer to Lynchburg, VA, and back.

Photo 1 is 611 sitting under the footbridge at the NCTM after having just coupled onto the train. Despite living in Colorado, this was our 3rd encounter with the Southern heritage unit! Go figure!

Photo 2 is NS train 958 passing under the signal bridge at Long Ferry Road in East Spencer.

Photo 3: A couple runbys later, 611 is seen amongst the budding trees in Thomasville, NC.

Let's see if the research I did was worth it!
~wko








Date: 01/06/17 03:03
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

We arrived into Jamestown about 90 seconds too late, then missed the exit to get the shot I wanted in Greensboro. ARGH! So far, I felt I had wasted my time looking up info. Until...

Photo 4: 611 steams through Ruffin, NC. This was probably the shot I wanted the most, and the shot I'm most pleased with from the whole trip.

Photo 5: 611 passes under another Southern-style signal bridge at the RR location of Smothers. This was my first photo in the state of Virginia. Note the wind was blowing so hard it was laying the smoke down as soon as it was coming out of the locomotive.

Photo 6: A couple more runbys have passed (along with several hours), and N&W 611, now NS train 957, is departing Lynchburg. Had that manifest been a few cars longer, our multi-hour wait would've been for nothing!

Back south we go!
~wko








Date: 01/06/17 03:04
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

Photo 7: After a couple more runbys, we now see the train rounding a curve exiting Gretna, VA. This is one of my favorite photos of the trip, simply due to the number of railroads represented. You've got
  • Norfolk & Western
  • Southern
  • Orient Express
  • Great Northern
  • Illinois Central
  • Milwaukee Road
  • Northern Pacific
  • Atlantic Coast Line
  • Norfolk Southern
That's why I dislike the comments so much about the mis-matched train consist. Yeah, it would look cool if it was matched, but think of the history that's all been brought together!

Photo 8: We decided to join the masses at Dry Fork, VA. I took photos of every single car on the train here, because when am I gonna see them all again?

Photo 9: Our 2nd-to-last shot of the day was just west of Ruffin, NC. Our last shot was in Greensboro, and was roughly 30 minutes after sunset.

That was fun, let's do this a 2nd day!
~wko








Date: 01/06/17 03:04
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

Sunday, April 10, saw an excursion from Spencer to Asheville and return. We started in Salisbury, where the sun rising made for a spectacular departure.

Photo 10: The morning cold, lack of wind, and backlit, rising sun have resulted in one of the best smoke plumes I've ever seen as the train makes its way into Salisbury.

Photo 11: After a couple more runbys, and quite a bit of waiting, the train makes its way through Catawba, NC.

Photo 12: A couple more runbys later, 611 is seen blasting through Morgantown. This wasn't the shot I had planned at this town, but it worked!

We're approaching our destination, and a meet up with my cousin.
~wko








Date: 01/06/17 03:04
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

We skipped the shot I had hoped for in Marion and highballed to Old Fort to try to find a location to shoot at that wouldn't be overrun with people. We settled for the bottom of the hill so we could have ample time to get to the top of the hill for the shot at the summit.

Photo 13: After stopping in town (for a reason I still don't know), NS 957 starts up the hill at roughly 15 mph.

We had picked this spot so we could hit the Interstate and blast to Ridgecrest, but curiosity got the better of us, and we followed the masses through the Old Fort Loops. This is a fascinating piece of railroading, and I was surprised at how easily we were able to get ahead of the train.

Photo 14: 611 and its train crest the summit at the appropriately-named town of Ridgecrest, NC. This was the largest photo line I've ever been a part of.

We were able to get the train again between Ridgecrest and Asheville, then met up with my cousin at the restaurant that she and her husband own, the Copper Crown. Due to this, we were unaware of what 611's plans were for their departure, so we highballed back up the hill at their departure time to pick a location in the loops. We got that, then were able to get ahead of it again before the town of Old Fort, both pictures that I wish I could try again. I'm not happy with either.

Photo 15: The sun was starting to dip behind the clouds, so we hit a curve in Glen Alpine, NC, and got the train accelerating out of town.

We would get one final shot of the locomotive for the trip, in the town of Newton, under complete darkness. This was a trip that I have absolutely ZERO regrets of taking, and was one for the memory books. Our goal was to see 611 as much as we possibly could, and I feel we certainly did, with nearly 30 runbys in 2 days. I did not intend on posting these photos in the days after the 2017 trip schedule was announced, but I do like the timing! Haha.

Stay tuned for the next installment of my personal look back at 2016 steam! Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed!
~wko








Date: 01/06/17 06:36
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: refarkas

Absolutely beautiful images. Thank you for posting these.
Bob



Date: 01/06/17 09:40
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: bigjim4life

Great photos!  I re-watched my video from those two days as well - great times - hope to get down to see 611 this year as well!

Jim Lipnitz
Morrisville, PA
Big Jim Video Productions



Date: 01/06/17 10:23
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: mopacrr

Nothing wrong with mixed consists.  The Southern used what ever could find in the 70's for its excursions, including cars leased from various NRHS Chapters and individuals so its use what its available.



Date: 01/06/17 10:26
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: BigSkyBlue

wko Wrote:
---------------------------------------------------> Photo 8: We decided to join the masses at Dry Fork, VA. I took photos of every single car on the
  • > train here, because when am I gonna see them all
    > again?
Passenger car roster shots, at least those built between 1934-1964, are just as interesting to me as roster shots of diesels.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to see your photos of every car in the train.
Nice work altogether.  Doing your research definitely paid off.   BSB



Date: 01/07/17 04:23
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: UP951West

EXCELLENT images. Thanks for posting them ,Kirk.



Date: 01/07/17 07:01
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: jmbreitigan

A fantastic collection of photos. I have visited the Old Fort area and it is interesting to say the least.
John



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/17 07:02 by jmbreitigan.



Date: 01/07/17 11:16
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: kurt765

Great images. I hope to see her this year.



Date: 01/07/17 14:10
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

Thanks for the kind words so far, everyone! It was absolutely worth it to go see this fine piece of American history, and recommended if anyone is on the fence about it for this year!
~wko



Date: 01/07/17 16:01
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: typebangin

wko Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Photo 13: After stopping in town (for a reason I
> still don't know), NS 957 starts up the hill at
> roughly 15 mph.

Kirk, I believe they stopped in Old Fort for a crew change.  I remember hearing that over the scanner while waiting further up the mountain.  And thanks for sharing this very nice collection of photos.

-James
http://www.steamtrainvideos.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/17 16:01 by typebangin.



Date: 01/07/17 16:13
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: ns1000

GREAT stuff....!!  Thanks for posting these.



Date: 01/08/17 12:38
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: UP951West

Kirk, #5 and #8 look excellent ! Thanks for posting your work. --Kelly



Date: 01/08/17 23:08
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: wko

Thanks again for the kind words, everyone! Unfortunately internet issues have kept me from posting part 2, so it'll be another day or two before that gets up.
~wko

Posted from Android



Date: 01/09/17 16:39
Re: Looking back on 2016 steam, part 1: N&W 611
Author: ProAmtrak

Great pics, planning on seeing her this year!

Posted from Android



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