611 at Wallace Junction, Pa

Norfolk & Western #611








1960, 1995


Static Display

The Norfolk & Western is the only fully-streamlined (USA built) 4-8-4 preserved.


The engine was built in 1950 as part of the successful J class. It had a strange career; full of accidents and work. The engine was retired in 1960 as the last steam locomotive on a Class I railroad in the US to be retired.

In 1981, the engine started to be restored, and in 1982, the engine was finished. It had an excursion career with N&W #1218 (a 2-6-6-4) held by the Norfolk Southern Steam Program. For thirteen years it operated, until being finally retired in 1995 once again. It is currently on static display in Roanoke, Virginia.


The J had a few accidents in it's career:

  • January 23rd, 1956: 611 derailed at a curve and crashed into a river. Luckily, it was repaired within a month.
  • May 18th, 1986: 30 years after the accident, the 611's excursion train derailed, leaving some hospitalized. No fatalities.
  • September 1994: The engine's coaches used for the excursion were damaged in a switiching accident. No one was hurt. 

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