News & Reviews News Wire N&W No. 611 to remain at Strasburg Rail Road

N&W No. 611 to remain at Strasburg Rail Road

By David Lassen | October 8, 2021

Virginia Museum of Transportation says locomotive will receive maintenance during extended stay in Pennsylvania

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Streamlined steam locomotive at station next to tower
Norfolk & Western No. 611, shown during operation on Sept. 26, will remain at the Strasburg Rail Road for maintenance, the Virginia Museum of Transportation has announced. (Dan Cupper)

STRASBURG, Pa. — Norfolk & Western Class J locomotive No. 611 will remain at the Strasburg Rail Road this winter, undergoing an annual inspection and maintenance, following the conclusion of its operations on the Pennsylvania short line.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation’s 4-8-4 had operated at Strasburg since May, wrapping up its schedule of excursions, cab rides, and other events on Oct. 3. It was the locomotive’s second appearance at Strasburg, following a shorter stay in 2019.

“The Museum’s partnership with Strasburg Rail Road Co. has worked exceptionally well,” Virginia Museum of Transportation President Will Harris said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have an opportunity to operate 611 and continue the heritage of steam railroading for new generations to experience.”

While remaining at Strasburg, the locomotive will undergo a required Federal Railroad Administration inspection of the boiler’s flexible staybolts and caps. Future plans “will be published through official channels when appropriate,” according to the press release.

“It’s been an honor to host 611 at the Strasburg Rail Road again, and it’s been a privilege for tens of thousands of our guests to experience such a significant locomotive right here in the midst of beautiful Lancaster County,” said Steve Barrall, the Strasburg’s vice president of guest experience.

6 thoughts on “N&W No. 611 to remain at Strasburg Rail Road

  1. There is really no way that they can increase the length of the ride and they can’t go onto Amtrak with their wood coaches. In 1985 and 1986 they had a fleet of steel coaches with open windows that came from
    NJT and were DL&W and EL and they ran double headed excursions with now mothballed #1223 and #7002 to Harrisburg and Philly over Amtrak and Conrail. Those will never happen again. Maybe if a diesel excursion runs from Philly to Strasburg that is the only way a longer excursion can happen and if Amtrak lifts it’s excursion ban.

  2. I rode behind 611 several weeks ago. Strasburg RR is a first class operation. Its only flaw is the round-trip is very short and I don’t see how they can ever increase it. Its obvious that its freight operations had really increased since I last visited 6 years ago.

    The PA State RR Museum across the street is also very good for stationary displays. Its major problem is it closes at 4:00 PM when it should be open until 5:00 at least in the summer. Even if you ride the Strasburg RR’s first scheduled trip of the day and then visit it, you are hard pressed to see everything in-depth inside and in the outside yard. It could use some more human interest in regards to the railroaders similar to what Altoona does with their RR Museum.

  3. Strasburg keeps their operating engines inside the enginehouse when not in use.

    As to fire suppression, you made me curious. They must have a special system in a building intended to house coal-burning locomotives so the engines’ smoke doesn’t trigger the system,

  4. Will 611 be kept under cover ? The winters can be worse in PA, Also if under cover does the cover have fire protection sprinklers ?

    1. I’m the track is holding up just fine. Strasburg has high standards when it comes to maintenance.

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