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611 in 1983 - The Queen of Steam on Excursion in Virginia DVD
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611 in 1983 - The Queen of Steam on Excursion in Virginia DVD Main Line Motion Pictures ML61183
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N&W J Class 4-8-4 number 611 is no doubt the most famous of her class of 14 locomotives. Built by the N&W in Roanoke the J Class steamers were destined for greatness - and to be a railfan favorite.

Norfolk Southern made sure 611 would be more than a fan favorite when it completed the rebuild that the N&W had started, putting 611 back on the rails in the early 1980s. In this program we look at 611 on the high iron in 1983.

In 1994, Norfolk Southern ended its steam program and 611 was re-retired. Until 2015! With 611 now, once again, out of retirement, let's take a second look at those early excursions.

Formerly titled "611 Super Tape 3"
Copyright Main Line Motion Pictures 2015

DISCLAIMER: This video is from older footage that is not up to today's standards. We are making the video available for those who want a complete look at 611's history.

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DVD Item#:ML61183
Runtime:56 Mins ($0.32/min)
Producer:Main Line Motion Pictures
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:NO!
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

  • Some of the videos from this producer may have been acquired from home movie or video equipment. Please understand that these DVDs may not look crystal clear on modern equipment. These DVDs are offered because of their historical significance.
611 in 1983 - The Queen of Steam on Excursion in Virginia DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2019-05-30 12:51:41.

People who found this review helpful: 1

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  •  3 of 5

In this video, 611 made 7 trips from March 16-April 16, in the J�s home state. We begin on March 16, 1983 as 611 is heading to Norfolk for the 100th anniversary of the N&W�s first load of coal. First 611 leaves its home base behind as it passes by the city skyline, and the canal. Next it highballs over a bridge. Throughout the day, a hopper car is placed behind the observation car which says: �From Pocahontas to Norfolk for mayor Thomas�. Afterwards 611 whistles at various crossings and small villages. Then It whistles for the cameraman as it goes under the pedestrian bridge. Moments later, the J is still picking up the pace. The following day March 17, 611 heads home to Roanoke, as it still highballs through the farmlands. Then it whistles on the double track mainline. Note the trace marks on the camera lens as 611 passes by. This was the final clip for the 2 day chase of the 100th anniversary of N&W�s first coal haul.

On April 8, 1983, 611 is operating once again from Roanoke to Norfolk. The first scene is taken from the pedestrian bridge. Next it whistles through the junction as it switches tracks. Note the blue pick up truck. An extreme close up of the J is shown as it is on low to medium speed. At last 611 arrives at Norfolk. You can barely see the split second blooper. At Norfolk, 611 is Rolling through the yard. The following day April 9, 1983, 611 is on the move from Norfolk to Petersburg. For a split second you can see the original date card as it was shown back in the 80s. On that day, 611 makes more Marks�s for the lens on the camera. At Petersburg, 611 is backing up, then switches directions into the original N&W depot, as the J is smoking really hard under the highway bridge, then leaves the station itself. Next 611 crosses a bridge over the road. Picking up the pace, 611 whistles through various unidentified locations. Afterwards some highway pacing is included. The next day April 10, 611 hauls the employee only special from Norfolk to Petersburg and return. First the J passes by a pair of Three position block signals. Note the Pepsi sign in the background. Afterwards, the pacing continues. Next, 611 is turning on the Petersburg Wye. After turning, 611 heads back to Norfolk.

On April 15, 1983 (30 years before ISIS killed Boston), 611 is on an excursion from Norfolk to Crewe as the J is whistling through various crossings down the line. Followed by some strange pacing shots, and 611 itself under gray cloudy skies, passing by some stacks of ties. The next day, April 16, a cab ride aboard 611 is included from crewe to Roanoke, which contains some angles from the top of the engine, as well as inside the J�s tender. Operating at the throttle is Frank Collins. This was the longest segment in that video. Throughout the segment, 611 whistles through crossings, met with various freights, and sometimes seeing the signal lights change colors. At Lynchburg, 611 makes a stop as everybody from
The ground photographs the J, as well as an extreme close up look at the signal changing colors. Leaving Lynchburg, 611 climbs over the Grade and heads under the bridge. Some background voices are heard throughout the segment. In some parts of the program, there are VHS glitches meaning that this program was transferred from a really old and barely stiff videotape. The climb on Christiansburg grade concludes the cab ride.

The look on 611�s tender is shown meaning that the engine carried 35 tons of coal and 20000 gallons of water. A week later on April 23, 611 is at the Shaffer�s crossing roundhouse in Roanoke for the trip to Walton. The preparations are recorded from the crew car, as 611 is getting ready for a spin on the turntable. Some of the diesels are shown in the yard, but we are not sure where the whistle from another engine is coming from. After 611 leaves the roundhouse, a ride on the turntable is included as the shop switched moves the crew car in the turntable for the cameraman to see the waiting diesels. Next the switcher moves 611�s water tender to the turntable. With the crew car and the water tender coupled up, 611 heads for the one stall shed, then the program comes to a close as 611 is on christiansburg grade with onboard footage from behind the engine, as well as entering and exiting Montgomery tunnel, plus turning on the Wye at Walton.

When made by MLMP itself only it was converted to dvd in 2009, but in 2015 when 611 is back on the mainline, highball productions redesigned the case. These footages were recorded way before Amtrak�s worst president created the no steam locomotives policy for 4449, 261, 765, 3751, 2926, 700, 4501, and of course 611.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: There was no narration.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: A little rough around the edges.
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? Yes.

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