Legend for display case for N&W J model at Israel Railway Museum

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Legend for display case for N&W J model at Israel Railway Museum
Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:17 AM

I propose the following:

J 611, Built, May 1950, finished May 29, Norfolk & Western’s Roanoke Shops
 
One of 14 Class J 4-8-4s, Nos. 600-613, all homemade.
 
Used on the premium passenger trains between Norfolk and Cincinnati, Pocahuntas, Cvaler, Powhatan Arrow, and Monroe -  Bristol between Southern Railroad segments,  Washington – Memphis Tennessean and the Washington – New Orleans Pelican, diesels on the Southern)
More than 5,100 hp, speeds up to 110 mph.
 
The adoption of diesel power retired No. 611 in 1959
 
Donated it to a Roanoke city park in 1963
 
N&W management decided to restore No. 611 in 1982
 
Excursions under the new Norfolk Southern Corp. 1982-1994.  Then moved to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke 

611 restoration 
 
2013:  The Virginia Museum of Transportation organized the Fire Up 611! Committee, $3 million raised initially.   Completion required additional funds.
 
Moved to Spencer, N.C.,roundhouse at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, the former primary steam shops of  the Southern Railraod.  (Norfolk Southern is a combination of several railroads, mainly the Norfolk and Western and the Southern.)
 
Returned to steam on March 31, 2015  Excursions in Virginia in June and July of that year.  Occasional excursions since.  Home at special building at Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke.  This building involved additional fund-rasing.
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:38 AM

You certainly hit all the high points David, that's the 611 story all right, concise and to the point.

The only thing left out is with the end of Norfolk-Southern's 21st Century Steam program 611 is now in  Roanoke "All dressed up with no place to go!"

On the other hand, might as well leave that part out.  Why depress everyone?

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Posted by BigJim on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 8:52 AM

Correction!

That would be "J"...NOT...J1!
During WWII, six locos, 605-610, were built unstreamlined (and other factors) due to war retrictions. These engines were classed as "J1". When these six locos were streamlined and updated they were reclassed as "J", dropping the "1".
When engines 611-613 were built, they also continued the "J" Class.

.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 9:14 AM

Thanks.  Iwill edit both the post and my submittal.  I should have remembered that! 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 5:19 AM

Should I add that they were occasionally used in fast freight service?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 8:48 AM

daveklepper

Should I add that they were occasionally used in fast freight service?

Yes, and I would add one or two lines about how the design was well suited to this job, something that could not be said of most other true 110-mph-capable steam locomotives (only the 3765/3776/rebuilt 2900s at ATSF come to mind in this category)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 2:18 PM

Oh yeah, N&W used Class J's on freight service toward the end, but folks here in Virginia considered it a disgraceful insult to the type!

Kind of like putting Seabiscuit or Man-O-War on the front of a milk wagon! 

There's certain things with thoroughbreds you just don't do!  Super Angry

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 6:29 PM

At least they got to keep their style, unlike the NYC Century Hudsons:

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 6:52 PM

A Class J shoving a pulpwood flat.  Groannnnnnn.....

And then there's pictures of Geeps pulling "The Cavalier", "The Pocahontas", "The Powhatan Arrow,"  and those trains are not the same anymore.

They're just NOT the same!

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 7:30 PM

Wayne, a correction: cara for carrying pulpwood do not have flat beds--the bed slopes toward the centerline to make it easier to keep the load stable.

I have seen many being loaded--and I have ridden a couple of empty woodracks.

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 9:12 PM

OK Johnny, I stand corrected.  But it STILL isn't right!

It's like a crime against nature!

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:46 AM

Yes, Wayne, it's comparable to putting a princess to work as a scullery maid.

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:43 AM

Hey folks, remember what I said about the N&W's named trains not being the same without a Class J on the head-end?   Have a look at this...

www.retroweb.com/lynchburg/rails/arrow_lynus_59.jpg

See what I mean?

At least they're in Tuscan red and they're clean.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:17 AM

Flintlock76
There's certain things with thoroughbreds you just don't do!

But the right metaphor for a class J isn't a Thoroughbred -- that breed of flighty, easily-damaged horse applies more aptly to something like a T1 or, as Staufer used it, one of the NYC Hudsons.  (Or perhaps the Niagara we were discussing a few days ago... Surprise)

The Class J is more like Jay-Eye-See, or a good Morgan: a robust and competent design that just happens to be able to make remarkable dash speed (and sustain it remarkably well) with drivers that were certainly well-suited to effective fast freight.

Now, granted, you wouldn't want to see Jay-Eye-See shackled uncurried and back-end-first to a broken-down wagon.  But at least he could move it effectively and with a minimum of fuss and drama -- even when he wasn't moving at high speed in a glamorous context.

Oh, and the Redbirds wore metalflake paint.  And were passenger geared.  So they are actually part of this discussion, too, in a different sense.  They, too, could run remarkably fast and the next day get down low with tonnage effectively.  That they aren't as beautiful isn't their fault.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:20 AM

Thanks!   And can the Powhatan Arrow pulled by GP-9 (and I confess that I actually had some input on the load-regulator improvement GP-7 to GP-9) still be considered a streamliner?

For that matter, what about a 20th Century pulled by a Niagra?

Or the Broadway by double-headed K4s?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:33 AM

Hey Overmod!  When I called the Class J's "thoroughbreds" I was thinking of what some unknown person with the soul of a poet posted on the side of 611's cab when the N-S steam program was cancelled in 1994.  It was there for the return run to Roanoke, and maybe you remember it?

"I am the Thoroughbread of Steam, born to run, born to be free!

 Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do!" 

I don't know about everyone else, but I choked up when I read that.  Hell, I choke up thinking about it now. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:35 AM

Hey Overmod!  When I called the Class J's "thoroughbreds" I was thinking of what some unknown person with the soul of a poet posted on the side of 611's cab when the N-S steam program was cancelled in 1994.  It was there for the return run to Roanoke, and maybe you remember it?

"I am the Thoroughbred of Steam, born to run, born to be free!

 Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do!" 

I don't know about everyone else, but I choked up when I read that.  Hell, I choke up thinking about it now. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 10, 2019 1:08 PM

I remember being tickled by that good Episcopalian use of Scripture -- in context!  (But of course the passion means far less without a resurrection -- which we have recently enjoyed!)

And we will yet see her run, if not exactly with full freedom, again.  Of that I am quite certain even if the future is (as zardoz said) often beyond a singularity.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:58 PM

daveklepper
can the Powhatan Arrow pulled by GP-9... still be considered a streamliner?

You know, funny thing is I've often encountered this question over in the toy train universe.  Writing from a modern perspective, say 1990 to the present day, toy train historians often question the logic of Lionel placing any steam locomotive at the head of a set containing streamlined passenger cars.  Yet they can accept the use of a GP-7 or 9 pulling those same cars as if it's the most natural thing in the universe.  True, GP stands for general purpose, but if you're out to create a sleek train set with a high price tag, why go with a boxy, utilitarian unit most often seen pulling freight?

I don't claim to understand Lionel's logic 100%.  I mean, why put a Berkshire at the head of a work train when you could use a standard freight formula and why release the 746 N&W J in 1957 and NOT use the streamlined cars you produce?  But a lot of people seem to think it would be odd to see that J pulling the extruded aluminum cars.  Go figure.  Tongue Tied

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:20 PM

Well, I look at it this way...

If it's got modern big steam on the head-end and it's got the appropriate cars, it's a streamliner.

If it's got an E, an appropriate F, or PA or even FA diesel on it, and with those self-same appropriate cars, it's a streamliner.

Same if it's got the appropriate passenger electrics, BUT...

If it's got a Geep or any other kind of road-switcher then it's just another train.

And Becky's right, none of us O-gaugers can figure out what got into Lionel in the late post-war era!  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:25 PM

Well, I look at it this way...

If it's got modern big steam on the head-end and it's got the appropriate cars, it's a streamliner.

If it's got an E, an appropriate F, or PA or even FA diesel on it, and with those self-same appropriate cars, it's a streamliner.

Same if it's got the appropriate passenger electrics, BUT...

If it's got a Geep or any other kind of road-switcher then it's just another train.

And Becky's right, none of us O-gaugers can figure out what got into Lionel in the late post-war era!  

And I HAVE seen a Class J pulling "extruded aluminum cars!"  OK, they were 12" to the foot scale and part of Mighty 611's excursion consist, but you know what I mean!  Whistling

Well they WERE silver colored...

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, January 10, 2019 8:28 PM

Exactly!  Big Smile  Why did it take till the 80's to get tuscan versions (models) of the aluminum cars that had been around since the early 50's?  Sad  The only possible answer must be the same one that we've been dealing with for millenia: moolah.  SoapBox

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:16 PM

Or just plain lack of imagination or they ran out of creative steam.  It happens.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, January 11, 2019 3:53 AM

daveklepper

Thanks!   And can the Powhatan Arrow pulled by GP-9 (and I confess that I actually had some input on the load-regulator improvement GP-7 to GP-9) still be considered a streamliner?

For that matter, what about a 20th Century pulled by a Niagra?

Or the Broadway by double-headed K4s?

I always think about this question.

If the engine was not a streamlined one, like the Fleet of Modernism trains of PRR before the arrival of 50 T1s in 1945, many "Streamliner" and named train was powered by unstreamlined K4s outside the electrified territory; they were a streamliner when they were hauling by GG1 within the electrified territory but all eastbound "streamliner" was not a complete streamliner until they reached Harrisburg. Pennsy called them streamliner in advisement anyway. 

On the other hand, comparing the 20th Century Limited of 1938 and the Century behind a Niagara, I don't consider the latter a streamliner as well. The former had an engine carrying livery and streamlining which match the entire streamlined consist behind them. We can find a lot of similar case from different railroads history. 

But I guess the partons in the 1940s probably didn't really mind or care. If not, I believe NYCentral would have kept the streamlined shrouding a bit longer. ( IIRC, all Dreyfuss Hudsons, including that 2 built for the Empire State Express were de-streamlined in the mid-1940s.)

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, January 11, 2019 8:47 AM

What was true years ago is true now.  The average passenger train rider doesn't care what the locomotive looks like as long as it gets the train where it's supposed to be in a timely manner.

Look at the current "Genesis" locomotives pulling Amtrak trains.  Many railfains consider them creepy looking, if not downright ugly, but the riders could care less.

Although, I'd suspect back in the 40's and 50's many train riders were a little depressed at the transition from steam to diesel.  The "Big Show" just wasn't the same afterward.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, January 11, 2019 8:55 PM

Flintlock76

What was true years ago is true now.  The average passenger train rider doesn't care what the locomotive looks like as long as it gets the train where it's supposed to be in a timely manner.

Look at the current "Genesis" locomotives pulling Amtrak trains.  Many railfains consider them creepy looking, if not downright ugly, but the riders could care less.

Although, I'd suspect back in the 40's and 50's many train riders were a little depressed at the transition from steam to diesel.  The "Big Show" just wasn't the same afterward.

I agree with you that average passenger who is not a railfan probably never give any attention to the engine of their train. Streamliner or not, the general public considers them a transportation machine which takes them to where they want to go. 

Regarding the "Genesis" locomotives... I am glad to know that I am not the only one think that they don't have an appealing appearance, just like many "modern" engine from different countries. It is just my personal preference, no offense to people who love them!

People probably feel excited about their new cars and travel by air since the mid-1940s. It is human nature to love the new and forget the old. But I agree with you that some people in that era did prefer steam to diesel; it is reflected in the result of a survey conducted by SP.CoffeeSmile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, January 11, 2019 9:07 PM

Overmod

But the right metaphor for a class J isn't a Thoroughbred -- that breed of flighty, easily-damaged horse applies more aptly to something like a T1 or, as Staufer used it, one of the NYC Hudsons.  (Or perhaps the Niagara we were discussing a few days ago... Surprise)

Base on the operating data provided from the book "Know Thy Niagras" by Thomas R. Gerbracht, you can rest assured that putting NYCentral Niagara on the list is consistent with the historical fact. Coffee Mischief

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:40 PM

Just a reminder.  I assume extruded aluminum Lionels are meant to represent stainless-steel cars or stainless-steel sheathed cars.

Whixh were regularly behind Js between Bristol and Monroe.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, January 12, 2019 4:45 PM

Absolutely David, those Lionel extruded aluminum cars were supposed to replicate the stainless steel streamliner cars.

Interestingly, those aluminum cars didn't originate with Lionel.  An outfit called American Model Toys, later American Model Trains, beat Lionel to the punch by bringing out aluminum streamline cars in 1948, but it didn't take Lionel long to react.

OK, off topic, but toy trains can be a fascinating study when you get into them.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, January 12, 2019 7:30 PM

Indoubitably!

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