Our Story

In 2013, the Virginia Museum of Transportation formed what is now the FORWARD 611 Committee to raise funds for and oversee the restoration of the Class J steam locomotive Norfolk and Western 611. In 2015, after two years and countless hours of work, the fire was lit and the 611 was returned to operation. 
Between 2015 and 2017, 611 operated three seasons of public excursions in Virginia and North Carolina, generating an economic impact of $18+ million in the communities served, carrying 22,000+ passengers, and drawing an estimated quarter of a million fans and spectators. This has all been made possible by our dedicated volunteers and partners, including donors and passengers who come from across the nation and around the globe.
While 611 will not be operating public excursions in 2018, we are planning a number of special events with the locomotive in the coming months and we are continuing conversations regarding potential 2019 excursions and events. Follow FireUp611 on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates, and thank you for supporting 611!


A Note About PTC:
As is the case for all mainline steam locomotives, PTC (Positive Train Control) is very likely to be a central issue in determining where and how 611 may operate in 2019 and beyond.  The FORWARD 611 team at VMT has been studying potential solutions and participating in discussions with other mainline steam operators.  The initial cost to develop and apply PTC technology to 611 will be significant and there will be recurring annual expenses.  We are asking supporters to consider a donation to FireUp611 to support this and other investments in 611’s future.

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Preserve. Protect. Sustain.