611 Homecoming

The Spirit of Roanoke thunders home
Saturday, May 30, 2015

Here’s everything you need to know.

What time does the Class J 611 leave the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC? 

The 611 pulls out around 7:30 am! 

What time does the Class J 611 arrive in Roanoke? 

We are expecting the 611 to thunder into Roanoke (and past the East End Shops where she was born) between 2 pm and 4 pm. 

How will I know she’s getting close? 

Oh, you’ll know. The whistle is loud and beautiful.

What’s the route from Spencer to Roanoke? TRN611onNS

Trains Magazine published a map! 

Can you give us approximate time of when the 611 passes through towns in North Carolina and Virginia? 

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide exact times. The schedule largely depends on Norfolk Southern’s freight traffic on Saturday. 

A word about safety in and around the tracks: 

With the rebirth of the 611 comes legions of rail fans, history buffs and families wanting to experience the joy of seeing this magnificent locomotive in action. 

We know that you will follow the 611 throughout Virginia using scanners, social media, smoke signals and listening for the deep baritone whistle. We know that there will be people who will wait trackside and chase her along country roads and major thoroughfares just to catch a glimpse of her. 

We get it. We’re excited, too. 

But, in the name of all that is steam, please be safe. Don’t do anything stupid. 

Remember this: The entire industry is watching you — and us. On each train pulled by the 611, there will be media and Norfolk Southern leadership. Trackside, there will be local law enforcement and community leaders. Watching from afar will be the insurance and legal industries. 

If key decision makers on that train, or sitting trackside, or watching from afar, sees any 611 fan doing anything stupid — like standing on the tracks, or standing too close to the tracks; causing car accidents; hanging out of car windows or from bridges to capture that “perfect” picture; trespassing on private property; not obeying local laws and regulations, etc. — they may decide that the glory of live steam is simply not worth risking lives. 

YOU, 611 fan, hold the key to steam programs continuing for years to come. 

Be safe. Not only does your life depend on it, but the life of 611, and all the other steam locomotives running across the country, depends on it, too. 

Got it?

Roanoke’s 611 Homecoming Celebration 

NW Passenger Station

At the former
Norfolk & Western Passenger Station
(Now home to the O. Winston Link Museum and the Roanoke Valley Visitors Center) 
101 Shenandoah Avenue NE
Roanoke, VA 24016
11 am to 5 pm

* Music by the Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band
BOOK SIGNING! Dash Dupree and the Queen of Steam is a new children’s    book commissioned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Meet Alice Standish, the author, and Ann Glover, the illustrator. (11 am to 1 pm)
* Roanoke Valley Amateur Radio Club will show you the old wired world of railroading — the telegraph machine!  
* Purchase new 611 merchandise!      
* Enjoy a cookie from the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.
* Meet the staff of Trains Magazine. Learn about our rail heritage.
* Model Train display by the Roanoke Valley Model Engineers.
* Food and fun for the entire family!
* 611 Homecoming activities at the historical N&W Passenger Station are free to the public. Admission to the O. Winston Link Museum’s galleries is only $1 per person! Regular admission rates apply to the Virginia Museum of Transportation on Saturday, May 30.

Where can I park in and around Roanoke? 

PARK Roanoke has a map! 

Park Downtown Roanoke (PARK Noke) is a FREE parking application for the Downtown District in the City of Roanoke, Virginia. It uses GPS data to determine the user’s current location and provides parking information, sorted by distance, to various parking lots and garages located throughout the Downtown District. 

Will the 611 stop at the N&W Passenger Station? 

Yes! The Class J 611 will be at the N&W Passenger Station from her arrival until 5 pm when she’ll head to Shaffer’s Crossing and then to the rail yard at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. 

When the 611 is stopped at the N&W Passenger Station, can I get close enough to take her picture? 

Of course. Remember, crowds will be heavy, so please be patient.  The cab will be closed off to visitors and the crew will be watching the 611 closely. 

Is the Virginia Museum of Transportation open on Saturday, May 30. 

While the festivities are taking place at the historical N&W Passenger Station, the Virginia Museum of Transportation will be open from 10 am to 5 pm. We will not allow people into the Museum while the 611 is moving through Roanoke. So, if you want to watch the 611 come through Roanoke from our rail yard, please arrive before the 611 pulls into town. 
Regular admission rates apply on Saturday, May 30. 

Have more questions? Email info@vmt.org

The 611 Homecoming Celebration is proudly sponsored by: 

Norfolk Southern, the O. Winston Link Museum, the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, Access Advertising and Public Relations, the City of Roanoke, Eugene M. Elliot, Jr., attorney at law, Grand Home Furnishings,  Farmers Auctions, Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, North Fork Lumber, Norfolk & Western Historical Society, Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, Trains Magazine and Woods Rogers PLC.