CNN Money profiles the talent restoring the 611

Posted by |

CNN Money profiled Scott Lindsay, Fire Up 611’s chief mechanical officer, and his latest (and most powerful!) project — the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 Steam Passenger Locomotive.

Scott brings decades of talent, dedication and one-of-a-kind technical skills to the 611. He owns and operates Steam Operations Corporation and is one of the few specialists in the world who can handle steam locomotive restorations of this size.

He and the crew work seven days a week to restore the 611. It’s a labor of love for Scott, the talent he brings in from around the country and the mechanical volunteers who give up their weekends to help with the restoration. Hats off to the mechanical crew!

See the story here. And don’t forget to share!

Scott Lindsay CNN MoneyPhoto courtesy of Scott Lindsay.

Be a part of the story!

Posted by |

A new children’s book published by the Virginia Museum of Transportation will tell the story of an unlikely friendship between a boy and a train that blossoms into a magical, life-changing journey for them both.

YOU can be part of this amazing story!

Queen of Steam Blog Post
The 32-page storybook will be exquisitely illustrated in full color, featuring not only the engine you love, but you — or someone you choose to honor — can also be a part of the illustrations!

Men and women, boys and girls of any age can be pictured!

What a perfect way to honor an older relative or friend who inspired your love of 611, or to excite your children or grandchildren with the magic of trains!

Your donation of $300 per honored person will include him or her in an illustration in the book and underwrite production costs, making this charming book possible. Our donors will receive:

* two complimentary copies of the book, signed and personalized by the author and illustrator, noting the page that includes your honored person’s likeness
the joy of sharing their love of 611 with thousands of children in this and future generations

* the tax deductible portion of your gift is $262.

Individuals will be included in groupings that illustrate the action in the book. Faces will be approximately 3/4 inch in diameter — about the size of a U.S. dime. The original illustrations will be painted in oil on paper for the greatest richness in color.

Our artist is beginning her illustrations now, so reserve your spot today!

This opportunity is limited to the first 50 book donors.
Images must be received by January 20.

The Museum’s creative team is widely acclaimed:

Nancy Ruth Patterson (above) and Ann Glover (below)

Nancy Ruth Patterson, an award-winning children’s novelist, will provide creative direction. Her five novels for young readers, including The Christmas Cup and
The Shiniest Rock of All, have been honored on reading lists in 10 states.

Alice Standish, who will author the book, will graduate from the Hollins University Children’s Literature Graduate Program in May before beginning her studies in Children’s Literature at the University of Cambridge.

Ann Glover will illustrate the book with lush, full-color illustrations. She is a well-known Roanoke artist whose work has been featured in The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly as well as in museums and private collections throughout the country.

Signed copies of the book are anticipated in the VMT Museum Store and its online store in mid-2015. The original illustrations will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis after the book is published.

Please see for more information and to submit your photos!

Questions? Contact Fran Ferguson, Director of Development, at 540-342-5670 ext 105 or for more information.

Priming the tender

Posted by |

Taking advantage of a mild day in Spencer, the crew from Willetts Railcar Repair primes the tender. At the end of the day, there was no remaining evidence of black, Tuscan or gold. (Photo by Preston Claytor.)


Painting the tender

Work resumes in Spencer

Posted by |

In Spencer, the restoration crew celebrated the new year in the best way possible: With welding torches.

After a long (and well-deserved) holiday break, the restoration crew went straight to work. Some of the work this past week: a washout plug sleeve was welded into place and the drawbars were removed for inspection.

Washout plug sleeve.Scott Lindsay


Drawbars inspection.Scott LindsayPhotos by Scott Lindsay.

Bringing her back to life

Posted by |

In early June, Larry Stanfill arrived at Streamliners at Spencer to see the incredible line up of locomotives. He expected to stay a few days.

Larry works on the staybolts. Photo by Scott Lindsay.

He’s still there.

That’s because he took one look at the 611 and knew that he wanted to be a part of her restoration. “I heard the call for volunteers and decided to fill out an application,” he says. “I’m glad I did.”

Larry volunteers two days per week and is enjoying the tedious process of restoring the locomotive. “I’m impressed most by her size,” he says. “It’s amazing to see how the 611 was designed and engineered.”

Larry’s time in the restoration bay has seen him sorting through mechanical drawings, cleaning and inspecting staybolts and helping in any way he can. “I’ve gotten to know all 2200 of those staybolts,” he says. “That’s a lot of staybolts.”

Larry has loved trains since he was “knee high to a grasshopper,” he says. “I love steam locomotives. It’s almost like they’re alive – you can hear them breathing. I think it’s a good thing we’re restoring the 611. It will remind people how the railroad helped build our country.”

Flue season!

Posted by |

Late last week, the flues for the 611 arrived in Spencer. The flues help to heat the water that creates the steam that powers the locomotive.


Photo by Scott Lindsay