After two weekends of trips in North Carolina during the month of April, Norfolk & Western J-class 4-8-4 #611 returned home for a reprisal of the popular half-day excursions that were operated out of Roanoke, VA the previous year. These were the only trips of 2016 on home rails, and #611 would climb two of the most famous grades on the N&W each day. In the morning she traveled eastward to Lynchburg, VA - crossing over the Blue Ridge grade in both directions. After returning to Roanoke #611 then pulled a second trip in the afternoon, this time heading west to Walton via the grueling Christiansburg Mountain grade.
But before looking at the 2016 edition of "Blue Ridge and Christiansburg" - this program begins where Volume 3 ends - with #611 in Greensboro, NC after "The Roanoker" trips. First we'll look at the ferry move back to Roanoke on Monday April 25th, as #611 retraces the route of the previous day's excursion. Then we'll cover all 4 half-day trips out of Roanoke on May 7th and 8th, as #611 tackles the steep grades on either side of town. Finally we'll conclude with a look at the ferry move from Roanoke to Manassas, VA on June 1st, as #611 ascends the Blue Ridge grade one more time.
Running without diesel assistance at all times, #611 put on another spectacular show while introducing a whole new generation to Roanoke's finest: the legendary streamlined J-class. With the color position light (CPL) signals being replaced around Roanoke, these trips were likely the last to feature these classic steam-era signals.
Filmed entirely in HD, this program features incredible stack talk as #611 battles the grades around Roanoke. With her thunderous bark and deep mournful whistle, #611 provides a brief glimpse of what the golden age of steam was like on the Norfolk & Western. This program has minimal narration (with the option to turn it on or off) and no distracting music.