Norfolk & Western J-class 4-8-4 #611 returned to the Norfolk Southern mainline in 2017 for 4 weekends of public excursions in the spring. In this video - the fifth and final volume in the "Reborn" series - we'll look at 2 of those weekends as #611 ran over some familiar territory in Virginia and North Carolina. The locomotive again spent the winter at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, and our coverage begins on Friday April 21st with a short ferry move from Spencer to Greensboro, NC for the 2nd weekend of excursions.
The next day #611 pulled the first of two trips from Greensboro to Roanoke, a repeat of the previous year's popular "Roanoker" excursions (which were covered in Reborn Vol. 3). You'll see both trips (April 22nd & 23rd), as #611 pulled a 20-car train under cloudy skies and, at times, heavy rain. These 260-mile trips ran from Greensboro north to Hurt, VA on the former Southern mainline, before taking the Virginian Railway west to Roanoke. With slippery rails and numerous steep grades, the "J" put on a spectacular show despite the inclement weather.
The second half of the program covers the last trips of the year: the annual Roanoke excursions. You'll see all three days of operation (May 27-29) during the Memorial Day weekend, as #611 pulled half-day trips over two of the most famous grades on the N&W: Blue Ridge and Christiansburg Mountain. 2017 featured an extra trip over the Christiansburg grade, as the Monday trip to Lynchburg was cancelled in favor of the more popular run to Walton. Despite the familiar routes, you'll see #611 working hard at many new locations.
Filmed entirely in HD, this program features #611 racing down the mainline with a heavy train and no diesel assistance. You'll see the legendary J-class thundering through the mountains, just as the N&W intended when she rolled out of the Roanoke shops in 1950. This program has minimal narration (with the option to turn it on or off) and no distracting music.
In addition to the standard widescreen DVD, this program is also available on HD Blu-ray disc.
Running Time: 106 minutes (plus 5 minutes of previews)