Witness the Restoration of the Class J 611 Passenger Steam Locomotive!
At the Bob Julian Roundhouse of the N.C. Transportation Museum

In March of 2014, the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s Board of Directors and the Fire Up 611! Committee announced an agreement with the N.C. Transportation Museum & Foundation in Spencer, North Carolina, to house the iconic Norfolk & Western Class J 611 Steam Passenger Locomotive during her restoration. After the restoration is complete, the Class J 611 will steam back to its home at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia.

The 611 arrived at the N.C. Transportation Museum in May, just in time for a grand appearance during the N.C. Transportation Museum's massive Streamliners at Spencer railroad festival.  The 611 was the sole steam powered centerpiece on the Bob Julian Roundhouse turntable Friday, May 30, surrounded by 20 diesel Streamliner locomotives. 

The first bolt was turned that same day, May 30, and the restoration is underway.  The restoration will be open to the public, but with limited viewing. Planned work includes a complete overhaul to meet current Federal Railroad Administration and strict safety guidelines. Restoration plans have a timetable of about nine months, but there is a chance the restoration could take longer.

Visitors to the N.C. Transportation Museum during regular business hours can witness the restoration progress for themselves.  Work will be taking place at the Bob Julian Roundhouse, both outside and in the restoration bays, with both areas viewable by the public.  Work may be viewed during regular business hours only, Tuesday through Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sundays from 1-5pm.  Regular admission is required.

The Restoration Progress
To follow along with the restoration progress, please follow the Fire Up 611 Facebook page.  Or visit the Fire Up 611 web page..

Days 1 through 3.  The Fire Up 611 folks and the crew from the Age of Steam Roundhouse jumped into the project fast.

(L) The front flue sheet after all the superheater units have been removed. Photo by Preston Claytor  
(R) The 611 with her jacket removed. Progress continues on the 611 restoration.  June 9, 2014

Boiler work and more, to Fire Up 611!
June 16-19, 2014


After lots of hard work in the North Carolina heat, the 611 has finally moved insde the Bob Julian Roundhouse.
Photo by Scott Lindsay, June 18, 2014 (left)   Photo by Cheri George July 14, 2014 (right)

 Dec. 1, 2014

With flue sheet installed, crew readies for  

flue and tube installation 

With the new flue sheet installed, the crew is preparing for the flue and tube installation. Hats off to the crew from the Age of Steam Roundhouse who came to Spencer to lend their hands and skills. Photos by Cheri George.


Tool Car 4967 is being prepared for a new coat of Tuscan Red. The Age of Steam crew is also servicing and testing the lubricators for the 611. Photos by Cheri George.