After nearly three decades, the iconic Norfolk and Western 611, known as the “Queen of Steam,” returned to Virginia to embark on a series of special autumn excursions through the Shenandoah Valley – branded as the Shenandoah Valley Limited and part of Virginia Scenic Railroad.
This video captures the historic N&W 611, a J Class 4-8-4 “Northern” built by the Roanoke Shops in 1950, as it traverses the picturesque landscapes of Virginia.
The journey begins in Goshen, Virginia. From there, the 611 heads east, traveling through the vibrant autumnal scenery of the Shenandoah Valley. The route takes the steam locomotive through Craigsville, climbing steep grades of up to 2% over North Mountain before descending into Swoope and then climbing again towards Staunton.
This excursion, operated in partnership between the Virginia Museum of Transportation, Virginia Scenic Railway and the Buckingham Branch Railroad, marks the first time since 1994 that the 611 has pulled autumn excursions on a mainline. The video showcases the locomotive operating over the former Chesapeake & Ohio mainline, showcasing not only the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley in the fall but also the power of 611.