Norfolk & Western 611

(1 customer review)

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Travel through six eastern states to experience one of the most powerful 4-8-4 steam locomotives ever built.. Includes a cab ride and footage of these locomotives being built!

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SKU: DVD-PNX-VR004 Categories: , ,

Travel through six eastern states to experience one of the most powerful 4-8-4 steam locomotives ever built. Along the way, ride in the cab with the late NS Chairman of the Board Robert B. Claytor, view the 611 from all angles and in great details. Listen to the crew’s explanations about running the 611 in today’s railroading environment, and thrill to exciting pacing sequences and runbys. A special treat is included – rare footage of the Js being built in the shops at Roanoke, Virginia!

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1 review for Norfolk & Western 611

  1. Ricky

    In this 1985 program by video rails, it starts off with a musical montage, followed by Bob Claytor introducing us to 611, then comes the vintage film in the 40s and/or 50s as Donald Harris explains the introductions of how a steam locomotive was assembled. Plus a map of the Powhatan arrow is included as well as more films of the engines on regular passenger service. Some clips contain an unusual shot at fort smith Ohio which shows one of 611’s sister engines, passing a moving gondola at a classification yard. Of course Dubbed audio was added over these silent films. A map of the cavalier is shown. In January of 1956, 611 had a major wreck in regular service. Thankfully, 611 had a huge repair at Roanoke. More vintage scenes are included, which contains one of the northern’s run on the turntable and entered the roundhouse. There is an error on this program, when 611 made its final run on regular service during 1959, Don said the letters wrong. In other words, he said NHRS, instead of NRHS. After the film clips, Bob talked about the J running again in the early 80s. 1981 sound films are included with 611 rolling backwards heading to Birmingham. At the shops, we witnessed a cameo shot of C&O 2716, and the rebuild of 611 begins. As 1981 turns into 1982, 611 is finished and rolls on its own out of the Birmingham shops. Then Bob makes comments about the post rebuilding of the J, and then we get to see some cab ride footages down the mainline, through the falling raindrops. Then the common trackside chase scenes has officially begun. Unfortunately, none of the locations are identified in this chase, Except for burnside bridge, and also at another bridge where 611 meets a freight that had a southern bay window caboose on the rear. A dangerous shot shows 611 heading to crash into one of the cameraman’s camera. With quick editing, this crash has been removed, and we cut over to Mr. James Biceline talking about the excursion program with an animated map, and every passenger onboard the coaches. Plus 611 slows down on this really hot day at an unknown location. Then comes the photo runby. More chase clips are included as 611 roads on down the mainline. At one location, there is an extremely rare railroad crossing signal where the word stop is lighted when activated, and the red blinkers came from traffic signs. Next 611 rolls through the coal tower, and see the rear of observation car 1056, plus Jim talks about the NS cooperation of the steam programs, with some early diesel powered freight trains. Next Don Harris narrates 611’s success during its original excursion career, plus a n animated print of 611 is included. In 1984, 611 was designated as a national landmark. More scenes in the cab are shown as an engineer explains his experience with the J. Unique pacing scenes of 611 are included. At last 611 whistles through the crossings. Next an overhead shot is shown, followed by a shot passing The sidings and along a roadway, with a friendly manner. Next 611 whistles at a bend, and it does it again in the next scene with a signal switching colors through the trees. Now 611 still whistles at an unknown location, then a group of chasers came along in the next scene where 611 made some slow orders at an unidentified town. Then it cuts to the underside of the northern, as the wheels keep rolling and so to are the camera itself. Next Don talks about stops for maintenance on the J. The gondola has coal, and a clamshell crane is used to move the coal to the tender. A washdown is performed on the J. Then a crew member explains the parts on 611. All to soon, the J is on the Way. Down the line, there is one location that is identified on this trip, which is Montgomery tunnel on Christiansburg grade. Next 611 meets a freight that had 6 units hauling coal. More chase scenes of the J continues at unidentified locations, except at milepost 293. Then comes the helicopter angles. And finally Don talks about the legend and legacy of 611. While this video was ok for Railfans everywhere, to me I wish that there were on screen titles showing where the location is at, and to me I think the narration could’ve used more. And not only that, you’ll have to watch this like a videotape. It does have menu pages of course one for the main section, and the other for selected previews of other present pentrex titles. While this program was from 1985 and reissued again in 1992, most of the modern 611 footages was shot by Tom Dressler, and Chad O’ Conner in the early to mid 80s. Pentrex thought that this program was from 1992, but surprise surprise, this is from 1985!

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