Here is a film record of Norfolk and Western transitioning from steam to diesel, as we see everything from steam runs, to diesels hauling dead steam engines, and visits to some of the last steam areas on the N&W. We’ll see a rare shot of the Jawn Henry steam turbine on a freight, a Class Z on the local, several scenes of a K1 on the local freight, plus a few steam passenger trains. This includes the Powhatan Arrow eastbound, just two months before steam was eliminated. The power for this train was non other than the now famous 611.
After steam was gone from the west end, we see many of the dead engines that came through Batavia on the diesel-hauled locals headed to scrap companies on the west side of Cincinnati. Early GP9’s powered these trains and we sometimes get to see some interesting switching moves at the two small yards at Batavia..
Our show takes us to Portsmouth to see steam operations in the yard during October 1958, and then in July 1959 we ride an excursion train from Roanoke to Bluefield to Cedar Bluff with Class A 1240, and Class Y6b 2174. Another trip is to Williamson in April 1960 to see 0-8-0 action just a couple weeks before the fires were dropped on N&W steam in that town, the last place for N&W steam.