What will the announcement be?


The Virginia Museum of Transportation has scheduled a news conference Friday morning.

While the museum isn’t providing specifics, this could be an announcement that relates to the future of 611, Roanoke’s historic steam locomotive, and the possibility that it might one day roll under its own power again.

The news release promises information on a “strategic undertaking.” Museum leaders, representatives of the National Railway Historical Society and the Norfolk and Western Historical Society will be there.

The 611 entered service in 1950, and it returned to the rails after Norfolk Southern refurbished the engine in the early 80s.

We know there is widespread interest in seeing 611 run again. We know that Norfolk Southern has pursued its 21st century Steam Program with other locomotives. The big question mark is what it will take and how much it would cost to get 611 running again.

We don’t have confirmation from the museum. Specifics will have to wait until the news conference, but rail buffs and fans of the 611 should stay tuned for what could be an interesting announcement Friday.

Will the announcement concern N&W 611? We shall see, but this was the scene at the Museum yesterday:


Make your own deductions.

(Hat tip Steve Barry.)