Monday, May 10, 2010

National Train Day brings out the kid in everyone

Pretty girl in pink runs from J-611 steamer

If you didn’t have a camera in your hand on the railwalk Saturday you were in the minority. The bright blue skies made for a picture perfect day.

Three museums celebrated National Train Day – the O.Winston Link Museum, the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the C&O Railway Heritage Center in Clifton Forge. For the first time in several years, the 611 were back on mainline tracks.

This year’s event featured the Southern Unit GP-59 diesel locomotive 4610, 1/8 scale train rides, telegraphy demonstrations, antique model trains, railroad photography and children’s activities.

Five-year old Josh Moulse with a boost from his mother (lower right in collage) peered intently as the N-Scale model trains circled the detailed landscape. The tiny models exuded true train sounds; chugging, whistling and bell ringing. Trains fascinate Josh; he has his own train set and even sleeps in a boxcar bed according to his mother Wendy Moulse.

Tim Hammack of Forest has been a member of the Lynchburg Area N-Scalers for nine years. N-Scale came into existence around 1960 and is 1/160th of full size. “The advantage for us is the large amount of railroading that can be achieved in a small area,” said Hammack. For more information on the Lynchburg Area N-Scalers visit their website at

The Museum’s Class J-611 steamer stole the show. The J-611 entered service sixty years ago on May 29, 1950. Roanoke is home to the only J-611 steamer out of 14 Class J locomotives built. The steam era ended in 1959. In 1984, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers officially recognized the 611 as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

National Train Day - May 8, 2010

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Local Events

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Comments (2)

physical therapist

May 14th, 2010 at 3:50 AM    

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