611 “fires up” Thursday in Roanoke

The Class J-611 rolled into Roanoke on Monday, October 24, 2016, after leaving Spencer, N.C.
The Class J-611 rolled into Roanoke on Monday, October 24, 2016, after leaving Spencer, N.C.

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The 611 will be fired up again Thursday morning to head back to Spencer, North Carolina.

Walker Nelms with the Virginia Museum of Transportation said firing up the steam engine normally takes about eight hours. This time around, the Steam Queen will have a special audience.

Ten tickets were sold to have an up-close view of the crew getting the 611 ready for the journey.

Nelms says the tickets cost $100 a piece and sold out in only hours.

“Tickets for this went really fast,” Nelms said. “We have people coming from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and one of the most fun parts of this is that we have a gentleman whose 75th birthday is today. This was a birthday gift, so he is going to be able to be here and he is very excited about it.”

Although the firing up process begins Thursday at 7 a.m., the 611 won’t be leaving Roanoke until 7 a.m. Friday morning.

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