Norfolk And Western’s #1218 In Her Heyday

Norfolk And Western’s #1218 In Her Heyday | Train Fanatics Videos

“This is the finest steam engine ever built, any where, any time,” said Robert Claytor, the retired chairman of the Norfolk Southern.


Norfolk & Western’s #1218 is the sole survivor of the 43 built for Norfolk & Western back in late 1930’s until 1944. At one time, it was one of the strongest-pulling operational articulated locomotives in the world!

With a 2-6-6-4 wheel arrangement, Norfolk & Western’s Class A #1218 rivaled Union Pacific’s Challenger class 4-6-6-4 locomotives in speed and pulling power.

Built in the Norfolk & Western’s Roanoke Shops in 1943, #1218 was primarily considered a fast freight locomotive, but also saw service pulling heavy coal trains and passenger trains on the flatter districts of the Norfolk & Western’s districts.

In 2001, Norfolk Southern (as a result of the merger of Norfolk & Western and Norfolk Southern in 1982) donated #1218 to the City of Roanoke for display today at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Some Quick Facts about Norfolk and Western’s 1218

  • Max speed 70 mph+:
  • Driver diameters: 70 inches
  • Power type: 2-6-6-4 Steam Locomotive class A
  • Builder: Norfolk and Western 1943
  • Locomotive and tender weight: 951,600 lbs
  • fuel type: coal
  • Power output: 5,400 hp

Let us know if you ever had a chance to see or even ride on one of her excursions! We would love to hear from you!


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