Norfolk & Western’s J-611 Dominates Christiansburg Grade!
Norfolk & Western’s J-Class #611 Locomotive takes on the 1.3% grade in Christiansburg, Virginia!
You can hear the locomotive long before she comes into view on the Christiansburg grade. The engineer is piling on the coal and steam as she makes her way up the 12 mile climb from Elliston in the Roanoak River area to Christiansburg through Shawsville, Virgina.
The reason for the slow speed is the 1.3% grade (1.3 foot rise in track level for every 100 feet). As a result of the grade, the reduced speed creates more pounds of tractive effort needed to overcome the increased friction on the rails in order to move the train forward. Hence, you can hear the laboring of the engine.
Some quick facts about Norfolk & Western’s J-Class #611
- Manufacturer: Norfolk & Western Roanoake Shops
- build date: 1950
- Wheel alignment: 4-8-4
- Drivers: 70 inches
- Locomotive and tender weight combined: 872,600 lbs
- Maximum speed: 110 MPH
Let us know if you have ever seen this locomotive up close or have had the opportunity to ride on one of her excursions!