This color photograph by W.G. Smith taken May 6th, 2017 at the west-end of the Burkeville, Virginia yard features the LAST REMAINING Class "J" Steam Locomotive in existence.
This is Norfolk & Western's J-611 "The Spirit Of Roanoke" under power as she steams Eastbound on it's way to Petersburg, VA. through Burkeville's West-End Switch - which led to the old Burkeville Railroad Station.
This steam-powered "Class J" locomotive has a 4-8-4 configuration, was built at N&W's East End Shops located in Roanoke, Virginia in 1950. This engine was one of the last 3 to be built in 1950, which ended the series. They were #'s 611–613...
The Class J was designed for a maximum tractive effort of 80,000 pounds and has 70-inch drive wheels. Under controlled tests, an average drawbar horsepower of 5,028 was realized at a speed of 41.03 miles per hour.Under additional tests, the Class J locomotive propelled a 15-car, 1015-ton passenger train at 110 miles per hour on level tangent track. Performance in regular service was equally impressive, with speeds on straight sections of track reported to approach 100 miles per hour.
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