[N&W] Re: Coal bunkers on 611 & 1218

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 6 22:10:44 EDT 2004

[Steven Ashley writes:]

In regular service, the tenders on the Y6 and A's varied from engine to
engine, most of these engines had the extended coal bunkers in regular
service. The 611 and all other J's however, did not have this. These
extentions were added by Norfolk Southern over the Winter of 1991-1992 in
order to expand the number of miles she could operate without being
refueled. Other relatively small differences such as new brakes and twin
sealed beam headlights are other new additions to the 611 and 1218. Also,
NS increased the size of the auxilary water tenders over the years to
expand distances as well. In regular service, only A's and Y's used
these. The J's did use them for a brief time in 1958 after they were
pressed into freight service. Although the 611 was  modernized in recent
years, for the most part she is still the same great machine that rolled
out of Roanoke Shops on May 29, 1950, hope this helps!

It's interesting to look through books on N&W steam to find pictures of
engines with or without the extended coal bunkers.  You will find that the
later the time period, the more you see them.

Rick Morrison

[Harry Bundy writes:]

No doubt the coal bunkers on N&W 611 and 1218 were expanded for excursion
service.  After all, the coaling facilities had long disappeared when these
two engines were activated.  On the final trip of The Pocahontas (05/02/71),
NKP 759's tender was topped off at Crewe with a Burro crane.
The 611 and 1218 usually hauled coal and the conveyor loading device on ferry
trips, but left them at the originating terminal, relying on a full coal
bunker to make a turnaround excursion.

Oddly enough, it was the second attempt to enlarge the coal capacity on the
600's.  In the mid-50's, N&W sought to avoid charges assessed by the
Cincinnati Union Terminal for coaling.  N&W added coal boards to the coal
bunker on some of the Class J's.  In the tests, the J's would top off with
coal at Prichard westbound, turn at Cincinnati without coaling, and coal
again at Prichard on the eastbound trip.  Too many times, the J's would
drift into Prichard with the coal supply depleted.  N&W continued to pay
CUT for coal.

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