Fw: 5/18/1986 - The 611 accident that could have ended the NS Steam Program 35 years ago!

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Wed May 19 12:59:26 EDT 2021

Thanks to Garland Harper for reminding us about this very scary event 35 years ago!
Feel free to share.

Norris Deyerle

Blue Ridge Chapter, National Railway Historical Society Chairman of Virginia's Rail Heritage Region Partners

BRC, NRHS Info: www.blueridgenrhs.org<http://www.blueridgenrhs.org>

744 Chinook Place

Lynchburg, Virginia 24502-4908

Cell: 434-851-0151

From: grharper at aol.com <grharper at aol.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 12:06 PM
To: Norris Deyerle <railcow at msn.com>
Subject: 5/18/1986

611 is having a run of bad mechanical luck this week it seems.
Yesterday, 35 years ago, could have brought the whole idea of Steam on the mainline to a standstill.  Had anyone other than Bob Claytor been at the helm (in more ways than one) that may have been the case.
611's (train) wreck in the swamp. May 18, 1986.

Here is a brief from the ICC
"Derailment of Steam Excursion Train Norfolk and Western Railway Company Train Extra 611 West, Suffolk, Virginia, May 18, 1986
Cause: The failure of the Norfolk and Western Railway Company (N&W) to train its Maintenance of Way Department employees adequately in the inspection and repair of continuous welded rail, and the failure of the Maintenance-of-Way Department management to monitor the implementation of the N&W�s maintenance-of-way practices by its employees. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the N&W�s decision to use equipment without tightlock couplers and passenger cars with modified interiors having severe injury-producing mechanisms."
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