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Streamliners at Spencer adds 20th locomotive

SPENCER — The 20th locomotive appearing at the N.C. Transportation Museum’s upcoming Streamliners at Spencer will add some serious steam to the event. The Class J 611 passenger steam locomotive, owned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, will arrive at the N.C. Transportation Museum on May 29, the Preview Day for the four-day rail festival.
The only steam-powered Streamliner engine scheduled to appear, the Class J 611, known as The Spirit of Roanoke, is an iconic locomotive that will be a huge hit with rail fans.
The Virginia Museum of Transportation and the N.C. Transportation Museum announced last week that the 611 will travel to Spencer for upcoming restoration. Today’s announcement confirms that the 611 will be a centerpiece of photography at this already massive rail festival.
Recent fundraising successes have allowed for the 611 to make the move to Spencer in time to appear during the Streamliners at Spencer event. Virginia Museum of Transportation Executive Director Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr. said, “We’re going at full steam. Based on our success to date and projection for the campaign’s final stages, we decided we could send her to Spencer for restoration sooner rather than later.”
The 20th locomotive announced for Streamliners at Spencer is also a benchmark for the event. Like the Norfolk Southern Heritage Unit event two years ago, this means the Bob Julian Roundhouse will have the maximum number of locomotives surrounding the turntable for group shots. With 37 stalls and two lead tracks, the Bob Julian Roundhouse is the largest operational building of its type still in existence in North America, and as such, is the only place such a gathering of locomotives can happen for this rail fan photography event.
More locomotives, however, are still in negotiation to attend Streamliners at Spencer. With a full roundhouse, engines will be rotated if necessary. The full list of locomotives can be found on the museum’s event blog, “Streamliners Scoop,” available at www.nctrans.org
All through the four-day Streamliners at Spencer rail festival, visitors will enjoy special operations for all locomotives on site, daytime locomotive portraits, night photo shoots, display trains and more.
A special Preview Day, featuring the last of the engines to arrive, special train movements, site preparations and more will be held May 29. Tickets for the Preview Day are $40 per person in advance. Tickets will be $45 on the day of the event.
A Streamliners Celebration at the Station the evening of May 29 at the nearby Salisbury station will feature live music, guest speakers and a BBQ and chicken dinner for $20 per person.
Regular daytime admission to Streamliners at Spencer for activities running May 30 through June 1 will be $30 for adults and $20 for children per day if purchased in advance. The price increases to $35 for adults and $25 for children per day if purchased on the day of the event.
Nighttime photo shoots Thursday through Saturday will be $25 per person, per night.
Combo tickets and group discounts will be available, along with discounts for N.C. Transportation Museum members, Norfolk Southern employees and Amtrak employees. More information about the day-to-day operations and ticket prices is available online at www.nctrans.org .
The participation of all resident and visiting locomotives is subject to timely transportation and mechanical availability.
Tickets for Streamliners at Spencer are available online at www.nctrans.org or by calling 704-636-2889 extension 237 or extension 257.
Tickets for a special night photo session, being conducted as a test for Streamliners at Spencer and featuring the museum’s own historic rail equipment, happens April 5. Tickets for the night photo session will be $10 per person and are available only on the day of the event from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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