If not my favorite image of N&W 611, this is one of my best memories of witnessing this grand machine in action. And, it was pure serendipity. A group of us had decided to railfan the “Pokey” around Bluefield this particularly Saturday. The day was just dreadful, with rain sometimes coming down in buckets. I was shooting my old-reliable (but very slow) Kodachrome 64 slide film, which was NOT your friend for such low light conditions. Sometime that afternoon, we learned the 611 was pulling a ferry move from Roanoke west, toward Bluefield. I had chased and photographed it the weekend before on the Bristol line, but any chance to shoot the engine in action was not to be missed. We headed east along the East River, and encountered her blasting upgrade with 18 cars—and no diesel helper (as had been the case on the Bristol trips)! We were watching this engine do what the N&W designed and built her for—hauling a heavy passenger train over the mountains. We dashed ahead to Ingleside, where we selected a spot on the west side of a highway overpass. All my friends got on the inside of the curve, while I went to the outside. Even in the low light, it was the “dark” side---but I thought it might deliver a more dramatic image. As she hammered toward me, I fired off several shots, including this one. You could literally feel the earth shake as this wonderful living legend passed. This could have been a heavy westbound Pocahontas in the steam era, or maybe the Cavalier (the Powhatan Arrow would have only had six or seven cars, which would have hardly taxed a J). I couldn’t believe our good fortune in seeing the 611 this day—and that brief moment at Ingleside ranks among my favorite railroad memories. In two years, however, this Virginia born and bred thoroughbred would be cold and silent--a condition that prevails to this day. I would suggest everyone consider donating to: www.fireup611.org. If enough of us do, perhaps others can experience what I did in 1992.