RailPictures.Net Photo: 611 Norfolk & Western Steam 4-8-4 at Roanoke, Virginia by Casey Thomason
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo

Norfolk & Western (more..)
Steam 4-8-4 (more..)
Randolph Street (more..)
Roanoke, Virginia, USA (more..)
April 24, 2016
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
611 (more..)
958 (more..)
Casey Thomason (more..)
Contact Photographer
Remarks & Notes 
Sunday, April 24, 2016, turned into a rather relaxing day with 611 under crystal clear blue skies. I can only imagine my experience was a sign from a fallen friend. On my way home from Pennsylvania, I planned to intercept the steam excursion around Roanoke, and early that morning I received news that a long time railfan friend from my home state of Georgia had passed away the previous morning. He was well-known in the railfan community as one who didn't like crowds, and therefore didn't venture out often for steam excursions. He was also very particular when exposing slide film, he didn't bring out the camera unless the skies were bright and sunny. Gary Larimer, one of the few "dinosaurs" who were still shooting slides, had been a friend since my younger days of fanning in the 80's and 90's, back when digital and social media didn't exist. "Heads-ups" were exchanged by a good old fashioned phone call, and Gary kept me in the loop even though I was just a kid, something I will never forget. He spent his earlier years in the N&W coal regions, and later moved to Georgia, capturing beautiful action and roster shots all over the country. He had perfectly exposed rosters of brand new 2nd-generation diesels...He shot N&W excursions before there was an NS...He covered the Southern and previous NS steam programs...He taught us to keep a ladder and "trimming appliances" handy...elevation is everything...and those who knew him, knew his personalized license plate said "RUN-8". On Sunday morning, the first place I found to shoot the train with perfect sunshine was only shared by one other photographer. During my second shot, coming by East End Shops into Roanoke, I was the only one standing within 300 feet of the scene. Folks who knew Gary knows that was his kind of atmosphere while out shooting trains, and the clear blue Kodachrome skies was the icing on the cake. I decided Gary's last run shouldn't go un-noticed, just prior to the trains departure that afternoon, with the blessing from the steam crew, I let 611 carry a message back to Greensboro. I opted for a different view from an overhead bridge to witness the departure, and I was the only railfan on that bridge, while the next bridge and adjacent parking decks were covered with crowds. I think Gary woud have also enjoyed the peaceful experience. You will be missed but never forgotten. Rest In Peace friend: Gary Larimer, 9-11-59 4-23-16 RUN-8
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Since added on April 25, 2016

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The Big Three of Steam

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