Out and About with Becky: 611 tender and renovation

Final weeks of renovation project

SPENCER, N.C. - We are now in the final weeks of the 611 renovation project.  Soon the the only remaining N&W Class J steam locomotive will thunder down the tracks, right back to Roanoke, where she was first built in 1950.

The 611's tender is also an essential part of this massive renovation.

As Chief Mechanical Officer of the project, Scott Lindsay says, "One of the biggest steps will be the final painting."

Lindsay oversees all the work done on the project and says, "I'm never where I want to be.  With all these projects, if you get complacent, you'll never finish."

It's that drive, which fires up the entire crew, including Shane Harris.  He says, "The tender, I have around 3 months myself only.  The locomotive, I have about two and a half months of labor in it, with about 2 people.  So total time altogether, one person - five months.

He and his wife are the two-person team sanding and painting the tender and locomotive.

"At first, I thought it would be too much of an undertaking for us to actually do," says Harris, who handed the power sander to me to try.  After just a few minutes of sanding, these two quickly gained my respect!

Harris says, "I could not afford to pass this opportunity up.  It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, something to tell your kids about.  It's something that'll be in the history books forever."

Back inside, this crew makes tracks completing all the parts that will make this steam locomotive, go.

Scott Lindsay says, "There are a lot of little milestones, and the big milestones are the final fire test, which we're pushing for now."

It's a tight timeline, and this crew is anything but complacent, when it comes to getting the last of its kind back on track again.


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