N&W 611, Finally Fired Up

My grandfather and I, dwarfed by J611 in the early 1990s

My grandfather and I, dwarfed by J611 in the early 1990s

Yesterday I made my way up to the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC for their Sendoff Celebration for the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s N&W Class J 611. Since May 2014, the 611 has been at Spencer, undergoing its much anticipated restoration after twenty long years in hibernation.

For someone like me who grew up enamored with this locomotive, this was a fantastic day. And for the past year there has been something immensely satisfying about her being restored at Spencer Shops, where I spent so much of my childhood.

What a joy that scenes like this will once again be a reality:

N&W J 611's builder's plate

N&W J 611’s builder’s plate

Learn more about the N&W J611 and the Fire Up 611 campaign

Donate to the Fire Up 611 campaign

The Parting Glass

I’ve had the same piece of music stuck on perpetual repeat in my head for the past three days or so. At least it’s a nice selection.

Song Text

Of all the money, e’er I had,
I spent it in good company,
And all the harm I have ever done,
‘Alas it was to none but me.

And all I’ve done for want of wit,
To memory now I can’t recall,
So fill to me the parting glass,
Goodnight and joy be with you all.

So fill to me the parting glass,
And drink a health whate’er befalls,
Then gently rise and softly call,
Goodnight and joy be to you all.

Of all the comrades that e’er I had,
They’re sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had,
They’d wish me one more day to stay.

But since it fell into my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I’ll gently rise and softly call,
Goodnight and joy be to you all.

Fill to me the parting glass,
And drink a health whate’er befalls,
Then gently rise and softly call,
Goodnight and joy be to you all.

Fill to me the parting glass,
And drink a health whate’er befalls,
Then gently rise and softly call,
Goodnight and joy be to you all.