Spend time this weekend with 611

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - The Virginia Museum of Transportation's FIRE-UP 611 Experience is this weekend in Roanoke.

The program is Saturday, August 17 in preparation of the departure of the N&W Class J 611 for the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania.

Fire up the N&W Class J 611 and spend the day with the crew, including having breakfast and lunch. There will be presentations along with question-and-answer sessions throughout the day.

Once there is enough steam pressure, participants will get to blow 611’s whistle later in the day. The museum says there may be a few surprises along the way, too.

Participants need to arrive promptly at 6:30 am and class lasts until 4:00 pm. Fire-up of the engine will occur at 7:00 am.

Pre-registration is required; click here for tickets. Attendees must be at least 14 years old, and the cost is $200 per participant.

The day includes breakfast, lunch, firing manual, and diagram of N&W Class J611, as well as instruction from the crew and hands-on experience. Closed-toed shoes and long pants are required.

The next day, Sunday the 18th, blow the whistle of J611 between noon and 5 p.m. at the museum. The museum invites you to "experience the feeling of sitting up so high in this locomotive that is so extremely powerful yet so majestic."

Sunday's event costs $25 per participant with paid admission.

You'll climb into the cab of J611 and talk to the crew that operates on the powerful engine, blow the iconic whistle, and sit in the engineer's seat.

The museum will open an hour early Sunday to allow more time for people to take advantage of this opportunity. Tickets will be sold at the door.

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