Final preparations underway for 611 excursions

Final preparations are underway for the Spirit of Roanoke to make its return to the rails.

This time next week, the 611 fall excursions will kick off in Goshen.

The staff got to ride the Queen of Steam Friday as the locomotive traveled from Goshen’s Victoria Station to Staunton.

Before they left, the town mayor of Goshen declared Friday Will Harris Day. Harris is the president of the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

The mayor of Goshen, a town with a population of 350 people, says the 611 being there is a game changer.

“It’s tremendous,” said Goshen Mayor Tom McCraw. “It’s a great thing for the little thing of Goshen, the entire area of Rockbridge County and other counties around. What it can do economically for this area is almost beyond belief. It’s going to be a great thing for this little town.”

Staff and volunteers have been busy cleaning and repainting the passenger trains.

We were there Thursday at Victoria Station for the steam locomotive’s test run. The Shenandoah Valley Limited will take hundreds of rail enthusiasts twice a day for fall excursions starting next Friday.

Tickets are still available and start at $99. For more information, click here.

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Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.