Progress being made on 611 locomotive in North Carolina

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Progress being made on 611 locomotive in North Carolina (Image 1)

SPENCER, N.C. (WSLS) - The 611 locomotive is now stripped down and being taken apart for a big makeover. It is being fixed at the North Carolina Transportation Museum to run the tracks it used to decades ago. 

Bev Fitzpatrick of the Virginia Museum of Transportation has been driving down to see the progress every week.

"I grew up as a child in Roanoke so I watched them run while a little boy and my grandfather was a conductor," says Fitzpatrick. "To see this come alive again and to better understand all the work it took."

It took about 10 hours to pull the 611 from Roanoke to Spencer to get repaired. It had to make a long trip since the North Carolina Transportation Museum had a large enough facility and equipment for the restoration. 

Every inch is getting inspected from the boiler to the wheels. All of the repairs are made possible through a campaign called Fire Up 611! which raised about $3 million. In addition, volunteers are making a big difference too. 

"These folks are giving them time and were working seven days a week, and we have volunteers everyday and quite frankly they've been invaluable to our process," says Preston Clayton, chairman of Fire Up 611!

The locomotive is expected to be finished sometime next spring. 

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