From the Virginia Museum of Transportation: The official transportation museum for the Commonwealth of Virginia today announced the filing of its initial application with the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) (www.uspto.gov). If the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s application is successful and a trademark registration is awarded by the USPTO, a legal presumption is created for the Museum’s nationwide ownership of these trademarks for the for the Norfolk & Western Class J steam passenger locomotive, specifically the Class J 611, and the Museum’s exclusive right to use these trademarks on or in connection with all the registered products, services and media produced by the Museum.
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The Norfolk & Western Railway introduced the Class J Steam Passenger Locomotives in 1940. The Class J Locomotives are a marriage of beauty and power and are distinguished by simple lines, a bullet nose, a midnight black façade, a Tuscan stripe and a baritone whistle. Only 14 Class J locomotives were built — numbers 600 through 613. Only one – the Class J 611 – survives.
The Class J 611 rolled out of the East End Shops in 1950 and pulled the Powhaton Arrow, the esteemed passenger train that ran from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Norfolk, Virginia.
The Class J 611 was saved from the scrap line and moved to the Roanoke Transportation Museum in 1963. The Roanoke Transportation Museum later became the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the permanent home of the Class J 611.
In 2012, the Museum studied the feasibility of the Class J 611 returning the iconic rail icon to operational condition under steam. In 2013, the Museum launched the Fire Up 611! Campaign. To date, the campaign has raised over $3 million from 3,000 donors worldwide.
The Class J 611 is currently being restored at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, North Carolina, and is expected to steam home to her home in Roanoke in late Spring 2015.