2015 Manassas Heritage Railway Festival – June 6th, 2015

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Old Towne Manassas was flooded with sweating faces as hundreds of people stormed toward food vendors and sought shelter in the dining areas under the umbrellas from the scorching sun. They gathered to celebrate the 21st Annual Manassas  Heritage Railway Festival under clear skies with the occasional, gentle breeze that threw women’s hats like kites. The crowd varied from the nostalgic elderly and curious children, all gathered with the same love for trains.

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The highlight of the festival was the Norfolk & Western Class J 611. According to the vmt.org, this locomotive was one of 14 produced from 1941-1950 as passengers engine. It could pull 15 cars at 110mph and averaged 15,000 miles per month. The 611 was repaired after a derailment in Devon, WV and has been used for many fan-trips and excursions before being retired in 1994. It is the only Class J remaining in existence. Hundreds of people waited with excitement as the 611 roared into the station, with the white hot steams masking her entrance reminding the crowd of its presence and power. People fervently took pictures, selfies, and videos with the train with such a storied past. It is part of a 11 month tour with Norfolk Southern before returning to rest in Roanoke, VA.

There were other activities and entertainment apart from the main attraction. A bluegrass band provided the music while tap dancers performed on the stage adjacent of the Harris Pavilion, as the audience enjoyed the ambiance. In the Harris Pavilion, miniature models of railroads entertained the children enough that they weren’t chomping at their cotton candies. The roads absent with cars were used as canvasses as many teens and children painted various drawings.

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With the advancement of technology in the recent decades, one can take pleasure knowing of the simpler times; time of steam engines and analog modes of communication and transport. History has the power to influence the current generation to learn from the mistakes of the past and become better than those in the past. This festival serves a main purpose not only in showing the history, but how fast and far the human kind has come since.   2015-06-06 12.58.45 All Rights Reserved © 2013-2015 @CoreeILBO.com