Moving 611

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Jun 23 12:07:22 EDT 2014

Jeff, Thanks so much for the back story about 611 in her Wasena Park days.

Reminds of Jack Holst who took care of 4449 prior to her restoration.

Here's a brief, touching tribute to him from a Oct. 2012

	"Jack Holst passed away 40 years ago this Fall. I think it would be
good to properly remember this man. Jack is honored with a brass plaque in
the cab of SP 4449.

	Jack was credited with helping save the Daylight by his years of
keeping her axles and rods greased while the engine was rusting on display
in Oaks Park in Portland, OR. More than that, Jack was involved in 	many
other railroad projects in his brief 38 year life. 

	An auto-biography of Jack is posted on the PNW Chapter of the NRHS
website in Portland, OR where most of Jack's collection ended up. Here is
the link: 

	Jack passed away suddenly after a short illness. Many of the railfan
magazines of the 1960's and early 1970's contain articles and photos by

	Unfortunately Jack never saw SP 4449 restored back to operation. He
passed way just 2 and 1/2 years before she was pulled out of the park and
refurbished as the American Freedom Train. That may never 	have
occurred had Jack not selflessly donated his time greasing the Daylight in
Oaks Park for all those years. 

	We all should take a moment to remember and thank Jack as, later
this month, we enjoy seeing SP 4449 speed along the Columbia River and up
the Deschutes River Canyon on her way to Jack's hometown of 	Bend,

We owe much to these gentlemen!

John Garner,  Newport, VA

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Today's Topics:

   1. Moving 611 (NW Mailing List)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2014 19:21:09 -0700
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
Subject: Moving 611
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Bruce in Blacksburg wrote: 

"How much prep work needs to be done to get the Y ready to move? I expect
the rods will be dropped, but what else? Has it been moved or maintained
over the years?I know there were issues the first time the
611 was pulled from Wasena Park since it had been sitting  still for so many
years, so a lot of work and care was necessary to ensure free-moving running
gear" (my italics-JLS).

Bruce, if I may, I would like to mention something here for the sake of
those who are keeping historical records. I know there is much "minutia"
that we railfans tend to love to expend much effort and research time trying
to uncover. This is one of those forgotten jewels that?is almost lost to

Concerning the movement of 611 out of Wasena Park for?its first rebuild, I
want to make certain that a couple if individuals who deserve credit are
indeed recognized for their efforts. These men, and I am sure others that
may have helped them, are in great part responsible for the 611 being in as
good of condition as possible for the job, unknown at the time, that she
would fulfill from 1982-1994.

Both these men were Roanoke Chapter, NRHS members at the time. And I say
that not to glorify the Chapter, although I am very prejudice about that
subject. But these men?took it upon themselves to care for this magnificent

The first was L. Jack White. Jack was retired from the Radford Arsenal,
where he took care of the rail equipment owned and used by that facility.
Jack was "old school". Although he moved slowly, Jack had the uncanny
ability to analyze mechanical problems (what he might have called
"ciphering")?and come up with solutions. Jack, on his own, for I believe
many years, faithfully went to the Museum, on his own schedule, and
carefully lubricated every accessible bearing and moving part. This went on,
with no ones notice, until the day that the news broke that the 611 would be
returned to service. With no fanfare, no accolades, and very little
recognition at all, Jack White had performed an invaluable service which
made the job easier for those who followed.

One of Jack's helpers was a man of similar devotion to the 611, and one who
served with no eye toward recognition. A General Electric Co.?retiree, John
Garrett spent many times with Jack in taking care of the engine we all
revere so much.

I'm sorry if I've gone on too long.?As I said before, there were, no
doubt,?others who, in their own way contributed to the preservation of 611,
and have made this day possible, that we may enjoy her once again. But these
two men, whom I have been privileged to call friend, should receive at least
a footnote in the history of the 611.

L. Jack White, deceased, and John Garrett. Take just a moment to thank these
two far-sighted men who helped? keep the dream alive. It is because of them
and many more like them, unfortunately unknown and forgotten, that have
played important?roles that have touched the lives, not only of us, but of
countless thousands that have witnessed the "most modern steam passenger
locomotive" to ever grace the rails.

We can only hope that there have been similar folks in St. Louis who have
been taking care of 2156.

Jeff Sanders
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