Tickets are now on sale to the general public for the 2016 excursions on the Norfolk & Western Class J611 passenger steam locomotive!

The iconic train, which was built in Roanoke, has a full calendar this spring and summer with multiple passenger excursions scheduled throughout Virginia and North Carolina, including many that will feature Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Ticket prices range from $109 for a standard coach ticket up to $1,229 for a private suite that can be reserved for up to four people, offering riders a variety of options to enjoy the Queen of Steam.

There are six 611 excursions that will include the Roanoke Valley either as the originating or stopping point. The Roanoker (full-day) will travel from Greensboro, N.C., to Roanoke on April 23 & 24, while The Powhatan Arrow (half-day) will travel from Roanoke to Lynchburg and The Pelican (half-day) will travel from Roanoke to Radford, both on May 7 & 8.

Any ride including the Roanoke Valley will offer the opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and the charming small towns along the route.

A visit to Downtown Roanoke also provides the chance to learn more about the region's rich railroad history, which is proudly displayed at the O. Winston Link Museum, David R. & Susan S. Goode Railwalk, and the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

For additional routes, visit the Fire Up 611 website.

Don't wait to purchase your tickets to ride on this unique marvel of railroad history! Excursion tickets quickly sold out last year and demand is expected to be high again this year.

Buying tickets online is the best option for the fastest service, or you can call 1-800-310-4274.

Please do not call or mail payment to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Photo courtesy of Clytie Bunyan.