Class J Railfanning

Posted on August 14th, 2016, by Michael Rountree

In June, I was able to fulfill a long-desired goal – to experience a train trip behind the mighty Norfolk & Western Class J! This was the final excursion of 2016, and took place in Manassas, Virginia. That just happens to be very close to Winchester and the region that I model, so I was able to follow it up with some reconnaissance of the area, and came home with some fresh ideas for scenes to model. Perhaps the coolest thing was seeing that Boyce, the subject of my N-Trak module, really does look a lot like what I’ve modeled, despite having never been there in person before.

Nothing can compare to the feel of power that comes from being trackside when the J rumbles past. She fills your world with sound and moves your bones to her own rhythm. My video is an attempt to capture this; I was able to chase the train on Sunday, after having ridden on Saturday’s trip. But you won’t get the experience without a decent surround-sound system cranked all the way to 11!

I was lucky enough to share this trip with some friends who hail from the Washington D.C. area. Service on board the train was great, and I’m so glad I paid for the premium dome seating. Without further ado, here is the video I made:

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