A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a website about the Mapleton Tramways. The site covers the history of one of the Sugar Cane and Shire tramway in Queensland, Australia. What made this tramway even more interesting, was the fact that it ran on very narrow 2 feet gauge and used a couple of 13 tons “Class A” Shay locomotives.
These engines, with builder’s no. 2091 and 2800, were probably the smallest Shays that the Lima Locomotive Co. ever produced. Their boilers were only 2 feet 5 inches in diameter and they weighed about 13 tons in working order. Top speed on the flat was 10 mph, 11 with a following wind …
As I fell in love with these funny looking locomotives, I started surfing the web about more information and came across CaneSIG, the Sugar Cane Railway Modelling Special Interest Group. Yes, it is definitely a mouth full, but it’s a great site for those who would like to start modelling a sugar cane layout. It even contains a couple of great drawings of the Shays and other rolling stock of the Mapleton Tramways.
All in all, a good starting point for an Aussie Sugar Cane and Shire Tramway lay-out. So, time to start modelling!