Modelling has been a bit slow for the last couple of weeks, as we are in the midst of summer at this side of the globe. It’s bloody warm and the temperature in my workshop is close to 45º Celsius. So that gave me some time to surf the web, while sitting outside in the garden and being wirelessly connected to the internet. And that’s where I found this little gem … a beautiful 2′ gauge Shay that’s fully operational!
It is a 10 tons “Class B” Shay, which means that it has three cylinders … just like my HOn30 model will have.
This little locomotive with Shop Number 3118, was built in May 1920 and is one of forty 2′ gauge Shays constructed by Lima Locomotive Works. It is also one of the only two known surviving 2′ gauge Shays … the other one is Mapleton Shay S/N 2800.
Shay 3118 was built for the Good Roads Construction Company and was used in their quarry in Leachville, Arkansas, to haul rock to the crusher. In 1925 the Colbert Lime Rock Asphalt Company purchased the locomotive and operated it in Cherokee, Alabama. This is where it spent its last days, until it was abandoned in the woods in 1933.
Robert Johnson discovered the locomotive in those woods in 1968 and sold it a couple of years later to Marc Lamoreaux of Waterville, Kansas, who spent the next six years restoring Shay S/N 3118. Marc operated the Shay on the High Country Railroad in Golden, Colorado, from 1976 until 1986 on weekends and holidays. In 1986 Marc moved the locomotive to his son’s house in Black Forest, Colorado, where it was operated for family and friends on occasion on a short section of track.
Finally, in May 2003, Shay S/N 3118 was bought by the Foster Brook and State Line in Bradford, Pennsylvania. They are currently running it as locomotive number 12 on their 2′ forest track.
At the bottom of this post I have added a list of some great videos of Shay S/N 3118 in action … looking at these videos and hearing the magnificent sound of these great little engines, makes one hope to see Mapleton Shay S/N 2800 brought back to life again …