Video of Lionel Shay Locomotive

by Lynn E. Garn, Ph.D.

This video shows my Shay locomotive running on the layout.

This video shows my Shay locomotive running on the layout. I had to buy a Shay locomotive because Ephraim Shay invented the locomotive within about two miles of where I grew up. The unique thing about the Shay was the vertical pistons instead of the normal horizontal pistons, and the unique power shafts to the articulated wheels in both the front and back of the locomotive. The gearing of the locomotive and the unique, articulated drive train made it possible to pull trains of heavily loaded logging cars up steeper hills and around sharper curves than other locomotives available at the time. This Shay locomotive is one of the later designs. There is an early Shay in the city park in Cadillac, Michigan, which is the nearest town to where Shay invented the locomotive. As a kid growing up near where Shay invented the locomotive, I never knew about the locomotive. However, I was well aware of the logging history of the area and was aware of old logging road beds in the area. Even today I can spot in satellite imagery an old railroad road bed running from the southeast to the northwest, crossing the Boon Road about a half mile east of where I grew up. I can't help thinking that Shay locomotives were used on that line.

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