Class A Shay

Class A Shay. This tiny wood-burning logging locomotive is an 18-ton Class A Shay manufactured in brass by an unidentified Japanese firm for Northwest Short Line (NWSL). I purchased it fully painted and lightly weathered from another modeler from an ad in one of the railroad magazines. I didn't dare fiddle with the paint and try to apply new decals. The word from the bosses at the Glanville Lumber Comany is that they had just purchased this new locomotive and needed it in the logging camp so quickly that they didn't have time to paint the company name.

Here you see it tugging a massive steam-driven log skidder that weighs down an extra-heavy flat car, which has four trucks to distribute the weight. A friend gave me this all-metal flat car in 1979, and I painted it with Glanville colors and added the decals.

Like Climaxes, Shays had three classes labelled A, B, and C, but whereas Climax assigned locomotives to a particular class solely according to weight, manufacturers of Shays did so according to truck and cylinder arrangement: a Class A Shay, like this one, had two powered trucks and two cylinders, B has the same wheel arrangement but three cylinders, and C had both three cylinders and three trucks, the additional one appearing beneath an added tender that others did not have.


Miniature Worlds