the turn of the century until the early 1920’s the Lima Locomotive
Works of Lima, Ohio had dominated the logging locomotive field with
their Shay locomotives. Named after its inventor Ephram Shay these
geared engines were ideal for the steep grades and twisting track used
by loggers in the woods. By 1922 many of Lima’s original Shay
patents had expired which prompted the Willamette Iron & Steel Works
of Portland Oregon to start building a nearly exact copy of the Shay.
Lima started to lose sales to Willamette in the mid – 1920’s they
decided to come out with a new Shay as a direct competitor to the
Willamette. Thus was born Lima’s “Pacific Coast Shay”.
Lima build the first of these Pacific coast Shays in 1927 and displayed
it at the Pacific Logging Conference in Seattle, Washington. Over
the next 3 years Lima sold 27 of them in the Northwest and drove
Willamette out of the market for good.
#11 was originally built in 1929 for the Forest Lumber Company of Pine
Ridge, OR as their #5. She was ordered with an extended oil bunker
to give her greater range between fuel stops. In late 1940, when
Forest Lumber shut down, she was sold to the Pickering Lumber Corp. of
Standard, CA as their #11. In early 1941, soon after she was
delivered to Pickering, she was caught in a roundhouse fire and badly
burned. After the fire Pickering decided she was not worth fixing
and planned to scrap her. When WW II started and the lumber market
picked up in strength, Pickering re-thought their decision and went
ahead and rebuilt #11. She served Pickering in log train
service until late 1964 when Pickering converted to diesel locomotives.
was sold in 1966 to a rail fan in California and trucked to a railroad
museum in Rio vista, CA where she occasionally operated. In 1969 she was
bought by Gus Peterson (who also owned our #17 and Heisler #10). Gus
planned to bring #11 to his rail operation in Klamath, CA but the gas
crisis of the early 1970’s ended those plans. In 1981 #11 was
purchased by the MRSR and brought to mineral, WA where she was returned
to operation in the early 1990’s.
the 27 Pacific Coast Shays built by Lima only 5 survive. Of these #11 is
one of three that still operate.
90 ton 3-truck Pacific Coast Shay was built by Lima in 1929 for the
Forest Lumber Company of Pine Ridge, OR.
95 tons loaded with fuel
size: 13 X 15
Pressure: 200 lbs.
Effort: 38,200 lbs.
Lumber Company (#5) – Pine Ridge, OR
Lumber Company (#11) – Standard, CA
Iron (#11) – Rio Vista, CA
Peterson Lumber Company (#11) – Klamath, CA
Rainier Scenic Railroad (#11) – Mineral, WA
and information courtesy of Martin E. Hansen