Friday, February 28, 2014

J. Neils Lumber Co. Shay #5

J. Neils Lumber Company 3-Truck Shay #5 at the Illinois Railway Museum on May 23, 2004

J. Neils Lumber Company #5 is a 3-Truck Shay built in May 1929 for use at the J. Neils Lumber Company in Libby, Montana. Shay locomotives were used often in the timber and mining industries due to their ability to operate on poor track and sharp curves. This was because, unlike most steam locomotives that have drive wheels in a rigid frame connected by driving rods, Shays featured geared drive trucks connected to a flexible drive shaft driven by vertical pistons on the right side of the engine (not visible in the picture) similar in a way to an auto or truck drive-train. This gave Shays excellent pulling power, but limited speed, though in most of their applications, speed was not a concern.  In May 1939, the locomotive was transferred to Klickitat, Washington. While in use at Klickitat, the operations there became the Klickitat Log & Lumber Company, part of the St. Regis Paper Company. In May 1964, the locomotive was sold to Ed Donnelley of Hill City, South Dakota, for use on the Black Hills Central tourist railroad. In June 1965 the locomotive moved to the Mid-Continent Railroad Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin for a short time before coming to the Illinois Railway Museum on July 23, 1965. The locomotive was the first operating steam locomotive at IRM, with its first museum operations on December 29, 1967. In August 1969, the locomotive was formally donated to the museum.

Continue to Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 #6323

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