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  • Shays in the Golden State: Part 3

    Dan Ranger, Jr.

     
    Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 3 Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 4

    Picking up from issue number 91, and the Sonora. - Tuolumne area, we travel south to the Yosemite Valley region of the Golden State. At El Portal, on route 140, we find an 80-3 class Shay. She was originally built for the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, at Groveland, as their number 6. From her delivery, in 1921, until her sale to the Pickering Lumber Company, in 1924, she hauled supplies for the work on O'Shaughnessy Dam.

    At Pickering the locomotive was used on both the mainline and in the woods work and in her last years saw a good deal of service out of "Shot Gun" Pass Camp. She was out of service with a good deal of the other power in the late 1950's and was stored at Standard until her donation to the National Park Service, in 1960, followed by a truck ride to El Portal. Now painted red, she is on static display.

    Working our way into Yosemite Valley and from route 140 to route 41, and south on this highway, we come to Fish Camp. Here we find a three-truck narrow gauge Shay in operation. She is the number ten of the Yosemite Mountain and Sugar Pine Railroad. Formerly of the West Side Lumber Company, the ten spot handles the chores on this very scenic tourist line operated by Mr. Rudy Stauffer. Rudy is one of the very few of us that has fulfilled a long-time dream of running his own railroad.

    After the shut-down of the West Side show and having served out thirty-two years of usefulness, the ten sat in the yard at Tuolumne until her sale to Rudy in early 1966. In late 1966 he moved her, via truck (See issue number 64), to her new home. After cleaning up and some minor repairs she was put to, work again. We understand she will operate from Memorial Day to Labor Day in daily service.

    From the Yosemite National Park region of the Golden State we head north to Stockton and a scrap yard on North Wilson Way. In this yard is probably the saddest looking Shay, for its age, in the entire Once she served on the sugar pine logging operation of the state. Yosemite Lumber Company, on the western edge of Yosemite National Park. She was number four on the Yosemite Lumber Company and, in 1935, when the company changed its name to the Yosemite Sugar Pine Company, the four stayed on. forced in The Yosemite Sugar Pine was to shutting down and selling out in 1942 due to the conservationist, and the Federal Government's stand on logging in the area of the National Park. The choicest timber tracts were sold to the United States Government and the company finally cut out of timber in what was left, in 1942.

    So, the show was sold to the M. Davidson Company during 1943 and Most of the Shays were slowly scrapped out over a period of years. Davidson yard scrapped in 1947, but the four-spot was shipped to the in Stockton for resale. The price was too high, or so we have been told, was the reason she did not sell and the market for used Shays was depressed on top of it. And so, twenty-two years later she sits still waiting for a buyer and much the worse for the long wait. A few years ago a large pile of old auto and truck tires that had been piled around the locomotive caught fire and scorched the number four pretty badly. But if one has the money, time and patience, they still might get her to run again maybe.

    Coming over to the coast, the next Shay we find is in the Francisco Bay Area belonging to the Pacific Locomotive Association's railroad museum at Castro Point (just west of Richmond on hiway 17 and sports under the east end of the Richmond - San Rafael Bridge) which The Shay sits in front of about two miles of standard gauge track. the museum's engine house and looks deplorable; but she is, nevertheless, sound and with work will be running again.

    She was built for the Sierra Railway of California in 1903 as their #12, a class 75-3 model, and was used for years on the Angel' Branch, until a brace of Baldwin 2-6-2's replaced her in 1922-1923. Probably the most important part of the 12-spot's history is that she is the oldest three-truck Shay known to exist today and she was most probably the first one to use oil as fuel. The Camino, Cable and Northern's #2 and Henry Sorensen's ex. Smith-Powers Shay at McKinleyville are the only two Shays known to exist older than the #12, which grants to the Golden State the title for the three oldest Shays in existence.

    From the Sierra Railway the number 12 was sold to the Pickering Lumber Company, still operating as the Standard Lumber Company, in 1924, and in the early 1930's stayed on the roster when the name was changed to the Pickering Lumber Company. Again, in 1937, the name was changed; this time to the Pickering Lumber Corporation and, again, the 12 stayed on. In later years she was bumped down to service as the mill switcher and served out her last days as such until retirement when the Pickering got their first diesels in 1957.

    She was then sold to a logger for intended resale by him. But the market was poor for fifty-year-old Shays and he had to return the Shay to Pickering due to lack of funds. Another buyer then purchased her, and three other Pickering locomotives, again planning resale but this time overseas to pre-Castro Cuba. The resale never went through, however, and all four locomotives wound up in storage at the Connell Brothers Trucking Company yard in Stockton where they sat for many long years. The l2-spot and the three big three-truck Heislers eventually became the property of the trucking concern due to non-payment of the storage charges and in 1966 they were disposed of. One Heisler is now in Monterey and still neglected, another operates for the Klamath and Hoppow Valley Railroad at Klamath and the l2-spot and the third Heisler were donated to the Pacific Locomotive Association.

    The number 12 and Heisler #5 were trucked to Castro Point in early October, 1967, by Sheedy Drayage Company of San Francisco. Only recently restoration work has gotten underway on the Heisler and Shay number twelve will be next.

    Also on the east side of San Francisco Bay resides a second Shay. This one, a 50-2 class, never operated in the Golden State but is be Donated to the San Francisco ing preserved for eventual display. Maritime Museum by The Robert Dollar Company, the locomotive last saw service at Glendale, Oregon, as number 2978.

    Page 5: D. S. Richter: SPOTLESS WEST SIDE LUMBER COMPANY #10 POSES, UNLETTERED, FOR THE CAMERA AT TUOLUMNE ON MAY 15, 1942, TWENTY-FOUR YEARS BEFORE IT WAS SOLD TO THE YOSEMITE M & SUGAR PINE.

    Dan Ranger, Jr.: IN OCTOBER, 1967, THE PACIFIC LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION MOVED ITS PAIR OF EX-PICKERING LUMBER CORPORATION STEAM LOCOMOTIVES OUT OF STOCKTON TO RICHMOND AND THE GROUPS MUSEUM AT CASTRO POINT. ON OCTOBER 6TH SHAY #12 WAS ON BOARD A HUGE SHEEDY DRAYAGE COMPANY (OF SAN FRANCISCO) TRUCK, AS WERE THE TWO TENDERS. A HIGHWAY MOVE OF A BIG LOCOMOTIVE IS AN IMPRESSIVE SIGHT, AND THIS VIEW OF THE #12 IN STOCKTON ALL IN THE HANDS OF THE COMPE READ TO GO IS NO EXCEPTION. TENT MEN FROM SHEEDY DRAYAGE, HOWEVER, THE MOVE WAS MADE WITH LITTLE TROUBLE.
    Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 5 Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 6

    Built in 1918 for the North Bend Mill and Lumber Company, truck number 2978, which is also its Lima construction number, to spend most of its life along the Oregon coast with several the two went on owners lettering their name on its side. The 2978 went to Glendale, Oregon, the to work for the Ingham Lumber Company and stayed on the job when The Shay brought in operation was sold to The Robert Dollar Company. the last load of logs from the woods when the logging railroad was put out of operation but it stayed around as mill switcher until replaced by a 2-6-2T purchased by Dollar from Cottage Grove, Oregon. Parked out behind the sawdust burner and allowed to suffer at the hands of the Oregon winters, the 2978 was eventually loaded on a flat car and shipped to Oakland, along with the 2-6-2T that had replaced it. An ex-Air Force diesel now switches the sawmill at Glendale and the two Robert Dollar Company steam locomotives sit inside the old Key System shops building adjacent to the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge, on The Robert Dollar Company, the Oakland side, waiting for display. founded by the colorful Captain Robert Dolla and a large steamship operator, has its main office in nearby San Francisco and still maintains a close interest in the two locomotives it donated for display.

    From Oakland we head south to the Santa Cruz area and the town of Felton. Here, on the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad, we find a classic example of a turn-of-the-century, medium sized, two-truck Shay. Classed as a 37-2 and built in 1912 for the Alaculsy Lumber Company, of Conasauga, Tennessee, she was their number three. Though at a time when her nominal lass should have been 42-2, she was constructed to conform to the lines of the older, and then discontinued, 37-2 class. It is believed this was done at the request of the new owner to have standardization of his power.

    She passed through the hands of many owners -- all eastern -- and was purchased from the Coal Processing Corporation, at Dixiana, Virginia, by Norman Clark of the Roaring Camp organization. It would be well to mention that se was built as a standard gauge Shay and later converted to three-foot gauge by one of her other owners.

    She was shipped to Felton in really sad-looking shape. But with a sand blasting, paint job, repiping and conversion to oil fuel, she In fact, she is probably the prettiest came out looking like new. Kept clean and polished she sparkles little Shay running anywhere. all the time and her crew sees that she stays that way. Any engine man would feel pride in the way she looks. In fact, the engine crew has been asked several times how much they pay Roaring Camp to run her.

    Beside the "Dixiana" Shay there is a narrow gauge Heisler and a display of logging equipment on the property to be seen. Plus a spectacular ride up Bear Mountain on 7% grades, high trestles and some tight curves. The track twists and turns around big redwood trees and through the cool forest. All in all, the whole thing is charming and interesting and fully worth the trip and fare to ride.

    To find the next Shay we have to travel to Los Angeles. There, in Travel Town, on the edge of Griffith Park, is a good example of a 70-3 class Shay of the early 1920s.

    Built in June, 1922, as the number 4 of the Little River Redwood Company, at Crannell, she worked the same territory as did the Shay that became the Pickering's #33 (Issue #91). She went to Hammond and Little River Redwood Company in 1931 but was apparently never lettered as such or used by this company. Instead she was sold to the Camino, Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad as their number two. There she operated with an aging sister Shay, the number one, built in 1904. The one-spot was displayed at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 prior to delivery to the then Placerville and Lake Tahoe Railroad. I have al- ways felt they donated the wrong Shay when they gave the two-spot to Los Angeles in 1955 and cut up the number one. The older Shay had a far more interesting history --- but such is life.

    Last, but by far not least, is the southernmost Shay in the Golsen State. This 90-3 class is now being operated by the Pacific South west Railway Museum Association, Inc., in San Diego. And, from all reports, she is doing very well in her new home… which is not surprising when a group puts out with its effort.

    Page 7: DEEP IN THE HEART OF CALIFORNIA'S COAST REDWOOD COUNTRY SOUTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE RUNS THE STEEP AND TWISTING SLIM-GAUGE TRACKAGE OF THE ROARING CAMP AND BIG TREES NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD. ROARING CAMP TRAINS LEAVE FROM A FLAT-LAND STATION BUT SOON AFTER ENTERING THE MAJESTIC REDWOODS THE TRAIN SUDDENLY RUMBLES OUT ONTO INDIAN CREEK TRESTLE, A CURVING REDWOOD STRUCTURE THAT ONLY HINTS AT THE RUGGEDNESS OF THE RAILROAD THAT IS YET TO COME. WITH PASSENGERS AT HER BACK, THE DIXIANA SHAY THREADS HER WAY THROUGH VIRGIN RED WOOD, OVER INDIAN CREEK, AND UP BEAR MOUNTAIN. TO THE "DIXIE" IT IS 'JUST ANOTHER TRIP': SORT OF ALL IN A DAYS WORK. LUCKY "DIXIE"! Karl R. Koenig.

    Page 8: WHETHER IN ACTIVE SERVICE OR ON DISPLAY, THE CAMINO, PLACER VILLE AND LAKE TAHOE NUMBER TWO IS THE.SAME LOCOMOTIVE. IN THE TOP PHOTO, AT CAMINO ON AUGUST 16, 1953, THE NUMBER 2 WAS STILL HARD AT WORK MAKING MONEY FOR THE LUMBER-HAULING & SHAY-POWERED RAILROAD. IN AUGUST OF 1955, HOWEVER, JUST A PAIR OF YEARS LATER, THE SAME NUMBER 2 WAS FRESHLY DISPLAYED AT TRAVELTOWN IN LOS ANGELES. Both photographs by Leon Callaway.

    Page 9: THE SELDOM-SEEN SHAY'S LEFT SIDE ON #3'S FIRST RUNNING AT SAN DIEGO FOR THE P.S. R. M. A. IN NOVEMBER, 1967.

    Robert Hogan
    Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 7 Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 8 Pacific News - July 1969 - Page 9

    Originally built for the Hutchinson Lumber Company, as their number three, she served the same lines as her sister, the number two (Issue #89). In the latter years of steam on the Feather River Rail way the three-spot and the two were the mainstays of the power stable; working from Land, on theWestern Pacific, to Feather Falls and the mill site. In the end the number two went to the State of California and the number three to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.

    According to Bob DiGiorgio of the Association, the number three is in really fine shape and a pleasure to run. "Those boys at Feather River really took good care of her, " says Bob. The locomotive is in San Diego on a private spur and was joined recently by ex-Georgia Pacific #11, a 2-8-2T from Coos Bay, Oregon. The three-truck number is operated fairly frequently by the group and is available for photographs on most Sundays throughout the summer.

    There could have been twice the number of Shays in the Golden State that there are, if only someone had been interested enough to see it happen. The logging and industrial outfits had the lokies for sale, but no one bought but the scrappers. One could have picked up really fine Shays for only a penny per pound. That's right! Only $.01 per pound… you can't even buy hamburger for THAT.

    However, I suppose we should be thankful the Golden State has as many Shays as it does. Thankful that some men of foresight put their money on the table and walked out with a bargain.

    Article Details

    • Original Author Dan Ranger, Jr.
    • Source Prototype Modeler
    • Publication Date July 1969

    Article Album (6 photos)

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