The 1st to reach Cass was a 40 ton 2 truck (40-2) shay with 15,740 lbs. of tractive
effort. It was purchased from Lima Locomotive Works (cn-630) new. It arrived one week
after the C&O Greenbrier Branch reached Leatherbark on December 22,
1900. It served the G&E - GC&E for 15 yrs. Shay 1
was named "old Barney" by the loggers and engineers, it was well know for
pushing fourteen cars up Cass Hill which has a rather
The the next locomotive to come to Cass was a little 25ton 2 truck shay sn-662 on lease
from M. P. Brock Lumber Co., #1, Boyer, WV in 1901. I believe it was #1 for G&E also.
Old Barney was replace by a second number one (cn-1519) in 1915 this 65 ton 3 truck
shay had 29,800 lbs. of tractive effort. It came from Huntley Lumber Co. in Ronceverte,
WV. Shay 1 served GC&E until Mower took over the operation at cass, then in 59' was
used as a steam source at the mill in big snows. In 1960 it was sold to a scrap
company and used to bring metal of the mountain and later was acquired by the state of WV
for excursions on Cass Scenic Railroad. In 1980 the CSRR made a deal with the B&O
museum to get a Western Maryland 162 ton 3 truck shay (Big 6) which is the 2nd biggest
shay ever built, and the last commercially built shay from Lima.
Shay 2 came to Cass in 1902 and was a 50-3 (cn-754). It was sold in in 1904 to
Trexler & Turrell railroad company.
The 2nd shay 2 came in 1904 new from Lima (cn-836). It was scrapped between 1931-33. It
was mainly used on Cass Hill until bigger engines took over thus moving it to the woods.
This Shay came to Cass in 1903 it was a 65 ton 3 truck shay (cn-754) it served until
1928 and was scrapped between 31'-32'.
The first Shay 4 came to Cass in 1904, it was a 75 ton, 3 truck shay with 35,102 lbs of
tractive effort (cn-926). It was used mainly on Cass Hill to bring logs to the mill
in Cass. Up to that date, this was the biggest engine yet. When she came the rest of the
engines were used in the back woods She ran Cass Hill until they needed bigger engines to
bring more logs down, when production picked up in the 20's.
The 2nd shay 4 came in 1943 to work for the Mower Lumber Co. it was bought from the
Birch Valley Lumber Co. in Tioga WV, my grandfather worked this engine and another similar
engine when it was new. It was a 70 ton 3 truck shay (cn-3189). It was used to bring
Logs off the mountain in the last days of the MLC. this engine was never really retired,
it was use to bring scrap off the mountain until it was bought by the state of WV to be
ran on the Cass Scenic Railroad for excursions, and it is still used.
Shay 5 is the only engine left Cass Scenic RR that was bought new for the G&E
railroad and survived. It has been through all the name changes of the railroad, all the
snow , and all the wrecks, I guess that is why it is a favorite of the Engineers at
It was bought new in 1905 to run Cass Hill with 4 until it was replaced by a
bigger engines. Then it was used to run long trips along the cheat river with 1 and 4.
Shay 5 was 80 tons, and had 3 trucks with 35,100 lbs of TE. The Cn# is (1503) . It
was used until 1958 when it was put behind the mill and used for steam. There it's
cylinder froze, cracked, thus was put is out of service. It was sold for scrap, and was
bought by the state in 62' and put back into service.
Shay 6 was bought from the Lewisburg & Ronceverte R.R. in 1914 G&E it was
70 tons, and 3 trucks. TE was 29,800 lbs. (cn-1907). It was used on the Cheat River Div.
until it was sold to Preston County Coal Co. in 1947.
Shay 7 was bought new for GC&E in 1912 (cn-2563) It was 42 tons and only 2 trucks
16,900 lbs of TE they used it for 5 years until they sold it to Deep Run Big Vein Coal
Co., (Deep Run RR), #2563, Shaw, WV.
Shay 8 was to be the biggest yet, it was 100 tons and 3 trucks (cn-2583). It came to
Cass in 1912. Tractive effort was 44,100, they used this engine to bring loads of logs off
Cass Hill. since it was a big engine it could bring 8 to10 cars off the mountain at one
time, it was also used to take trains up grade from Slaty Fork to Spruce, 8 and 11 are the
engines that kicked 1, 4, and 5 to the Back woods. They used this engine until 1931, then
it was placed on the Dead line and scraped in 39'. :(
Climax 9 was purchased from Southern Iron and Equipment Co. of Norfolk as (6) for the
WVP&PCo. It was bought in 4-12, but it was sent to a dam site in Grant County. When it
was brought to Cass in the latter part of 1913 it was rostered as 6. In 1914 when Shay
cn-1907 came, Climax 6 was out of place, so to correct this problem, and to honor that
this was the only engine of its kind on the logging operation, her number plate was turned
up side down. She had 3 trucks and weighed ? sn-534. It was used at Cass until 1918
when it was disposed.
Shay 10 was purchased new and numbered 10 because because the Climax was 9, it was 70
tons and 3 trucks (cn-2765) it had 30,350 lbs of TE. It was built for the Canadian
Government, but it was never shipped thus ended in the hands of the WVP&PCo.
It mainly was a middle engine running any where it was needed, it was even used for the
C&O a few times.
Shay 11 was bought new for the GC&E in 1914, it was a very large shay as was 8.
Shay 11 weighed 100 tons and had 3 trucks (cn- 2779). It was used mainly on Cass Hill and
long runs upgrade from Slaty Fork to Spruce with 8. Shay 11 was know to have made more
trips to spruce than any other in GC&E's collection. It served until she was retired
in 1931 and was finally scraped in 1939.
Shay 12 was a whopping 150 tons (sn-3156) it came to Cass in 1921 with 59,740 of TE,
for the GC&E. It was used on Cass Hill to to take a load of empties to Slaty Fork
through Spruce, there picking up 14 cars and taking them up the 3% grade to Spruce
ready for the next days trip to Cass. It took this 44 mile round trip 6 days a week. In
1928 it was running from Bemis to Fishing Hawk Run an 85 mile run. This engine as
you know was bought as a 3 truck shay but with all of these long runs frequent
water were needed so to solve this problem the shop at Cass were to add a fourth truck. So
in 1933 Herb Shaffer and the shop crew at Cass, with help from personal of Lima added the
forth truck for a cost of $560. This boosted the weight to some where in between
196 - 203 tons making Shay 12 the biggest to ever operate. It operated until
about 1950 when it was scrapped. (What a Loss!!!):(
Since shay 12 was so popular they bought a four truck shay. They bought it form the
C&O in 1923, it was 150 tons and had 4 trucks. It had 53,000 lbs. of TE (sn-1586). It
was used on the long runs like shay 12. In March 1942 it failed an Boiler inspection
so it was taken out of service, and in1955 it was scrapped.
Just like 12 and 13, Shay 14 was 150 tons. Shay 14 was purchased by the C&O as was
13 (sn-2248) . It was 3 trucked, the tractive effort was 53,000 lbs. It served until it
was no longer needed and sold in 1932.
All three 12,13,&14 would run the trip from Slaty Fork to Spruce twice daily and
longer trains up Cheat River to Spruce, and Elk River to Slaty Fork. A report showed that
these engines, 8 and 11 could haul 57 cars at one time up the 3% grade from Slaty Fork to
Spruce, with 8 and 11 on the lead, 12 in the middle, and 13 and 14 pushing in the rear.
Note: I have given information on what they did at Cass, and the
date they came but not detailed things like cylinder size, so if you want that information
look at the sn # and go to ShayLocomotive.Com.
Also I would like to thank the late Phil Bagdon for
all his help putting this together. His knowledge will be sorely