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Pick your Shay

Shay 1  Shay 8

Shay 2  Climax 9

Shay 3  Shay 10

Shay 4 Shay 11

Shay 5 Shay 12

Shay 6 Shay 13

Shay 7 Shay 14


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Cass Scenic Railroad
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Chesapeake & Ohio
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 The railroad at Cass operated under a subsidiary  of the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Co. named West Virginia Spruce Lumber Co.  It was originally to be called Greenbrier & Cheat River Railroad but it fell through, so it was called Greenbrier and Elk River Railroad. After 1905 the railroad went through a succession of name changes. The Greenbrier & Elk River became the Greenbrier, Elk & Valley Railroad in 1909, only to become the Greenbrier, Cheat & Elk Railroad (GCS&E) in 1910. Then in 1942 WVP&PCo. sold all of its operations in Cass to Mower Lumber Co.

 Short Version

Shay 1 

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 steep grade.

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

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.

Shay 3

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'.

Shay 4

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

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 CSRR.   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

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

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

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

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

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. In 1914. 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

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

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 stops for 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!!!):( 


Shay 13

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.  

Shay 14

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 missed.


History - a short introductory to what Cass once was.

Roster - Cass Shays from 1901-1963.


Photos - Always something new.







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