Paride Dโ€™ Agostini : Le locomotive Shay

Locomotive Shay

To know about the artist

To know about the artist

Paride D’Agostini: Shay Locomotives

(First Half)

(Written by P.G.)

Gatto su albero

Who better than an artist like Paride d’ Agostini, who likes to paint the trees, could introduce us into the world of American forest railways?

fig a (Copia)

The United States is a country very rich in forests in some of which tower redwoods are more than two thousand years old,


which can undoubtedly be considered the oldest living things in the world ….

fig 01 (Copia)
Towards the middle of the ‘800 have been introduced the first railways for the transport of logs from the forests to the sawmills or stations of the newborn railway networks.

American forest railways require locomotives that can travel very sinuous paths with sharp bends.

And so that Ephraim Shay,

Shaya brilliant lumberjack Haring (Michigan),

il boscaiolo

has the bright idea to equip a flat wagon bogies with a boiler that supplied by vertical cylinders placed on one side of the wagon and that,

fig 02 Shay_Patent (Copia)in turn transmit the motion, via telescopic shafts fitted with universal joints and gears, the axes of the bogies.

fig 03 (Copia)
The boiler of these machines is offset with respect to the axis of the frame to compensate for the weight of the cylinders and of the transmission.

fig 04 (Copia)
The first locomotive thus conceived is assembled in 1875,

fig 05 (Copia)

is successfully tested on a railroad forest,

fig 06 (Copia)

giving rise to the nice family of Shay locomotives ……

fig 07 (Copia)

..that are also used on railways mining.

fig 08 (Copia)

ย … and whose last one was built in 1945.

fig 09 (Copia)
These machines are initially constructed by LIMA Locomotives Corporation, licensee of the patent Shay, then by other American manufacturers.

Gran Canyon

Over a hundred specimens of these machines have been preserved, and some you can admire all now in operation on private railways or tourism, for example, in Colorado.

fig 10 (Copia)

During the time that I have worked in the United States, I am passionate to these locomotives and their handcrafted reproductions brass in HO scale. Those shown below are all driven by tiny motors housed in the boiler, which operate like in the reality, the whole of the transmission.
This locomotive narrow gauge (3 ‘gauge), called “ink-pot” (ink) because of the vertical boiler, was produced in 30 specimens from a craftsman American on behalf of the North-West Short Line.

fig 11 (Copia)

It consists of more than 300 brass parts and its assembly took about 40 hours of work

fig 12 (Copia)
In service in reality at the Benson Log Co. (3 “gauge) that Shay was reproduced in 200 specimens from KMT behalf of United.

fig 13 (Copia)

It was assembled by hand with about 50 hours of work from more than 350 details ….

fig 14 (Copia)
Equally built by KMT on behalf of United in 100 specimens (almost 400 special and 60 hours of work)

fig 15 (Copia)

the prototype of this locomotive served on Mich.Cal.Lumber Co. too ‘it gauge 3 “….

fig 16 (Copia)
Three-cylinder engine at standard gauge

fig 17 (Copia)

built in 50 specimens from an American United craftsman

fig 18 (Copia)

(about 400 details and 60 hours of work) ….

fig 19 (Copia)
Shay three-cylinder standard gauge, model built by Atlas on behalf of Pacific Fast Mail

fig 20 (Copia)

in 50 specimens (422 details and 60 hours of work) ….

fig 21  (Copia)

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(@ April 19, 2015)

(Second Half will be ready on September/October 2015)