The Shay Runs Again!
On February 26th, 2013, the Shay No. 4 ran again. A grant conceived of, written, and approved of in principle 6 or 7 years ago, was given final authorization to proceed in June, 2010. The grant provided for restoration of the boiler, repair of any running gear, and called for the locomotive to be run on compressed air on the short piece of track where it sits. The Glass family and veteran locomotive repair man, Norm Comer removed the 18,000 lb. boiler, sent it to Torrance, CA where it was ostensibly repaired and returned to the museum, all of which was paid for by the CCOG grant, administered by Calaveras County Department of Public Works. The boiler repair was not properly done and the repair company came and got the boiler, returned it to Torrance, redid what needed to be redone, and returned it to us 4 days before the deadline imposed by the grant. Ron Glass, his sons, Greg, Travis, and Shawn, along with Norm got the engines reattached to the boiler, got the boiler back on the locomotive, and connected the engines to a huge compressor. The Shay was run back and forth to demonstrate the successful completion of the project. Because the locomotive sits beside a public water source, we are not allowed to fire up the boiler, and the grant recognized this, calling for it to run by the compressed air. Our tentative plan is to provide a storage facility that can be charged by a reasonably sized compressor and then it can provide air for demonstrations.In the meantime, work will continue on the trucks, brakes, compressor, many air lines, valves, gauges, generator, cab and tender.
Now that the grant money is spent and so is most of the museum’s Shay account, we could really use some donations to complete our work. See our “Contact Us” page for ways to contact us.
You can see the maiden run by clicking on this link:
A huge thank you to our miracle worker family, Ron, Greg, Travis, and Shawn Glass, plus Ron’s contract worker, Norm, who was worth more than every cent we paid him through Ron.
The history of the locomotive and of our acquisition of it follows.
Yosemite Lumber Company No.4
The Sierra Nevada Logging Museum’s historic Shay steam logging locomotive was built in 1920, was Lima number 3092, and was operated by the Yosemite Lumber Company in the Stanislaus National Forest from 1920 to 1943. The engine is a three-truck, three-cylinder Shay weighing 164,100 pounds. It is standard gauge. It was used to pull log trains from the woods to the top of a large incline near El Portal. From the bottom of the incline the cars were shipped on the Yosemite Valley Railroad.The goal of the Logging Museum is to offer the public the opportunity to see “No. 4” in operation at the Museum site in White Pines, (near Arnold), California.
For a chart of all its mechanical specifications CLICK HERE , but after going to that page, click on number 3092 in the chart on the left side of the page.
The Logging Museum acquired this piece of California’s history for $22,000 in 2004 from the Nevada State Railroad Museum’s collection at Boulder City. The fact that the locomotive survived until we acquired it is a remarkable story in itself.
No. 4 came home from Nevada on a nine-axle low-boy trailer that needed three slow, careful days to reach the Museum site. A team of Museum and locomotive workers installed a short section of rails up to the back of the locomotive’s trailer and the engine was slowly winched down onto its permanent display track. Today it sits above the shore of White Pines Lake where Museum visitors can enjoy it.
The locomotive will undergo extensive restoration to put it back into working order. In Spring 2007, the locomotive’s boiler was formally inspected and found to be in good, restorable condition. The Museum has been awarded a Department of Transportation/CalTrans grant for the mechanical restoration of the locomotive. As of late fall 2007, we are waiting for CalTrans to complete the processing of the grant. In the meantime, we are making sure that we are ready to go with tools and storage facilities when we receive the approval from CalTrans.
Our restoration planner and advisor, Chris Allan of Historic Railway Consultants, estimates that mechanical restoration will take three years. Another year has been allowed for boiler repair and restoration, if on-going inspections show them to be necessary. If all goes well, No. 4 will be completed in 2011.
A condition of the grant is that the Museum match a portion of the contributions from DOT/CalTrans. As part of this matching effort, a special locomotive “No. 4” fund has been set up to handle donations. All contributions to the fund are tax-deductible and will be used exclusively for the locomotive’s restoration. And your donation can bring you a very special No. 4-related gift!
Do you love high-quality train art? Supporters who donate $60 or more will receive an 18” x 24” full color lithograph of No. 4 in morning operation. A second winter scene is also available for the same price. These art prints have been lithographed from original oil paintings by the nationally-recognized railroad artist Patrick Michael Karnahan. The prints are signed and numbered by Patrick with limited runs of 500 copies each. Either print is available for your $60 donation, plus $5 California tax and $5 shipping and handling, for a total cost of $70. These beautiful prints are a great addition to your railroad art collection.
Or maybe you’d like to own an actual part of the Shay as a donation bonus. It is possible. This spring, when we removed the old tubing so the boiler could be inspected, we reserved several of the most colorful boiler tubes. They have been cut into 6-inch lengths and each is mounted on a small display stand. Each tube includes a certificate of authenticity testifying to its being a genuine part of Yosemite Lumber Company Shay No. 4. Each certificate is signed by our Shay project managers, Patrick Karnahan and Ron Glass. The tubes are available for a $20 donation, plus $1.50 sales tax and $6.50 shipping and handling, for a total cost of $28. You really can own part of the Shay!
To donate to the locomotive restoration and place your order for a print or a section of boiler tubing, please send your contribution and request (with name, address and phone number) to: Sierra Nevada Logging Museum, P.O. Box 3619, Arnold, CA 95223. Please enclose your check or money order for $70 (for prints) or $28 (for tubes). At this time, we cannot accept credit cards.
Thank you for your support!
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