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Shay Locomotives In Utah

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on June 24, 2015.

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Overview

A Shay locomotive was a type of steam locomotive that was operated with gears and driveshafts, instead of instead of the driverods used by normal steam locomotives. Shay locomotives allowed operations over railroad lines that were steep, and which used lots of curves. There were several mining companies in Utah that used Shay locomotives, as well as the larger railroads as well.

There were 36 Shay locomotives in Utah, based on available information from multiple sources. Of the 36 locomotives, 22 were standard-gauge, ten were 36-inch narrow-gauge, two were 42-inch narrow-gauge, and two were 30-inch narrow-gauge. All were used on mining railroads, or at least to serve a stone quarry. (This total does not include the Uintah Railway, which operated mostly in Colorado; Read more about the Uintah Railway)

The Shay Locomotive

The following list of Shay locomotives used in Utah comes from an original listing completed in August 1980, which itself was extracted from "The Shay Locomotive - Titan of the Timber" by Michael Koch (World Press, 1971). Additional information noted includes:

p. 86 Classification:

  • Class A - two cylinders, two trucks -- 10 - 20 tons
  • Class B - three cylinders, two trucks -- 24 - 60 tons
  • Class C - three cylinders, three trucks -- 70 - 125 tons
  • Class D - three cylinders, four trucks -- 150 tons

p. 88, 89 photos of Union Pacific and Denver and Rio Grande Western shays

p. 155 photo Salt Lake and Mercur #10 (Mildred Larsen Collection)

p. 156 photo Salt Lake and Mercur #1, 3 (Ted Wurm Collection)

The List

(Unless noted, all Shays in Utah were standard gauge)

Lima
Number
Date Lima
Class
Gauge Cylinders Wheels Notes
130 14 May 1885 A 12-2 30 inches 9x8 inches 24 inches Crescent Mining no. 1
226 22 Nov 1888 B 28-2 36 inches 10x10 inches 28 inches Salt Lake & Fort Douglas no. 226
Utah Central no. 7
295 26 Jul 1890 A 20-2   9x8 inches 26 inches Ogden City Railway no. 10
Salt Lake & Mercur no. 1
327 27 Feb 1891 B 28-2   12x10 inches 29-1/2 inches Utah Central no. 327
339 7 Apr 1891 A 20-2 36 inches 9x8 inches 26 inches Crescent Mining no. 2
461 24 May 1894 C 80-3   (3) 15x14 inches 39 inches Boston Consolidated no. 10
489 2 May 1895 B 28-2   10x10 inches 28 inches Salt Lake & Mercur no. 2
511 6 Jun 1895 B 28-2   10x12 inches 28 inches New East Tintic no. 10
San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake no. 60
513 26 Jun 1896 B 28-2   10x10 inches 28 inches Salt Lake & Mercur no. 3
540 11 Dec 1897 B 50-2 36 inches 12x12 inches 36 inches Little Cottonwood no. 2
563 7 Dec 1898 B 50-3   12x12 inches 32 inches Salt Lake & Mercur no. 5
598 26 Apr 1900 B 50-3   12-1/2x12 inches 32 inches Salt Lake & Mercur no. 7
674 11 Jan 1902 B 65-3   13x13 inches 33 inches New East Tintic no. 11
San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake no. 59
761 9 Apr 1904 C 85-3   14x15 inches 40 inches Copper Belt no. 3
843 1 Jan 1904 B 65-3   12x15 inches 32 inches Copper Belt no. 2
911 23 Aug 1904 C 65-3   12x15 inches 36 inches Newhouse Mines & Smelters no. 1
1585 20 Nov 1905 C 85-3   14x15 inches 40 inches Copper Belt no. 4
1672 5 Apr 1906 A 20-2 36 inches 8x8 inches 26 inches Little Cottonwood no. 3
1673 5 Apr 1906 A 20-2 36 inches 8x8 inches 26 inches Little Cottonwood no. 4
1787 22 Dec 1906 B 60-3   12x12 inches 32 inches Salt Lake & Mercur no. 9
1801 20 Dec 1906 C 85-3   14x15 inches 40 inches Copper Belt no. 5  (photo)
1812 4 Mar 1907 C 85-3   13x15 inches 36 inches San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake no. 61
1967 24 Aug 1907 C 70-3   12x15 inches 36 inches Kenilworth & Helper no. 100
1983 25 Jul 1907 A 28-2 36 inches 8x10 inches 36 inches Eureka Hill no. 1
2068 4 Apr 1908 C 70-3 36 inches 12x15 inches 36 inches Eureka Hill no. 2
2109 19 Aug 1908 C 70-3 36 inches 12x15 inches 36 inches Eureka Hill no. 3
2124 21 Jan 1909 C 70-3   12x15 inches 36 inches Kenilworth & Helper no. 101
2151 24 Mar 1909 C 70-3 36 inches 12x15 inches 32 inches Eureka Hill no. 4
2194 14 Jul 1909 B 24-2 36 inches 8x8 inches 26 inches Little Cottonwood no. 1
2274 15 Mar 1910 C 70-3   12x15 inches 36 inches Southern Utah no. 50
2434 31 May 1911 C 90-3   14-1/2x15 inches 36 inches Kenilworth & Helper no. 150
2703 29 Sep 1913 C 90-3   14-1/2x15 inches 36 inches Kenilworth & Helper no. 151
2715 8 Nov 1913 B 42-2   10x12 inches 29 inches Salt Lake & Alta no. 1
2955 31 Dec 1917 B 28-2 42 inches 8x10 inches 27 inches Independent Coal & Coke no. 1
3132 22 Oct 1920 B 28-2 42 inches 8x10 inches 27 inches Independent Coal & Coke no. 2
3324 30 Aug 1928 B 24-2 36 inches 8x8 inches 29 inches Utah Iron Ore Corporation no. 4

Uintah Railway

Uintah Railway was 36-inch narrow gauge line in eastern Utah and western Colorado, known as the "crookedest railroad in the world." Of its 62-mile mainline between Mack, Colorado and Watson, Utah, the railroad operated only 12 miles in Utah. It served Watson, Utah, as its western terminal, and included the four-mile Uintah Branch and the one-mile Black Dragon Branch, that each served several uintaite (Gilsonite) mines in Utah, and transported the mined Gilsonite eastward to Mack, Colorado.

While the Uintah Railway is one of the more interesting Western railroads, and is closely followed by its fans, it is not covered as part of the railroads of Utah, along with its locomotives.

Uintah Railway was based in Colorado and crossed the Colorado-Utah line as part of its route to access and ship asphaltum rock, known by its commercial name of "Gilsonite," found nowhere else in the world. The mines were in Utah, but all management and maintenance for the railroad were on the Colorado side.

(Read more about Uintah Railway)

Nevada-Utah Mines & Smelters Corporation

Several lists show a Shay locomotive (Lima 362, June 1891) owned by Nevada-Utah Mines & Smelters Corporation at Milford, Utah. Research has found that the Milford location was merely a post office address for one of the company offices.

Nevada-Utah Mines & Smelters Corporation, a Utah corporation, was a securities-holding company that had purchased the holdings of the former Pioche Consolidated Mines Company of Pioche, Nevada (very successful in the 1870-1876 timeframe), but also owned several mining claims in Bingham Canyon, Utah, and in Beaver County, Utah, near Milford. The location near Milford was for its holdings in the Comet mine, near the much more successful Cactus mine of Newhouse Mines & Smelters, but the Comet mine was never a serious shipper of ore, and did not have railroad service.

Nevada-Utah Mines & Smelters Corporation was reorganized in 1913 as Consolidated Nevada-Utah Corporation.

(Read more about Nevada-Utah Mines & Smelters -- including its Shay locomotives, keeping in mind that this particular Shay did not operate in Utah)

The 1907 issue of The Copper Handbook, Volume VI, page 851, described the Pioche holdings of Nevada-Utah Mines & Smelters Corporation, saying, "A 700' Leschen [sic] aerial tramway is being built from the May Day shaft to ore bins on the mine's private railway, running from the mine to Pioche, which has been reconstructed and put in operation."

This particular Shay locomotive (Lima 362, June 1891) was a small 10 ton, two-truck model, and was better known as being used on the "Jack Rabbit" railroad, and later the "Pioche Pacific" railroad. (see Myrick's "Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California, Volume II," pages 697-708, which includes several photos of the Shay, and the saddle-tank Porter 0-6-2 that replaced it in 1908.) (see also Robertson's "Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History, The Desert States," page 158)

Shays at UtahRails

(First published to the UtahRails.net blog on May 30, 2011)

Back in August 1980, I first saw Michael Koch's book, "The Shay Locomotive - Titan of the Timber," published in 1971. I was just getting started with my interest in Utah railroads, and Ralph Gochnour lent me his copy. I compiled a list of Shay locomotives in Utah, and returned the book to Ralph. At first, the list was handwritten, and later it was transcribed as a typewritten list. I would come across that list numerous times as I was looking for some other bit of information, thinking that someday, I need to do something about Shays in Utah.

That task is now done. I have created a new page about Shays in Utah, taking the opportunity to gather whatever I could to have a separate page for each locomotive. If the locomotive was part of a larger roster of locomotives, then it is shown among the railroad's entire group. There were some cases in which I had nothing. The remedy was then to do some research and build the story, such as the pages for Ogden Street Railways.

Thirty years later, it's nice to have yet another "someday" project completed. There are several more "someday" projects, so work will continue. Stay tuned.

More Information

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