Saturday, January 14, 2017

Steam Train Trivia

On most steam locomotives the pistons moved back and forth horizontally and directly drove the wheels.  On a Shay locomotive the pistons moved vertically and drove a drive shaft that drove the wheels through gears.  The horizontal design was capable of much greater speeds, in excess of 100 miles per hour, had fewer moving parts and was easier to build and maintain.  The Shay design was capable of carrying heavier loads up steeper grades.  In fact most Shay locomotives were used in industrial applications like logging and steel mills.  

The Cass Valley Scenic Railway in West Virginia, is an old logging line.  Cass runs sightseeing trains using steam powered Shay locomotives.  It is a wonderful ride in the woods up the side of a mountain.  

Have you ever seen a Shay locomotive in operation?  
Have you ever ridden a steam train? 


  1. ex-husband and I rode the cass line.

    current husband and I rode the strasburg railroad (

    steam trains are wicked cool!

  2. Ugh. When I was first working (office work, before my over 30 year nursing career), I travelled into the city every day by train.

    And, yep, you guessed it, this was in the days before Brisbane had electric trains. I'm such an old girl that I'm talking about the mid to late sixties. And yes, Brissie was ridiculously behind the times.

    So steam trains to me meant carrying 2 scarves - one behind your back ans one to sit on to protect your dress, plus lots of grit in your eyes. So no romance in 'em for me.

    1. Today we wait our turn to stick our faces out the side of the train so the grit can blow in our faces.

  3. Father loves trains; we have been on many in his pursuit to find and ride them.

  4. That was a fun trip; pretty too!

  5. My Dad took me to Cass shortly after it opened, early '60s if I recall right.