Shay Locomotive Classes

SN-2617 is often called a Class C Shay. However, it is also a class 60-3 or 60 ton - 3 truck Shay. Lima did not assign class codes to early Shay locomotives. We show both the letter system and the ton/trucks under class and have applied the appropriate letter code to the earlier Shays.

The Whyte's system of classification is used to describe the wheel arrangement of conventional steam locomotives and was not intended to cover geared locomotives, so Shays do not fall under it.

A class system, developed by Lima Locomotive Works for the Shay locomotives, came years after the first Shays were built. As almost all Shays were built to order, you may find some that don't exactly match any line on the chart. The class listings in 1911 by Lima were:

Shay Locomotive Standard Class Models
Class Code Weight in Tons Trucks Cylinders Wheel Base Drivers Boiler Pressure Water in Gallons Tractive Power Hauling Capacity in Tons
No. Diam " Stroke " Rigid Total '-" No. Diam "
Class A Shays 2 cylinders & 2 trucks
Ab 10 2 2 5 8 36 15'4" 8 20 150psi 300 3460 422
Abe 13 2 2 6 10 48 18'10" 8 22 160psi 400 6050 643
Able 18 2 2 7 12 50 21'0" 8 26 160psi 730 8330 1023
Abler 20 2 2 8 12 50 23'2" 8 26 160psi 830 10270 1265
Class B Shays 3 cylinders & 2 trucks
Bay 24 2 3 8 8 50 21'11" 8 27.5 160psi 830 10280 1261
Bale 28 2 3 8 10 50 24'4" 8 27.5 160psi 850 12860 1580
Baler 32 2 3 8 12 50 25'5" 8 29 160psi 1000 14150 1736
Ballad 36 2 3 10 10 50 26'5" 8 29 180psi 1200 14320 1756
Balloon 42 2 3 10 12 50 28'6" 8 29.5 180psi 1560 16900 2070
Baluster 50 2 3 11 12 52 28'10" 8 32 180psi 1750 22580 2775
Balustrad 60 2 3 12 12 56 32'8" 8 36 200psi 2000 23890 2928
Class C Shays 3 cylinders & 3 trucks
Cap 70 3 3 12 15 52 40'2" 12 36 200psi 3000 30350 3723
Care 80 3 3 13.5 15 56 44'6" 12 36 200psi 3000 35100 4305
Carat 90 3 3 14.5 15 56 43'3.5" 12 36 200psi 3500 40400 4960
Carbon 100 3 3 15 17 58 45'6" 12 40 200psi 4000 44100 5411
Capture 125 3 3 17 18 64 46'10" 12 46 200psi 4000 53000 6500
Class D Shay 3 cylinders & 4 trucks
Dan 150 4 3 17 18 64 58'4" 16 46 200psi 8000 53000 6475


Last Updated on 04/26/2000
By Rick Henderson