By Richard "Rick" Henderson
Invented by Ephraim Shay and manufactured by Lima from 1880 to 1945, this unique locomotive is a favorite among rail fans and modelers worldwide. This is a not-for-profit web site, dedicated to researching, recording and sharing of information on the history of all Shay Locomotives.
The major source of data on Shay information, started from Lima's multiple sets of records. These include Specification Pages, Number Records, Serial Number Files, Dead Files, Visit Records, Parts Order Records, memos and correspondences. Many books and articles have been published, included information on Shay's; some dedicated only to the Shay locomotive, others with only a mention of a Shay.
Sometimes, information published in books, based on what was known then, is not always 100% accurate, and cannot be corrected without a later printed edition. This site, started in 1998, is the first on-line site that includes information on all 2,767 Shays built, and a picture of each shay if available. A web site may be updated in minutes, making this the most up to date medium for research.
Information is collected from every known source possible and correlated into the most accurate base of information possible. Mistakes may be made of course, and will be corrected when accurate information is presented. Input of information and corrections is very welcome, however we do ask that you include the source of your correction information.
Pictures on the data sheets are small, and are intended to be a reference picture, only to support the data presented. We cannot send larger original pictures or additional pictures to anyone. This is not a commercial venture. Others have larger pictures for sale and we respect their right to make sales.
The original site site went up in early 1998. The updated complete site, in the current format, went online in April of 2000, and is updated constantly. If you have accurate information to add to or correct, please send it to us. If you want to send a picture of a Shay that is of one not currently shown, a different side view or is of better quality, then the one shown please do so. Include, if known, the Lima shop number in the file name along with photo credit information.
We would also like to offer thanks to the many people who have contributed their time and years of research to help make this site possible for everyone. There have been thousands of emails offering contributions, corrections and updates. These individual submissions help make ShayLocomotives.com the most unique and hopefully accurate source of information on the Lima built Shays.