Willamette Geared Steam Locomotives
Geared Steam Locomotive Works ©
The Willamettes (pronounced Wil-LAM-it ) or "Willies" as enthusiasts refer to them, are of the Shay "type" of geared locomotive. The manufacturer, Willamette Iron and Steel Works, built the locomotives along the Shay lines because of the latter's success, but utilized as standard equipment, the features or options most in demand by their potential customers, the west coast logging industry. In addition, successful engineering improvements were made to the basic Shay design, which in turn gave the Willamette an edge over the Lima locomotive. The engineering advancements and redesigned features were so impressive, it started a redesign chain reaction with the three major geared locomotive manufacturers of the time. Lima later came out with their "Pacific Coast" Shay, incorporating many of the advancements made by Willamette. Heisler similarly produced what they called the "West Coast Special" enhanced version of their previous design. Climax similarly beefed up their current line but the best I can determine, did not give the enhanced versions any special name.
The manufacturer, Willamette Iron and Steel Works, could legally get by with utilizing the very similar design because the patent for the Shay locomotive had expired several years prior to when their first locomotive was produced.
Three major groups or classifications were produced. Unlike the Heilser, Shay, and Climax where a class lettering system or code was utilized, the Willamette was grouped by a general weight and truck count numbering system. This system is detailed as follows:
Working Order Weight (Tons)
|2||11" x 13"||8|
|3||12" x 15"||12|
|3||12 1/2" x 15"||12|
Willamette Iron and Steel Works of Portland, Oregon USA
California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Canada
33 were manufactured.
1922-1929 ... 8 years
First - November 7, 1922 - c/n 1 was delivered to the Coos Bay Lumber Co of Marshfield, Oregon
Last - December 27, 1929 - c/n 34 was the delivered to J. Neils Lumber Company of Klickitat, Washington
32 burned oil. 1 burned coal (Anaconda #7)
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