Willamette Geared Steam Locomotives

Geared Steam Locomotive Works ©

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Courtesy of Rick Henderson's   PC-Rails

anaconda-7a-t1.jpg (15003 bytes)
Anaconda #7 - "Collection of the late Lloyd Graham, from Steve Hauff"

Courtesy of Rick Henderson's   PC-Rails




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Willies were different......


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.


The locomotives were manufactured with three vertical cylinders.
Two and three truck  models were manufactured. 

Classification (Sizes):

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)


Cylinder  Size




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

Geographic Use:

California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Canada


33 were manufactured.

When 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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