News & Reviews News Wire West Side’s wandering Shays: Will No. 14 return to California? NEWSWIRE

West Side’s wandering Shays: Will No. 14 return to California? NEWSWIRE

By Wayne Laepple | September 6, 2019

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West Side Lumber 14, seen meeting Shay 8, in 1958, may return to California.
Stan Kistler, Martin E. Hansen collection
GOLDEN, Colo. — West Side Lumber Co. No 14, a three-foot-gauge three-truck Shay, may return to its original home state of California if discussions between owners Lindsey and Rosa Ashby and the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad at Felton, Calif., are successful.

Reports negotiations are underway to lease and / or purchase No. 14. The locomotive would join West Side Lumber alumni Shay No. 7 and Heisler No. 3. It could move to Felton later this year.

No. 14, a 1916 Lima, had the dubious honor of heading the last train on the famed West Side operation on June 6 and 7, 1961, handling the cleanup of equipment left in the woods when the logging railroad shut down in October 1960.

No. 14 was one of seven Shays operating on the 70-mile logging railroad when it closed. It was sold to a short-lived tourist railroad in California in 1965. It was then acquired by the Ashbys and moved to Colorado, along with West Side Shay No. 12 in 1974. It operated for several years on the Colorado Narrow Gauge Railroad at Central City before moving to Silver Plume and the Georgetown Loop Railroad in 1974. When the Ashbys were unable to renegotiate the operating contract in 2004, No. 14 was moved to the Colorado Railroad Museum at Golden for storage.

One thought on “West Side’s wandering Shays: Will No. 14 return to California? NEWSWIRE

  1. The Roaring Camp & Big Tree is nearly the worst in the tourist train industry for galling up the paint display of their engines. I’ll hate to see what they will do to Number 14. Disney is worst but Knott’s Berry Farm found the marketing of the original Rio Grande Southern was a good policy. As they say, most park visitors care less about the design of the locomotive so why not use the historic image for the visitors who do care to see history, and enjoy the ride? RC&BT should learn they do not need color paint on their black steam engines, as it makes no different with their ridership. Keep #14 looking like West Side Lumber.

    What really should happen is having the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR lease the West Side Lumber #12 and use it from Chama to Cumbres as it is identical to and built from the same plans as the last NG Shay #3345, New Mexico Lumber Co. #7 that was towed twice over Cumbres. WSL #12 is also owned by Mr. Ashley and is stored at Colorado Railroad Museum and is running out of its boiler time before rebuilding and inspection..
    It can pull the same as D&RGW #463 to Cumbres, only taking 10 minutes more time but offering a great variety of sound and history. Variation draws replete riders as well as originality. Shays are not foreign to Chama as three other Shays were often run over Cumbres for various servicing in Alamosa, from Silverton, Edith & Dulce.

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