Here are some links and resources you might find useful if you are interested in railroad and logging history:

Locomotive Information

  • Climax Locomotives: Nice site with lots of info on the geared steam locomotives produced in Corry, Pennsylvania. While I was infected early on with a love of Shays at Cass, I have to admit the underdog Climax is growing on me.
  • Geared Steam: Site with varied information on all makes of geared locomotives, including those which weren’t seen much in Pennsylvania.

Sampling the Experience

  • Cass Scenic Railroad: Visit a historic West Virginia logging company town preserved as a state park and experience actual operating Shay, Heisler, and (soon?) Climax geared steam locomotives climbing brutal grades on a real logging railroad route. There is simply no other place like it in the East.
  • Durbin and Greenbrier Railroad — Durbin Rocket: This railroad operates a variety of interesting train trips not far from Cass. Their ‘Durbin Rocket’ train is pulled by a 55-ton class B Climax steam locomotive, built in 1910 for Moore-Keppel Lumber in Randolph County, WV.
  • Out west: There are a number of railroads operating geared locomotives on the west coast, but I don’t have first hand knowledge of them.


  • Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania: Static display of Climax, Shay, and Heisler geared steam locomotives.
  • Pennsylvania Lumber Museum: State museum displays a 1912 Shay steam locomotive, a Barnhart steam-powered log logger, and a recreated log camp and sawmill. Visit July 4th weekend when the hills echo with the sound of their operating steam sawmill, as they winch logs from the millpond and saw them into lumber.
  • Corry Area Historical Society: This group apparently owns and displays a Climax type B locomotive, built in Corry, at Mead Park.
  • North Carolina Transportation Museum: In addition to being a really fine all-around railroad museum, they have a 1925 Shay geared locomotive, although I don’t believe it is currently operating.

A survey of historic logging (and other) railroads in central Pennsylvania and beyond.