The Shay Saga

#1 cylinder, top view.

#1 cylinder, top view.

Volunteer Ron Sloan demonstrates the challenge in accessing the #1 cylinder.

Volunteer Ron Sloan demonstrates the challenge in accessing the #1 cylinder.

The current Sierra #2 Shay locomotive continues to challenge with unresolved performance issues. 

One thing is always certain–when the Shay needs work, Ron Sloan is there.  Ron might very well be the only volunteer at Railtown who  worked on steam locomotives in the steam era.  In his 20s, Ron worked as a locomotive fireman.  Later, he had a successful career as a professional photographer.  Since 1999 he’s been a volunteer at Railtown, working about 2 days a week (sometimes more)  on the locomotive. 

Whether it’ll be running tomorrow or not, is still up in the air.  Call 209-984-3953 for the latest update.  But, with volunteers like Ron, we’ll be running steam again soon, that’s for sure!

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