Shay Logging Locomotives at Cass West Virginia 1900-1960 By Philip Bagdon HC

Shay Logging Locomotives at Cass West Virginia 1900-1960 By Philip Bagdon HC

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Shay Logging Locomotives at Cass West Virginia 1900-1960 By Philip Bagdon HC
 
Shay Logging Locomotives at Cass West Virginia 1900-1960 By Philip Bagdon Hard Cover 2001 Service profiles and incidents, the men who ran the engines, West Virginia Spruce Lumber company (greenbrier & Elk River Railroad), West Virginia Pulp & paper Co (Greenbrier Cheat & Elk RR), The Mower Lumber Co.   104 Pages
Had it not been for a rather miraculous turn of events during 1960-61, this account would be devoid of any significant contemporary connections -just another dead railroad with relatively compelling locomotive story. Once the Cass logging line closed, Shay geared steam engines, some cars and about 11 miles of battered track shouldn't have survived the junkman's call. But they did. And a West Virginia State Park opened in 1963 has gone on to earn international acclaim.
Hard-working geared steam power and associated time-honored traditions punctuate the wonders of Cass. Word continues to spread: the mountain line's steep grades and sharp curves equate into Cass being the place to go for living history.
In the contemporary setting, regardless of what engines you find in steam on any given day (usually three), there's always at least an indirect connection with the past. Even most recent arrival, former Feather River Shay No. 3, blends into the on-going saga quite nicely. One school of thought would have us consider the entire span of Cass railroading and its geared steam: the all-time total -including operating aliens which have entered service between 1965 and 1999 - stands at 25 Shays, one Climax and one Heisler.
This book celebrates the 17 Shays and one Climax that served the Cass logging railroad. In parallel, there is a story of men - those who ran, fired and repaired the engines. Shays No. 5 and No. 4 (2nd), on-premise survivors of the bygone era, are familiar to many readers. Permit me to springboard off the living history associated with these two fine, noble engines, hereby acknowledge their many years of scenic railroad activity and jump to the chase; Cass Chapter One will be our focus.
It's a distinct pleasure to present this material. Cass has been one of my primary interests for more than 35 years. Hopefully, you will find the book well-executed and insightful - a winning combination of great old photos, essential facts and data and entertaining oral history. Effort has been made to steer clear of both nostalgia and twaddle. Based on what former Cass railroaders told me, Oh, for the good old days! doesn't play; through the years, author's twaddle has derailed a disproportionate number of railroad books.
Applying information and stories gathered from old-timers (finally after 25 years!) is a source of considerable joy. Listening to first-hand accounts and often being in the position to ask questions aplenty are cherished memories.
Now the old-timers are all long gone and further unraveling of the locomotive story represents challenge. For every question answered, as might be expected, there's at least two-new curiosities beckoning exploration. Matters that arose while writing this book point to a variety of locomotive and operational details never being resolved.
Omitting certain angles because of holes and non-arrived conclusions precludes the possibility of information surfacing via readers. An avid protector of the "true history" who has heard a lot of bunk through the years, I approach matter lacking details and/or conclusions with caution.

Photo captions connect names to faces in all cases where information is available (it doesn't take long to figure out who Piney Williams is, but otherwise I don't take stabs). Descendants are invited to address the issue for a revised printing.
My commitment to a publication schedule (put it to bed, now!) brings rise to double jeopardy: text citings about the Cass Historical Museum stand, despite its sudden fall into limbo. The situation is anticipated to be short-term. But should protracted closure ensue, this preemptive note will serve to reduce the author's nagging plight.


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