“The Shay” is one of the very few American locomotives I like. A while ago I learned that two of these delightful machines designed by Ephraim Shay (17 July 1839 – 19 April 1916) were shipped to Europe. What surprised me most was that one of them ended up in Romania.
The engine having the shop number 2504 was built in 20 March 1912. According to the Lima class listings in 1911, this was a Class A (Able), 18 ton, two trucks, and two cylinders. More technical details can be found on the excellent web site ShayLocomotives.com.
The company commissioned to ship the locomotive to Europe was “The Cunard S. S. Co.”, New York City, NY, for “Karl Petrachek”, Vienna, Austria. In the next years the locomotive was sent to different locations in Central and Eastern Europe but she didn’t see much service:
- 1912: Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co. (D), Linz, Austria, sent for demonstration purposes
- November 1912: Put in storage, unsold, Linz, Austria
- August 1917: Torda Cement, Torda, Transylvania, Hungary (Austro-Hungarian Empire)
- October 1917: Stored unused
- 1 December 1918: Turda Cement, Turda, Transylvania, Romania (company, town and country name changed); still stored unused
- Bosna Forestry RY, Begov Han, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Yugoslavia
She was tried out initially on the Salzkammergut Lokalbahn but didn’t meet the expecations. Subsequently it was offered to the Cisna-Kalnica railway (now in Poland) and also the Steyrtalbahn without success (source). She was scrapped before 1940.