Experience geared steam action as Heisler, Shay and Climax locomotives launch a new season on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. Ready for the annual Spring photo run is Heisler No. 91, a three truck West Coast Special; former Pickering Lumber Company No. 11, a three truck Pacific Coast Shay built in 1929 by Lima Locomotive Works; and Mt. Rainier’s Climax, the next-to-last of its type ever constructed and the first locomotive restored at the Mt. Rainier shops in southeastern Washington.
These standard gauge oil burners represent the highest level of geared technology developed by each manufacturer. They have plenty of muscle to easily haul heavy lumber up 2.8 percent grades. Close up shots demonstrate the different gear systems in motion. Plus, there are stunning action scenes of all three locomotives pulling uphill side by side.
A surprise debut of saddle tank No. 17, a Minaret Mikado-type steamer, and views of an Alco S1 and a former Northern Pacific F9 add to the adventure. Both passenger and freight trains are headed by some of the most interesting and rarely seen locomotives in existence. It’s a fantastic sight!