Shay - First Run
The first run was on April 28th, 2004. It was a very sunny warm day. My son accompanied me ---- I suspect he didn't want to miss the explosion. We arrived at the track about noon.
Summary: The good news is that the locomotive seemed to run very well. We did one test where we were pulling a couple cars uphill with Dan and Andy riding. Dan was able to stop the locomotive with his feet ---- but he said it wasn't easy. The wheels will stop without spinning. The operation seemed to deteriorate with use. That is more evident now than it was at the time. The problem was with the steaming --- it became more difficult to maintain pressure. I also see from several of the photos above that it was smoking indicating that the burner was too rich. After I got it home I found that several of the blower holes were plugged which explains why the burner couldn't be lit. Also, there was quite a bit of soot in the tubes. The next step is to enlarge those blower holes so that they don't plug so easily. Then a a bit of effort to optimize the steaming capability.
Special thanks to Dick McCloy and the gang at Mill Creek Central for their help and support. Thanks also to Dan Sharon who has been a great resource as we a both building a shay. Dan took many of the photos on this page.