Central Oregon Daily▶️ The Mount Emily Shay #1 arrives at Oregon Rail Heritage Center

▶️ The Mount Emily Shay #1 arrives at Oregon Rail Heritage Center

The Mount Emily Shay #1 arrives at Oregon Rail Heritage Center

The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation announced today that the Mount Emily Shay #1 traveled to its new home, the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

RELATED: Historic locomotive in Prineville moving to Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation

RELATED: Historic Mount Emily Shay steam engine loaded up for move from Prineville

You can read the full release from the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation below:

The historic steam logging locomotive Mount Emily Shay #1 traveled by BNSF Railroad on a flatcar to its new home at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, arriving in the early hours of February 15, 2024.

The hundred-year-old locomotive had been in the care of the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) for more than six decades when, in 2022, OHS chose to transfer the Shay to the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation to be its permanent owner.

“We are grateful to OHS and thrilled to be the new operators of the Mount Emily Shay #1,” said Rick Franklin, president of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. “We look forward to entertaining and educating Oregonians of all ages on excursions powered by this grand old lady of Oregon railroading history.”

The Mount Emily Shay #1 was built 100 years ago by the Lima Locomotive Works in Ohio from a design by Ephraim Shay. Shays were geared workhorses of the timber and mining industries. After five years with the Independence Logging Company in Aberdeen, Washington, the Shay was sold to the new Mount Emily Lumber Company in LaGrande, Oregon.

In 1955, the lumber company shut its rail operations and donated the Mount Emily Shay #1 to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, then located in Washington Park. OMSI concluded the locomotive was too big for the Vista Ridge tunnel and, in 1958, donated the engine to the Oregon Historical Society.

It went on long-term loan to the state of West Virginia in 1971 before returning to Oregon in 1994, with the City of Prineville Railway serving as the borrower/caretaker/operator of the locomotive. When the City of Prineville requested an end to the loan agreement, and since OHS is not equipped to house nor operate a locomotive, the organization sought a new steward. A request for proposals was released in April 2022, and the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation was selected to be the new owner of the Mount Emily Shay on September 1, 2022.

OHS Deputy Museum Director Nicole Yasuhara says of the transfer, “The Oregon Historical Society sincerely appreciates the support of the City of Prineville in stewarding and operating the Mount Emily Shay for decades. We are thrilled that the Mount Emily Shay will have a new, permanent home at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, where it will be on view and used for excursions, balancing preservation and access to this important piece of Oregon history.”

“The City of Prineville Railway is pleased that the Mount Emily Shay #1 will have the best care and find new fans at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center,” said Matt Wiederholt, Prineville Railway operations manager.

Before entering service in Portland, the locomotive will undergo a boiler inspection. When ready, the Mount Emily Shay #1 will pull excursions along the Willamette River. It will be the centerpiece of a new exhibit focused on railroading and the logging industry in Oregon and the Northwest.

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