Senior Editor, SLc
I am a retired Firefighter/Paramedic from Prince George's County Maryland who enjoys all things Shay. After my early retirement in 1982 due to 5 back injuries, two nearly fatal, I was able to devote a lot more time to my hobby of model railroading and Shay locomotives.
I have been into model railroading since 1953 in scales from N to 1:8 riding scale. My modeling interests turned to geared locomotives in HO scale in the 1970's and later G gauge when it come available. Since my retirement, I have managed two hobby shops in Virginia, worked on building many model railroads for myself and others and was with a railroad museum for three years in San Antonio TX.
My current work with the Shay history, publishing the website and writing a book became possible with the availability of good computer database software. For the 2776 Shays, there are now over 51,000 lines of data that have been input, including every bit of known data, correct and incorrect.
The one thing I did have to learn to create the website with close to 3000 different pages was HTML programming. I created the site so any Shay could be found by shop number in three clicks from the front page. A fast search by owner name is being written and should go online about the time the book is published.
Why did I go to all this effort for free? I saw the book "The Shay Locomotive" by Michael Koch, published in 1971, sell for $20 at a White Elephant table in 1982, and the person checking it in actually put it under the table for himself. It took me a few years to find my own copy and cost me $125. Koch's book has sold for as much as $800 that I know of and is still hard to find. As I was starting this site, Thomas Lawson Jr. published his SHAY the Supplement, which corrected or updated over 1000 items in the 1971 Shay book. The need for a website with complete current information was obvious.
This is actually my second Shay Locomotive site and the first to include ALL of Lima's Shays. I published this new site in April of 2000 and with the help of the staff of John Benson and George Kadelak and it has grown ever since.