Cass Projects: Meadow River Shay #7. Sitting on the deadline in the Cass Yard is a little, 70-ton Shay that is missing an awful lot of parts. Were it not for the history that this machine has with the park, and the sentimental value, it might have ended up on the scrap heap a long time ago. This is Meadow River Shay #7. She's a 1920 Lima Product that had a 44 year career with a couple of logging firms and retired in 1964 as the last active logging Shay in West Virginia. She was acquired by the newly-developed Cass Scenic Railroad State park late that year, and arrived under her own power. She was the park's first steam engine. She ran for just 5 years and was the subject of a lot of photography, with her distinctive Radley & Hunter Spark Arrestor Stack. Alas, she developed problems with the front course of her boiler in 1970 and was sidelined. A couple of attempts were made to rebuild her, but none was successful. Over the years, parts were lost to cannibalization as well as an engine house fire. Other parts simply rotted away and were stripped when they were no longer salvageable. What's left is pretty much what you see here.
Although I'm sure some of the long-timers in the Cass Shop would love to see her run again, the hard truth is that they don't need her. The park has 5 operable engines as of May 2014, and with Shay #2 slowly coming back together, and the MSRLHA Climax #9 project entering its final stages, there could ultimately be 7 engines in the Cass Stable. With that much power in the barn, it would be tough to justify restoring another, small 70-tonner. So for now, #7 will sit, perhaps awaiting a day when the resources become available for a good cosmetic restoration.