A dominating presence. Even in a building as large as the Cass Shops, the 162-ton, Western Maryland Shay #6 absolutely dominates the workspace. Built in 1945 by the Lima Locomotive Works for the Western Maryland Railroad, this gargantuan 3-Truck Shay was built to haul coal trains on the railroad's Chaffee Branch, which had grades up to 9%. She was the last and second largest Shay ever built. Alas, she came along right at the end of the steam era and her working career was just a short 4 years. Retired and stored, she was eventually donated to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, where she remained for 26 years. In 1981, she was exchanged to the Cass Scenic Railroad for a couple of older, smaller and more historic pieces. She's been a tourist-hauler ever since and is fully capable of pushing the railroad's peak traffic, Bald Knob trains without help. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this engine is that as huge as she is, she's still a hand-bomber. One look at the "bowling alley" she has for a firebox, and you'll have no envy for her fireman.
The "Big Six" is pictured here inside the Cass Shops in late April of 2017, awaiting some maintenance. Apparently, she developed a minor boiler leak of some kind, and the actual fix will be pretty easy. Unfortunately, the problem is located behind the running gear and the disassembly and reassembly work necessary to get at the problem will require several weeks of work. She is expected to be in operation during the peak tourist season of 2017 as she runs out the last 100 or so operating days before an upcoming 1,472-day inspection.