by Thomas W. Dixon, Jr.
This fifth volume in the WV Railroads series is a general history of the geared Shay, Climax, and Heisler type locomotives that were so prevalent during the West Virginia logging operations in the era from 1890s until the 1950s. Included are overview histories of each type of engine followed by chapters showing photos of the engines as they were being used in the woods in large and small logging operations. There is a chapter about each of these types, what they were, how they operated, and their advantages-disadvantages. This is followed by a chapter on logging in West Virginia in general including the mills, and how the transportation of logs from the woods to the mill was done over time. The final three chapters deal with the individual geared types, with a chapters each for Shays, Climaxes, and Heislers. Since Shays were the dominant type, they get the most treatment, followed by Climaxes, while the chapter on Heislers is small, there having been only 13 ever used in West Virginia These chapters are mainly photos with extended captions. This book contains much new material and will be useful to those interested in logging operations as well as railroad history of the state.
About the author:
Thomas W. Dixon, Jr. has studied and written about C& O subjects for many years. He organized and has served as president of the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society since its inception in 1969. He has authored or co-authored many books and hundreds of magazine articles and pamphlets.