Keystone/NWSL "Class A" Shay

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Bucks Owin, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Bucks Owin

    Bucks Owin New Member

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    Hi all.

    Has anyone built or does anyone own one of these little 20 ton Shays? I'm gonna build my HOn3 kit "one of these days" and I'm just curious how well they run. Thanks :cool:
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Hi Dennis, nice to hear from you. Are you talking about the little 20 ton Shay by Benson (Brass) did have one at one time, but prefer the larger type.
    Shamus[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. Bucks Owin

    Bucks Owin New Member

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    Hi Paul
    No it's a kit from "Keystone Locomotive Works" . Same folks that make those excellent "Climax" skeleton car kits. The Shay model is non-powered, but NWSL makes a power kit to fix that! I've heard that it's a great little puller when finished.
    Regards, Dennis :cool:
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Oh really, I might just get me one of those oittle devils, look real nice on the Badger Creek.
    Shamus[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    NWSL / Keystone Mechanism

    I have built two NWSL mechanisns, One to power a Keystone Hon3 shay for my State Line RR 3 foot gauge outfit, and one to re power a dead PFM Harrington shay for my friend dr. Tom (alias Dr, G) see Logging East Tennessee on the C&S RR His #1 has the NWSL drive

    I really like the way both projects went, the little 3 foot shay is a good puller, as it is almost solid white metal.


    The assembly is trickey, but do able. If you get one post here, there are some tricks that will save you a lot of effort, that I would be happy to share . the resulting locamotive is more fragile than brass, but with a better motor than provided for in the kit, is a good runner.


    somewhere else in this forum there is a thread about these little critters. I got mine, as I wanted an HOn3 shay and was too cheap to get brass ( I later got a deal on a PFM Benson that woudn't run, but I was able to fix the Benson ( I have an HO Hillcrest that I have had since 1968, which has the same mechanism- so I knew the mechanism backwards and forward, and was able to get it going quick.


    I'll post a photo of mine soon.
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Promised pictures

    As promised here are some picture s of my little Keystone/NWSL, shay. and my PFM 25 toner Both in Hon3 way up on Iron mountain on the narrow gauge.


    see the rest of the layout on Eastern Tn logging on the DG CC & W RR 1928


    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Note the keystone has a brass Cabbage stack , domes, and number plate to dress it up a little It is plain otherwise, but pulls well. as a plus it doubleheads well with an un modified PFM 25 toner. Either of these locomotives could handle this train on the 8.5 % grade by itself.

    Bill Nelson
  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Bill

    Very, very nice work on the Shays. I've got 2 to build - they will be primary power on the Port Orford & Elk River HOn3 line - with 6-8% grades and 3-4 car trains max. Switchback tails are 20" long.

    Have you had any wear or other problems with the white metal parts - crankshaft and piston rods, or the frame pieces. I'm debating whether to make new parts out of brass for those critical items, but I really value the thoughts of those who have been there, done that.

    thanks in advance
  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    wear of white metal parts

    I haven't noticed any wear, mine don't get run a lot. the main thing is you have to be very careful handling, as the side frames of the trucks can get bent very easily, throwing off the line shaft gear alignment. I had real concern about the white metal universals, but have had no problems, largely because they are just for the ride. on one side of the slip joint, I have replaced the square cross sectioned inside piece of the slip joint with a brass rod, so the rest of the line shaft is powered only by the opposite trucks line shaft gears so the lineshafts don't fight themselfs.

    The actual driveline is all down the center, and has held up well. DR Tom's C&S #1 gets a lot of use, and has had lots of maintenece issues (similar to MDC Shays with a similar powertrain) bit no catastrophic parts failures.


    another modification I have made is where the truck mounts to the frame. the little ball on the truck frame that pops into the socket on the frame. These balls are supposed to be heat staked to the truck (melted on) as no glue on the planet will stick to that enginering plastic. On mine those little balls kept coming off.

    NWSL was good about getting me the parts, but the truck had to be completely disassembled to replace that ball. I used one of those KD plastic screws, chucked it into a drill to make a home style late, and truned the head of the screw till it matched the shape of the ball. I then tapped the hole in the top of this truck frame, screwed the new ball in place. Problem corrected!

    Bill Nelson
  10. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Bill

    Thanks for the very fast response. The heads up on the ball mount is something new. I had already planned on rounding off one of the telescoping line shaft joints to avoid driving the Shay engine from both ends. As you say, both the Roundhouse and Keystone Shays have to have the lineshaft trains broken somewhere to avoid binds.

    Again, thanks for sharing your skills and very fine layout with us.
  11. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

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    Hey Bill and Fred,
    Here is C&S RR # 1 that Bill worked his magic on. This has been a neat little lokie to have on the layout.
    Doc Tom:wave:

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