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Versions of the 36 (38) Ton Shay's?

Started by cvl, November 18, 2010, 06:57:25 PM

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I have 2 Shay's. One has 6 screws in the motor blocks and the other only has 4. What are the product dates or times for each? Did they come sound equiped?

the Bach-man

Dear CVL,
Some three truck Shays came equipped with sound. No others did.
Have fun!
the Bach-man


Ah, yeeeeeees.

But the OP is asking about the TWO-truck Shays.


Jon D. Miller

This may be of some help.

I guess you could say there were two versions of the 36 ton Shay produced.

First was introduced sometime during 1997. Ely-Thomas Item #81198 and the undecorated Item #81199.

These were followed, during 1998 by Pardee & Curtin Lbr. Co. Item #81196 and the undecorated Item #81197. Externally this second version of the 36 ton Shay can be identified by a tool box on each side running board and a cab roof mounted back-up light.

I have the Ely-Thomas version. The Pardee Curtin version had a somewhat improved power block with metal drive wheel washers and inproved electrical pickup. Both versions had plastic case motor blocks.

Not sure what changes may have been made to the main circuit board in the second version. Neither version was advertised as DCC ready.

Best bet to determine any difference in the electronics of the 36 ton versions is to consult the owner's manuals for these locomotives. Any differences in electronics should show up in the wiring diagrams supplied with the locomotive.

"One of the Enthusiastic Children"

Poster Child (unofficial & uncompensated)

Wade Colyer

Hi All:

I got the Pardee & Curtin 81197 when it came out but just got a Ely-Thomas 81199 this year from a dealer I know. I tried to deal on his price and said since it was new in the box, I would have to get the new 6 screw trucks. He said that it was the 2nd run of the 1st Shay and had the newer trucks instead of the 8 screw ones. As I opened the box, I noticed that it had led lights. I thought the first shays had gow bulbs. It also had the 6 screw trucks. Anyone have any idea if and when a second run of 81199s were produced as Loco Bill and I would love to know. Thanks.


Jon D. Miller

This is a WAG!

The 1998 Bachmann catalog shows the Pardee & Curtin Lbr. Co. 36 ton Shay with the notation "New 1998."

The 1998 catalog also shows the Ely-Thomas 36 ton Shay.

Since the Pardee & Curtin came with a six screw motor block cover and LED head and backup lights, it may be that an Ely-Thomas with these features would be considered a second generation model.  Initial version 35 ton Ely-Thomas Shays had an eight screw motor case cover.

The question remains, did Bachmann apply the six screw motor cover and LED lights to the Ely-Thomas at the time the Pardee & Curtin was introduced.  Or did the changes to the Ely-Thomas happen at an ever later date?

The 38 ton Shay has the four screw motor cover.  Its motor block cases are metal.  

Who knows?  They are what they are!

"One of the Enthusiastic Children"

Poster Child (unofficial & uncompensated)

Loco Bill Canelos

Hi Jon,

Thanks for all the detail,  I am not at home to review what references I have, but I thought only the three truck shays had a factory sound version. 

At least when I bought my 38 tonner factory sound was not available, I still have a sierra sound unit to put in mine that I haven't gotten around to.   When I get all my eye operations done maybe I will be able to see well enough to get it done.

As Wade said He and I have been trying to nail all this down, but with limited success so far, and so we appreciate all the help you can provide getting it nailed down.

When I get home I will try to review what I have and jump back in.   

Hope you all had as great a thanksgiving as I did!!!

Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway-Missouri Western Railway
Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
Colorado RR Museum-Brakeman-Engineer-Motorman-Trainman
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!

Jon D. Miller

I believe you are correct that only the three-truck Shay was available with factory sound.

I went back and checked and can not confirm for sure that the 38 ton was ever offered with factory sound.

I deleted reference to factory sound in the 38 ton Shay.

Poster Child (unofficial & uncompensated)



I think the B-M understood the question.  He replied by saying which Shays did have sound,
followed by which did not.  That was an accurate and complete answer to the IP's query.

                                                                                     -- D

Matthew (OV)

There were actually a couple more variations.  Loco Bill may have these in his files.

Original Ely Thomas version with 8 screws on the motor cover.  As JD pointed out, these had air brakes, oil headlights, and the rear headlight on the tender.  Headlights had incandescent light bulbs.

Pardee Curtin version with steam brakes, electric (style) headlights, with LED's.  Tool boxes on the running board, back up headlight on the cab, and the six visible screws on the trucks (there are two more inside.)

Both of these versions were eligible for a "truck swap" through service for a third version truck that was swapped into a lot of unsold/unshipped units -- these had improved pickups, and "washer kits" on the axles.  (I had one each ET and PC version, and swapped all four trucks.)  

Up to this point, there was no factory sound, and while there was a board in the tender ostensibly designed for sound hookup, it had diodes that made most commercially available sound systems have trouble determining whether the locomotive was moving forward or backward.  

At that point, the production stopped for awhile, and when it returned, there were MORE versions that had DCC capabilities, notably that there was wiring for deocder hookup, and METAL trucks that had been isolated electrically so that power went from the wheels up into the locomotive, and back down to the motors.... several new road names were also available at that point.  There was no sound standard in these models either ... but the hookup board from the first editions was gone, and the locomotive weas wired to be "DCC ready."  

Later came the three truck model, some of which came with factory installed DCC and DCC sound.

Matthew (OV)