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Steam & Excursion > The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!


Date: 02/03/13 05:52
The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

For nearly 40 years a single shop in Corry, PA was busy day in and day out producing one of the most successful geared locomotives of all time, the Climax Locomotive.

The Climax was second only to Lima's Shay in production totals. In this first scene we see the plant floor covered with Climax Locomotives under construction. There are Class A types (lower right front) and 2-truck Class B types (directly in front of the A) and 3-truck Class C types (back left) under construction on this day in 1914. Can you imagine the noise that this shop produced?

The second view shows some of the skilled craftsmen that assembled these fine geared machines. You can see on the faces of these men the pride they took in building these sturdy logging locomotives.

The 3rd view shows the results of the skilled work performed in the Corry, PA shops of the Climax Locomotive Works. In this builder's portrait we see C/N 1451 built in 1917 for the Columbia & Nehelem River RR, a logging outfit in Oregon's Coast Range. Her rugged construction will enable her to pull thousands of loads of old growth logs out of the woods for decades to come.

Despite it's success in the timber industry, the failing economy of the 1920's together with the increased competition from Heisler and Willamette, caused Climax to close its doors for all time in December 1928 after turning out Elk River Coal & Lumber #3. (c/n 1692). This engine survives today in pieces at Felton, CA on the Roaring Camp & Big Trees RR.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to run one of these engines can certainly attest to their raw power and traction produced by this engine. I can also say that the ride you get running one of these engines with their 45-degree cylinders is like no other steam locomotive!


Martin



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/13 06:31 by LoggerHogger.








Date: 02/03/13 08:21
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: doesyourdogbite

Great trip into the past. Thanks for sharing.



Date: 02/03/13 15:10
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: nycman

The one in the lower right of your first pic looks like one of those disguised locos, such at the New York Central Shay you published a few days ago. Did Climax build such creatures?



Date: 02/03/13 16:11
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

No Jim. A Class "A" climax was built on a flatcar base with wooden cabs. Here is an example on Clemons Logging Co.

Martin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/13 16:31 by LoggerHogger.




Date: 02/03/13 20:58
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: Train-a-Mania

Thank you for sharing these Martin. I find it neat to think that I grew up where these were manufactured.



Date: 02/03/13 21:08
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: DNRY122

My dad was born in Beaver Dam PA, which might be considered a "suburb" of Corry.



Date: 02/03/13 21:54
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: coach

If the Climax was only 2nd to Shay in productions numbers, how come so few survive? Hard to run, maintain, compared to a Shay?



Date: 02/03/13 22:05
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: AdamPhillips

<Anyone who has been lucky enough to run one of these engines can certainly attest to their raw power and traction produced by this engine.

Which climax have you regularly operated and what makes it different than other locomotives you have regularly operated?



Date: 02/04/13 04:46
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

With the Climax's going out of business in the late 1920's the parts availability for these engines became an issue for those folks still using them. This lead to many of these engines being retired before the Shays and Heislers that still were supplying parts to operators. I have correspondece between Lima and Heisler that opines that Climax sold thier engines at a loss simply to attract the lucrative repair parts business.

The Climax engine certainly does like to throw itself apart which can add to it's need for constant maintenance. Anyone who has spent a day on Hillcrest Lumber Climax #10 knows why we call her "Humpy".

Martin



Date: 02/04/13 14:49
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: YG

Gems!

Steve Mitchell
http://www.yardgoatimages.com



Date: 02/04/13 17:36
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: Jim700

LoggerHogger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyone who has spent a day on Hillcrest Lumber
> Climax #10 knows why we call her "Humpy".

Well, that may be, but I don't find running the Climax objectionable. IMHO most of my peers who complain so much about running it are pushing it too hard. It wasn't intended to be a speedster! It quits hopping if you keep the speed down.

Here's a photo of it that Martin posted almost three years ago.




Date: 02/04/13 19:56
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: lwilton

I don't believe I've ever seen a picture of a type A Climax before. Did any of them survive?

(I assume this was the "VW" model for the low-priced customers?)



Date: 02/05/13 04:17
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

There are 2 Class A Climax's that we know of. One is in Washington State at Cabin Creek and the other is owned by a collector in Alaska.

Martin



Date: 02/05/13 15:53
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: nycman




Date: 02/05/13 15:57
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

Jim,

Fruit Growers Supply #3 that is an early Class C Climax with wood cab.

Martin



Date: 02/06/13 07:29
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: wabash2800

How did they come up with the name "Climax"?



Date: 02/06/13 07:46
Re: The Men And The Shop That Built Climax Locomotives!
Author: LoggerHogger

Actually the the term "Climax" was a favorite advertising slogan at the end of the 19th Century. It was used to denote something that was the best or at the highest point of refinement. There were other products that bore the name "Climax" back then.

Martin



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