Sold August 2021 Back to Archive

5 inch gauge Pinos Altos & Mogollon Railroad Shay - stock code 6982

We last had this one back in 2017, designed and built by the multi-award winning builder Ron Etter. Three other engines have been built using his drawings (including one that we sold earlier this year).

Pictures opposite and words below are from last time it was here - the engine has been steamed once for its boiler test in recent days (there's some video of it here), it remains in immaculate, show-winning condition.

We bought this one completely bowled over by the sheer quality and quantity of excellent engineering. Designed and built by legendary South African model engineer Ron Etter at a scale of 2 1/2 inches to the foot, in 5 inch gauge this model of a 600mm gauge Shay is seven feet long and weighs in at 800 pounds.

Originally conceived when a friend, having built a 5 inch gauge Hunslet and owning an NG6 in the same scale (a large engine by anybody's standards, we had one in back in 2011 - took four of us to lift it), decided he'd like a larger engine.

Wanting a Shay, he considered Kozo Kirioka's excellent design scaled up from 3 1/2 to 5 inch gauge but discounted it - still too small. After some research, having come up with a 600mm prototype in the form of an engine built for the Pinos Altos & Mogollon Railroad in New Mexico, Ron set to and produced a comprehensive design, involving 350 drawings (all by hand - no CAD!).

The first engine was finished 4 1/2 years after the project was conceived, proving to be a fine performer - "a pleasure to drive and, as expected, very powerful" according to the designer.

Completed in 2005, this engine came over to the UK in 2007, running for the first time over here in that year. Exhibited at the Model Engineer Exhibition, it won a Gold Medal, the Crebbin Cup and featured in the book "100 Great Models" along with Dr Bradbury Winter's silver "Rocket" built for the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, LBSC's "Ayesha" and Christopher Vine's B1 "Bongo" amongst many others.

It's in excellent order throughout, fit and finish of everything is as good as it gets. The builder seems to have equal facility in metalwork and woodwork, pipework is neatly laid out, detailing is exceptionally good and includes a turbo generator, working front and rear lamps and beautifully made flip-up axlebox oilers.

Drive to all wheels by shaft and gears, steam brakes to locomotive with vacuum braking for train.

Complete with two thick folders including a complete build history with photographs, set of drawings, firing irons and footpegs.

gauge 5 inch
length/inches 84
width/inches 19
height/inches 27
wheel material cast iron
cylinder material cast iron
valve type slide
valve gear Stephensons
reverser type steam
lubricator type mechanical
injector(s) 2
boiler number 5302SN
year built 2005
boiler maker R.Etter
CE mark n/a - non-commercial
working pressure/psi 130
boiler type locomotive
boiler material copper
boiler construction silver soldered
hydraulic test valid to 9-Aug-2025
steam test valid to 9-Oct-2022
superheater(s) 6
superheater type radiant
steam pump 1
whistle four note chime