In August of 1894 the first geared locomotive to bear the name Heisler was completed at Stearns Manufacturing Co. Built in 1929 for the Bostonia Coal and Clay Products Company of New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as their #20, our Heisler #6 is a big, modern Heisler. Some geared locomotive historians classify it as a "West Coast Special", the Heisler designed to do battle with Lima's Pacific Coast Shays. However, #6 is a standard class C-90 3 truck Heisler. The "West Coast Special" was distinguished by piston valve cylinders and a few other items that were applied to upgrade the standard 90-3 to compete with Shay. The odd thing is that when #6 was built in 1929 all 90-3 Heislers were being built as West Coast Specials. How did #6 come to be built as a standard "old fashioned" Heisler? Could it have been built several years earlier and remained unsold? Perhaps there was a price break offered if the older style was used, using up spare parts on hand at the factory? Or was it special ordered?
Cass Scenic Railroad bought Heisler #6 from the Meadow River Lumber Company of Rainelle, West Virginia in 1968. Today #6 lives in harmony with its Shay cousins; it has operated successfully on the Whittaker Station Train, and has been used on off-line trips because of its greater speed. It is another fine example of the last of the art of logging locomotive design and therefore an important addition to The Cass Collection. Heisler 6 can be seen at the Cass Locomotive Shop and will be used as a back up engine this season.
|Builder No.: 1591||Date in Service: 1929|
|Class: Heilser C-90||Trucks: 3|
|Bore: 18 inches||Stroke: 16 inches|
|Drivers: 42 inches||Weight: 100 Tons|
|Heisler #6 approaching a crossing.||Front shot of #6 from a distance.||Looking down and from the left at Heisler #6.||Heisler #6 at the water tower.|