Lima Locomotive Works

Lima Locomotive Works

Lima Locomotive Works

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Lima Locomotive Works was an American firm that manufactured railroad locomotives from the 1870s through the 1950s. The company took the most distinctive part of its name from its main shops location in Lima, Ohio. The shops were located between the Baltimore & Ohio's Cincinnati-Toledo main line and the Nickel Plate Road main line and shops. The company is best known for producing the Shay geared logging steam locomotive, and for being the home of William E. Woodard's "Super Power" advanced steam locomotive concept - exemplified by the prototype 2-8-4 Berkshire, Lima demonstrator A-1.


In 1878 James Alley contracted the Lima Machine Works to build a steam locomotive that Ephraim Shay had designed. In April 1880, Lima rebuilt Ephraim Shay's original design, using vertically side-mounted pistons mounted on the right, connected to a drive line on the outside of the trucks. The Shay was geared down to provide more slow-moving pulling ability for use in the lumber industry. The first Shay locomotive was built in 1880 and was such a success that many people in the lumber industry wanted one. To accommodate the new demand for the locomotive Shay licensed the right to build his locomotive to the Lima Machine Works, which expanded and began to ship Shay locomotives to lumbermen across the frontier. Two years later, locomotives were the main product being produced by the Lima Machine Works, which would produce over 300 locomotives during the next ten...
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