Willamette locomotive

Willamette Locomotive no. 7, on static display at the Fort Missoula Museum.
Cylinder detail of a Williamette locomotive

The Willamette locomotive was a geared steam locomotive of the Shay locomotive type, built by the Willamette Iron and Steel Works of Portland, Oregon. After key patents on the Shay locomotive had expired, it was possible for other manufacturers to produce Shay "clones".

The Willamette locomotive was very similar to a Shay, but had many differences, as the company that made them intended on making an "improved Shay", even though the "Pacific Coast Shay", later made by Lima, took up many of the features on the Willamette. The differences were:

All but one Willamette burned oil, despite their working for logging companies, where wood would be abundant. Oil burners produced few sparks, however, and were less likely to ignite a forest than coal- or wood-fired locomotives. The only coal-fired Willamette worked for Anaconda Copper.

Six Willamettes survive; only one is operational at the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad in Mineral, Washington.

Willamette Locomotive No. 7 is undergoing restoration at The Historical Museum of Fort Missoula in Missoula, Montana.[1]

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