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Shay Restoration

Posted on 1st August 2013 at 16:10

shayAfter more than a decade in the shop and many thousands of man-hours of work, the historic Long-Bell Shay Locomotive is nearly ready to resume its place of honor next to the Longview Public Library. However, there’s also a need to construct a display pavilion before that can happen, and the city is in need of volunteers to step and make that happen. Jeff Wilson with TPI has been working with John Chilson to spearhead the restoration, and he says one more show of community support will help to complete the project…shay…The locomotive won’t be fully-functioning, but the exterior has been fully restored, with working levers, gauges, doors and interior. Wilson says that they’re nearly ready to haul the 80,000-pound body and the 26,000-pound wheel trucks off the hill from John Chilson’s property, but they need to have the bed and shelter in place before that can occur. Because this needs to be done in dry weather, there is a time crunch to try and get it done before the fall rains come. City Manager Bob Gregory says that they’re excited to be at this point, but he also says that this will need to be a community effort to bring the shelter to completion. The Collins Architecture Group of Longview is finishing the design for the pavilion, which would have a construction cost of somewhere in the range of $50,000 to $75,000. The 20-by-60-foot structure would have a concrete pad and a rail bed for the locomotive, along with a cover held up by large peeled logs. A wrought iron rail would surround the locomotive, though that could be removed for special events. Donations of money, labor and materials are needed; if you, your business or community group would like to help out, contact the City of Longview. Donations are tax-deductible.