In a whirlwind journey fit for a Hollywood blockbuster, the legendary Mount Emily Shay #1, a steam logging locomotive with more stories than a library, has rolled into its new home at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The crowd went wild as it chugged onto the scene, making its grand entrance on a flatcar courtesy of the BNSF Railroad in the wee hours of February 15, 2024.

Oregon Rail Heritage Center
Mount Emily Shay #1

Loaded On Flat Car Prineville

A Century of Adventure: The Birth of Mount Emily Shay #1

This centenarian on wheels, crafted by the skilled hands at Lima Locomotive Works in Ohio a whole century ago, is no stranger to adventure. Designed by the ingenious Ephraim Shay, these locomotives were the workhorses of the timber and mining industries - talk about horsepower with a touch of vintage class!

Changing Tracks: A Dramatic Decision in 2022

For over six decades, the Mount Emily Shay #1 has been under the watchful eye of the Oregon Historical Society (OHS), but in 2022, a dramatic decision was made. OHS, feeling like the ultimate matchmaker, passed the steamy torch to the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, making them the proud new owners.

Rick Franklin, president of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, “We are grateful to OHS and thrilled to be the new operators of the Mount Emily Shay #1, We look forward to entertaining and educating Oregonians of all ages on excursions powered by this grand old lady of Oregon railroading history.”

A Journey Through Time: The Steam Diva's Adventures

Get ready, Oregonians, for some old-school railroading history served with a side of entertainment and education! The steam diva's journey began in the timber-rich lands of Washington, then took a scenic route to LaGrande, Oregon, with a pitstop at the Independence Logging Company and a five-year fling in Aberdeen, Washington. It's like the locomotive version of a cross-country road trip.

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Unexpected Turns: Detours and Triumphant Returns

In a surprising twist, the Mount Emily Shay #1 made a detour to West Virginia in 1971, turning heads there before making a triumphant return to its Oregon roots in 1994. The City of Prineville Railway played caretaker until it sought new adventures, prompting the OHS to put out a call for the next lucky steward.

The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation swooped in like a hero, winning the title of "Best New Owner" on September 1, 2022. Nicole Yasuhara, OHS Deputy Museum Director, expressed gratitude, saying, “We are thrilled that the Mount Emily Shay will have a new, permanent home at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.”

Martin E Hansen
Mount Emily Shay #1


The City of Prineville Railway Operations Manager, Matt Wiederholt, added, "The Mount Emily Shay #1 will have the best care and find new fans at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center." It's like a locomotive fairy tale with a happy ending!

Boiler Inspection and Grand Entrances: A Locomotive’s Preparation

But wait, there’s more! Before it dazzles us locomotive enthusiasts with its charisma, the Mount Emily Shay #1 will undergo a boiler inspection to ensure it's ready for its grand entrance. Once given the green light, it will be pulling excursions along the Willamette River, stealing the spotlight as the centerpiece of a new exhibit on Oregon and Northwest railroading and logging history.

So, mark your calendars, friends! The Mount Emily Shay #1 is getting ready to whisk you away on a journey through time, and the Oregon Rail Heritage Center is your ticket to this blast from the past. All aboard the nostalgia express!

23 Deep Lakes in Washington State + 2 That Aren't So Deep

There are a ton of deep lakes in Washington State and a few that aren't so deep. Check out how drastically different they are below.

This Hike in the Columbia River Gorge is a Must Experience

The Labyrinth to Coyote Wall Loop. It runs 6.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1,489 feet. It features a waterfall, lava tube, rock formations, and incredible views. It’s heavily trafficked with hikers and mountain bikers on weekends and dogs are welcome on a leash. Beware, you’ll need good hiking shoes as a good portion of the trail is very rocky. It’s open all year round, but the experts recommend day use from March to November.  

Gallery Credit: Paul Drake

Best Looking State Patrol Cars In (Almost) Every State

For the past 10 years, the American Association of State Troopers has held a contest to determine which state has the best looking patrol cruiser. Nearly every state police agency submits their best photo of their sharpest patrol vehicle a chance to win the coveted cover photo on the association's annual calendar. From cop cars rushing through blizzards to vehicles on the Grand Ole Opry stage, here are this year's nominees.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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