Where rod engines dare not tread. Demonstrating a feat that no rod engine can perform, the former Mower Lumber Company Shay #4 accelerates her work train away from a water stop at Oats Creek Tank on an 8% grade! Like a truck shifted into low gear, the Shay's full-length drive shaft spins at a relatively high RPM, allowing the locomotive's 3 cylinders to put out as much power as possible, but the gearing is such that the drive wheels turn at a somewhat slower speed. Unlike a rod engine, ALL of the wheels on this Shay are being powered, even the ones under the coal bunker and water tank. Instead of slipping the tires like a rod locomotive would, the Shay smoothly accelerates. With 3 cylinders exhausting in rapid succession, she sounds like she's doing about 30 mph, when she's really doing about 1/10th that. From this head-on view, another classic characteristic of the Shay can clearly be seen. In order to counter the weight of the heavy running gear, which is located exclusively on the engineer's side of the locomotive, the Shay's boiler barrel must be offset substantially to the fireman's side in order to maintain lateral balance. To someone who is unfamiliar with the type, these engines appear quite odd at first look, but one quickly learns to appreciate their unique abilities to move heavy loads up steep grades and around tight curves. And oh yeah, there's no need to ask the crew for a little smoke.