Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows the “Matt H. Shay” locomotive in the Binghamton Rail Yard, circa 1920. The “Matt H. Shay” was an articulated “triplex” locomotive and had three sets of driving wheels. At the time of its construction in 1914 it was considered the most powerful locomotive in the world and was used primarily to help freight trains up steep grades. It was named after an employee of the Erie Railroad.
Between 1914 and 1916, the Baldwin Locomotive Works built four “triplex” steam locomotives. Three went to the Erie Railroad, and the forth (of a slightly different design) went to the Virginia Railroad. The “triplex” locomotives suffered from a number of serious design flaws which limited their usefulness. Sadly, the “Matt H. Shay” was sent to the scrap yard at the end of the 1920s, but this group of children seemed to have enjoyed their visit with the mammoth engine.
Photo courtesy of the Broome County Historical Society.