The “Yellow Pine Lumber Co.”

Starting in the late 19th century, a huge number of small lumber and timber operations started work in the so-called “Carolina Sandhills”. The geography of these area lead into huge timber stands of long leaf, or yellow pines. Beside classic lumbering, may trees were farmed for turpentine and tar, which was heavy requested from naval stores. Many of those logging operations were short living. Once an area was cleared, the companies moved on or cheased operation. Often, the equipment got sold to the next timber operation. There were also a huge number of so called “tram roads”, which used wooden rails instead of common steal. Many used oxen or horses as motive power, but some of them featured Shay locomotives as well. Some of these small operations turned into bigger companies later on, while some are still in place like the Aberdeen & Rockfish RR.

But most interesting to me were those wooden tram roads. Lima in Ohio build special locomotives with extrawide wheels and deep flanges to run on wood rails. The book series “Railroading in the Carolina Sandhills” lists many of such operations with details about gauge and motive power with reference to Shay locos. After some research through the books and other sources, I found a well matching prototype, which I’ll cover in this model railroad project.

The “Yellow Pine Lumber Co.”

This operation was founded in 1893. There are no photos available, but several records of the owners, equipment bought and the location. The Shay records name cn#433 to be used on this timber tram road, which was build to uncommon 30″ gauge, while most other lines were 34″ or 36″ gauge. There has been only two 30″-gauge Shays operating in North Carolina (#433 & #270). Regarding #433, class, type and gauge are matching my tiny TomaModelWorks Shay perfectly.

As said before, there are no photos or further details known, so I can spend some of my own imagination to bring a piece of early sandhill logging back to live in model scale.