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Three truck Climax

The prototype

Clemons Logging Company Class C three-truck Climax locomotive no. 3 and crew, 1926. Photo by Clark Kinsey.

© University Libraries University of Washington, 2003

Driving normal fixed frame locomotives on logging railways was virtually impossible. The irregular underground made the wheels come off the track and derailed the locomotive. The three most numerous solutions to this problem were the Shay (2771 built), the Climax (appr. 1100 built) and the Heisler (appr. 850 built).
The Climax is built with its cylinders in the normal place, but they were extremely tilted to allow the front truck to swivel freely. The cylinders drive a central crank shaft which on its turn drives both axles of each powered truck.

More information: Geared steam and a dedicated Climax site

The model

The model is produced by Bachmann in 2012. I waited for a very long time buying it until a could not resist a real bargain via eBay by the end of 2013. It is DCC equipped and although I operated it on DC it already has excellent riding capabilities. Detail is good. I'll let the photos speak mostly for themselves




The cab has a reasonably detailed interior which can be form the outside with some effort


The builder's plate is a simple transfer. Better than the usually overly thick brass plates.

The well detailed and fully functional valve gear

My model is a so called "demonstrator", a builder owned showcase example for sales purposes.


The close cuoupled and well formed connection between the loco and its tender


The loco got only one point of criticism from me: the screws on top of the trucks are conspicuous. A touch of black will help conceal them.


A nice small detail is the coal pulled forward from the bunker into the cab ready for the fireman to shovel up.


An artistic folly of the loco, please permit.