The three most common geared steam locomotives had several similar traits. They had the uncanny ability to traverse poorly-laid, uneven track. They could go up steep grades and negotiate sharp curves that would defeat most conventional rod engines. And most important of all, they were very unusual in appearance, owing to their design and construction.
I am speaking about (in order of first appearance) the Shay (also pictured above), the Climax and the Heisler.
Also, to a lesser extent, the Willamette (Shay
variant), Dunkirk, locos from Baldwin,
and unusual items such as those from Sykes, and
To see a basic comparison between a 2 truck Shay, baby Shay, Climax and Heisler, choose this link.
To see a nicely detailed MDC two-truck model Shay, choose this link.
When does a Shay not look like a Shay?
To see two color Shay postcards, choose this link.
To see a narrow gauge (HOn30) model Shay choose
These are not meant to be definitive histories, please e-mail me (email@example.com) with any comments.
For some great links, be sure to check out the following:
Geared Steam Locomotive Works
The Sidewinder Gallery
The Climax Locomotive