If I remember right, a shay is a geared locomotive-----doesn't have driving wheels like the higher speed locomotves had for propulsion. We had one from the Soviet Union pulling the rides at the Union, Illinois Railway Museum a few years back.
Craig first showed me this song in the dining room of a Washington D.C. house where he and Cathy Fink and a whole slew of extremely talented musicians were living. I was doing a concert for the Folk Soc. of Greater Washington that week and they put me up for those days and nights. It was a treat to get to know him then. I also learned Craig's songs "THE KEWEENAW LIGHT" and "THE SOO LINE" from him then. Both wound up on the first LP I did for Sandy Paton at Folk Legacy. And I'm pretty sure I was the one who recorded those first and showed a bunch of people what a great poet and songwriter Mr. Johnson truly is.
Two other songs by Craig are on my more recent 1998 CD.
Listen to the DOUBLE DECKER STRINGBAND CDs. Craig's is the high voice -- and probably the banjo too---but he can do it all.