New York Central (Chicago Junction) 221.

(1922 Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The USRA 0-6-0 was a USRA standard class of steam locomotive designed under the control of the United States Railroad Administration, the nationalized railroad system in the United States during World War I. This was the standard light switcher locomotive of the USRA types, and was of 0-6-0 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or "C" in UIC classification.

A total of 255 locomotives were built under USRA control; these were sent to the following railroads:

Table of original USRA allocation

Railroad Quantity Class Road numbers Notes
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 10 E-9-S 1136–1145
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 40 D-30 350–389
Central Railroad of New Jersey 10 B6s 101–110
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad 10 G-5 500–509 Also 15 copies
Chicago Great Western Railway 5 B-6 480–484
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 10 S-33 275–284
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway 8 75-82
Chicago and North Western Railway 35 M-3 2601–2635
Grand Trunk Railway 5 F11 801–805 to GTW 1824–1828, renumbered 7527–7531, Canadian National class O-19-a
Grand Trunk Western Railroad 5 F11 1744–1748 Renumbered 7522–7526, Canadian National class O-19-a
Maine Central Railroad 2 K 175–176
Mobile and Ohio Railroad 10 40 40–49 Also 13 copies
New York Central Railroad subsidiary Chicago Junction 14 B-62 221–234
Pennsylvania Railroad 30 B28s Random between 7007 and 9405
Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway 2 20-21
Seaboard Air Line Railroad 10 F-5 1090–1099
St. Louis - San Francisco Railway 7 3800 3800–3806
Texas and Pacific Railway 14 B-8 457–470
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis 10 157-166
Union Pacific Railroad 10 S-Spl 4451-4460
Union Pacific subsidiary Oregon Short Line Railroad 5 S-Spl 4753–475
Washington Terminal Company 3 32-34
Total 255

After the dissolution of the USRA, the Atlantic Coast Line, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway, Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Texas and Pacific Railway ordered additional copies of the USRA 0-6-0 design, while the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway ordered only copies.

As of 2022, three USRA 0-6-0 copies are known to be preserved. Two are from the Wheeling and Lake Erie: 3960, which is awaiting a cosmetic restoration at the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek, Ohio, and 3984, which is undergoing an operational restoration at the Lorain and West Virginia Railway in Wellington, Ohio, and it is currently known as Nickel Plate Road 384. The third is 63, built by Alco in 1940 for the Alabama State Docks Commission. It has been on public display at the Kokosing Gap Trail in Mount Vernon, Ohio since 2002. 63 is currently in the best cosmetic shape of the three, but unfortunately, there are no plans to further restore it or make it operational.

There are also two operational 0-6-0s at Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta, that are indirectly based on the USRA design. Although now known as Canadian Pacific 2023 and 2024, they were never actually owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. They were built for the US Army in 1942 and 1944, intended for use overseas during World War II, and after the war, they were sold off as surplus and served as terminal switchers in Vancouver, British Columbia until 1965. Because they were intended for military service, they have several visible design changes from the other USRA copies. These changes include a shorter smokestack, a cowcatcher (standard USRA 0-6-0s had footboard pilots), a front-mounted air pump, and a much smaller (and vertically offset) smokebox door, among other minor differences.



Type and origin
Power type: Steam
Builder: ALCO
Build date: 1918–1919 (originals)
Total produced: 255 originals plus copies
​• Whyte 0-6-0
• UIC C h2
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Driver diameter: 51 in (1,295 mm)
Wheelbase - Locomotive: 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m)
Wheelbase - Locomotive & tender: 48 ft 10+1⁄2 in (14.90 m)
Length: 62 ft 10 in (19.15 m) including tender
Width: 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Height: 14 ft 0+1⁄2 in (4.28 m)
Axle load: 55,000 lb (25,000 kg)
Adhesive weight: 165,000 lb (75,000 kg)
Locomotive weight: 165,000 lb (75,000 kg)
Tender weight: 144,000 lb (65,000 kg)
Total weight: 309,000 lb (140,000 kg)
Fuel type: Coal
Fuel capacity: 32,000 lb (15,000 kg)
Water capacity: 8,000 US gal (30,000 L; 6,700 imp gal)
• Firegrate area: 33 sq ft (3.07 m2)
Boiler pressure: 190 psi (1.31 MPa)
Heating surface: 1,886 sq ft (175.2 m2)
• Tubes: 1,233 sq ft (114.5 m2)
• Flues: 515 sq ft (47.8 m2)
• Firebox: 138 sq ft (12.8 m2)
​• Heating area 442 sq ft (41.1 m2)
Cylinders: Two
Cylinder size: 21 in × 28 in (533 mm × 711 mm)
Valve type: 10-inch (250 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 39,100 lbf (173.9 kN)
Factor of adhesion: 4.22
Disposition: All original locomotives scrapped, three copies and two derivatives preserved.