USRA Heavy Pacific Express Locomotive, "President Washington," Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1928.

(Photo: Baltimore and Ohio R.R., Andy Dingley (scanner), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The USRA Heavy Pacific 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 heavy passenger locomotive of the USRA types, and was 4-6-2 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or 2′C1′ in UIC classification.


CB&Q 4-6-2 USRA Heavy Pacific No. 2952.

(Internet photo, Fair use, Title 17, Section 107)


Schematic of 4-6-2 steam locomotive wheel arrangement. Front of locomotive on left.

(Gwernol, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Roster fleet

Original locomotives

A total of 20 locomotives were built under USRA control, with the production split between the Baldwin Locomotive Works and the American Locomotive Company's Richmond plant; these were sent to the following railroads:

Table of original USRA allocation

Railroad Quantity Class Built Retired Road Numbers Notes
Erie Railroad (ERIE) 20 K-5 1919 1950-1952 2915–2934 Ten K-5-As were also built as copies (Nos. 2935-2944) in 1923 and a K-5-B (No. 2960) in 1926 by Baldwin.

Southern Railway No. 1401 on static display at the Smithsonian.

(Cak22, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Locomotive copies

Other post-USRA derivatives include the Baltimore and Ohio P-7 and the Southern Railway Ps-4 classes, the former having larger 80 inch drivers, higher tractive effort, and increased boiler pressure, and the latter with smaller 73 inch drivers, larger cabs, feedwater heaters, and later batches given larger tenders.

Railroad Quantity Class Built Retired Road Numbers Notes
Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) 20 P-7 1927 1958 5300-5319 Built by Baldwin.
Southern Railway (SOU) 64 Ps-4 1923-1928 1949-1953 1366-1409, 6471-6482, 6675-6691 Thirty-six (Nos. 1366-1392, 6471-6475, and 6684-6687) built between 1923 and 1924 at ALCO's Schenectady Works. Twenty-two (Nos. 1393-1404, 6476-6482, and 6688-6691) built in 1926 at ALCO's Richmond Works. The last five (Nos. 1405-1409) built in 1928 by Baldwin.
West Point Route (WPR) 2 P-74 1926 1954 190 & 290 Nos. 190 and 290 were both built for the Western Railway of Alabama (WRA) and the Atlanta and West Point Railroad (A&WP), respectively.
Total 88

Atlanta and West Point No. 290 undergoing restoration at the Southeastern Railway Museum shops, on December 26, 2009.

(Kerrmudgeon, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Three copies have been preserved.

No. Builder Post-USRA Owner Year Built Location Disposition
290 Lima Locomotive Works Atlanta and West Point Railroad 1926 Southeastern Railway Museum In storage, awaiting cosmetic restoration
1401 American Locomotive Works Southern Railway 1926 National Museum of American History On static display
5300 Baldwin Locomotive Works Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 1927 B&O Railroad Museum Undergoing cosmetic restoration

Overview USRA Heavy Pacific

Type and origin
Power type: Steam
Builders: American Locomotive Company (10+0); Baldwin Locomotive Works (10+11); Lima Locomotive Works (0+6)
Total produced Originals: 20
Total produced Copies: 88
• Whyte 4-6-2
• UIC 2′C1′ h2
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter: 79 in (2,007 mm)
Wheelbase Coupled: 14 ft 0 in (4.27 m)
Wheelbase Locomotive: 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
Wheelbase Locomotive and tender: 70 ft 8+1⁄2 in (21.55 m)
Axle load: 60,000 lb (27,000 kg)
Adhesive weight: 180,000 lb (82,000 kg)
Locomotive weight: 300,000 lb (140,000 kg)
Tender weight: 144,000 lb (65,000 kg)
Total weight: 444,000 lb (201,000 kg)
Fuel type: Coal
Water capacity: 8,000 US gal (30,000 L; 6,700 imp gal)
Tender capacity: 32,000 lb (15,000 kg)
Firebox: ​• Grate area 70.8 sq ft (6.58 m2)
Boiler pressure: 200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Heating surface: 3,808 sq ft (353.8 m2) ​
• Tubes 2,407 sq ft (223.6 m2)
• Flues 1,090 sq ft (101 m2)
• Firebox 284 sq ft (26.4 m2)
Superheater: ​• Heating area 882 sq ft (81.9 m2)
Cylinders: Two, outside
Cylinder size: 27 in × 28 in (686 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gear: Baker
Valve type: 14-inch (356 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 43,800 lbf (194.83 kN)
Factor of adhesion: 4.1