United States Railroad Administration Locomotive Atlantic Coast Line Class P-5-A 4-6-2 No. 1504 1919.

(Timdwilliamson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The USRA Light 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. It was the standard light passenger locomotive of the USRA types, with a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or 2′C1′ in UIC classification.


A schematic of the 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. Front of locomotive on left.

(Gwernol, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



A total of 106 locomotives were built under USRA control, and were sent to the following railroads:

Table of original USRA allocation

Railroad Quantity Class Road numbers Notes Retired
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) 70 P-5-A 1500–1569 165 P-5-Bs were also built as copies (Nos. 1600-1764) between 1922 and 1926 by BLW. 1939-1953
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) 30 P-5 5200–5229 Built by BLW (Nos. 5200-5219) and ALCO (Nos. 5220-5229) in 1919. 1951-1955
Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) 6 K-5 240–245 20 copies (Nos. 264-283) built between 1923 and 1924. 1945-1963
Total 106

After the dissolution of USRA, the ACL and L&N ordered additional copies of the USRA Light Pacific design, while both the Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW) and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad (M&O) also ordered copies in the 1920s.

Table of USRA copies

Railroad Quantity Class Road numbers Notes Retired
Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW) 5 K-4a 5627-5631 5629 was formerly preserved but was scrapped in July 1987 due to negligence. 1960-1961
Grand Trunk Western Railroad (GTW) 3 K-4b 5632-5634 5632 is preserved. 1960-1961
Mobile and Ohio Railroad (M&O) 10 N/A 260-269 Built by BLW. 1946-1949
Rutland Railroad (RUT) 3 K-1 80-82 Built by Alco-Schenectady. 1951-1953
Rutland Railroad (RUT) 3 K-2 83-85 Built by Alco-Schenectady. 1951-1953

Notable locomotives

Atlantic Coast Line 1504
No. 1504 is one of seventy USRA Light Pacifics built by ALCO for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL).  Classified as a P-5-A, No. 1504 had the capability to haul 10-12 passenger cars at 70–80 mph (113–129 km/h) between Richmond, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida. It was assigned to haul the ACL's premier passenger trains such as the Miamian, Florida Special, Palmetto Limited, Southland, South Wind and Dixie Flyer. On December 25, 1952, ACL retired the No. 1504 locomotive from revenue service and put it on static display in front of their headquarters building in Jacksonville, where it became the only USRA Light Pacific steam locomotive preserved in original as-built condition.

In 1986, ACL's successor, CSX donated the No. 1504 locomotive to the Jacksonville City Council, where they relocated it to its new static display site in the parking lot of the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, located at the former Jacksonville Union Terminal. In 1990, the No. 1504 locomotive was designated as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 2021, the locomotive was purchased by the U.S. Sugar Corporation (USSC) in Clewiston, Florida, where it is being restored to operating condition for use in excursion service on the South Central Florida Express shortline railroad as part of USSC's heritage tourist passenger train named the Sugar Express.


Grand Trunk Western No. 5629 pulling a fan trip excursion towards South Bend, Indiana Union Station, 1967.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Grand Trunk Western 5629

No. 5629 was one of five copies of the USRA Light Pacifics built in 1924 by ALCO for the Grand Trunk Western (GTW). Classified as a K-4a, No. 5629 was assigned to pull commuter trains throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. In 1960, the locomotive was purchased by Richard Jensen, who subsequently restored it to pull excursion trains on the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad (B&OCT). It was initially stored at a Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) roundhouse in Hammond, Indiana before Jensen moved it to another roundhouse, which was owned by the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad (C&WI). No. 5629 was refitted with a larger ex-Soo Line tender to pull long-distance excursions throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and the state of Indiana.

In the early 1970s, Jensen was running into some financial trouble, due to legal issues with the C&WI and a loss of access to nearby railroads, and he lost all motivation to operate steam excursions. No. 5629 would be stored in Penn Central's yard outside of Chicago Union Station, until Jensen searched for another location to store the locomotive. He subsequently reached an agreement with the Rock Island Railroad (RI) to store it within the Burr Oak freight yard at Blue Island, Illinois, but he never paid rent that was owed to the railroad.

In March 1980, the RI went bankrupt and Metra, acquired the Burr Oak yard, ordered Jensen to move No. 5629 to the nearby Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS), but upon inspecting it to be moved, he discovered that it was vandalized during its time stored in Blue Island. Upon hearing about No. 5629's current condition, Metra wanted to help Jenson, who actually subsequently formulated a plan to allow the No. 5629 locomotive to be scrapped, leading to him sue Metra to gain a million dollars.

After Jensen inconsiderately refused to remove his locomotive from the Burr Oak yard, Metra went to court, who ordered Metra to scrap the No. 5629 locomotive. A number of groups, such as the Illinois Railway Museum, offered to purchase the locomotive for $15,000 and move it out of harm’s way, but Jensen declined and instead removed No. 5629's journal boxes to prevent the locomotive from being moved out of the Blue Island freight yard. On July 14, 1987, the court order Metra to scrap the No. 5629 and the railroad reluctantly contacted the Erman-Howell Division of the Luria Brothers Scrap Company to dispose the locomotive. After the scrapping, Jensen sued Metra as planned, but he eventually lost the case.


GTW 5629 owned by Richard Jensen at the Monon Yard in Hammond, IN on March 31, 1964.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Grand Trunk Western 5632

No. 5632 is a K-4b Pacific, which was also a copy of the USRA design, but with an all-weather cab. It was one of three copies of the USRA Light Pacifics built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1929 for the GTW. It was donated to the city of Durand, Michigan in 1961, and it has remained on static display there ever since. here to add text.



Type and origin
Power type: Steam
American Locomotive Company (ALCO)
Baldwin Locomotive Works (BLW)
Build dates: 1919–1920
Total produced: 106, plus copies
​• Whyte 4-6-2
• UIC 2′C1′ h2
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter: 73 in (1,854 mm)
Coupled: 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)
Locomotive: 34 ft 9 in (10.59 m)
Locomotive & tender: 68 ft 7+1⁄2 in (20.92 m)
Axle load: 55,000 lb (25,000 kg)
Adhesive weight: 165,000 lb (75,000 kg)
Locomotive weight: 270,000 lb (120,000 kg)
Tender weight: 188,000 lb (85,000 kg)
Total weight :414,000 lb (188,000 kg)
Fuel capacity: 18 tons (16 long tons)
Water capacity: 10,000 US gal (38,000 L; 8,300 imp gal)
Firebox: ​
• Grate area 66.7 sq ft (6.20 m2)
Boiler pressure: 200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Heating surface: 3,333 sq ft (309.6 m2) ​
• Tubes: 2,091 sq ft (194.3 m2)
• Flues: 981 sq ft (91.1 m2)
• Firebox: 234 sq ft (21.7 m2)
​• Heating area: 794 sq ft (73.8 m2)
Cylinders: Two
Cylinder size: 25 in × 28 in (635 mm × 711 mm)
Valve type: 14-inch (356 mm) piston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 40,750 lbf (181.3 kN)
Factor of adhesion: 4.1
Preserved: Two (Atlantic Coast Line 1504 and Grand Trunk Western 5632).
Disposition :One original under restoration and one copy on static display, remainder scrapped.


Canadian National Railways Class (ex-Canadian Government Railways) J-7b 4-6-2 No.5288 (MLW No.60483 of 1919) which was built to the USRA Light Pacific design. 45 J-4a & b's were built by MLW 1918-19 for the Canadian Government Railway (withdrawn 1957-61) which became a constituent of the CN; 10 J-7c's were built by MLW for Canadian National Railways (withdrawn 1959-61). Shown here at Steamtown, Bellows Falls, 8/70. (Hugh Llewelyn, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)