USRA Steam Locomotives

The United States Railroad Administration (USRA) was founded on December 28, 1917. It was created with the authority to oversee the nationalization of the privately owned American railroads. Obviously, there was much controversy created by the USRA. Previously, each railroad had been accustomed to designing their own steam locomotives to suit their specific needs. This meant that each railroad owned custom-built locomotives.

A USRA Light Mountain

One of the results of the USRA were standardized steam locomotive designs. The USRA designed these locomotives to have the latest and most modern features. Features included pneumatic firedoor openers, power reverse mechanisms, mechanical stokers on the larger locomotives, dual water glasses, and power grate shakers (which later turned out to be impractical).

From mid 1918 through 1919, the USRA oversaw the production of almost 1900 steam locomotives in 12 differenct wheel arrangements. Ironically, the war which prompted the creation of the USRA was over only four months after the USRA's first locomotive was ready for service on July 4, 1918 -- a light 2-8-2 numbered 4500 for the Baltimore & Ohio.

This page shows initial allocations of USRA locomotives. Most (if not all) of the deliveries to these railroads were made between 1918 and 1919. Many of these roads ordered and received copies of the USRA locomotive designs at later dates. Statistics reflecting USRA copies that were delivered later are NOT shown here.

Although several references have been used, filling in this table is difficult. There are cases where locomotives were refused by a railroad and them immediately delivered to another railroad. One example of this was the T&P which quickly returned 11 light 2-8-2s. They were subsequently delivered to the CRI&P.

Initial Allocations

Road 0-6-0 0-8-0 2-8-2 2-10-2 2-6-6-2 2-8-8-2 4-6-2 4-8-2
Ann Arbor4 light
ACL (WofA)1
ACL1045 light
B&LE5 heavy
B&O40100 light30 light
C&A10 light
C&EI15 light
C&O205 heavy
CB&Q101015 heavy10 heavy
C&WI5 light
CI&L5 light
CGW510 light
CNJ1010 heavy
CNW (CStPM&O)84 heavy
CMStP&P100 heavy
CRI&P109 (+ 11 from T&P) light
DM&N10 light
EJ&E85 heavy
EP&SW5 heavy
Erie1615 heavy25 heavy20 heavy
FW&DC (C&S)5 heavy
FW&DC5 heavy
GM&O (M&O)10
GN4 heavy
GT515 light
GTW525 light
L&HR4 light
L&N618 light
20 heavy
6 light
MEC26 light
Monongahela10 light
MP15 light + 10 from PRR (see note 4)7 light
N&W5010 heavy
NC&StL10 light5 light
NYC&StL (W&LE)520 heavy10
NYC&StL10 light
NYC (B&A)10 light
NYC (CCC&StL)925 light
NYC (CJ)14
NYC (IHB)2024 light
NYC (K&M)3
NYC (LE&W)315 light
NYC (MC)1020 light
NYC (P&LE)15 heavy
NYC (PMcK&Y)15 heavy
NYC (T&OC)515 light
NYC2595 light
NYNH&H10 light
PRR (GR&I)5 light (33 to SLSF & MP, see note 4)
PRR (PCC&StL)30130 heavy (see note 2)
P&WV23 light
Rutland26 light
SAL1010 light15 light
SLSF723 light from PRR (see note 4)note 2
Southern (AGS)3 light
Southern (CNO&TP)5(see note 3)5 light
Southern (NO&NE)1
Southern1425 (see note 3)50 light17 light
T&P1411 light (to CRI&P)
UP (OSL)520 light
UP1020 light
Wabash20 light
Wash Term3
WP5 light
255175625 light
233 heavy
94 light
175 heavy
3010681 light
20 heavy
47 light
15 heavy

Key To Railroad Initials

A&WPAtlanta & West PointK&MKanawha & Michigan (NYC)
ACLAtlantic Coast LineKCTKansas City Terminal
AGSAlabama Great SouthernL&HRLehigh & Hudson River
B&ABoston & Albany (NYC)L&NLouisville & Nashville
B&LEBessemer & Lake ErieLE&WLake Erie & Western
B&OBaltimore & OhioM&OMobile & Ohio
C&AChicago & AltonMCMichigan Central (NYC)
C&EIChicago & Eastern IllinoisMECMaine Central
C&OChesapeake & OhioMKTMissouri-Kansas-Texas
C&SColorado & SouthernMPMisouri Pacific
C&WIChicago & Western Indiana (Belt Rwy. of Chicago)N&WNorfolk & Western
CB&QChicago, Burlington & QuincyNC&StLNashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis (L&N)
CCC&StLCleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis ("Big Four")NO&NENew Orleans & Northeastern (Southern)
CGWChicago Great WesternNPNorthern Pacific
CI&LChicago, Indianapolis & Louisville ("Monon")NYCNew York Central
CJChicago Junction (NYC)NYC&StLNew York, Chigago & St. Louis
CMStP&PChicago, Milwaukee, St.Paul & PacificNYNH&HNew York, New Haven & Hartford
CNJCentral of New JerseyOSLOrigon Short Line (UP)
CNO&TPCincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific (Southern)P&LEPittsburgh & Lake Erie (NYC)
C&NWChicago and North WesternP&WVPittsburgh & West Virginia
CRI&PChicago, Rock Island & PacificPCC&StLPittsburgh, Cincinatti, Chicago & St. Louis (PRR: "Lines West")
CStPM&OChicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha ("Omaha Road")PMPere Marquette
DM&NDuluth, Missabe & NorthernPMcK&YPittsburgh, McKeesport & Youghiogheny (NYC)
EJ&EElgin, Joliet & EasternPRRPennsylvania Rairoad
EP&SWEl Paso & Southwestern (Southern Pacific)SALSeaboard Air Line
FW&DCFort Worth & Denver CitySLSFSt. Louis-San Francisco
GAGeorgia RailroadT&OCToledo & Ohio Central (NYC)
GM&OGulf, Mobile & OhioT&PTexas & Pacific
GNGreat NorthernTRRATerminal Railroad Association of St. Louis
GR&IGrand Rapids & Indiana (PRR)UPUnion Pacific
GTGrand Trunk (New England)W&LEWheeling & Lake Erie
GTWGrand Trunk WesternWPWestern Pacific
IHBIndiana Harbor Belt (NYC)WofAWestern Railroad of Alabama


  1. 10 0-8-0s were assigned to MKT but they were refused. Nine of them went to the NYC and one went to CCC&StL (Big Four) giving the CCC&StL/NYC a total of 10.
  2. One source says that the SLSF received 5 heavy and that the PRR only received 125 (instead of 130). A better source states that 5 (2007-2011) of these locomotives were originally delivered to the C&EI (which was part of the SFSL until 1916), and then transferred to the PRR around 1920.
  3. The Southern was assigned 25 light 2-8-2s (4750-4774) from Alco on 10/11/1918. In 1920, 4765-4774 became CNO&TP 6285- 6294.
  4. The PRR was assigned 38 light 2-8-2s. 33 were rejected and re-assigned to the MoPac and SLSF. The MoPac received 10 (numbers 1316-1325) and the SLSF received 23 (4000-4007 & 4017-4031), two of which were re-assigned via the MKT. Some sources state that the MoPac received 5. Other sources state that the SLSF received all 33 that were rejected by the PRR. The confusion lies in the fact that the SLSF did have a total of 33. The additional 10 did not come from the PRR, but came from the IHB.

    SLSF #IHB #

USRA Locomotive Reference

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Wes Barris