USRA 2-8-8-2

The USRA 2-8-8-2 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. These locomotives were of 2-8-8-2 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or (1'D)'D1' in UIC classification. A total of 106 locomotives were built to this plan for the USRA; postwar, it became a de facto standard design.

USRA 2-8-8-2
USRA 2-8-8-2.jpg
Virginian 900, prior to its refusal by the Virginian Railway. It (and VGN 901–904) became Norfolk and Western Railway 2000–2004, class Y-3.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderALCO, Baldwin
Total produced106 originals, (plus 116 copies)
Specifications
Configuration:
 • Whyte2-8-8-2
 • UIC(1′D)D1′ h4v
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia.57 in (1,448 mm)
Adhesive weight474,000 lb (215.0 t)
Loco weight531,000 lb (240.9 t)
Fuel typeCoal
Boiler pressure240 lbf/in2 (1.65 MPa)
CylindersFour, two LP (front), two HP (rear)
High-pressure cylinder23 in × 32 in (584 mm × 813 mm)
Low-pressure cylinder39 in × 32 in (991 mm × 813 mm)
Valve gearBaker
Loco brakeAir
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Tractive effort101,300 lbf (450.6 kN)
Career
DispositionOne copy (N&W 2050) preserved, remainder scrapped

HistoryEdit

While the 2-8-8-2 had been built in the United States since 1909,[1] most development work had gone into making subsequent locomotives larger and heavier. The Norfolk and Western Railway however, had taken development in a different direction. By using smaller cylinders and higher boiler pressure, the result was a locomotive capable of powerful performance, and a turn of speed higher than the 20 mph (32 km/h) maximum of the ‘traditional’ designs.[1]

The USRA 2-8-8-2 drew heavily on the Norfolk and Western Railway’s Y-2 class locomotive design, as their delegate to the 2-8-8-2 design committee had brought a full set of blueprints.[2]

Original ownersEdit

USRA originalsEdit

Railroad Quantity Class Road numbers Notes
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
26
7145–7170
rebuilt to EL-5 class 2-8-8-0[3]
Clinchfield Railroad
10
L-2
725–734
[4]
Norfolk and Western Railway
45
Y-3
2005–2049
[5]
Virginian Railway
5
900–904
Refused, to Norfolk & Western 2000–2004[6]
Virginian Railway
20
USA
701–720
[6]
Total 106

CopiesEdit

Railroad Quantity Class Road numbers Notes
Clinchfield Railroad
10
L-3
725–735
[4]
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
10
L-107
3500–3509
[7]
Interstate Railway
2
Class 20
20-21
[1]
Norfolk and Western Railway
30
Y-3a
2050–2079
[5]
Norfolk and Western Railway
45
Y-3b
2080–2089
Later re-classed as Y-4[5]
Northern Pacific Railway
4
Z-4
4500–4503
[8]
Virginian Railway
15
USB
721–735
[6]
Total 116

SurvivorEdit

Although no original USRA 2-8-8-2 survives, one of the copies does. Norfolk & Western 2050, a 1923 ALCO product of N&W's Y-3a class, is on display at the Illinois Railway Museum.

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c E. W. King, Jr. in Drury pp.298–299
  2. ^ E. W. King, Jr. in Drury p.299
  3. ^ Drury p.47
  4. ^ a b Drury pp.131, 133
  5. ^ a b c E. W. King, Jr. in Drury pp.299, 308
  6. ^ a b c E. W. King, Jr in Drury pp.417, 419
  7. ^ Drury pp.157, 161
  8. ^ Drury pp.310, 317

BibliographyEdit

  • Drury, George H. (1993), Guide to North American Steam Locomotives, Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing Company, ISBN 0-89024-206-2, LCCN 93041472
  • Westcott, Linn H. (1960). Model Railroader Cyclopedia, volume 1, Steam Locomotives. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing Company. ISBN 0-89024-001-9.