Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

USRA 2-8-8-2 Steam Locomotive
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.

While the 2-8-8-2 had been built in the United States since 1909, most development work had gone in to 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.

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.

Original USRA Owners

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Quantity: 26
Road numbers: 7145–7170
Notes: rebuilt to EL-5 class 2-8-8-0

Clinchfield Railroad
Quantity: 10
Class: L-2

Road numbers: 725–735

Norfolk and Western Railway
Quantity: 45
Class: Y-3
Road numbers: 2005–2049

Virginian Railway
Quantity: 5
Road numbers: 900–904
Notes: Refused, to Norfolk & Western 2000–2004

Virginian Railway
Quantity: 20
Class: USA
Road numbers: 701–720

Total Originals: 106


Clinchfield Railroad
Quantity: 10
Class: L-3
Road numbers: 725–735

Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
Quantity: 10
Class: L-107
Road numbers: 3500–3509

Norfolk and Western Railway
Quantity: 30
Class: Y-3a
Road numbers: 2050–2079

Norfolk and Western Railway
Quantity: 45
Class: Y-3b
Road numbers: 2080–2089
Notes: Later re-classed as Y-4

Northern Pacific Railway
Quantity: 4
Class: Z-4
Road numbers: 4500–4503

Virginian Railway
Quantity: 15
Class: USB
Road numbers: 721–735

Total Copies: 114


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.

USRA 2-8-8-2 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Steam
Builders: ALCO, Baldwin
Total produced: 220 (106 originals, plus 114 copies)
Configuration: 2-8-8-2
UIC class: (1′D)D1′ h4v
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter: 57 in (1,448 mm)
Adhesive weight: 474,000 lb (215.0 t)
Locomotive weight: 531,000 lb (240.9 t)
Fuel type: Coal
Boiler pressure: 240 lbf/in2 (1.65 MPa)
Cylinders: Four, two LP (front), two HP (rear)
High-pressure cylinder: 23 in × 32 in (584 mm × 813 mm)
Low-pressure cylinder: 39 in × 32 in (991 mm × 813 mm)
Locomotive brake: Air
Train brakes: Air
Performance figures
Tractive effort: 101,300 lbf (450.6 kN)
Disposition: One copy (N&W 2050) preserved, remainder scrapped.

See also:

USRA 2-6-6-2


Baldwin logo.
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.

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.

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