USRA Light Mikado 2-8-2 Steam Locomotive
The USRA Light Mikado 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 light freight locomotive of the USRA types, and was of 2-8-2 wheel arrangement in the Whyte notation, or 1′D1′ in UIC classification.

A total of 625 locomotives were built under the auspices of the USRA, with a further 641 copies built after the end of the USRA's control. The first, for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was completed in July 1918 and given No. 4500. The locomotives were considered well-designed and modern, and were popular and successful. Large numbers remained in service until replaced by diesel locomotives. It was also called the McAdoo Mikado after William Gibbs McAdoo, head of the USRA.

With later copies, over 50 railroads used the type, including the following:

List of original USRA allocation:

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Quantity: 100
Class: Q-3
Road numbers: 4500–4599

Chicago and Alton Railroad
Quantity: 10
Class: L-4
Road numbers: 875–884
Note: to Alton Railroad 4385–4394, class Q-8.

Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad
Quantity: 15
Class: N-2
Road numbers: 1925–1939

Chicago Great Western Railway
Quantity: 10
Class: L-3
Road numbers: 750–759

Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad (Monon)
Quantity: 5
Class: J-2
Road numbers: 550–554

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad
Quantity: 9 (+11 from T&P)
Class: K-55
Road numbers: 2300–2308, 2309–2319

Grand Trunk Railway
Quantity: 15
Class: M-3
Road numbers: 440–454
Note: to Canadian National Railway 3700–3714, class S-3-a.

Grand Trunk Western Railroad
Quantity: 25
Class: M-3
Road numbers: 455–479
Note: to Canadian National Railway 3715–3739, class S-3-a.

Lehigh and Hudson River Railway
Quantity: 4
Class: 80
Road numbers: 80–83

Louisville and Nashville Railroad
Quantity: 18
Class: J-3
Road numbers: 1500–1517

Maine Central Railroad
Quantity: 6
Class: S
Road numbers: 621–626

Missouri Pacific Railroad
Quantity: 15 (+10 from PRR)
Class: MK-63
Road numbers: 1301–1315, 1316–1325

Monongahela Railway
Quantity: 10

Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway
Quantity: 10
Class: L2-55
Road numbers: 650–659

New York Central Railroad
Quantity: 95
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 5100–5194
Note: Re-numbered 1800–1894, less 11 to PM.

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (New York Central subsidiary)
Quantity: 25
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 6089–6113
Note: Re-numbered 1700–1724.

Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad (New York Central subsidiary)
Quantity: 24
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 400–423
Note: 10 to SLSF, others to PM.

Lake Erie and Western Railroad (New York Central subsidiary)
Quantity: 15
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 5540–5554
Note: to Nickel Plate Road 586–600.

Michigan Central Railroad (New York Central subsidiary)
Quantity: 20
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 7970–7989
Note: Re-numbered 1770–1789.

Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad (New York Central subsidiary)
Quantity: 15
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 9732–9746
Note: Renumbered 1732–1736.

New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (Nickel Plate Road)
Quantity: 10
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 601–610

Pennsylvania Railroad
Quantity: 33
Note: Refused; 10 to MP, 23 to SLSF.

Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad (Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary)
Quantity: 5
Class: L2s
Road numbers: 9627–9631

Pere Marquette Railway
Quantity: (30)
Class: K-8
Note: Acquired secondhand from IHB (14), NYC (11) and WAB (5). To C&O 2350–2379.

Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway
Quantity: 3

Rutland Railway
Quantity: 6
Class: H-6a
Road numbers: 32–37

Seaboard Air Line Railroad
Quantity: 10
Class: Q-1
Road numbers: 490–499

St. Louis – San Francisco Railway
Quantity: (23 from PRR, 10 from IHB)
Class: 4000
Road numbers: 4000–4032

Southern Railway
Quantity: 25
Class: Ms-1
Road numbers: 4750–4774
Note: 4765–4775 to subsidiary
Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway 6285–6294 in 1920.

Texas and Pacific Railway
Quantity: 11
Class: H-1
Road numbers: 550–560
Note: Refused; to Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.

Union Pacific Railroad
Quantity: 20
Class: MK-Spl
Road numbers: 2295–2314
Note: Re-numbered 2480–2499 in 1920

Oregon Short Line Railroad (Union Pacific subsidiary)
Quantity: 20

Wabash Railroad
Quantity: 20
Class: K-2
Road numbers: 2201–2220
Note: 5 to PM, replaced by 5 from WP.

Western Pacific Railroad
Quantity: 5
Class: MK-55
Road numbers: 321–325
Note: to Wabash in 1920.

Total: 625

List of USRA copies

Canadian National Railway (Grand Trunk)
Quantity: 18
Class: S-3
Road numbers: 3740-3757

Chicago and Alton Railroad
Quantity: 5
Class: L-4a
Road numbers: 885–889
Note: to Alton Railroad 4395–4399, class Q-8a.

Florida East Coast Railway
Quantity: 15
Class: 701
Road numbers: 701–715

Louisville and Nashville Railroad
Quantity: 75
Class: J-3
Road numbers: 1518–1592

International-Great Northern Railroad (Missouri Pacific subsidiary)
Quantity: 10
Class: MK-63
Road numbers: 1101–1110

Mobile and Ohio Railroad
Quantity: 37
Class: 450
Road numbers: 450–486

Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway
Quantity: 12
Class: L2A-55
Road numbers: 660–671

New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (Nickel Plate Road)
Quantity: 61
Class: H-6b–H-6f
Road numbers: 611–671

Pere Marquette Railway
Quantity: 10
Class: K-5
Road numbers: 1041–1050
Note: to C&O 1060–1069.

Seaboard Air Line Railroad
Quantity: 118
Class: Q-3
Road numbers: 334–451

Alabama Great Southern Railroad (Southern Railway subsidiary)
Quantity: 10
Class: Ms-1
Road numbers: 6612–6621

Texas and Pacific Railway
Quantity: 11
Class: H-2
Road numbers: 800–810

West Point Route (Atlanta and West Point Rail Road)
Quantity: 3
Class: F
Road numbers: 425–427

West Point Route (Georgia Railroad)
Quantity: 7
Class: F
Road numbers: 320–326

West Point Route (Western Railway of Alabama)
Quantity: 4
Class: F
Road numbers: 375–378

Total: 641

6 examples of the USRA light 2-8-2 built under the auspices of the USRA are preserved. These are Frisco 4003 at the Fort Smith Trolley Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Frisco 4018 at the Sloss Furness in Birmingham, Alabama, Nickel Plate Road 587 at the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville, Indiana, Baltimore and Ohio 4500 at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, Grand Trunk Western 4070 at Midwest Railway Preservation Society in Cleveland, Ohio, and Union Pacific 2537 at Jefferson Park in Walla Walla, Washington.

Model Trains
LGB produced a Light Mikado from 2001-2004 in G scale in multiple fallen flag railroad names.

In HO scale, Broadway Limited Imports has made the USRA Light Mikado (and USRA Heavy Mikado), and it has been featured with a variety of roadnames since its release in 2004. Athearn produced the USRA Light Mikado in 2001, but it was discontinued around 2003. Bachmann has recently announced that they will be making the USRA Light Mikado in HO scale starting in early 2016. Mike's Train House (better known as MTH) produced a USRA light Mikado a few years ago when it was starting its HO scale line of trains.

Lionel Trains LLC has produced a Mikado as part of its O-27 scale line in recent years, as well as a light Mikado for its S-gauge "American Flyer" line. Both appear to be based on the USRA Light Mikado.

USRA Light Mikado Overview
Type and origin
Power: type Steam
ALCO, Baldwin, Lima
Total produced: 625 originals plus 641 copies
Configuration: 2-8-2
UIC class: 1′D1′ h2
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading diameter: 33 in (0.838 m)
Driver diameter: 63 in (1.600 m)
Trailing diameter: 43 in (1.092 m)
Locomotive Wheelbase: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Wheelbase with tender: 71 ft 4 1⁄2 in (21.76 m)
Adhesive weight: 220,000 lb (99,800 kg)
Locomotive weight: 292,000 lb (132,000 kg)
Fuel type: Coal
Boiler pressure: 200 psi (1.38 MPa)
Cylinders: Two
Cylinder size: 26 in × 30 in (660 mm × 762 mm)
Valve gear: Walschaerts
Performance figures
Tractive effort 54,724 lbf (243.42 kN)
Preserved: 6

See also:

2-8-2 Mikado

USRA Heavy Mikado

Steam Locomotives


Historic Rail - Shop Now!

B&O USRA Light Mikado No. 4500.

A USRA Light Mikado steam locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement, located at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, MO.

By Kbh3rd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

USRA Light Mikado diagram.

A USRA Light Mikado steam locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement, located at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, MO.

Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

Lima-built SLSF USRA Light Mikado No. 4018.
USRA Light Mikado diagram.
B&O USRA Light Mikado No. 4500.

Lima-built SLSF USRA Light Mikado No. 4018.

By Thilo Parg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons - NFL Jerseys and Gear
Enter the Classic Streamliners Bookstore.
Enter the Classic Streamliners Bookstore. - NFL Jerseys and Gear
Shop for Trains and Railroad Collectibles on eBay
Shop for Railroad and Train Collectibles on eBay