USRA Locos and Related Locomotive Stuff

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by pjb, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. pjb

    pjb Member

    There has been almost unbroken discussions of
    USRA locos and other steam related matters
    that are mundane to the initiated, and mysteries
    to the neophyte.
    Regardless of what category you think you
    fall into, there is a relatively painless way
    to get answers to all aspects of the discussions
    three definitive works on sale for about 25 bucks
    each. UNCLE SAM'S LOCOMOTIVES, which is the
    story of of all the USRA designs, and
    STEAM LOCOMOTIVE , as well as his book on
    developing American DEs are likewise being
    sold. They are easily found online, and you can
    call them up in Bloomington, Indiana and
    have ready references to almost any question
    that comes up on locos.
    Good-Luck, PJB
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    PJB: Thanks for the info. From my years in the MR hobby and through an interest in railroad history, I've long known the basics of the USRA but this is the first I've heard of any background publications. Jim K.
  3. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

  4. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    reply and addition

    Also the USRA onced formed and incharge was faced with a major problum. A immediate shortage of locomotives. Their was no instant fix for this. The only locomotives aviable were locomotives awaiting to be shipped to foreign nations, and trade ins. The largest lots were the 2-8-0's for Brittan and France, and the 2-10-0's not shipped to Russia. The 2-8-0's were temporally leased to get thing started. Most due to the need to get them to Europe were replaced with the Russian Decapods. The only refferance to this will be in the variuos railroad rosters of the time. A complete list doesn't seam to be out their. The best list of these locos are in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia of Steam locomotives. But it is not complete. One of my railroads is missing. The CNJ was leased many of these decapods. They didn't like them and used them very little. The CNJ did keep them, till the wars end. A referance here (MRCof SL) states that companies who had them but didn't use them were not in this list. The ERIE had the most with 75, and liked them.
    The USRA realy didn't design any locomotives but selected certain ones of different wheel araingment and had only these produced durring the war. If you wanted a new locomotive you ordered one of these.
    The Russian decapods had good traction and were very light on the rails. Soviet Russia had many more decapods made here and shipped to them during WW2. Many of the leasing companies kept and owned these locomotives after the war ended. Their are still some running today.

    Attached Files:

  5. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    USRA info on CNJ locomotives.

    This is the information that I have on the Russian Decapods the USRA leased to the CNJ for war time use.

    **********Russian Decapods on the Central Railroad of New Jersey*************

    The USRA was formed at the start of World War 1. Its purpose to oversee US railroad lines to improve their freight handling and security. This is not an article on the USRA but only on the Locomotives that they had sent to the CNJ to help with their, the CNJ’s, operation. Initially in December of 1917 The USRA leased to the CNJ 10, 2-8-0 that were built for France.

    These locomotives all built by Baldwin, were received by the CNJ in two groups. December, 1917. Seven locomotives numbers 660 to 666. February, 1918 three locomotives numbers 484 to 486. These road numbers were used. This group of ten was not long for CNJ rails. The USRA was to lease 19 Russian decapods to the CNJ for the remainder of the war. These were the only 2-10-0 type locomotives that were used by the Central of New Jersey. When these were received the 2-8-0 type were returned. The first group of Decapods, were four built by the American locomotive Co.
    The locomotives were numbered 1090 to 1093. The remaining 15 were all Baldwin built.
    The second group was of 10. They were numbers 1171 to 1180. They were received in April, 1918 also. The last group of 5 was received in June of 1918. These numbers were not consecutive. The numbers were, 1116, 1136, 1139, 1160, and 1162. As with the 2-8-0 type these road numbers were used. At the wars end the all 19 locomotives were returned to the USRA. This was done in April and May of 1920.

    The CNJ used them with very little modification. They looked very much like the Baldwin loco pictured below. No generators were ever installed on them, and they used oil lamps. The CNJ didn’t like these locomotives for various reasons. One was the motion of the throttle was in reverse to what was normal for the CNJ. For their life on the CNJ they stayed mainly in Pennsylvania. There is a photo of two of them at the station in Jim Thorpe. It is buried in a photo archive at Steamtown.
    Any photos of these locomotives would be helpful. I suspect that the front pilot steps were mounted at an angle to both the front and side of the pilot support. I have made two models of these locomotives. The information here is general though not well known operational information of the CNJ. The bachmann locos used need many changes.New walkway pilot steps were made. Their cabs were wrong and new ones had to be made. Also that they were all weather, in closed cabs with a articulated roof and sliding cab doors (which the models don’t have) added to the reason for replacing. Handrails also had to be added. I didn’t remove the generator and the front headlight. I guess I don’t know why the CNJ never changed them. But I did! It is a builder’s privilege and I didn’t want to limit the locomotives usages.

    Attached Files:

  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I read somewhere that more engines of the same design were being made up to the Berlin blockade and the start of the Cold War. The same event prevented the Little Joes from going to Russia and made them a familiar sight in the US and Brazil. However, as this was the late 1940s and these engines were an obsolete design, when some were left awaiting shipment, US roads didn't snap them up. I heard that only one of the newer series saw use in the US.

    I don't know if any Russian Decapods are still in regular service today. Possible, hidden somewhere in North Korea.
  7. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member


    Look at the steam engine loco site for US locos that are preserved or still operating in this country . Their are a few their.
    Search "surviving steam locomotives in the united states" you will find a state by state list. you can search by wheel arangement ( 2-10-0 ). click on "the USA" three lines below..
    Here are some survivors.
    Their are 2 more decs, X SAL that I think are russians.
    Search keyword(s): 2-10-0 Back to steam survivors in: the USA
    1630, Russian 2-10-0, 4'-8½ "SLSFIllinois Railway Museum, Union, ILout of
    1632 Russian 2-10-0, 4'-8½" Belton, MO.
    1621 Russian 2-10-0, 4'-8½" SLS St. Louis, MO
    544 Russian 2-10-0, 4'-8½" Spencer, NC
    1615 Russian 2-10-0, 4'-8½"Missle Park, S Ma
    1625 Russian 2-10-0, 4'-8½" SLSFMuseum of the American Railroad
    Key to notes field
  8. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    About Russian 2-10-0 SAL #544 USRA Leased then sold to SAL

    Seaboard Air Line #544--- The locomotive was built by the American Locomotive Company in March 1918. This 2-10-0 Decapod was built for the Russian State Railroad, but never delivered due to the Revolution of 1917. Before the locomotive could be used in the U.S, wider tires had to be installed since the Russian Railroads used 5-foot gauge, instead of 4 feet 8 ½ inches. It then became the property of the United States Railroad Administration, begun in 1917 to control the shipment of vital war supplies during World War I. Decapods were employed on branch lines throughout the Seaboard system, being based in North Carolina at Hamlet and Raleigh. During the 1950s these decapods were transferred to the Gainesville Midland, a Seaboard subsidiary in Georgia. The 544 was placed on display in Atlanta in 1965 and later sold to the North Carolina Railroad Company in 1980, which donated the locomotive to the State of North Carolina. The 544 was cosmetically restored in 1996 for display in the Robert Julian Roundhouse.
  9. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    Gents, I believe the Strasburg RR has and (still) runs a dandy Russian in tourist service - will have a quick look for a photo.

    Best I could do on short notice...#90 in the Pdf is the loco- no exactly real passenger power, but a lovely steamer, wide driver tires and all ! Bob C.
  10. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    My PRR USRA light Mikado

    PRR USRA light Mikado : Detailed from a Athearn Pacific.

    Attached Files:

  11. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    The USRA Light Mikado of 1919

    USRA Light Mikado by Athearn. Correctly detailed as the Pennsylvania RR ran it. frank

    Attached Files:

  12. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Yes this is a light decapod of the same class as the Russians, but not a true one. It was built in the 1930s not before WW1 1918. Some railroads liked the design and had more made.

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