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Summary: USRA 0-8-0 Switcher Locomotive...
|Print of the USRA, 0-8-0, Switcher, Locomotive ... Historic Artwork.|
Having all the weight on its drivers, the 0-8-0 possessed the needed power that the 4-4-0 lacked. The 0-8-0 became the standard freight engine on the B&O for trains working the Allegheny Mountain grades.
Nevertheless, the 0-8-0 was strictly a low-speed road engine, for the same reasons as the 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 before it. The 0-8-0 worked best hauling freight in mountainous territory. It was unseated in the...
| Continued from above... unseated in the 1860s when the 2-8-0 appeared, which could move a train at a faster pace. |
However, like the 0-4-0 and 0-6-0, the 0-8-0 later emerged as a switch engine. With the increased use of steel cars and the need to run longer trains, freight train weights in the first two decades of the 20th century grew beyond the capabilities of the 0-6-0, the standard yard engine of 1900. The 0-8-0, reincarnated as a switcher, provided the needed horsepower.
Since tractive effort at low speeds is mostly a function of axle loading, the 0-8-0 could exert as much heft in the yards as any eight-coupled road engine, and proved itself a stable riding engine. Its design was continually improved upon, inheriting many of the new design features and accessories accorded other modern steam power.
An important milestone in the engine's development was the introduction of the United States Railroad Administration 0-8-0 in 1918, one of twelve standardized locomotive types built during World War I when railroads were under the control of the federal government. As with several other USRA locomotives, the 0-8-0 set new standards for design and performance, and a great majority of 0-8-0s built afterwards owed something to the USRA design.
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