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During World War I, Uncle Sam nationalized the railroads when they proved unequal to the task of moving massive amounts of men and materiel for the war effort.
With 255 engines delivered to 23 railroads, production numbers for the government-issue 0-6-0 were the second-highest of any USRA design. The agency that ran the trains was the United States Railroad Administration, or USRA, and one of its chief accomplishments was the creation of 12 steam engine designs that lasted for decades.

And more than any other USRA engine, the six-coupled switcher was found from coast to coast, from Maine to Texas, and on railroads large and small.
According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, USRA locomotives were the first successful standardization of American motive power - and the only standard designs until the diesel era.
Its short wheelbase enabled it to slip into industrial and wharf sidings where larger engines couldn't go, and the cut out or sloping tenders used on many roads offered better visibility for backup moves.

Owners were generally quite pleased with the quality of the government's design, and many 0-6-0s lasted into the 1950s.

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