February 27, 2013 - The M.T.H. Premier Line USRA 0-6-0 steam locomotive will begin shipping to M.T.H. Authorized Retailers in March. Check out the locomotive's details in the photos below or click on the video icon to the left to see it in action. 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. 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. 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. With 255 engines delivered to 23 railroads, production numbers for the government-issue 0-6-0 were the second-highest of any USRA design. 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. Owners were generally quite pleased with the quality of the government’s design, and many 0-6-0s lasted into the 1950s. Constructed with numerous added-on detail parts, the USRA 0-6-0 offers you this combination of prototype realism and all the operating features you’d want in a steam switcher: smooth, steady operation down to 3 scale miles per hour; remote Proto-Couplers front and rear; chuffing sounds and puffing smoke synchronized with the drivers at a correct four chuffs per revolution; adjustable smoke intensity; great pulling power; directional lighting; and authentic sounds.