The first 2-6-2 tender locomotives built for a North American customer were built by Brooks in 1900 for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The type was thus nicknamed the Prairie in North American practice. In the USA the type evolved from the 2-6-0 configuration. The ATSF became one of the largest fleet users of the type and initially had tandem compound cylinders The major problem with the 2-6-2 is that these engines have a symmetrical layout, wherein the 'centre of gravity' is almost over the center driving wheel. The reciprocation rods, when working near the center of gravity, induce severe 'side to side' nosing, which if can't be restrained either by a long wheelbase or by the leading and trailing trucks results in 'severe instability'. Though some engines had the connecting rod aligned onto the third driver (like the Chicago and Great Western of 1903) most examples were powered via the second driver.
As can be seen from the gallery below there were quite a few 2-6-2's along the Redwood Coast. One of them, CWR #14 still exists – see picture right. She is in Willits at Roots of Motive Power awaiting restoration.