They were the largest non-articulated locomotives ever built and the most powerful locomotives ever static tested, producing 7,987 cylinder horsepower (5,956 kW) on the PRR's static test plant. They were by far the most successful duplex type. The duplex propensity to slip was combated by an automatic slip control mechanism that reduced power to the slipping unit.
Despite overall success, the Q2s were all out of service by 1951. With dieselization, they were the obvious first targets to be withdrawn since they were only a little more capable than the conventional J1 class 2-10-4s but with far higher operating and maintenance costs.