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ABSOLUTE BLOCK  look up translate image
A section of track protected by signals into which only one train at a time is permitted.
ADVANCED STARTING SIGNAL  look up translate image
An additional signal placed beyond the starting signal to permit trains to be shunted beyond the departure end of the platform. The advanced started indicates station limits at the departure end of the platform.
ALLEGHENY  look up translate image
Locomotive with 2-6-6-6 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
AMERICAN  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-4-0 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
ANDRIEV  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-14-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
ATLANTIC  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-4-2 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
AUTO TRAIN  look up translate image
An early form of multiple unit where a steam locomotive was built into the end of a railway carriage.
BACK TO BACK  look up translate image
The distance measured between the inside edges of the two wheels on an axle. Important for determining if a given wagon, carriage, or locomotive will run through a given piece of track that has check rails.
BALLAST  look up translate image
The base material into which the sleepers under the track is set.
BALTIC (OR HUDSON)  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-6-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
BASEPLATE  look up translate image
The plate upon which flatbottom rail is laid in order to be fastened down. Usually referred to in modelling terms as "chairs".
BAY PLATFORM  look up translate image
A shorter terminating platform road set into the side of a larger platform
BERKSHIRE  look up translate image
Locomotive with 2-8-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
BIGBOY  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
BLOCK OR SECTION  look up translate image
A section of track protected by signals.
BOARD  look up translate image
see Section
BROAD GAUGE  look up translate image
Track having a gauge wider than standard.
BULGARIA  look up translate image
Locomotive with 2-12-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
BULLHEAD RAIL  look up translate image
Rail having the same profile for both the upper and lower portions of the rail.
CARRIAGE  look up translate image
A piece of rolling stock used to convey passengers.
CARRIAGE SHED  look up translate image
A shed used for the storage of passenger carriages
CATCH POINT  look up translate image
A single trailing point blade set into an ascending track to derail wagons which have come uncoupled and are running back down the hill. This prevents runaways colliding with a following train.
CDU  look up translate image
Capacitor discharge unit. Used to store power so that several point motors may be fired simultaneously.
CHAIRS  look up translate image
The base into which bullhead rail is laid in order to attach it to the sleepers.
CHALLENGER  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-6-6-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
CHECK RAIL  look up translate image
The piece of rail which holds the inside of the wheel to stop the other wheel from going down the wrong side of the "frog". Also used on bridges etc. to help hold the wheels on the track.
CLOSURE RAIL  look up translate image
The piece of fixed rail between the points and "frog" of a turnout.
COALING STAGE  look up translate image
A tower like arrangement over a track into which coal is mechanically loaded. The coal can be dropped directly into the tender of steam locomotives.
COLOUR-LIGHT SIGNAL  look up translate image
A signal that uses only coloured lights to provide an indication of how far in front of the train that the line is clear.
COLUMBIA  look up translate image
Locomotive with 2-4-2 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
COMMON RETURN  look up translate image
A method of wiring a layout whereby all of the wires going to one side of the track are wired together and permanently connected to one side of all controllers. This method permits single pole switches to be used in place of double pole and reduces the amount of wire required. IT CANNOT BE USED WITH SINGLE SUPPLY.
COMPOUND LADDER  look up translate image
A way of splitting one track into many in the shortest possible distance by placing another turnout on each track coming from the previous one.
CONSOLIDATION  look up translate image
Locomotive with 2-6-6-6 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
CONTINENTAL  look up translate image
A notation used to identify the wheel arrangement of locomotives by specifying non driving axles by numers and driving axles by letters (followed by 'o' if they are not coupled). For example C-C means no leading wheels, two sets of six coupled/driving wheels, and no trailing wheels, Co-Co indicates the same except that the driving axles are independently powered and not coupled together, A1A-A1A is a similar wheel arrangement except that the centre pair of wheels in each set are not powered. This notation is commonly used for diesel and electric locomotives.
CONTINUOUS RUN  look up translate image
A layout upon which a train can be set in motion and can then run continuously round and round traversing the same circle of track.
CONTROLLER  look up translate image
The unit consisting of switches and knobs used to control the speed and direction of a model train. The unit may also contain more sophisticated controls (eg. inertia). A transformer may also sometimes be found in the same box.
CROSSOVER  look up translate image
A pair of turnouts arranged so as to permit a train to cross from one line to another.
CUTTING  look up translate image
A section of railway line where the surrounding countryside is at a higher level than the line and the ground has been dug away to put in the line.
DEAD FROG  look up translate image
A model turnout where the crossing vee is moulded of plastic so as to keep the two track circuits through the turnout entirely separate.
DECAPOD  look up translate image
Locomotive with 0-10-0 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
DIAMOND CROSSING  look up translate image
A track unit where one track crosses another track at the same level.
DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE  look up translate image
A locomotive powered by a diesel engine. The variations diesel mechanical, diesel hydraulic, and diesel electric refer to the method used to connect the diesel engine to the wheels.
DIODE MATRIX  look up translate image
A circuit using diodes that permits route setting of points to be done by selecting one circuit instead of requiring each point to be set separately.
DISTANT SIGNAL  look up translate image
A signal giving an advanced warning of what the next signal is showing. It has no stop indication.
DOG BONE  look up translate image
A continuous run layout where the two sides of the circle have been "squeezed" together so as to simulate double track. A train running on this type of layout will appear to be running backwards and forwards in a realistic manner.
DOMINION  look up translate image
Locomotive with 4-4-4 wheel arrangement (refer Whyte)
DOUBLE SLIP  look up translate image
A diamond crossing having slip roads on both sides of the diamond.
DUCK-UNDER  look up translate image
A means of getting into a central operating area of a layout not having a lifting section. May be padded on the underside of the baseboard to lessen the impact when you try to stand up too soon.
ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE  look up translate image
A locomotive powered by an electric motor. Electricity is supplied either by overhead wires or via an additional rail near the running rails. This extra rail is called the conductor rail.
ELECTRIC TRAIN HEATING (ETH)  look up translate image
A method of heating a train using electricity.
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Railway terminology
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Created by admin
Created on 2011-05-07 19:03:21
Number of terms 176
Last added None
  • Glossary and Terminology
  • Glossary of rail terminology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Steve's Railway Glossary
    A glossary of prototype and model railway terms