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|Glossary of Terms|
'”A” END OF CAR - The end opposite that on which the hand brake is mounted.
ABC BRAKE - The current standard freight car air brake system. Also see AUTOMATIC AIR BRAKE.
ABD CONTROL VALVE. The operating valve of the ABC freight car air brake. It controls the charging, application and release of the brakes.
ABSOLUTE BLOCK - A block which a train is not permitted to enter while it is occupied by another train.
AGENT - See FREIGHT AGENT.
AIR BRAKE HOSE - The flexible connection between the brake pipes of cars or locomotives.
AIR COMPRESSOR - A power-driven air pump which supplies compressed air for the operation of air brakes and ott1er air-actuated equipment.
AIR GAGE (Air Brake} - An instrument which indicates the amount of air pressure in the reservoirs or brake pipe.
ALERTER - A device which detects the frequency of the engineman's movements and initiates an air brake application when the required frequency of such movement is not maintained.
ALLEY (slang) - A clear track for movement through a yard.
ANGLE COCK - A two-position valve located at both ends of the brake pipe on locomotives, passenger and freight cars. When open, it allows the passage of air.
ARRIVAL NOTICE - A notice, furnished to consignee, of the arrival of freight.
ASPECT - The appearance of a fixed signal conveying an indication.
ASS!GNED CAR - Car which has been assigned to a particular industry or with a specific commodity.
AUTOMATIC AIR BRAKE - A braking system which draws air from the atmosphere and stores it under pressure. A reduction in brake pipe pressure, regardless of how it is made, (bleeding of air by use of a valve, or by a break in the train line) automatically applies the brakes. An increase of brake pipe pressure causes brakes to release. .
AUTOMATIC BLOCK SIGNALING - A system in which signals are operated automatically by a train, an open switch, a car standing on a turnout fouling the main track, etc.
AUTOMATIC BLOCK SIGNAL SYSTEM- (ABS) - A block signal system wherein the use of each block is governed by an automatic signal.
AUTOMOBILE CAR - A car specially designed for transporting automobiles. It may be a type of boxcar or a type of flat car usually called an automobile rack car.
AUTOMOBILE PARTS CAR – A box car specially fitted for transportation of automobile parts in racks without packing.
AUTOMOBILE RACK CAR - Rat car with steel racks' for transporting fully assembled automobiles. Racks have either two or three levels, are equipped with tie-down device and are cushioned for vertical and horizontal shocks.
AUXIUARY RESERVOIR - A reservoir for storage of compressed air to operate the brakes of each individual car, and supplied from the main reservoir on the locomotive through the brake pipe.
AVERAGE AGREEMENT - An agreement made between an industry and the railroad whereby the industry is debited for the time cars are held for loading or unloading beyond a certain period, and credited for the time cars are released within that certain period. Demurrage charges are assessed at the end of the month for any outstanding debits.
"B" END OF CAR - The end on which the hand brake is located.
BACK HAUL - To haul a shipment back over part of the route which It has traveled.
BACK-UP AIR SIGNAL - A warning whistle which can be operated at the rear of the train when backing up. Air for its operation is taken from the train line.
BAD ORDER - Car in need of repair.
BALLAST - Selected material placed on the roadbed to hold track in line. Ballast preferably consists of hard particles easily handled in tamping, which distribute the load, drain well, and resist plant growth. .
BALLAST CAR - A car for carrying ballast for repair and construction work, usually a gondola or hopper.
BALLAST TAMPER - A machine for compacting ballast under the ties.
BELT LINE - A short railroad operating within or around a city.
BIG HOLE (slang) - Emergency position of the air brake valve.
BILLED WEIGHT - The weight shown on a waybill and freight bill.
BILLET CAR - A low side gondola car built of steel throughout for transportation of hot steel billets.
BILLING POINT - Location where the waybill is prepared.
BILLING REPAIR CARD – The card furnished to the car owner when repair work is done on a foreign car.
BILL OF LADING - A contract for transportation services authorized by a tariff.
BLEED VALVE - See RELEASE VALVE.
BLOCK - (1) A length of track of defined limits. (2) A group of cars classified for movement to the same yard or terminal.
BLOCKING OR BRACING - Wood or metal supports to keep shipments in place or on cars.
BLOCK SIGNAL - A signal at the entrance of a block to govern trains and engines entering and using that block.
BLOCK SIGNAL SYSTEM – A method of governing the movement of trains into or within one or more blocks by the use of signals.
BOARD - (1) A fixed signal regulating railroad traffic and usually referred to as a Slow Board or Train Order Board. (2) A list of employees available for service. Also called extra board.
BOARDING CAR - A term commonly applied to a car used as a place of lodging for workmen. In the case of wreck trains, they are more often called dining and sleeping cars. Also called CAMP CAR.
BODY CENTER PLATE - The center plate attached to the underside of the body bolster. See CENTER PLATE.
BOOGIE - (1) The running gear of a highway semi-trailer which may be removed. (2) The term used generally to mean swivel railway truck.
BOLSTER - A cross member on the underside of a car body and in the center of a truck, through which the weight is transmitted. The bolsters carry the body and truck center plates, the body bolster resting on the truck bolster, and are connected to it with a center pin.
BOX CAR - An enclosed car used for general service and especially for lading which must be protected from the weather.
BRAKE CLUB - Three foot hickory stick used by freight trainmen to tighten hand brakes.
BRAKE CYLINDER (Air Brake) - A cylinder containing a piston which is forced outwardly by compressed air to apply the brakes. When the air pressure is released it is returned to its normal position by a release spring coiled about the piston rod inside the cylinder.
BRAKEMAN - Train service employee who assists with train and yard operations.
BRAKE PAWL (Hand Brake) - A small, specially shaped, steel piece, pivoted to engage the teeth of a brake ratchet wheel to prevent turning backward, and thus releasing the brakes.
BRAKE PIPE - The air brake piping of a car or locomotive which acts as a supply pipe for the reservoirs. When all brake pipes on the cars are joined, the entire pipeline comprises what is commonly called the "train line."
BRAKE RATCHET (Hand Brake)- A wheel attached to the brake shaft, having teeth which the pawl engages, thus preventing the wheel and shaft from turning backward.
BRAKE SHAFT - A shaft on which a chain is wound and by which the power of a hand brake is applied to the wheels.
BRAKE SHOE - Friction material shaped to fit the tread of the wheel when the brakes are applied.
BRAKE STEP - A small shelf or ledge on the end of a freight car on which the brakeman stands when applying the hand brake. Sometimes called a brake footboard.
BRAKE VALVE (Air Brake) – The valve by which the engineer operates the brakes. The proper name is engineer’s brake valve.
BRAKE WHEEL - An iron wheel attached to the upper end of the brake shaft which is manually turned to apply the brakes.
BROAD GAGE (Track) - When the distance between the heads of the rails is greater than 4 ft. 9 in. See NARROW GAGE, STANDARD GAGE and GAGE OF TRACK.
BULK FREIGHT - Freight not in packages or containers.
BULKHEAD- A partition which divides the car into sections or compartments. See COMPARTMENTIZER CAR.
8ULKHEAD FLAT - A flat car with adjustable bulkheads at each end of the car, used for plywood, wallboard, etc.
BUMP - Displace a junior man (with less seniority) on an existing position.
BUMPING POST - A braced post or block placed at the end of a stub track to prevent rolling cars from going off the ends of the rails. See CAR STOP.
BUNCHING - The accumulation and tender of cars for loading and unloading in excess of orders or contrary to customary schedules.
BUSINESS CAR - See OFFICE CAR.
CAB - The space in a locomotive unit, containing the operating controls and providing shelter and seats for crew members.
CABIN CAR - See CABOOSE.
CABOOSE - A car which is attached to the rear of freight trains for the accommodation of the conductor and trainmen as office and quarters while in transit. Sometimes called Cabin Car, Way Car, Hack, Shanty, Crummy.
CABOOSE VALVE - A valve located in the caboose so emergency brake applications may be made from the rear end of the train.
CAB SIGNAL - A device located in the cab of the locomotive which indicates the condition of the track ahead, whether clear or occupied, by a display of signals. When equipped with speed control: When a cab signal indication requires a speed restriction and the train is permitted to proceed at a higher speed, an audible warning will sound. If the engineer does not respond within a time limit by reducing power and making a service brake application, the train will automatically stop.
CALLER - An employee who notifies train and engine crews and other employees n to report for duty.
CAPACITY (Freight Car) - The normal load in pounds, cubic feet or gallons which the car is designed to carry. These figures are stenciled on the car.
CARD BOARD - A small board, secured to the outside of a freight car, on which are tacked cards giving shipping directions or warning of dangerous lading, etc.
CAR DISTRBUTOR - An individual who is assigned the responsibility of distributing empty freight cars.
CARD RACK - A small receptacle on the outside of a freight car to receive cards giving shipping directions.
CAR DUMPER - A device for quick unloading of bulk materials such-as coal or grain. After being clamped to the rail, the car is tilted or rolled over to discharge the lading.
CAR FLOAT - A large flat-bottomed boat equipped with the tracks on which railroad cars are moved in inland waterways.
CAR KNOCKER (slang) - Car inspector.
CAR LINING - Material placed on the walls of a car for the protection of goods.
CARLOAD - The quantity of freight required for the application of a carload rate.
CARLOAD RATE - A rate applicable to a carload quantity of freight.
CAR MILE - The movement of a car the distance of one mile. A term used in statistical data.
CAR SEAL - See SEALS.
CAR STOP - A device for stopping motion of a car by engaging the wheels, as distinguished from a bumping post which arrests motion upon contact with the coupler of a car: See BUMPING POST.
CENTER DUMP CAR - A car which will discharge its entire load between the rails.
CENTER PIN OR KING BOLT - A large bolt which passes through the center plates on the body bolster and truck bolster. The truck turns about the bolt, but the stress is taken by the center plates. It is therefore, a mere pin and not a bolt in the usual sense.
CENTER PLATE - One of a pair of plates which fit one into the other and which support the car body on the trucks, allowing them to turn freely under the car. The center pin or king bolt passes through both, but does not really serve as a pivot. The male or body center plate is attached to the underside of the body bolster. The female or truck center plate is attached to the topside of the truck bolster.
CENTER SILL - The central longitudinal member of the underframe of a car which forms, as it were, the backbone of the underframe and transmits most of the buffing shocks, from one end of the car to the other. Freight cars with cushioned underframes use a special type of floating center sill construction. See CUSHION UNDERFRAME.
CIRCUITOUS ROUTE - An extremely indirect route.
CIRCUS LOADING - A means of loading highway trailers by moving them over the ends of the cars.
CLASSIFICATION (Freight Cars) – A destination and routing code used on switch lists for ease in switching cars.
CLASSIFICATION YARD - A yard where cars are grouped according to their destinations and made ready for proper train movement.
CLASS RATE - A rate on an assigned class rating (a percentage of first class) published in the Uniform Freight Classification.
CLEANING IN TRANSIT - The stopping of articles, such as peanuts, etc., at a point located between the points of origin and destination to be cleaned.
CLEARANCE OR CLEARANCE LIMIT - The limiting dimensions of height and width for cars in order that they may safely clear all bridges, tunnels, station platforms and other structures as well as equipment on adjacent tracks.
CLEAR ORDER BOARD - A signal indication displayed to advise that no train orders are being held. (Also see BOARD).
CLEAT - A strip of wood or metal used to afford additional strength, to prevent warping, or to hold in position.
COAL CAR - A car for carrying coal usually a hopper car.
COKE RAKE - A slatted frame or box applied above the sides and ends of gondola or hopper cars to increase the cubic capacity for the purpose of carrying coke or other freight in which the bulk is large relative to the weight.
COMBINATION RATE – A rate made by combining two or more rates published in different tariffs.
COMMODITY RATE - A rate applicable to a specific commodity between certain specified points.
COMPARTMENTIZER CAR - A boxcar equipped with moveable bulkheads which can be used to divide the car into separate compartments.
COMPARTMENT TANK CAR - A tank car with the tank body divided into several sections for the purpose of carrying different commodities in each compartment or smaller shipments.
CONCEALED DAMAGE – Damage to the contents of a package which is in good order externally.
CONDUCTOR - Train service employee in charge of train or yard crew. Also called Yard Foreman.
CONFLICTING ROUTES - Two or more routes over which movements cannot be made simultaneously without possibility of collision.
CONNECTING CARRIER - A railroad which has a direct physical connection with another or forming a connecting link between two or more railroads.
CONSIGNEE - Persons or firm to whom shipment is destined.
CONSIGNEE MARKS - A symbol placed on packages for export generally consisting of a square, triangle, diamond, circle, cross, etc., with designed letters and/or numbers for the purpose of identification.
CONSIGNOR - Person or firm from whom shipment originates. Also called shipper.
CONSTRUCTIVE PLACEMENT - When, due to some disability on the part of the consignor or consignee, a car cannot be placed for loading or unloading, it is considered as being under Constructive Placement and subject to demurrage rules and charges, the same as if it were actually placed.
CONTAINER CAR - A flat or open top car, such as a gondola, on which containers of freight are loaded.
CONTINUOUS SEALS - A term denoting that the seals on a car remained intact during the movement of the car from point of origin to destination; or, if broken in transit, that It was done by proper authority and without opportunity for loss to occur before new seals were applied. Also see SEALS.
CONTROLLED SIDING – A siding, the use of which is governed by signals under the control of a train dispatcher or operator.
CORNERED - A term used when a car has been struck by another car because it was not in the clear. See IN THE CLEAR.
COUPLER - An appliance for connecting cars or locomotives together.
COUPLER CENTERING DEVICE - An arrangement for maintaining the coupler normally in the center line of draft but allowing it to move to either side when a car is rounding a curve while coupled to another car.
COUPLER KNUCKLE LOCK - The block which drops into position when the knuckle closes and holds it in place, preventing uncoupling.
COUPLER LOCK LIFTER - The part of the mechanism inside the coupler head which is moved by the uncoupling rod and, in moving, lifts the knuckle lock so that the knuckle can open.
COVERED GONDOLAS - Gondolas which have been equipped with some form of removable cover which can be placed over the lading to protect it from weather exposure in transit. Used primarily for loading sheet steel in coils or bundles without the necessity of packing.
COVERED HOPPER CAR - A hopper car with a permanent roof, roof hatches and bottom openings for unloading. Used for carrying cement, or other bulk commodities.
"CP" - (slang) - See CONSTRUCTIVE PLACEMENT OR CONTROLLED POINT.
CREW- General term used to describe the individuals working together as a unit, such as train crew.
CRIB - That portion of ballast between two adjacent ties.
CRIPPLE - (Slang) - See BAD ORDER.
CROSSING - (Track) - A structure used where one track crosses another at grade and consisting of four connected frogs.
CROSSOVER - Two turnouts with track between, connecting two nearby and usually parallel tracks.
CROSS TIE - The transverse member of the track structure to which the rails are spiked to provide proper gage and to cushion, distribute, and transmit the stresses of traffic through the ballast to the roadbed.
CUBICAL CAPACITY – The carrying capacity of a car according to measurement in cubic feet.
CUPOLA - A small cabin built on the roof of a caboose to afford a means of lookout for the train crew.
CUSHION UNDERFRAME - A term commonly used to designate the framework of a railway car which is designed to prevent the shocks and impact stresses from damaging the car structure or its lading. The principle involved is the application of a center sill member which is detached and permitted to travel longitudinally in either direction through the bolsters, crossbearers and end sills. This travel is resiliently or hydraulically resisted and controlled by high capacity cushion gears located within the center sills.
CUT- (1) - To uncouple a car. (2) - A group of cars coupled together. (3) - That part of the right-of-way which is excavated out of a hill or mountain instead of running up over it or being tunneled through it.
CUTOUT COCK (Air Brake) - A valve which, when closed, will by-pass or cut out the brake system for that car. The closing of this valve does not interfere with the operation of the brakes on the other cars in the train.
CUT THE BOARD - To reduce the number of men on the extra board. See EXTRA BOARD.
DAMAGE FREE CAR - Car equipped with special bracing devices to decrease the possibility of damage to lading. Usually called “DF” car.
DEADHEAD – (1) Employee riding on company pass or on company business. (2) Train and/or engine service employees traveling between points without performing service.
DEADMAN - A buried timber, log or beam designed as an anchorage to which a guy wire or cable is fastened to support a structure, as a wood or steel column, derrick or mast.
DEAD RAIL - A second set of tracks over a scale used when cars are not being weighed.
DECK - Floor of locomotive cab or cars.
DEFECT CARD RECEPTACLE - A small metal container, placed underneath the car for protection from the weather, in which defect cards are placed.
DELIVERING CARRIER - The railroad which delivers a shipment to the consignee.
DEMURRAGE - A penalty charge assessed by railroads for the detention or cars by shippers or receivers of freight, beyond a specified free time.
DEPRESSED CENTER FLAT CAR - A flat car with the section of the floor between the trucks depressed to permit loading of high shipments within overhead clearance limits. Also called a well flat.
DERAIL - A track safety device designed to guide a car off the rails at a selected spot as a means of protection against collisions or other accidents; commonly used on spurs or sidings to prevent cars from fouling the main line.
DESTINATION - The place to which a shipment is consigned.
"DF” CAR - See DAMAGE FREE CAR.
DIAMOND - See CROSSING.
DIESEL ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE - A locomotive in which one or more diesel engines drive electric generators which in turn supply electric motors (usually series D.C.) which are geared to the driving axles.
DIVISION - (1) Portion of the railroad assigned to the supervision of the superintendent usually consisting of yards, stations and sidings. (2) The apportionment, by carriers, of revenue received from joint traffic.
DOUBLE - (1) Two consecutive tours of duty. (2) Putting train together when part of train is on one track and balance on another.
DOUBLE DECK – (Stock car) - A car with a second floor (often made removable half way between the ordinary floor and the roof, to increase the carrying capacity of the car for small live stock, such as pigs and sheep).
DOUBLE TRAIN - A train with more tonnage than can be handled to the end of its run by the locomotive units it has. Either pusher units are used to assist it or the train is moved over the ruling grade in two parts by the power it has.
DRAFT GEAR - The unit which forms the connection between the coupler rigging and the center sill. The purpose of this unit is to receive the shocks incidental to train movements and coupling of cars, and so cushion the force of impact.
DRAG - (Slang) - (1) A heavy train, usually coal, ore, stones. (2) Group of cars for movement from one point to another within a terminal. (3) Train of empties.
DRAWBAR - A term used synonymously with coupler. See COUPLER.
DRAWHEAD - The head of an automatic coupler, exclusive of the knuckle, knuckle pin and lock.
DRAW PLATE - The plate on a locomotive to which the draw-bar is attached.
DROP - Switching movement in which cars are cut off from and engine and allowed to roll free into a track.
DROP BOTTOM CAR - A gondola car with a level floor, equipped with a number of drop doors for discharging the load.
DROP BRAKE SHAFT - A brake shaft for flat cars which normally extends above the floor, but can be dropped down should conditions of the lading require.
DROP END GONDOLA CAR - A gondola car with end doors which can be dropped when the car is used for shipping long material which extends over more than one car.
DUMP CAR - A car from which the load is discharged either through doors or by tipping the car body.
DUNNAGE - The material used to protect or support freight in or on cars, such as bracing, false floors, meat racks, etc.
DYNAMIC BRAKING - A means of braking a locomotive or car having electric motors by using the motors as generators and dissipating this power through resistors. It may be used to control train speed and to brake a train to a low speed after which air brakes bring it to a full stop.
EASY SIGN - A hand signal indicating the train is to move slowly.
ELECTRICALLY LOCKED SWITCH - A hand-operated switch equipped with an electrically controlled device which restricts the movement of the switch.
ELECTROMAGNETIC BRAKE - A brake in which the retarding effect is produced by the magnetic pull between two disks mounted on axles or between and electromagnet and the rails upon which the wheels run.
EMBARGO - An order prohibiting the acceptance and/or handling of freight at certain points or via certain routes due to emergencies, congestion, strikes, etc.
EMERGENCY APPLICATION - A quick heavy reduction of brake pipe pressure made when a train must be stopped in the minimum distance possible. An emergency application may also occur when a brake pipe is broken, or when air hoses between cars are disconnected with the angle cocks open.
EMERGENCY BRAKE VALVE - A valve for applying the train brakes in emergency. It is connected to the brake pipe by a branch pipe and operated by releasing brake pipe air to the atmosphere.
EMERGENCY RATE (Freight) - A rate established to meet some immediate and pressing need, and without due regard to the usual rate factors.
EMERGENCY RESERVOIR - A part of the air brake system whose principal function is to provide higher brake cylinder pressure in emergency.
EMPTY CAR BILL – Way bill used to move ordinary empty cars from one station to another.
END DOOR - A door in the end of a car. In some boxcars this door is used for loading and unloading long material which cannot be handled through the side door. Sometimes called lumber door.
ENGINE - A unit propelled by any form of energy or a combination of such units operated from a single control, used in train or yard service.
ENGINEMAN - Operator of a locomotive. Also called engineer.
ENGINEER’S BRAKE VALVE – (Air Brake) – A brake valve in the locomotive for operating the brakes of the train or engine.
EN ROUTE - On the