Railroad Dictionary

A End of Car The opposite end from which the hand brake is mounted. The term is commonly used with 'L' or 'R' to designate left or right side. Used to specify placement, report damage, etc.
A Unit (AKA Lead Unit) A locomotive unit equipped with a cab and operating controls.
AAR - Association of American Railroads The central coordinating and research agency of the North American rail industry. It deals with matters of common concern to member roads; operations, hardware standardization, regulatory matters research, safety, forecasts, finance, etc. It is dedicated to the standardization of processes and progress of the rail transportation industry.
Abandonment Refusal to receive freight, so damaged in transit as to be worthless, and render carrier liable for its value.
Absolute Block A block that may be occupied by only one train at a time.
Absolute Signal A color light, color position light, or semaphore signal without a number plate, "P" marker, "APP" marker, "C" marker, or "G" marker that conveys stop as its most restrictive indication.
Absorption The assumption of switching or other charges of one carrier by another carrier without increasing the rate to the shipper or receiver of freight.
Abstract Accounting form used for division of revenue.
Abstract of Charges A recap of the freight bills issued by a station. Used for accumulating information into daily and monthly totals for general records.
Abstract of Waybills A report of freight received and dispatched from a station. This information is taken from waybills for shipments and/or forwarded to other properties or stations.
Abutment A mass of masonry supporting an arch or beam at the ends of a bridge.
Acceptance Receipt by the consignee of a shipment, thus terminating the common carrier liability.
Accessorial Charges Incidental charges for service rendered such as demurrage, weighing, diversions, etc. which are in addition to normal transportation charges.
Accessorial Service A service, such as heating, cooling, stop-off, diversion, etc., rendered by a carrier in addition to a transportation service.
Account Code 101L (Outbound) The account code used on the waybill to designate the amount to be allowed the junction settlement carriers on shipments originating on their railroads (Outbound). Amounts applied to this account code are always placed in the advances column of the waybill and in the prepaid column when applicable. Amounts applied to account code 101L must never be placed in the freight column of the waybill.
Account Code 101M (Inbound) The account code used on the waybill to designate the amount to be allowed the junction settlement carriers on shipments terminating on their railroads (Inbound). Amounts applied to this account code are always placed in the freight column of the waybill and in the prepaid column when applicable. Amounts applied to Account Code 101M must never be placed in the advances column of the waybill.
Act of God An act occasioned by violence of nature which no reasonable human foresight, care, or diligence can anticipate or prevent.
Actual Placement Physically placing a car for loading or unloading at a place designated by, or usually used by, the shipper or consignee.
Adoption Notice A notice required to be filed with the STB by a carrier or person taking over operating control of another carrier, or assuming control of part of another carrier's line.
Advance Billing A transfer of charges due to an error in billing a shipment. Example: Shipment originally billed "collect" in error - should have been prepaid. Agent at origin requests charges be advanced back to shipper.
Advance Charges Charges stated in advances column of waybill accruing to waybilling carrier for services rendered, to be collected from shipper or consignee. Services such as Reconsignment, Diversion, and Stop-off to complete unloading or partial unloading are examples of accessorial charges in advance column of waybill.
Advance Consist A listing of all rail cars on a train, in train order, that is transmitted from station to station in advance of the train's arrival.
Advance Notice A notification of an approaching event or intended action, such as notice to a customer that cars ordered will soon be placed at their industry.
Advance of a Signal Passed the signal.
Advances Only Charges for services performed other than the actual movement of freight.
Advise Shipment Shipment consigned to one party, to be delivered only upon surrender of a written order. Such shipments must move on straight bills of lading.
Adze An axe-like tool used to shave or smooth the top of wood ties.
Adzing Machine Portable, power-operated machine designed to adze the rail seat on ties to provide an even bearing surface for tie plates.
AEI See Automatic Equipment Identification.
Affidavit A written statement sworn to before a notary public.
After-The-Fact Refund A reduction in revenue because an incentive was given to encourage shipping.
Age Term of time in service, usually referring to seniority.
Agency A designated location for conducting railroad business or a local railroad customer service office.
Agency Pools Equipment pools where cars are assigned to a local agent and are returned empty to that agent when unloaded at the ultimate destination.
Agency Tariff A tariff issued by a publishing agent for one or more carriers.
Agent Short for Freight Agent. A person, association or corporation authorized to publish and file rates and provisions for a carrier's account in tariffs published in the agent's name.
Aggregate Rate (AKA Combination Rate) A rate made by combining two or more rates, one of which terminates and the other originates at a common point short of the ultimate destination. A combination rate is applied under the rules and conditions of an aggregate of intermediates clause in the tariff containing the otherwise applicable through rate.
Aggregate-of-Intermediate Clause The provision in Section 4, Part I, of the Interstate Commerce Act which makes it unlawful to charge more as a through rate than the sum of the intermediate rates, unless specifically authorized by the STB.
Aggregated Shipments Numerous shipments from more than one shipper to one consignee that are consolidated and treated as one consignment.
Agreed Valuation The value of a shipment agreed upon in the bill of lading in order to secure a specific rating, and to limit carriers' liability.
Agreed Weight A weight prescribed by agreement between carrier and shipper for goods packed and shipped in a specified manner.
AIB Air Inflatable Bulkhead.
Air Brake System All of the mechanisms and components necessary to formulate a pneumatic brake for retarding and stopping a locomotive and/or the individual cars of a train. Air compressors, reservoirs, control valves, piping, brake cylinders and brake rigging are the major components of such a system.
Air Compressor A device on the locomotive for compressing air, used in operating the air brake and other air operated equipment on both locomotives and cars.
Air Gauge An instrument with a graduated dial that measures air pressure. Some gauges have two different pointers (duplex gauges) to measure two different pressures. Air gauges are located on locomotives, cabooses, and rear end devices.
Air Monkey Air brake repairman.
Air Pak Car Car equipped with two bulkheads with an inflatable rubber bag between them which, when inflated, exerts pressure to hold the lading against the end walls of the car.
Alertor A device which detects the frequency of the engineer's movements and initiates an air brake application when the required frequency of such movement is not maintained. See also Deadman Control.
Alignment The position of track in the horizontal plane expressed as 'tangent' or 'curve.'
Alignment Control Couplers Couplers installed on some locomotives that will allow only limited lateral movement when in buff. This reduces lateral forces on the track and therefore reduces the possibility of rail turnover and jackknifing of the locomotive consist.
All Commodity Rate A freight rate applying to mixed shipments of commodities regardless of their nature, usually a carload rate.
All Rail Shipment hauled all the way from origin to destination by railroad transportation.
All Water Shipment hauled all the way from origin to destination by water transportation.
Alley (Slang) A clear track.
Allowance A fixed sum granted as reimbursement, deduction, or repayment.
Alternate Rates Two or more rates of which the one which produces the lowest charge is applicable.
Ampere (AKA Amperage, Amps) The standard unit for measuring the rate of flow of electric current.
Ampere Hour Capacity The number of ampere hours which can be delivered by a cell under specified conditions such as temperature, rate of discharge and final voltage.
Ampere Turns A measure of the magnetizing power, or magneto motive force developed by a current of electricity in a conducting coil. It is equal to the product of the number of turns in a coil by the current in amperes.
Analogous Articles Articles having similar characteristics.
Anchor The setting of hand brakes on non-moving cars.
Anchor Them (Slang) Set the brakes on standing cars.
Angel's Seat Seat in cupola of a caboose.
Angle Bar One of the two bars used to couple two rails together to form continuous track.
Angle Cock A valve located at each end of locomotives and cars used to open or close the brake pipe. The handle is hinged so as to lock in either the open or closed position. When the handle is in-line with the brake pipe, the angle cock is open. When the handle is crosswise to the brake pipe, the angle cock is closed.
Any-Quantity Rate A rate applicable to an article in any amount.
Approach Circuit A term applied to a circuit generally used in connection with announcing the approach of trains at block or interlocking stations.
Approach Lighting A method of lighting signals upon the approach of the train.
Approach Locking At a specified distance from a signal, displaying an aspect to proceed, an electric locking effect occurs when a train approaches. This prevents (until after the expiration of a pre-determined time interval after the signal displays its most restrictive aspect) the movement of any interlocked or electrically locked switch, moveable point frog, or derail in the route governed by the signal, and also prevents an aspect to proceed from being displayed for any conflicting route.
Approach Signal A fixed signal used in conjunction with one or more signals to govern the approach thereto.
Appurtenance A term used in car hire accounting to compensate the equipment owner for additional accessories (like auto racks) attached to a railcar. Unique car hire rules apply in this case because the owner of an appurtenance may not be the owner of the underlying flat car. The AAR Circular No. OT-10 for car hire rules includes an appurtenance rate table S: this table assigns an hourly time rate for compensating the owner for the use of a piece of equipment.
Arbitrary An allowance added to an employee's rate of pay in additional to regular wages, based on provisions included in the union contract. OR A fixed amount added to a rate established for one station to make a rate to another station.
Armature A piece of steel, soft iron or a coil so placed as to be acted upon by the electromagnet or permanent magnet; or that part of an electric generator in which electricity is generated, or the part of a signal motor which rotates.
Arrival Notice A notice, furnished to the consignee, of the arrival of freight.
Articulated Car: A car created by the uniting of two or more rail cars to form a single unit which is free to swivel.
ARZ The corporate computerized on-line patron master file.
Assign To transfer to another party.
Assigned Car A rail car specifically designated for the use of a particular shipper, or, in the case of private cars, for the use of a particular railroad for a specific customer.
Assigned Siding A side track owned by a transportation line and turned over to one or more industries or individuals for the loading and unloading of freight.
Association of American Railroads See AAR.
Astray Freight Freight shipment separated from the waybill.
ATC Automatic train control.
Audit Number Specific identifying number assigned to a railroad station.
Authority A valid or legal reason for making a change in the charges. A detailed listing of the tariff or contract items which confirms or refutes the freight rate.
Auto Rack Car A flat car with fixed steel racks for transporting set-up automobiles. Racks have either two or three levels, and are equipped with tie-down devices. Two-level cars are often called "bi-level" auto racks and three-level cars are called "tri-level" auto racks.
Automatic A term applied to devices which function through the exercise of inherent power, as distinguished from those in which the changes are made manually.
Automatic Block Signal System (ABS) A series of consecutive blocks whose use is governed either by train actuated block signals or by certain conditions affecting the use of a block. Unless so specified, such signals do not authorize the movement of trains.
Automatic Block System A series of consecutive blocks governed by block signals, cab signals, or both, actuated by a train or engine, or by certain conditions affecting the use of a block.
Automatic Brake Valve A manually operated pneumatic valve in the locomotive cab to control flow of air into and out of the brake pipe for charging, applying and releasing brakes on both locomotives and cars.
Automatic Drain Valve A device that automatically drains condensation from air reservoirs.
Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) An electronic scanning system that detects and records encoded information applied to the side of freight equipment. Such information includes the car initial and number, capacity, and other UMLER data.
Automatic Interlocking Plant An interlocking plant triggers signals automatically when an engine or train approaches.
Automatic Railroad Crossing (AKA Diamond) A railroad crossing at grade. It is protected by signals which are actuated automatically by the approach of a train.
Automatic Signal A signal controlled automatically.
Automatic Slack Adjuster A device on freight cars that maintains brake cylinder piston travel at a predetermined length to compensate for wear of brake shoes, wheels, and brake rigging.
Automatic Train Control (ATC) A system which automatically applies brakes when the speed of the train exceeds a prescribed rate, and continues until the speed has been reduced to the predetermined and prescribed rate in order to enforce observance of cab and wayside signal indications.
Automatic Train Control System A system so arranged that its operation will automatically result in a full service application of the brakes, which will continue either until the train is brought to a stop, under control of the engineman, or the speed is reduced to a pre-determined rate.
Automatic Train Stop (ATS) A system so arranged that failure to acknowledge a wayside signal indication, other than to proceed, will automatically result in the brake application until the train has been brought to a stop.
Automatic Train Stop System A system so arranged that its operation will automatically result in the brake application until the train has been brought to a stop.
Automobile Car A box car for carrying automobiles which has exceptionally large side doors.
Automobile Parts Car A box car specially fitted for transportation of automobile parts.
Auxiliary Reservoir A storage volume for compressed air, charged from the brake pipe, which provides air pressure for use in service and emergency brake applications. An auxiliary reservoir is located on each car, contained in the same structure as the emergency reservoir.
Auxiliary Track A track other than a main track.
Average Demurrage Agreement (AKA Average Agreement) An agreement made between an industry and the railroad whereby the industry is charged for the time cars are held for loading or unloading beyond the free time and is credited for the time cars are released within that certain period in accordance with specified tariff or contract rules. Debits and credits are compiled and demurrage charges are assessed at the end of each month for any outstanding charges.
AWS Automated Waybilling System. A computerized system that generates a freight waybill when the appropriate bill of lading data is input.
B End of Car The end on which the hand brake is located.
B Unit A cabless locomotive slug unit, not equipped with a diesel engine, but equipped with MU capability and traction motors, which receive electrical power from an "A" unit or mother locomotive.
Back Contact A part of a relay against which, when the relay is de-energized, the current carrying portion of the moveable neutral member rests so as to form a continuous path for current.
Back-Haul To transport a shipment back over part of a route which it has traveled.
Back-Haul Corridor A route or part of a route over which a car has previously traveled. To reduce the amount of cars returning empty, discount rates are sometimes offered to attract traffic to the back-haul corridor.
Back-Hose (Slang) A portable back-up valve.
Back-Up A copy of a file or database, to be used if reconstruction is necessary.
Back-Up Hose A portable hose and valve assembly provided for the purpose of applying brakes from the leading end of a car when it is necessary to push or back trains or cars. The device is connected to the brake pipe hose.
Back-Up Valve A valve on caboose platforms and some types of passenger cars that is connected to the brake pipe. It may be used to apply brakes during pushing or back-up movements.
Bad Order Cars When a car inspector finds a defective car, he tacks a small card labeled "bad order" in bold lettering on or near the door of the car. That car may not be moved from the terminal where the inspection occurred until the necessary repairs are made.
Balance Due Bill Bill rendered by railroad for undercharges.
Balance Out Additional amount due after paid-in is deducted from through rate.
Balance Speed The speed at which the tractive effort exerted by the locomotive is equal to the train resistance, resulting in a constant speed. A change in either tractive effort or train resistance will cause a corresponding change in speed until a new balance speed is reached.
Ballast Selected material placed on the roadbed for the purpose of holding the track in line.
Ballast Resistance The resistance offered by the ballast, ties, etc., to the flow of leakage current from one rail of the track circuit to the other.
Ballast Tamper A machine for compacting ballast under the ties.
Balloon Track An arrangement of tracks in the form of a balloon used for turning around engines, cars, and trains.
Basing Point A geographic point where the rates to and from are used to construct a through rate to other points.
Battery A combination of two or more galvanic cells electrically connected to work together to produce electrical energy. Common usage permits this designation to be applied also to a single cell used independently.
Belt Line or Terminal Railroad A short line railroad operation within and/or around a city and connecting with one or more larger or trunk line railroads.
Beneficial Owner (AKA Bene Owner) The customer who actually owns the lading.
Bi-Level Car A two-level freight car used for transporting automobiles and other vehicles.
Big Hole (AKA Soak-Em, Shoot-Em) Emergency application of the air brake valve. The act of abruptly applying the brakes to the fullest possible reduction.
Big Hook Wrecking crane.
Bill of Lading A shipping document that is both a receipt for property to be transported and a contract for hauling it, stating the terms, conditions, and liabilities under which property is accepted for transportation. The principal Bill of Lading types are: Clean: A bill of lading without notation of damage or shortage of property. Domestic: Covers shipments within the U.S.A. Export: Covers shipment to a foreign country. Government: A special shipping document which is used in making shipment for the U. S. Government.
Bill of Lading Act An act of Congress relating to the preparation and negotiability of the bill of lading.
Billed At Station The station which prepares the waybill.
Billed Weight The weight shown on a bill of lading or freight bill.
Billet Car A low side gondola, built of steel throughout, used to transport hot steel billets or other heavy materials.
Billing Address Patron address for freight billing.
Billing Repair Card The card furnished to the car owner when repair is done on a foreign car.
Billing Road Railroad which originates shipment and issues the waybill.
Billing Road Code An accounting number assigned to the railroad by the AAR.
Binding Post A device to which electrical conductors may be terminated conveniently.
Blanket Bond A bond covering a group of persons or property.
Blanket Rate (AKA Group Rates) A rate published to apply from or to a large number of points grouped into a defined origin or destination cluster.
Blanket Supplement A single publication containing additions or changes to a number of tariffs.
Blanket Waybill One waybill produced for a multiple car shipment. The waybill is associated with the lead car, while the other cars are listed in the body of the waybill for the lead car.
Bleed a Car To drain the air from a car's reservoir by pulling a rod on the side of the car. Bleeding removes air brakes, but not the hand-brakes, allowing the car to roll freely.
Blind Siding A rail siding used for the placement or storing of cars at a point where no agent or rail representative is assigned. Cars placed and pulled at these locations are reported by conductors to the agent having jurisdiction over the blind siding.
Block A track section of defined limits. In signaled territory, a block is the track section between two consecutive block signals governing movements in the same direction. It is also the track section from a block signal to the end of signaled territory.
Block of Cars A group of cars routed for a common destination which is not necessarily the final destination.
Block Operator A person who follows train dispatcher's instructions for aligning signals and switches on tracks within a block.
Block Signal An absolute or intermediate signal at the entrance to a block that governs the movement of trains using that block.
Block Signal System A method of governing the movement of trains into or within one or more blocks which use signals.
Block Station A place provided for the blocking of a train by block signals or other means.
Blocking and Bracing (Procedures) Wood or metal supports to keep shipments in place in or on cars, trailers, etc., as safety precautions for loading rail shipments which must be in accordance with the regulations of the STB, FRA, and the AAR.
Blocking Device A lever, plug, ring or other method of control that restricts the operation of a switch or signal.
Blocking of a Train The assembling of groups of "blocked" cars in proper sequence.
Blocking of Cars The assembling of cars in proper groups.
Blue Flag A metal sign placed on a track or equipment which signifies that employees are working on, under, or between equipment on that track.
Blue Signal A clearly distinguishable blue flag (by day) or blue light (by night) that, when displayed, indicates that workers are on, under or between equipment.
Board A fixed signal regulating railroad traffic usually referred to as a slow board, order board, clear board (for clear train order signal) or red board (stop). OR A list of employees available for service. Also called extra board.
Boarding Car See Camp Car.
Bogey or Bogie [AKA Chassis] The chassis type platform with wheels used for transporting containers over the highway.
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 is connected to it with a center pin.
Bolt Lock Switch A hand-operated switch equipped with a pipe-connected locking device that is designated to shunt the signal system before the switch points are operated.
Bond of Indemnity An agreement relieving the carrier from liability for action for which it might otherwise be liable.
Bond Wire An electrical conductor for bridging rail joints.
Bonded Block Method of stacking the same size shipping containers in blocks so that the shipping containers in each block are bonded together both lengthwise and crosswise in the car.
Bonded Warehouse A warehouse under bond to the Government for payment of customs duties and taxes on goods stored or processed there.
Booking An agreement under which a steamship line agrees to accept freight for transportation.
Bootleg A protection for track wires where the wires leave the conduit or ground near the rail.
Bowl A system of classification tracks resembling a bowl connected to the hump. The system is operated electronically and ensures that the cars are properly classified as they enter the hump.
Box Car An enclosed car which has doors. It is used for general service and especially for lading which must be protected from the weather.
Brake Application A reduction of brake pipe pressure of sufficient amount to cause the control or distributing valve to move to "service" or "emergency" position. A service brake application may consist of one or more reductions.
Brake Club Three foot hickory stick used by freight trainmen to tighten hand brakes.
Brake Cylinder A cylinder containing a piston and piston rod. When compressed air is admitted into the cylinder, it forces the piston outward, which applies the brake. When the compressed air is exhausted, a release spring coiled around the piston rod inside the cylinder returns the piston to its normal position, which releases the brake.
Brake Cylinder Relay Valve A remotely-controlled valve on locomotive brake cylinders in proportion to the pressure developed by the independent brake valve and control valve.
Brake Footboard See Brake Step.
Brake Force A term used to describe the ability of a train to stop. It is usually based on tons per brake ratio, with the effect of increasing braking power when the tons per brake ration is reduced.
Brake Pawl 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 brake pipe connects the automatic brake valve on the locomotive with the brake apparatus on all the cars in the train. It includes the branch pipe, angle cocks, cut-out cocks, centrifugal dirt collectors, strainers, hose and hose couplings used to distribute compressed air through the train.
Brake Pipe Cut-out Cock A device used to cut out the control valve on a locomotive or car. See Cut-out Cock.
Brake Ratchet A wheel attached to the brake shaft, having teeth which the pawl engages, thus preventing the wheel and shaft from turning backward.
Brake Releases There are two types of brake releases: Direct Release: This type of release is on all freight cars. When sufficient brake pipe pressure is restored to cause the control valve to move to "release" position, the brake cylinder pressure will reduce to zero. Graduated Release: This type of release is available on most passenger cars. When the brake pipe pressure is restored in small increments (graduations), this will cause the control valve to reduce brake cylinder pressure in small increments rather than di
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 Slug A locomotive, without diesel engine or traction motors, used as additional braking (in conjunction with another locomotive) for hump or yard operations.
Brake Step A small shelf or ledge on the end of a freight car on which the brakeman stands when applying the hand brake.
Brake Valve Cut-out Valve A device used for cutting in and cutting out the automatic brake valve on a locomotive.
Brake Wheel An iron wheel attached to the upper end of the brake shaft which is manually turned to apply hand brakes.
Brakeman (AKA Trainman) A train service employee responsible for the safe and efficient switching of railcars and assisting with train operations.
Branch Line A rail line which serves one or more stations beyond the junction of the main line or another branch line. A feeder line which brings freight to main lines.
Break Bulk To unload and distribute all or a portion of a load.
Break Bulk Point The location at which a portion or all of a load is removed and distributed.
Bridge Traffic Traffic received from and delivered to connecting carriers.
Broad Gage When the distance between the heads of the rails is greater than 4 feet 9 inches.
Bucket Yard A yard that does not have a Yardmaster, but is used to switch/classify or store cars.
Buff Forces During braking, the force that causes cars to bunch together.
Bulk Freight Freight that is shipped loose rather than in packages.
Bulk Transfer The transfer of bulk products, such as plastic pellets or liquid sweeteners, from one mode of transportation to another. Bulk transfer permits off-rail shippers and receivers of varied commodities to combine rail's long-haul efficiencies with truck's convenient door-to-door delivery.
Bulkhead A movable partition permanently installed that is used to secure the lading. See Compartmentalized Car.
Bulkhead Flat A flat car with adjustable bulkheads at each end of the car. The car is used for transporting plywood, wall board, etc.
Bull A special agent, patrolman or railroad policeman.
Bulletin Order An order which contains items affecting the movement of trains and is issued by authority and over the signature of the superintendent.
Bump The act of taking one's position and forcing the incumbent employee to another position, based on seniority. OR To move physically out of position.
Bumping Post or Bumper (AKA Butting Block) A braced post, block, or obstruction placed at the end of stub or spur track that halts car movement and prevents cars from going off the rails.
Bunch Braking A method of speed control where the first brake application is usually made with the dynamic or independent brake, which results in the train slack moving into buff or bunch condition.
Bunching The accumulation of cars for loading or unloading in excess of orders. OR In train handling, the accumulation of slack in a train.
Bureau of Explosives Branch of the AAR, which promotes the safe handling and transportation of hazardous materials, serves as a central agency for collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on these materials and provides emergency assistance to its members. The Bureau also publishes the Department of Transportation's regulations on hazardous materials which include specifications for shipping containers.
Bus Bar The common terminus used to distribute or collect current from various circuits.
C/O Party An intermediary firm or company which receives shipped goods on behalf of the consignee.
Cab The space in the locomotive unit containing the operating controls and providing shelter and seats for the engine crew.
Cab Signal A signal located in the enginemen's compartment or cab, indicating a condition affecting the movement of a train or engine and used in conjunction with interlocking signals and in conjunction with or in lieu of block signals.
Cabin Car See Caboose.
Cable Either a stranded conductor (single conductor cable) or a combination of conductors insulated from one another (multiple conductor cable).
Caboose A car which is attached to the rear of a freight train and serves as office and headquarters for the conductor and trainmen while they are in transit. Sometimes called cabin car, way car, hack, shanty, or crummy.
Caboose Valve A rotary type brake application valve located in the caboose for the purpose of making either a service or emergency brake application.
Caller See Crew Dispatcher.
Camp Car A term commonly applied to a car used as a place of lodging for workmen.
Cantilever A vertical structure with a top projecting horizontal structure used to support a signal mast.
Capacitor (Condenser) A device, the primary purpose of which is to introduce capacitance into an electric circuit.
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 and are identified as "CAPY". Capacity is not to be confused with load limit, which is the maximum weight that can be loaded on a given car.
Capitalized Costs Expenditures that have future benefit and thus are recorded as assets.
Caps Torpedoes.
Car Day An expression referring to the number of days a car owned by one railroad is on the line of another railroad.
Car Distribution Movement of cars from a surplus area to an area where a shortage exists.
Car Distributor An individual who is assigned the responsibility of distributing empty freight cars.
Car Dumper A device for quickly unloading bulk materials such as coal or grain from a freight car. After being clamped to the rail, the car is then tilted or rolled over to discharge the lading.
Car Float A large flat-bottomed boat equipped with tracks which is used to move railroad cars over waterways.
Car Hire An hourly charge paid by one railroad for its use of cars belonging to another railroad.
Car Initial and Number An identification number comprised of initials, which indicate the ownership of the car, and a number, which specifies the type of car.
Car Knocker (Slang) See Carman.
Car Lining The material placed on the walls of a car to protect material being transported.
Car Management Pools Equipment pools where cars are assigned for service to a particular commodity, industry, or location by Car Management to fill car orders.
Car Mile The movement of a car the distance of one mile. A term used in statistical data.
Car Movement Book A historical listing, on microfiche, of all car movements arranged first in alphabetical order by car initial, then in ascending car number order.
Car Number An identification number comprised of initials, which indicate the ownership of the car, and a number, which specifies the type of car.
Car Order A railroad document used to direct a particular type of empty equipment for loading at an industry. OR Common term used for Car Service Rules, Special Car Orders and Circulars.
Car Ownership A term which refers to the party to which a car belongs. Possible types of car ownership are owned, leased, private, and foreign.
Car Pooling The pooling of transportation equipment by several carriers for the mutual benefit of the carriers and industry. Pooling agreements assign operational control to a central agency and establish the terms under which revenue and expenses will be shared by the individual car owners.
Car Puller (AKA Car Mover) A vehicle, machine, or mechanical device used in shops and certain industries to move freight cars to desired locations.
Car Retarder A braking device, usually power-operated, built into a railway track to reduce the speed of cars by means of brake shoes which, when set in braking position, rests against the sides of the lower portions of the wheels.
Car Seal A device fastened to the doors of a car, trailer or container to prevent tampering.
Car Service The general service of distributing and handling railroad cars.
Car Service Orders Directives issued by STB which instruct railroads regarding the handling of extraordinary situations.
Car Service Rules Rules established by agreement between railroads which deal with the interchange of cars, the selection of cars for loading and the return of foreign cars to the home road, either loaded or empty.
Car Stop A device for stopping motion of a car by engaging the wheels, as distinguished from a bumping post, which arrests motion of the car upon contact with the car's coupler.
Car Utilization Ways to measure railcar productivity. Among the measures are how much freight a car hauled and how many trips it made in a specified period of time.
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.
Caretaker (AKA Attendant) A person accompanying a shipment which requires special attention while en route.
Carload The quantity of freight required for application of carload rate. A car loaded to its weight or space capacity.
Carload Minimum Weight The least amount of weight for which a shipment will be billed at the carload rate.
Carload Rate A rate applicable to specified minimum carload weight or a carload quantity.
Carman Car Inspector. A mechanical department team member who inspects and/or repairs cars.
Carrier Another name for a transportation company.
Carrier Convenience A term used when the type of car supplied to the customer is not the type of car ordered because of an equipment shortage. In cases where a contract or tariff contains a carrier convenience clause, the freight payor is liable for charges based upon the equipment furnished rather than the equipment ordered if the shipper accepts that equipment.
Carrier's Lien Right of carrier to retain property which it has transported as security for the collection of charges.
Cartage The charge made for hauling freight to or from terminals.
Cash Customer A customer who has never requested credit with the railroad or has been placed on a cash basis because of delinquency problems. Either situation requires payment of freight charges prior to railroad release of lading.
Cash Flow Problem Customer does not have sufficient funds to pay freight bills within the credit period.
Cell Battery elements with electrolyte and container.
Center Beam (AKA Center Sill) The longitudinal structural member of a car underframe, often constructed as a large box section or hat section. The center sill receives all of the buff and draft forces created in train handling and switching.
Center Dump Car A car which will discharge its entire load between the rails.
Center Pin A large steel pin which passes through the center plates on the body bolster and truck bolster. The truck turns about the bolt, and stress is taken by the center plates.
Center Plate One of a pair of plates which fit one into the other and support the car body on the trucks allowing them to turn freely under the car.
Centralized Traffic Control A term applied to a system of railroad operation by means of which the movement of trains over routes and through blocks on a designated section of track or tracks is directed by signals controlled from a designated section of track or tracks without requiring the use of train orders and without the superiority of trains.
Centralized Traffic Control System (CTC) A semi-automated means of ensuring rapid and safe movement of trains.
Centralized Train Dispatching System (CTDS) A system by which train and on-track equipment movements are governed by controlled signals and/or instructions of a train dispatcher from a centralized location.
Certificate of Weight A sworn or authoritative document stating the weight of a shipment.
Chain Gang When a number of extra trains (not regularly scheduled freight runs) are put into service, regular crews may be assigned to take such trains in turn. When this occurs, train crews are said to be operating in chain gang service.
Chain Tie Down A common type of device for securing a load to the deck of a car. Used to secure wheeled vehicle and lumber products on flat cars.
Chargeable Day A day for which demurrage charges are due and cannot be offset by credits.
Charging and Recharging The term used to describe the flow of air into the air brake system to raise it to the required pressure.
Charging Rate The charging rate of a storage battery is the current expressed in amperes at which the battery is charged.
Chariot Caboose.
Chassis (AKA Bogie) A frame with truck tires used to transport containers over the highway.
Chock A piece of sound wood or other material, placed firmly against the wheel of a freight car and on the ball of the rail to prevent cars from rolling away. Used in conjunction with the car's handbrake.
Chock Chains Chains of a specified size and design, placed across the rail and against the wheel of an engine to prevent unattended engines from rolling away. They are also used in conjunction with the locomotive's brake system.
Chord Geometrical term describing a straight line connecting two points on a curve.
Circuit Breaker A device (other than a fuse) constructed primarily for the interruption of a circuit.
Circuitous Route An extremely indirect route. Many rate scales and routing guides contain maximum circuity limitations. Often a broker will attempt to employ a circuitous route in order to allow himself leeway to locate a purchaser en route.
Circulars Publications which list prices negotiated between railroads, or establish conditions for handling shipments which are exempt from regulations under the Interstate Commerce Act.
Circus Loading A term used to describe an older method of loading highway trailers on TOFC flatcars, whereby a tractor backs the trailer up to a ramp placed at one end of a cut of cars. Circus loading requires bridge plates at each end of all cars to enable the trailer and tractor to pass from car to car.
Circus Ramp A TOFC ramp used by a truck tractor to move the trailers down a ramp from the flat car to the ground. Called a circus ramp because it's the same way a circus unloads its wagons for a show.
Claim A demand made upon a carrier for payment due to overcharge or a loss sustained through carrier neglect or a demand made upon a carrier for additional pay.
Claim Tracer A request for information concerning the status of a claim.
Class and Commodity Tariff A tariff containing both class and commodity rates.
Class Rate A monetary charge based on an assigned class rating (a percentage of Class 100) published in the Uniform Freight Classification.
Class Rating The grouping, based on common characteristics, such as value per unit, weight per unit of volume, or susceptibility to damage, to which a material is assigned. No consideration is made for frequency, direction, or volume of movement.
Classification (Refers to Uniform Freight Classification) A publication containing a list of articles, the classes to which they are assigned, and the rules and regulations governing their transportation.
Classification Code A destination and routing code used on switch lists for ease in switching cars.
Classification Switching The sorting and assembling of railway cars in station or delivery order for making up or breaking up trains or yard cuts. Cars are sorted and assembled by their destination.
Classification Yard The place where cars are segregated by carriers according to their destinations or deliveries and are made ready for proper train movement or delivery.
Clean Bill of Lading A bill of lading received by a carrier for merchandise in good condition which does not bear any notation such as "shipper's load and count."
Cleaning Track The area in a yard where cars are washed, swept, or upgraded by minor repairs.
Clear Alley (Slang) A track that is empty of other cars.
Clear Board A signal indication displayed to advise that no train orders are being held. See Board.
Clear Record A record that shows that a shipment was handled without any loss or damage. OR Refers to an employee's record that is free of disciplinary entries.
Clearance or Clearance Limits The dimensions beyond which the size of or projections on a shipment may not extend in order to clear obstructions such as tunnels, switch stands, platforms, bridges, utility poles, or other hazards along the right of way.
Clearance Point The location on a turnout at which the carriers' specified clearance is provided between tracks.
Clearance-Implicated Shipment Any shipment loaded on a flat car, gondola, or moving on its own wheels, which also exceeds published clearance limitations for the specific route of movement and/or otherwise restricted shipment requiring specific operating handling procedures for safe movement.
Clears When a payment, adjustment, or correction is applied to an open item and leaves a zero balance due.
Closed File An item in the Accounts Receivable file which has had the balance due brought to zero and the intercarrier revenue has been settled.
Closed Route A route predetermined by the shipper which specifically lists the carriers, junction points and switching lines a train is to travel.
Coastwise Shipments moving by water between two ports on the same coast.
COFC (Container on Flat Car) Freight loaded in containers and transported by rail on flat cars. Sometimes called piggyback, pig, or tote.
Coil Steel Car A gondola specially fitted to haul coil steel.
Coke Rack 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.
Coke Train A unit train carrying only carloads of coke.
Collect A shipment for which the destination carrier is responsible for the collection of freight charges, usually from the consignee.
Collect Freight Bill A freight bill rendered by a transportation line at the destination to the freight payor, giving a description of the freight, name of shipper, the point of origin, weight, and amount of charges due.
Collection on Delivery Cost of goods and any charges collected at time carrier delivers goods to the consignee.
Color Light Signal A fixed signal that displays aspects by the color of a light. It may also display aspects by a combination of colored lights.
Color Position Light Signal (CPL) A fixed signal that displays aspects by the color or position of two or more lights. It consists of a cluster of colored lights normally displayed in pairs. For some aspects, an additional white or yellow light is displayed above or below the cluster.
Combination Rate (AKA Aggregate Rate) A rate made by combining two or more rates, one of which terminates and the other originates at a common point short of the ultimate destination. A combination rate is applied under the rules and conditions of an aggregate of intermediates clause in the tariff containing the otherwise applicable through rate.
Comment Field (ARZ) Free form information relating to a patron.
Commodity Article of commerce (lading). Goods being shipped.
Commodity Rate A rate applicable to a specific commodity between certain specified points.
Commodity Rating The grouping in which a material is placed by reason of special consideration, such as frequency, direction, volume of movement, and competitive markets. The grouping is affected to a lesser degree by the value per unit, weight per unit of volume, and susceptibility to damage.
Commodity Tariff A tariff containing only commodity rates.
Common Carrier A transportation company that carries property and passengers for compensation.
Common Tariff A tariff published by or for two or more transportation carriers.
Company Material Material transported by a railroad, such as coal, rail, crossties, ballast, fuel oil, etc., used in connection with its operations.
Compartment Tank Car A tank car, the body of which has been divided into sections for transport of multiple commodities or smaller shipments.
Compartmentalized Car A car equipped with bulkheads. Or a car, the body of which has been divided into several sections for the purpose of carrying different commodities or smaller shipments in each compartment.
Competitive Points A point at which two or more transportation lines compete for the movement of traffic.
Competitive Rate A rate established by a transportation line to meet the competition of another transportation line.
Competitive Traffic Traffic in the movement of which two or more transportation lines compete.
Composite Scale Test Car A short two-axle scale test car with a wheel base of seven feet and consisting of a mold-casted body.
Compressor Governor System The system that automatically controls loading and unloading of the air compressor to regulate main reservoir pressure between 130 and 140 pounds.
Concealed Damage Internal damage to the contents of a package which is in good order externally.
Conductor Train service employee in charge of the train or yard crew. Also called a yard foreman in some parts of the country.
Conductor's Wheel Report (AKA Outbound Consist) The conductor's report of train movement showing by initials and numbers, or name of the units of equipment handled in the train and the points between which each unit moved. It shows type of car, contents, tons, origin, and destination of all units, plus a recap of total train tonnage.
Conflicting Routes Two or more routes over which movements cannot be made simultaneously without the possibility of collision.
Connecting Carrier A railroad which has a direct physical connection with another railroad or forms a connecting link between two or more railroads.
Consignee The party to whom articles are shipped.
Consignor (AKA Shipper) The person or firm by whom articles are shipped.
Consist The computer-generated document kept at point of origin and advanced to next consisting point listing the train makeup in standing order, the number of passenger and freight cars, commodities, and a summary of the train including tonnage and train length.
Consolidator (AKA Shipper Association) A company which stores and/or ships merchandise in trailers or containers for beneficial owners, similar to a freight forwarder, but they are organized on a cooperative, nonprofit basis to obtain carload rates and advantages of larger-scale traffic flow for their members.
Constructive Placement When, due to some disability on the part of the consignor or consignee, a car cannot be placed for loading or unloading and is placed elsewhere, it is considered as being under constructive placement and subject to demurrage rules and charges, the same as if it were actually placed at the designated point.
Container Weatherproof box designed for bulk shipment of freight. It is generally used for overseas shipments.
Container Car A flat or open-top car, such as a gondola equipped with a number of removable containers which may be lifted off the car and transported to a desired destination.
Contamination Condition of impurity resulting from mixture of or contact with foreign substance.
Continuous Rail Rails of standard length which are welded together at the ends to form a single rail of a considerable length.
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.
Continuous Welded Rail (AKA Ribbon Rail, Welded Rail) Rail, welded in lengths from 1/4 mile to one mile.
Contract Written agreement which may contain rates, routes, and/or provisions for specific services.
Control Machine An assemblage of manually operated levers or other devices for the control of signals, switches or other units, without mechanical interlocking, usually including a track diagram with indication lights.
Control Station A place from which signals and signal appliances are operated. It is also a place from which instructions governing railroad movements are issued.
Control Valve A device on locomotives and cars that charges, applies, and releases brakes in response to changes in brake pipe pressure.
Controlled Point A location where the signals and/or switches of a traffic control system are operated and/or controlled from a distant location.
Controlled Siding A siding equipped with controlled signals that are used to authorize trains to enter or leave the siding. Such signals do not govern movements on the siding.
Controlled Signal A fixed signal at the entrance of a route or block, it is used to govern the movement of trains using that route or block. The signal is operated from a control station.
Controlled Speed A speed that will permit stopping within one-half the range of vision. It will also permit stopping short of a train, a car, an obstruction, on-track equipment, or a stop signal.
Conversion The appropriation of property by a carrier. A wrongful assumption of authority over property belonging to another.
Corn Field Meet When two trains meet or almost meet head-on because both are trying to use the same tracks.
Cornered When a car, not in the clear on a track, is struck by a train, engine or car on another track.
Correction A document issued to change the information on a waybill.
Correction List A printout of all corrections which have been processed.
Country Origin Physical location from which raw material was shipped (not transit point), or actual beginning of transit of shipment.
Coupler A device located at both ends of all cars in a standard location to provide a means for connecting one rail car to another.
Covered Gondolas Gondolas which have been equipped with some form of removable cover which can be placed over the lading to protect it in transit from weather exposure. 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, grain, or other bulk commodities.
Cow Catcher An iron frame on the front of a locomotive or streetcar that clears the track.
Credit A non-chargeable demurrage day earned on cars released during an accounting month.
Credit Letter A freight bill tracer automatically generated by the computer 21 days after the freight/incidental bill date, if the bill is not paid or disputed.
Crew General term used to describe the individuals working together as a unit, such as train crew.
Crew Dispatcher (Caller) Clerical employee who notifies engine, train, and yard employees when to report for work.
Crew Member (AKA Cross Bars) A bar with locking devices at each end that fits and locks to belt rails in DF box cars to provide longitudinal restraint for lading.
Cripple A bad order car.
Crossing A structure used where one track crosses another at grade, and consisting of four connected frogs.
Crossover Two turnouts with the track between the frogs arranged to form a continuous passage between two nearby and generally parallel tracks.
Crossover Track Two turnouts with the track between their frogs arranged to form continuous passage between two nearby and generally parallel tracks. It forms a connection between tracks.
Crosstie A transverse support, commonly of creosote treated wood, laid in the ballast, on which rails rest to form the track, thereby holding the rails to gauge and evenly distributing the load to the ballast.
Crows Nest The cupola or box-like structure raised above the roof of a caboose from which a trainman may see along the train while it is in motion.
CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) A visual display device connected to the computer.
Crummy See Caboose.
CSC Customer Service Center in Jacksonville, FL.
CTC See Centralized Traffic Control.
Cubic Capacity The carrying capacity of a car specified in cubic feet. Cubic feet is determined by multiplying the inside length times width times height (LxWxH = CC).
Cupola A small cab built on the roof or side of a caboose to afford a means of lookout for the train crew.
Curfew A timeframe when train traffic is ceased or re-routed so the maintenance of a track or tracks can be performed by Engineering Department personnel.
Current of Traffic The movement of trains on a main track, in one direction, as specified by the operating rules or special instructions.
Cushion Underframe A cushioned underframe is designed so that forces acting on the coupler and center sill are lessened by shock absorbing devices. This car is used when transporting fragile commodities.
Customer Pools Equipment pools where cars are reserved for loading by a specified shipper only. The customer pays for the privilege of having cars returned to him when empty.
Cut Several cars coupled together anywhere, such as several cars set out from a train. OR To uncouple a car. OR That part of the right-of-way which is cut through a hill, below ground, etc.
Cut It (Slang) Phrase meaning that Data Entry has entered data into the computer system for Revenue Accounting.
Cut Section A location other than a signal location where two joining track circuits end within a block.
Cut the Board To reduce the number of employees on the extra board.
Cut the Jack To cut the engines off.
Cut-Out Cock A valve located on locomotives and cars, used to open or close air lines or to cut-in or cut-out air operated devices. When the handle is crosswise to the brake pipe, the cut-out cock is open. When the handle is in-line with the brake pipe, the cut-out cock is closed.
CWC Centralized Waybilling Center. Now called Waybill Operations.
CWT The initials commonly used in rating to indicate hundredweight.
D-Paired See Paired Trailer/Container.
Damage Free Car (AKA DF Car) Car equipped with special bracing devices to decrease the possibility of damage to lading.
Dangerous Term applied to any shipment of a hazardous commodity
Data A specific piece or type of information sent to or received from a computer.
Data Exchange A term applied to the electronic transfer of data from one computer to another.
Database A collection of information arranged in a computer for speed of retrieval and manipulation.
Dead Engine Fixture A device on a locomotive for charging main reservoirs from the brake pipe when a locomotive is hauled dead in train.
Dead Man Valve (Slang) See Pneumatic Foot Valve.
Dead Rail A second set of tracks over a scale used when cars are not being weighed.
Deadhead Employee riding on company pass or on company business. OR Train and/or engine crew going from one terminal to another without performing service for which they were paid the regular rate as though they had worked.
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.
Deadman Control A foot pedal or brake valve which must be kept in a depressed position while the locomotive is operating. A release from this depressed position initiates an air brake application after a short time delay.
Declared Value The dollar value of the freight shipped as determined by the shipper.
Defect Card Receptacle A small metal container, placed underneath the car for protection from the weather, in which defect cards are placed.
Delay Failure to transport a car with reasonable dispatch. OR In train service, the amount of time the train was stopped for various reasons while enroute.
Delivering Carrier The transportation line delivering a shipment to the consignee.
Delivery The act of transferring possession of goods such as the transfer of property from consignor to carrier, one carrier to another, or carrier to consignee.
Demurrage A penalty charge assessed by railroads for the detention of cars by shippers or receivers of freight beyond a specified free time.
Department of Transportation (DOT) The United States Department of Transportation is a governmental bureau created and empowered by Congress to exercise certain regulatory functions over America's air, water, and land transportation industries. It consists of seven major branches, one of which is the Federal Railroad Administration that deals with matters pertaining to railroads and their operations.
Departure Tracks An arrangement of tracks to which outgoing freight cars are switched, usually from classification yard or directly from receiving yard, and made ready for train movement.
Depressed Center Flat Car (AKA Well Flat) A flat car with the section of the floor between the trucks depressed to permit loading of high shipments within overhead clearance limits.
Derail (AKA Jack, Jackknife, or Monkey) A track safety device designed to guide railway rolling stock off the rails at a selected spot as a means of protection against collisions or other accidents.
Derailment Anytime the wheels of a rail car or engine come off the rails, usually accidentally.
Deregulation Refers to any traffic not regulated by the Surface Transportation Board.
Destination The location to which a shipment is consigned.
Destination Agent Railroad employee at agency delivering freight to consignee.
Destination Audit A specific identifying number assigned to station at which a shipment is to be terminated.
Destination Block A group of cars in a train that are all being forwarded to the same destination (city, terminal, yard, railroad connection, or consignee).
Destination Road The railroad which terminates a shipment at destination.
Destination Weight Agreement A contract between the railroad and the customer in which the railroad agrees to accept the consignee scale weights.
Detention (Car) A service for which a charge is assessed against consignors or consignees for detaining or holding intermodal equipment in excess of the free time as specified in commodity tariffs, contracts, etc. for the purpose of loading or unloading at origin or destination or for holding intermodal equipment at designated hold points awaiting further delivery instructions or reconsignment.
Detention Charges (TOFC/COFC) A charge assessed customers for holding trailers or containers beyond the allowed period for the purpose of loading or unloading.
Detention Tariffs Tariffs with published rules that govern the amount of free time allowed to customers for pick up and return of trailers/containers and charges to be assessed for violation of these rules.
DF Bar A metal or wooden bar used to stabilize the load from damage during shipment.
DF Car Car equipped with special bracing devices to decrease the possibility of damage to lading.
Diamond See Crossing.
Diesel Electric Locomotive A locomotive in which the diesel engine drives an electric generator or alternator which in turn supplies electricity to motors (usually series, D.C.) which are geared to the driving axles.
Diesel Terminal Location where locomotives are fueled or repaired.
Differential The difference established between rates from related points of origin, or to related points of destination or via different routes between the same points.
Differential Routes The line or lines which maintain differential rates.
Dinky (Slang) A small engine used for switching around roundhouses or shops.
Direct Traffic Control Block A block whose use is governed by verbal authority of the train dispatcher.
Direct Traffic Control Block System (DTC) A direct traffic control block or a series of consecutive direct traffic control blocks.
Directory Rate A retail or wholesale public rate for intermodal traffic.
Discrimination Giving advantage to one shipper, locality or commodity which is not afforded to others under substantially similar circumstances and conditions.
Dispatcher (Train)  Team member responsible for directing and monitoring the movement of trains.
Dispatcher Bulletin A computer-generated form transmitted by the train dispatcher. It contains the date, location of receipt, train identification number and train messages applying to the train addressed. It contains the engine number when known. It also contains information as to the latest General and System Bulletin issued.
Displace (AKA Bump) The act of taking one's position and forcing the incumbent employee to another position, based on seniority.
Disposition Assigning rail cars for loading at specific locations for customers.
Disposition File Records which document carrier's handling of a freight shipment that has been rejected to the carrier because of damage, shortage and/or delay.
Distance Rate (AKA Mileage Rate) A rate published to apply for a specified distance or distances falling within specified mileage blocks.
Distant Signal A fixed signal used to govern the approach to a home signal.
Distribution Center The centrally located warehouse where goods shipped long distances by rail is loaded onto trucks for short-haul delivery to receivers, or vice versa. Also called a reload center, it combines the economies of rail with the flexibility of truck pickup and delivery.
Diversion Change in destination or routing before arrival of shipment at original destination. A change made in the instructions covering a shipment in transit - may be a change in destination, route, name of consignee, name of consignor, party to notify, etc.
Diversion and Reconsignment Terms often used denoting privileges provided by carriers which allow shipping instructions to be changed as to consignee, consignor, destination and routing. In a more specific sense, diversion includes changes in destination or routing before arrival of shipment at original destination, while reconsignment refers to changes in consignee before or after arrival of shipment at original destination.
Division That portion of a railroad assigned to the supervision of a division superintendent. OR One of six major sections of Conrail consisting of main tracks, yards, stations, and sidings assigned to the supervision of a superintendent. OR The apportionment, by carriers, of revenue received from a shipment moved by more than one rail carrier.
Division Notice Notice issued by authority and over the signature of the superintendent which contains instructions which do not affect the movement of trains.
Docket 28300 A mileage scale used to determine base rate.
Domestic Bill of Lading A bill of lading that covers shipments within the United States.
DOT See Department of Transportation
DOT-E Number Department of Transportation Exemption number. Assigned by the DOT for specific commodities which may only be moved with specific approval of the DOT.
Double Putting a train together when part of train is on one track and balance on another. OR Moving a train or a group of cars from track to track. OR Making a cut in a train too long to fit on a single track, and placing the remaining cars on another track. OR Two consecutive tours of duty.
Double Over (AKA Double Up) The act of picking up a cut of cars from one location/track and coupling the cars to another cut of cars at a different location/track.
Double Stack Train A train of specially equipped flat cars on which containers are stacked two-high.
Double Track Two parallel main tracks.
Dozer Bulldozer operator.
Draft A cut of coupled cars. OR Check issued to reimburse a customer for overpayment, duplicate payments, etc.
Draft Force A term used to describe coupler forces in a state of tension.
Draft Gear A term used to describe that shock absorbing unit which forms the connection between the coupler and center sill.
Drag (Slang) A train consisting of miscellaneous loads, empty cars, etc., which is not given a high priority. A train which may be required to pick-up, set out, or switch cars between its origin and destination. OR a train consisting of heavily loaded cars, such as coal, stone, ore, etc.
Drawbar A heavy metal bar between the coupler and the sliding sill that absorbs shock in coupling.
Drawhead The head of an automatic coupler, exclusive of the knuckle, knuckle pin and lock.
Drayage Charge for pickup or delivery of intermodal shipments.
Drayman A person hired to deliver and/or load and unload trailers for shipper and consignee. Does not own lading in car although sometimes shown as consignee.
Drill The handling or switching of cars in freight yards.
Drill Track A track connecting with the ladder track, over which engines and cars move back and forth in switching.
Drone A locomotive unit without its own controls used in conjunction with one or more other locomotives. See also Radio Controlled Engine.
Drop Switching movement in which cars are cut off from an engine or other cars and allowed to roll free into a track.
Drop Brake Shaft A brake shaft for flat cars which normally extends above the floor, but can be dropped down should conditions of lading require.
Drop Frames A variation of a dry van designed to provide more cubic capacity for light density products such as furniture.
Drop-Bottom Car A gondola with a level floor, equipped with a number of drop doors for discharging the load.
Drop-End Gondola A gondola with end doors which can be dropped when the car is used for shipping long material which extends over more than one car.
Dry Vans Trailer with sidewalls, usually constructed of sheet aluminum, with vertical posts providing rigidity at point of attachment for plywood lining and interior securement devices such as belt rails. Some have sidewalls constructed of fiberglass reinforced plastic. They may be equipped with side doors to facilitate special unloading requirements. Usually 40' to the newer 53' lengths.
Dual-Controlled Switch A power-operated switch that can also be operated by hand.
Dummy Hose Coupling A device designed to couple unused air hose for protection against damage and to prevent foreign matter from entering the train line.
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. Generally, tariffs or their governing publications will allow a specified amount of dunnage to be transported without charge.
Duplex Release Valve A manually operated valve on a freight car, which reduces reservoir air pressures, which, in turn, will release the air pressure in the brake cylinder.
Duplicate Payment An unapplied payment for which the computer was unable to find a corresponding bill number because the bill had cleared by a previous payment. This results in a credit in Accounts Receivable.
Duplicate Reporting When charges are reported twice on the same shipment.
Dynamic Brake Modulation Minor adjustments of the dynamic braking lever for the purpose of controlling dynamic brake retarding forces.
Dynamic Braking A method of retarding the locomotive and train by using the locomotive traction motors as generators. The current generated by the motors is dissipated through fan-cooled grids.
Dynamic Forces The forces created as a result of the movement of the train. The forces may be vertical, lateral, or horizontal.
Dynamiter (AKA Kicker, Snapshot, Quick Triple) A car on which a defective control valve creates undesired emergency brake applications.
Easy Sign A hand signal indicating the train is to move slowly.
Eave The projecting edge (overhang) of the roof on a rail car.
EDI Electronic Data Interchange, either with computers, FAX machines or telephones. Used to make and trace car orders, issue bills of lading, electronic payment transfer, etc.
Electric Lock An electrical locking device applied to a hand-operated switch, derail, or gate.
Electric Locomotive A locomotive which receives electric power from an overhead contact wire or third rail and uses the power to drive electric motors connected by gears to the driving axles.
Electrically Locked Switch A hand-operated switch equipped with an electrically controlled device which restricts the movement of the switch.
Electronic Air Brake (EAB) Locomotive brake equipment mounted on the control stand, which has the same movements and positions as the 26C and 30A automatic brake valves. This equipment provides microprocessor electropneumatic control for the brakes on locomotives and cars.
Elkins Act Law providing penalties for violation of the Interstate Commerce Act.
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 Brake Application A quick, heavy reduction of brake pipe pressure, which will cause the control valves to assume an "emergency position" and serially propagate the emergency brake application throughout the train.
Emergency Brake Valve A valve located in the locomotive cab, in addition to the automatic brake valve, which will cause an emergency brake application when opened.
Emergency Rate A rate, generally short-term, established to meet some immediate and pressing need, without due regard to the usual rate considerations.
Emergency Reservoir A storage volume for compressed air, charged from the brake pipe, to provide air pressure for use in emergency brake applications and certain recharge features. An emergency reservoir is located on each car, contained in the same structure as the auxiliary reservoir.
Empty Car Freight car without a load.
Empty Car Bill (Slip Bill) Waybill used to move ordinary empty cars from one station to another.
En Route Movement Instructions (Form ER) A form used to record specified instructions regarding train movement.
End Door A door in the end of a car. In some box cars this door is used for loading and unloading long material which cannot be handled through the side door.
End of Train Device (EOT) A portable sensory transmitter unit mounted on the last car of a train that transmits information to a receiver display unit on the engine.
Engine A locomotive unit propelled by any form of energy. It is also a combination of such units operated from a single control.
Engineer The operator of a locomotive.
Equalizing Reservoir A small reservoir, which is connected to an equalizing piston or diaphragm chamber for use in automatic air brake applications.
Equipment Initial and Number Identifying information stenciled on transportation equipment. See Car Initial and Number.
Equipment Pools Established to facilitate car supply and prevent contamination of the shipper's product. There are three basic types of pools: Agency Pools: Cars in an agency pool are assigned to a local agent and are returned empty to that agent when unloaded at the ultimate destination. Car Management Pools: Cars are assigned for service to a particular commodity, industry, or location by Car Management to fill car orders. Customer Pools: Cars in a customer pool are reserved for loading by a specified shipper only.
Equipment Register Manual of physical descriptions of cars owned by the railroads, government, and other industries.
Estimated Weight The weight specifically stated in tariffs for goods shipped in certain packages or in a certain manner. The weight used in lieu of actual weight at origin. Agent can use the shipper's weight, the marked capacity of the car, the tariff or minimum weight until the actual scale weight has been established en route or at destination.
Ex Parte On one side or from one side only. Usually associated with an increase in freight rates.
Ex Parte Level See Increase Level.
Excepted Track A segment of track that is identified in special instructions, where: No train shall be operated at speeds more than 10 MPH. No revenue passenger train shall be operated. No freight train shall be operated that contains more than five cars required to be placarded by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR).
Exceptions to Classification A publication containing classification ratings and rules different from the Uniform Freight Classification ratings and rules.
Excess Prepay Amount in the prepaid column which exceeds the total of the freight plus advances.
Excessive Dimension See High-Wide.
Exchange Bill of Lading A bill of lading issued in exchange for another bill of lading.
Exclusive Authority to Move The authority the train has to occupy a track does not include other movements within the same limit.
Execution Chain A list of transactions that will be used to create or update a waybill. This list is built internally from one of the major data entry screens, and it is stored on the on-line Session Control (AWSDAP) database.
Expense Bill See Freight Bill.
Expiration Notice A notice in a tariff that all or some part of it will expire at a stated time.
Export To send goods to any foreign country.
Export Bill of Lading A bill of lading that covers shipments to a foreign country.
Export Rate A freight rate specially established for application on export traffic and generally lower than the corresponding domestic rate. Rates designated as export or import generally take precedence over domestic rates on the same shipment.
Extension Error Charges on a waybill which are added, subtracted, or multiplied incorrectly or placed in the wrong column, or omitted altogether.
Extra Train A train not authorized by a timetable schedule. It may be designated as: Extra: for any extra train, except work extra. OR Passenger extra: for any extra train authorized by train order.
Fabrication in Transit The stopping of goods at a point located between the point of origin and the ultimate destination for further processing or manufacturing. Now seldom used, this process was once widely used in transportation of metal goods.
Facing Movement The movement of a train over the points of a switch which face in a direction opposite to that in which the train is moving.
FAK Freight of All Kinds. A term used to indicate that the lading of a trailer or container load is mixed.
False Restrictive Aspect The aspect of a signal that conveys an indication more restrictive than intended.
FC See Freight Claims.
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) One of seven major branches under the Department of Transportation. The FRA deals with matters pertaining to railroads and their operations.
Field A specific location on a computer screen for entering data. Input may be alpha, numeric, or an alpha/numeric combination.
Field Man Brakeman or switchman who works the position farthest from the engine.
Fifth Wheel Supporting plate and pivot at the forward end of a tractor-trailer.
Fill A built-up piece of land or embankment on which the roadbed and track is placed.
Final Carrier Last road haul carrier that handled the shipment.
Final Destination The location at which a rail shipment is terminated.
Final Reduction The last reduction of brake pipe pressure required to provide a retarding force to the head portion of a train, as a stop is being completed.
Firkin Measurement. A quarter of a barrel.
Fixed Charges A term used to designate collectively such items as interest, rent for leased tracks and equipment, and amortization of discount on funded debt used primarily by the Treasury and Real Properties departments.
Fixed Signal A permanent signal or sign indicating a condition affecting train movement.
Fixed Stanchion A non-movable, vertical support bar on a flat car on which the front end of a trailer rests while being transported on a flat car. See also Knock Down Stanchion.
Flagman An extra crewman (usually the brakeman) assigned to duties at the rear end of the train and used to flag traffic.
Flammable A commodity or material, which can be easily ignited.
Flange (Car Wheel) A projecting edge or rim on the circumference of the wheel to keep it on the rail.
Flares Combustible torches which burn (red, yellow or green) for ten to fifteen minutes as warning signals to other trains when touched off and placed or thrown on the ground by train service employees.
Flat Car An open car without sides, ends or top, used principally for hauling lumber, stone, heavy machinery, TOFC/COFC equipment, etc.
Flat Rate A rate that is not dependent on any prior or subsequent transportation, as distinguished from a proportional rate. OR a rate that remains constant after a defined minimum weight is reached, as distinguished from a threshold rate.
Flat Switch Yard A yard where car switching depends on locomotive power with little assistance from gravity.
Flat Wheel A car wheel that has flat spots on its running surface.
Floating Charge A continuous input of current to a storage battery.
Flying Switch (AKA Drop Switch or Running Switch) A switching movement to get a car that is on one end of the locomotive to the other end.
Foot-Board To step on the front and rear ends of switch engines and road switcher engines. OR To provide delivery service for train crews to trains instead of using taxis.
Force Majeure (AKA Act of God) A French phrase which appears in contracts and refers to circumstances beyond anyone's control.
Foreign Car Any car not belonging to the parent line.
Fork Lift Type Trucks Specially designed trucks used for handling containers in certain specialized facilities.
Format The proper arrangement of characters in a field on the CRT.
Formatted Screen A specially arranged screen that is divided into separate fields for the entry of data for input to the computer.
Forwarded See Interline Forwarded.
Fouling Point The location on a turnout back of the frog at which insulated joints or derails are placed at or beyond clearance point.
Fouling Section The section of track between the switch points and the fouling point in the turnout.
Free Time The period allowed consignor or consignee to load or unload freight from cars before demurrage or storage charges begin to accrue.
Free-Astray A shipment miscarried or unloaded at the wrong station which is waybilled and forwarded to the correct station free of charge.
Freight Goods being moved from one place to another by transportation lines. Also a term used to express the transportation charge.
Freight Agent Railroad's representative with the public who transacts business for and in the name of the railroad. The freight agent is generally in charge of an agency and the clerical employees at such agency.
Freight Bill A statement of charges for transportation given to customer. Information is taken from waybill. Collect Freight Bill: A bill rendered by a transportation line at destination to the freight payor, giving a description of the freight, name of shipper, point of origin, weight, and amount of charges due. Prepaid Freight Bill: A bill rendered by a transportation line at origin to the freight payor, giving a description of the freight, name of consignee, destination, weight, and amount of charges.
Freight Bill Date The date the freight bill was generated.
Freight Bill Number A 7-digit identification number assigned to each freight bill.
Freight Cars on Line Home cars, foreign cars, and private line cars, but not cabooses or company service equipment, on a railroad's line at a given time.
Freight Cars Owned For the purpose of equipment condition reports, all freight cars owned and leased with exception of caboose cars, motor-equipped rail cars, and company cars, not definitely assigned to revenue service, and cars retired from service and held for sale or demolition.
Freight Charge The charge assessed for transporting freight.
Freight Claim A demand upon a carrier for the payment of overcharge, loss or damage sustained by shipper or consignee.
Freight Forwarder A person or firm engaged in the business of consolidating the shipments of different shippers into carload lots and forwarding them in volume lot service. Also, one who is in the business of clearing and trans-shipping property to and from foreign countries.
Freight House The station facility of a transportation line for receiving and delivering freight.
Freight Payor A customer who has agreed to pay the freight charges on a particular shipment. The customer could be the consignor, consignee, or a third party.
Freight Revenue Revenue, based on tariffs, from the transportation of freight and from transit, stop-off, diversion, and reconsignment arrangements.
Freight Traffic Service Company who audits rates and charges for its customers and may also pay customers' freight bills. Credit is authorized to the customer, not the freight traffic service.
Frog A device made of rail sections so constructed and assembled as to permit the wheels on one rail of track to cross another rail of an intersecting track. Resembles an "X" or a frog with legs extended. OR an implement for rerailing car wheels. See Replacer.
Front Contact A part of the relay against which, when the relay is energized, the current carrying portion of the moveable neutral member is held so as to form a continuous path for the current.
Front Rod A rod connecting the points of a switch or moveable point frog, by means of which the relative location of the points is maintained and to which the lock rod is attached.
FSAC Freight Station Accounting Code
Full Liability Full liability is when the transportation company agrees to reimburse the shipper for the full amount of the declared value of a shipment. If full liability for each car is desired, an additional charge per loaded car may be assessed or a higher rate charged. If full liability is desired, it must be indicated on the bill of lading.
Full Service Application An application of the automatic brake to the point that the auxiliary reservoir and brake cylinder pressures are equalized. Any further reduction in brake pipe pressure, with the exception of an emergency application, will have absolutely no effect on the amount of the pressure in the brake cylinder.
Fully Tested Train A train on which the air brake inspection and test are completed after an outbound locomotive consist is attached. No further brake test is required before departure.
Fuse An electrical conductor inserted in a circuit to open the circuit by melting when the current exceeds the value which the fuse is capable of carrying.
Fussee Red flare used for flagging or warning purposes.
Gage (AKA Gauge) The distance between the heads of rails, measured at a point 5/8 inches below the top of the rail. Standard gage in the United States and Canada measures 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches.
Gage Rod A device for holding track to the correct gage.
Gandy Dancer (Slang) Track laborer.
Gang A group of employees engaged in the maintenance of the railroad. Usually this term is limited to roadway, bridge and building, and signal forces.
Gang Board A pivoted device used for access from one locomotive to another or from a car to a platform.
Gantry Crane A stilted traveling crane supported on a bridge or trestle. Trestle bents are constructed on wheels so the whole structure travels on a track laid on the ground or floor.
Gate A switch.
Gateway A point or location at which freight moving from one area or territory to another is interchanged between carriers. A base point on or near the boundary of a rate or classification territory on which rates are constructed.
Gauge (AKA Gage) The distance between the heads of rails, measured at a point 5/8 inches below the top of the rail. Standard gauge in the United States and Canada measures 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches.
Gauntlet A third set of rails placed in between two other sets of rails to carry wide loads through tunnels.
General Bulletin Written special instructions about the movement or safety of trains and employees. General Bulletins are issued by senior field supervision (a General Manager or Division Superintendent).
General Notice A posted notice of information and instructions issued by senior field supervision (a General Manager or Division Superintendent, etc).
General Order Order (issued by authority and over the signature of the designated official) wihch contains changes in rules, timetable or other instructions.
General Service Car Box, gondola, or flat car with no special equipment and not designed for any specific commodity or shipper.
Geometry Car A car equipped with electro-mechanical sensors used to automatically detect and record track geometry over long distances. The geometrey car may be either self-propelled or pulled by a locomotove.
Get Your Wind [slang] When the brake pressure is restored on a train.
Gladhand Air brake hose coupling.
Go High The act of climbing to the top of box cars to receive or transmit signals or apply hand brakes.
Going in for the Rubber (Slang) Reaching in to couple the air hoses between cars.
Gondola Car A car without a top covering which has straight sides and ends, the floor or bottom of which is level or approximately level. Used for freight in bulk. Types: High side, low side, drop end, drop bottom, general purpose and convertible.
Government Bill of Lading A special shipping document which is used in making shipment for the U.S. Government.
Grab Iron Steel bar attached to cars and engines as a hand hold.
Grade The rate of rise or fall of track elevation.
Grade Crossing A crossing at the same level, either between tracks of different railways or between railway tracks and public crossings.
Gradient (False) The difference between the brake pipe pressure at the controlling unit and at the opposite end of the train.
Gradient (True) The difference between the brake pipe pressure at the controlling unit and at the opposite end of the train, when the brake system is fully charged to the highest pressure that can be sustained at a given regulating valve setting under given leakage and temperature conditions.
Graduated Release A feature available on some passenger equipment, which allows the pressure in all of the brake cylinders of a train to be reduced in steps. See Brake Release.
Grain Door A temporary partition placed across the door of a box car to prevent loss of grain.
Graveyard Shift Third shift.
Grease Monkey An employee who is responsible for greasing frogs, switches and interlocking track equipment. Also a car oiler.
Gross Ton 2,240 pounds.
Gross Ton Mile The movement of a ton of transportation equipment and contents one mile.
Gross Weight The weight of an article together with the weight of its container and the material used for packing. OR As applied to a carload, the weight of a car together with the weight of its entire contents.
Grounded or Grounding Term used to indicate that a trailer or container has been removed from a flat car.
Group Rate See Blanket Rate.
Gum Shoe A railroad detective.
Gun A torpedo placed on a rail, which will act as a signal warning when it is detonated by a train crossing over it.
Hack (Slang) See Caboose.
Hand Brake The brake apparatus used to manually apply the brakes on a car or locomotive.
Haulage Rights Rights obtained by one railroad to have its trains operated by another railroad over that railroad?s tracks.
Hazardous Material (AKA Hazmat) A substance or material, which is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and the environment.
Head Block The fixed signal at the entrance to a segment of Absolute Permissive Block territory, indicated by a Block-Limit Signal.
Head End Beginning or forward portion of any train.
Head Man Brakeman responsible for work done in connection with the forward section of the train and, when in transit, is stationed in the locomotive.
Head of Train Device (HTD) An appliance in the locomotive cab that receives information from the End of Train Device (ETD) and provides a readout to the engineer. See Receiver Display Unit.
Head Pin (Slang) See Head Man.
Header Beginning or identifying portion of any list or consist.
Heater (Switch) A device for melting snow at switches by means of steam, an electric current, gas jets, or oil.
Heater Car An insulated box car equipped with heating apparatus for the protection of commodities that are liable to be damaged by cold weather.
Heavy OK Term used to indicate that repairs have been completed for a car which was classified as a heavy repair.
Heavy Repairs As reported to the AAR, repairs to revenue freight cars requiring over 20 man-hours.
Held-For-Billing Term used to designate a car in the yard for which there is no waybill or forwarding instructions.
Helper Engine A manned locomotive used to assist in the movement of a train.
Helper Link A device added to a helper locomotive, which communicates brake pipe pressure via a radio signal between the two-way end-of-train device and the helper locomotive. It eliminates connecting the brake pipe between the helper locomotive and the rear of the train, enabling them to detach without stopping.
Hi-Cube Car A box car of approximately 85 ft. in length and 10,000 cu. ft. in capacity designed for hauling automobile body stampings and other low density freight.
High Adhesion Locomotive A type of locomotive that allows locomotive wheels to turn slightly faster than the locomotive is actually moving, in an effort to gain adhesion, which in turn, allows higher tractive effort to be generated.
High and Wide Car Car of excessive dimensions which must be handled with special care and attention to clearances.
High Iron Main line or high speed track.
High Rail The outer or elevated rail of a curved track. OR The inspection of a section of railroad using a highway vehicle equipped with rail wheels.
High-Side Gondola Car A gondola car with sides and ends over 36 inches in height.
High-Wide A car that exceeds dimension restrictions due to its construction or due to the size of its load. It requires special handling.
Highball (Slang) Signal to proceed at maximum authorized speed, given by hand or by lantern in a high, wide semi-arc.
Highway Crossing at Grade A location where streets or highways cross over railroad tracks.
Historical Rates Expired rate information, including the adjustments to specific prices and the rates resulting from each adjustment.
Hog (Slang) Locomotive or locomotive engineer.
Hog Law (Slang) The Federal statute which provides that all train and engineer crews must be relieved of duty after 12 hours of continuous service.
Hogger (Slang) Locomotive engineer.
Hoghead (Slang) Locomotive engineer.
Hold Point Point specifically named in tariffs, contracts, etc. where cars may be stopped and held awaiting delivery or reconsignment instructions.
Hold-for-Billing See Held for Billing.
Holding Tracks (Yard) Tracks upon which locomotives and cars may be held to await disposition of orders.
Hole Term applied to siding which one train pulls into when it meets another.
Home A location where a car is on the tracks of its owner.
Home Car A car on the tracks of its owner or lessee.
Home Junction A junction with the home road of a railroad.
Home Road Used in connection with car service to denote the road that is the owner or lessee of the car, or upon which the home of a private car is located.
Home Route The return route of a foreign empty car to the owning road.
Home Signal A fixed signal governing the entrance to an interlocking.
Hook Wrecking derrick. OR To hook/couple/hitch cars, engines or equipment together.
Hopper Car A car with a sloping floor which will discharge its load by gravity through the hopper doors.
Hostler A fireman who operates light engines in designated engine house territory and works under the direction of the engine house foreman.
Hostler's Control A simplified throttle provided to move the "B" unit of a diesel locomotive not equipped with a regular engineer's control.
Hot Box An overheated journal caused by excessive friction between bearing and journals due to lack of lubricant or presence of foreign matter.
Hot Box Detector A wayside infrared sensing instrument used to identify overheated journal bearings.
Hot Box Signal Holding the nose with one hand and pointing to the wheels with the other.
Hot Rail An expression used as a warning that a movement is closely approaching on a nearby track.
Hot Shot A fast train of any class, sometimes known as a highball run.
Hours of Service Law (AKA Hog Law) The Federal statute which provides that all train and engineer crews must be relieved of duty after 12 hours of continuous service.
House Track A track alongside or entering a freight house, used for cars delivering, receiving, or transferring freight.
Hump That part of a track which is elevated so that when a car is pushed over it and uncoupled, the car rolls down the other side by gravity.
Hump Yard A switching yard with an elevated track or hump over which cars are pushed by a switch engine so that they travel by gravity to classification tracks.
ICE Integrated Cab Electronics (EMD). A system that uses computer screens to replace the conventional gauges and dials on a locomotive control stand.
Idler Car Usually a flat car used in the transportation of a long article or shipment which extends beyond the limits of the car carrying the shipment. The "idler" is a car on which the shipment or article does not rest, but overhangs.
IFC Integrated Function Control (GE). A system that uses computer screens to replace the conventional gauges and dials on a locomotive control stand.
IIDS Industrial Inventory Demurrage Switching System. A computer system which interfaces with all major transportation data systems and eliminates manual calculation of demurrage and other accessorial charges.
Impact Recorder (AKA Impact Register) A mechanical device used in or on a car to register shock or vibration to the car.
Import To receive goods from any foreign country.
Import Rate A rate established specifically for application on import freight, and generally lower than and taking precedence over domestic rates.
Improper Signal Aspect A signal aspect that permits a train to proceed when the condition of the block does not justify such an aspect.
In Advance of a Signal A term used in defining the territory beyond a signal as seen from an approaching train.
In Approach of a Signal A term used in defining the territory to which a signal indication is conveyed.
In Care Of A shipment to be delivered to a location other than that of the consignee's location. The waybill must be noted with both the actual customer and the receiving customer.
In The Clear A car (or train) is in the clear when it has passed over a switch and frog so far that another car (or train) can pass without collision. A car or train not blocking or fouling tracks. See On the Foul.
In The Hole (Slang) In a siding.
In-Bond Shipment An import or export shipment which has not been cleared by Federal customs officials.
In-Gate Term used to indicate that a trailer or container has been brought into an intermodal site by a drayman.
Inbound Train A train arriving at a yard or terminal.
Incidental Bill A bill for charges accruing to a customer due to switching, demurrage, detention, storage, etc.
Increase Level A specific amount added to the freight charges of a shipment to cover increased carrier costs. OR A field within the rate master that carries the identification of a publication that represents a RCCR (Rail Carrier Cost Recovery) increase.
Independent Brake Valve A manually operated pneumatic valve in the locomotive cab used to apply and release locomotive brakes independently of train brakes.
Independent Contact A contacting member designed to complete one circuit only.
Indication The information conveyed by a signal.
Individual Lines Tariff A tariff published by a particular railroad for its own use.
Industrial Carrier, Industrial Line, or Industrial Road A short railroad owned or controlled by one or more of the principal industries served by it.
Industrial Interchange Interchange of cars from one railroad to another which takes place within the confines of a customer's plant.
Industrial Track A switching track serving industries, such as warehouses, mines, mills, factories, etc.
Inflammable Liquids Liquids that give off vapors which become combustible at a certain temperature.
Ingot A mass of metal shaped for the convenience of storage or transportation.
Initial and Number The two parts of car identification. Together, they constitute the car number.
Initial Carrier The carrier serving the location where the shipment originates.
Initial Reduction The first of one or more brake pipe reductions made with the automatic brake valve.
Initiation Fee A standard fee required by the union as a condition of obtaining membership in the union.
Inland Carrier A transportation line which hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.
Input Data prepared and transmitted to the computer.
Input Field Location on a computer screen where data may be typed.
Inspection To check over product for the purpose of determining its quality and condition and to determine responsibility for loss or damage.
Insulated Rail Joint A joint in which electrical insulation is provided between adjoining rails.
Insulated Rod A metal rod in which insulation has been inserted between its abutting ends to prevent passage of current through the rod.
Inter-Terminal Switching The switching of cars from one location to another within a terminal area, but involving two or more railroads.
Interchange The transfer of cars from one railroad to another at a common junction point.
Interchange Point The location or junction where cars are transferred from one railroad to another.
Interchange Switching The service performed in transferring cars from one transportation carrier to another as part of a through movement.
Interchange Track A track on which freight is delivered by one transportation carrier to another.
Intercooler That part of the air compressor used for cooling the compressed air between stages of compression.
Interfaced Waybill A waybill created in AWS that has all necessary information to legally move a freight car. When all of the billing information is complete, the computer will generate a freight bill to the customer.
Interline Traffic that moves between two or more carriers.
Interline Shipment Freight moving from point of origin to destination over the lines of two or more railroads.
Interline Waybill A waybill covering the movement of freight over two or more transportation carriers' tracks.
Interlocking An arrangement of interconnected signals and signal appliances for which interlocking rules are in effect. Signals and movement of signal appliances must succeed each other in proper sequence.
Interlocking Limits The tracks between the extreme opposing home signals of an interlocking.
Interlocking Signals The fixed signals of an interlocking.
Intermediate Carrier (AKA Bridges or Overhead Carrier) A railroad over which a shipment moves but on which neither the point of origin nor destination is located.
Intermediate Clause A clause contained in a tariff which provides for rates to or from an intermediate point.
Intermediate Pick-Up Location or activity between the origin and destination of a train where cars are added to the train.
Intermediate Point An unnamed location between two specifically named points.
Intermediate Signal A block signal equipped with either a number plate, a "G" marker or a "P" marker. It conveys "Stop and Proceed at Restricted Speed" as its most restrictive indication.
Intermediate Switching Switching service performed which includes all the elements of switching performed by a carrier that neither originates nor terminates the shipment nor receives a line haul on that shipment.
Intermodal A flexible way of transporting freight over water, highway and rail without being removed from the original transportation equipment, namely a container or trailer.
Intermodal or Piggyback Facility A loading and/or unloading ramp for TOFC/COFC traffic only. The ramp may or may not be adjacent to a freight yard.
Intermodal Rules Tariff Tariff with published rules and regulations governing class, commodity and freight rates applying on shipments loaded in or on trailers, containers, or demountable trailer bodies and transported on flat cars.
Intermodal Train A freight train that consists of any combination of roadrailer equipment, double-stack or pedestal flat cars, and flat cars equipped for TOFC, COFC, multi-level auto-rack or auto frames.
Interstate Commerce Act An act of Congress, regulating the practices, rates, and rules of transportation lines engaged in handling interstate traffic.
Interstate Traffic Traffic moving from a point in one state to a point in another state or between points in the same state, but must pass within or through another state en route.
Intra Within.
Intra-Plant Switching The movement of cars from one place to another within the confines of a single industry.
Intra-Terminal Switching Switching service performed in handling a car from a track served by the same carrier when both tracks are within the switching limits of the same station or industrial switching district.
Intrastate Traffic Traffic between two locations in a single state and the movement is wholly within the state boundaries.
Inventory control See TYMS.
IRDE Interline Received Data Exchange System.
Iron (Slang) See Switch.
Issuing Carrier The carrier publishing a tariff or issuing a bill of lading or other document.
Item A tariff provision of any kind bearing an "Item Number" designation.
Jackknifing Excessive lateral forces caused by heavy buff loading, resulting in heels lifting over the high rail or the rail rolling over.
Jib (Slang) A derrick or crane. More properly called a boom.
Johnson Bar Reverse lever on a steam locomotive.
Joint A coupling between two cars.
Joint Agency Agency which transacts business for two or more transportation lines.
Joint Agent A person having authority to transact business for two or more railroads.
Joint Bar (AKA Angle Bar) A formed steel bar used in pairs to fasten together the ends of rails in a track.
Joint Rate A rate from a point located on one transportation line to a point on another transportation line which is published in a single tariff.
Joint Tariff A tariff containing joint rates.
Joint Track Track which is used jointly by two or more carriers, but generally owned by one or the other.
Journal The part of a rail axle on which the journal bearing rests or is mounted.
Journal Bearing A combination of rollers and races or a block of metal (usually brass or bronze) in contact with the journal, on which the load rests. In car construction, the term, when unqualified, means a car axle journal bearing. See also Roller Bearing.
Journal Box The metal housing which encloses the journal of a car axle, the journal bearing and wedge, and which holds the oil and lubricating device for lubricating the journal. There are two types of journal boxes presently in existence. The old type is for a car that runs on brass bearings. The box has an open lid and is filled with shredded cloth that has been oiled.
Journal Brass See Journal Bearing.
Julian Date A serial number equal to the number of days elapsed since January 1, often shown on desk top calendars and written as 87 (yr) 141 (date).
Jumper Cable A flexible cable used to electrically connect the controller circuits between locomotives.
Junction Point at which two or more carriers interchange freight.
Junction Box A housing for wires at junction points in wire and cable runs.
Junction Point A point at which a branch line track connects with a main line track. OR A location at which two or more railroads interchange cars over connecting tracks.
Junction Settlement Road A short line road for which a junction road settles its revenue or a short line carrier that does not participate as a line haul carrier and settlement of revenue is performed by connecting carriers. Unique audit (station) numbers are assigned to these carriers for rating and settling purposes.
Keeper A latch-type device used to secure a switch in the desired position.
Kick (Slang) Applied to switching, kicking is the act of pushing a car or cars at speed ahead or behind an engine, and then cutting the car or cars loose from the engine while the brakes are applied quickly on the engine, thus allowing the car or cars to be kicked free.
Kicker (Slang) See Dynamiter.
Kingpin On a highway trailer, the short flanged steel pin which projects downward from the front load bearing surface of the underframe. The kingpin is grasped by the tractor in highway operation, or by the trailer hitch (fifth wheel) when the trailer is being transported on a piggyback flat car.
Knock-Down Stanchion A moveable, vertical, support bar on which the front end of a trailer rests while being transported on a flat car. See also Fixed Stanchions.
Known Damage Damage discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.
Knuckle (Part of the Coupler) The pivoting hook-like casting that fits into the head of a coupler and rotates about a vertical pin to either the open position or to the closed position. Coupler knuckles must conform to a standard dimensional contour specified by the Association of American Railroads.
Knuckle Pin The pin holding the knuckle in the jaws of the coupler. Sometimes called pivot pin.
Knuckle Thrower A device which throws the knuckle of a car coupler open when the uncoupling lever is operated.
Lacing the Air The act of coupling train line air hoses and cutting in the air.
Ladder A single "lead" track with many tracks branching off to form a classification yard. The main switching track in a yard, from which industrial tracks lead.
Lading Freight or cargo making up a shipment.
Land-Bridge Term which designates that traffic originates overseas, then moves across the US by rail and is next exported to its destination overseas.
Landing Gear Retractable legs used to support the nose end of a trailer when it is not attached to a tractor or hitch.
Latch A device for catching and holding the lever of a switch stand in position.
Lateral Motion The motion which takes place, crosswise of the track, of all car parts except the wheels and axles.
Law Department The department to which ultimate referral is made after all avenues for collecting lawful charges have been used.
Lawful Rate A rate published in conformity with the provisions of the regulatory law and which does not violate any other provisions of such law.
Lead End The leading end of any movement.
Lead Track An extended track connecting either end of a yard with the main track.
Lead, Straight The distance between the actual switch point and half-inch frog point along the tangent center line of a lateral turnout. In a curved turnout the lead is measured along the center line of the curve with the longer radius.
Leased Track Track (s) assigned to a user through a written agreement. Leased Tracks will be treated the same as private tracks. Private cars will not be subject to Demurrage while stored on Lease Tracks.
Less Than Carload (LCL) The quantity of freight less than that required for the application of a carload rate.
Less Than Carload Pricing System for rating a partial carload carrying a mixture of commodities (i.e., a partitioned tank car).
Less Than Trailer Load (LTL) Term applied to a shipment which does not fill a trailer or container.
Light Engine An engine moving without caboose or cars attached.
Light Repairs As reported to the AAR, repairs to revenue freight cars requiring 20 man-hours or less.
Light Signal A fixed signal in which the indications are displayed by the color or position of a light or lights, or both.
Light Weight (AKA Tare Weight) The weight of an empty railroad car.
Lighter A flat-bottomed boat usually used in inland waterways.
Lighterage Limits The limits of the area within which freight is handled by lighters or barges under certain lightering charges, rules and regulations.
Lightering The hauling of freight on lighters or barges.
Lightning Arrestor A device for protecting circuits and apparatus against lightning or other abnormal potential rises of short duration.
Limitation of Liability An agreement by the shipper or consignee that the rate being charged can be reduced in order to limit his ability to file a claim for damage or loss to a carload if the damages are not in excess of an agreed upon amount. Not to be confused with Full Liability.
Limited Speed A speed not exceeding 45 miles per hour.
Line A transportation term denoting the condition of the track in regard to uniformity of direction over short distances on tangents, or short distances on curves. OR A transportation carrier such as a truck line or a rail line.
Line Capacity The maximum number of trains that can operate safely and reliably over a given segment of track during a given period of time.
Line Haul The movement of freight by a carrier over its line or part of its line, excluding switching, pick-up or delivery.
Line Haul Switching The moving of cars within yard or switching limits or a station preceding or following a line haul.
Line of Road Trackage between terminals.
Line-Up (AKA Consist) Information pertaining to the operation of regular and extra trains.
Links (ARZ) An association between a local patron code and a billing patron code. There are two kinds of links: Regular Link (AKA Straight): Patron's local address is linked to same patron's billing address. Third Party Link: One patron's local address is linked to a different patron's billing address.
Lite OK Term applied to a light repair car which has been fixed.
Livestock Bill of Lading A bill of lading that covers the shipment of cattle, horses, sheep, swine, etc.
Load Limit The maximum load in pounds which the car is designed to carry.
Load Meter A meter on the locomotive control stand, which monitors amperage.
Local (ARZ) City and state location of a patron.
Local Action Any non-productive internal chemical reaction tending to decompose the elements in a cell.
Local Moves Shipments which originate and terminate on Watco tracks and involve no other railroad.
Local Rate A rate applying between stations located on one railroad.
Local Shipment Shipment originating and terminating on the same railway without an intermediate haul by a connecting railway.
Local Tariff A tariff containing rates applicable only between stations located on the same railroad.
Local Traffic Traffic moving between stations located on the same railroad.
Local Waybill A waybill covering the movement of freight over a single railroad.
Lock Box Banks P.O. Box, representing any one of our banks, to which customers are instructed to send their freight payments.
Locked Patron (ARZ) Patron to which no updates may be allowed without prior approval of customer accountant.
Locking Bar A bar in an interlocking machine to which the locking dogs are attached.
Locomotive (AKA Locomotive Consist) A self-propelled unit of equipment, or combination of units operated under a single control, and designed solely for moving other equipment.
Long Ton (AKA Gross Ton) 2,240 pounds.
Long-and-Short Clause The Fourth Section of the Interstate Commerce Act which prohibits railroads from charging more for a shorter than for a longer haul over the same route, except by special permission of the Surface Transportation Board.
Lookout See Cupola.
Looseleaf Tariff A tariff that is not bound and is three-hole punched so that it can be placed in a three-ring binder.
Low Rail The inner rail of a curve which is maintained at grade while the opposite or outer rail is elevated.
Low Side Gondola A gondola car with sides and ends 36 inches high or less.
Magnetic Field A term applied to the space occupied by electric or magnetic lines of force.
Magnetic Flux The number of lines of magnetic force that pass through a magnetic circuit.
Main Iron (Slang) See Main Track.
Main Line That part of the railway, exclusive of switch tracks, branches, yards, and terminals.
Main Reservoirs The large reservoirs on a locomotive for storing the main supply of compressed air.
Main Track A track extending through yards and between stations. It is other than an auxiliary track.
Maintenance of Way Equipment Equipment designed for working on tracks and railroad right-of-ways.
Make a Joint To couple cars.
Make the Air Hook up the rubber air hoses and cut the air into them by turning the angle cock on the end of a car.
Make Whole The payment of 100% of lost wages.
Making a Hitch Coupling two cars together.
Making the Iron (Slang) The process of coupling two cars together.
Making the Joint (Slang) The process of coupling two cars together.
Manifest A description of the contents of a shipment.
Manifest Clerk Clerical yard office position which handles inbound and outbound movement of trains.
Manual Interlock A signal interlock operated by an employee by means of an interlocking machine, used to change railroad signals, a safety device to keep trains out of occupied areas.
Mark Process of underlining or writing information on a document or printout. OR An identifying mark on cotton shipments. OR Identifying marks on rail equipment.
Marked Capacity The load or carrying capacity of transportation equipment as marked or stenciled thereon.
Marker A device, such as a red flag or ETD that marks the end of a train.
Market Value Value of a product at destination.
Marking Off Reporting as not available for work. OR The act of completing an employee's time ticket, showing the time released from duty.
Marking Up The act of reporting availability for duty.
Mass Maintenance The process of updating a group of related data in a batch environment.
Master Tariff A tariff that is applicable to or governs a large number of tariffs.
Mate A cabless locomotive, which has traction motors and must be coupled to another locomotive, from which power is supplied.
Mated Trailer Accounting term which allows a customer to receive a more favorable shipping rate, when two trailers are being shipped to the same location, on the same bill of lading, or separate bills of lading cross referenced to one another. The two trailers may be on the same flat car or train, but it is not necessary to qualify for the rate.
Maximum Authorized Speed The highest speed permitted for any train on a subdivision or portion of a subdivision. It will be found listed under "Maximum Authorized Speed" in special instructions.
Maximum Continuous Amperage (MCA) The amperage at which a locomotive may operate continuously under heavy load conditions without damaging the traction motors.
Maximum Rate The highest rate that may be charged for a shipment.
Meat Rack (AKA Beef Rail) The supports near the ceiling of a reefer from which meat is suspended.
Mechanical Car See Refrigerator Car.
Mechanical Designation An alphabetic code assigned by the Association of American Railroads to every freight car to designate its general design characteristics and its intended purpose. Mechanical designations are stenciled on every car on the same line and immediately to the right of the capacity stenciling.
Mechanical Inspection Physical inspection of a car performed to determine its condition.
Mechanical Refrigerator Car A car equipped with a diesel powered refrigerating unit under thermostatic control.
Medium Speed A speed not exceeding 30 mph.
Memo Copy Bill of Lading The duplicate copy of a bill of lading.
Memo Waybill Memorandum waybill. A waybill used when the agent does not have sufficient information to determine the freight charges. It contains adequate information to enable yards to properly handle cars. It is sometimes used to move empties. A memo waybill is also used to handle company material.
Merchandise Car A car containing several less than carload shipments.
Meter A measuring instrument which indicates or records the value of the quantity under observation.
Microfiche 4 x 6 plastic card which can contain 208 reduced pages of information. Microfiche is read with a special machine.
MIFRR See Multiple Independent Factor Revenue Requirement.
MIFTR See Multiple Independent Factor Through Rate.
Mileage Allowance An allowance based on distance made by railroads to owners of privately owned freight cars.
Mileage Cars Private line cars for use of which carrier pays a rate per mile.
Mileage Tariff A tariff of either agency or individual line's issue that contains tables of distances between stations or junctions.
Milepost A marker that identifies by number a given track location. It shows the number of miles from one point on the division to another point.
Milling in Transit Shipping grain, lumber, etc., to a point located between points of origin and destination, for the purpose of milling.
Mini Land-Bridge The movement of a shipment (which originates overseas) across the US via rail to its destination.
Minimum Carload Weight (AKA Minimum Weight) The least amount of weight for which the rate of a carload shipment will be calculated.
Minimum Charge The lowest charge for which a shipment will be handled. Unless otherwise specifically stated elsewhere, minimum charges for line haul transportation by rail are as published in Rule 13, UFC 6000.
Minimum Continuous Speed (MCS) The minimum speed at which a locomotive may operate continuously under heavy load conditions without damaging the traction motors.
Minimum Rate The lowest rate that will be used to calculate a freight charge.
Minimum Reduction An initial reduction of approximately 6-8 pounds in equalizing reservoir pressure, which in turn, reduces brake pipe pressure the same amount. This results in a light brake application on the train.
Minimum Weight The minimum weight applied to a shipment (usually LCL or LTL) on which the charges are based.
Misapplied Payment A payment applied to the wrong freight bill, perhaps because of erroneous or missing remittance advice.
Miscellaneous Bills A bill for miscellaneous charges.
Miscellaneous Charges Charges that are not purely related to freight revenue such as reweighing, switching, detention, demurrage, etc. They may apply to freight cars, trailers, or containers.
Misdelivery The delivery of property by a carrier to a party neither authorized by the owner nor by the person to whom the carrier is bound by contract to deliver it.
Mixed Carload A carload of different articles in a single consignment.
Mixed Carload Rate A rate applicable to a carload of mixed commodities.
Mixed Consist Operation of other than identical locomotive units in a single locomotive consist.
Mixed Train A freight train other than an intermodal or unit train.
Mother Locomotive A conventional locomotive that has the additional electrical apparatus necessary to deliver electric current to power a slug locomotive.
Motor Car A small, self-propelled rail car operated on the tracks by Engineering personnel.
Motor Common Carrier of Property (AKA Motor Carrier) Common transportation carrier whose service is dedicated to the transportation of goods over the road, usually by trucks.
Moveable Stanchion See Knock-Down Stanchion.
Mud Hop (Slang) A yard clerk.
Multi-Car Rates A rate for shipments moving in two or more cars from one origin to one destination.
Multi-Plant When more than one local patron code in the same city or state exists for a patron.
Multilevel Car A long flatcar designed with one or more deck levels in addition to the car's main deck; used to haul new automobiles and trucks.
Multiple Car Shipment Shipment moving in two or more cars from one origin to one destination.
Multiple Independent Factor Revenue Requirements (MIFRR) These are the specifically stated amounts to be allowed the junction settlement carriers as their share of the freight revenues when there are no special agreements covering the division of freight revenues. Shown in dollars per car.
Multiple Independent Factor Through Rate (MIFTR) A through rate that is constructed from two or more specifically-stated revenue factors. The through rate changes only when a carrier in the route elects to increase or decrease its factor.
Multiple Load Two or more shipments loaded in the same car, but destined for different locations.
Multiple Unit Valve (MU) A valve in the locomotive cab used with 26L brake equipment for cutting in and cutting out the independent brake valve.
Negative Plate The grid and active material to which the current flows from the external circuit when the battery is discharging.
Nested Articles packed one within another.
Net Amount The balance, or difference between, the debit and credit columns. A minus sign indicates a credit balance or payment in excess of the debit, and no sign indicates a debit balance of payment less than the debit amount.
Net Ton 2,000 pounds.
Net Ton-Mile The movement of a net ton of freight one mile.
Net Weight The weight of the lading.
Net Wrap Unitizing plastic netting for wrapping the product. Is applied either by stretching or shrinking. Differs from shrink or stretch wrap in that it permits air to fully circulate around pallet loads to prevent condensation.
No Pay Freight Bill This occurs when the customer declines to pay freight charges as billed.
Nobill A car without forwarding instructions or an associated waybill.
NOIBN Not Otherwise Identified By Number. See NEC.
Non-Agency Station A station without an assigned agent. Work is performed by train crews or by personnel at another station. Shipments to non-agency stations must generally be prepaid.
Non-Alignment Locomotive A locomotive that is not equipped with alignment control couplers or coupler limiting blocks.
Non-Automatic Signal A signal controlled manually.
Non-Competitive Traffic Traffic for which there is no competition between transportation lines.
Non-Composite Scale Test Car A two or four axle scale test car with an outside to outside wheel base of not less than seventeen feet and consisting of a fabricated body.
Non-Rail Destination The destination of a shipment (usually intermodal) to a non-rail location to which the load is transported from a rail point for further shipping. Special rates apply to the entire shipment from the rail origin to the non-rail destination.
Non-Rail Origin The origination of a shipment (usually intermodal) is a non-rail location from which the shipment is transported to a rail point for further shipment. Special rates apply to the entire shipment from the non-rail location to the final destination which may be a rail or non-rail point.
Non-Revenue Waybill A waybill authorizing the movement of a car for which earnings will not be made.
Non-Transit (AKA Deficit Weight) Tonnage in car over and above actual transit weight.
Normal Speed The maximum authorized speed listed in the timetable.
NOS Not Otherwise Shown. See NEC.
Notify on Arrival The drayman or other party to notify when a shipment is available for receipt at destination rail ramp.
Number Plate A device fastened to signal apparatus for the purpose of identification.
O-S ing Reporting a train by station to the train dispatcher.
OBT (On Board Terminal) A laptop computer mounted in the operating cab of a locomotive, used to report work performed (cars picked up/pulled at customers/on line of road) to the CSC.
Occupied Caboose A rail car being used to transport non-passenger personnel.
Ocean Carrier A common transportation carrier whose service is dedicated to ocean traffic. The ocean carrier is regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission and engaged in foreign commerce as defined in the Shipping Act of 1916.
Office Car Car used by railway officials for business purposes.
Official Railway Guide A semi-monthly publication which lists all railroads in North America alphabetically. Also contains maps of various railroads, timetables, corporate officers, sales representatives, etc.
Ohm The unit of electrical resistance.
Ohm Meter An instrument for measuring resistance in ohms.
Ohms Law The fundamental law of flow of electricity in a circuit. The rate of flow in amperes is equal to the electric pressure in volts divided by the resistance in ohms.
On Line The ability to view or update data instantaneously via a computer terminal.
On the Foul (Slang) (AKA Out of Clear) Blocking other tracks with cars, engines or equipment.
On the Ground Derailed equipment.
On the Point To ride on the leading end of a car or engine to protect the movement.
One-Time Refund A reduction in revenue because an incentive was given to encourage shipping.
OPA (Opportunity Pricing Action) Short term contracts on "Exempt" carload traffic.
Open and Prepay Publication which lists all the stations in the US, Mexico and Canada to which rail shipments can be made. It also indicates the railroad that switches each station and any limitations applying to service (i.e. Team Track only or height restrictions).
Open Item An account or freight bill number for which the balance due has not been brought to zero.
Open Route When the route does not contain all of the route, junction points, or switching lines necessary to complete handling and delivery of the shipment.
Open Track A track on which cars are not standing and which is free of any obstruction.
Open-Top Car Cars having sides and ends but no roof. A term inclusive of gondola, hopper and ballast cars but does not include flat cars.
Operating Ratio The percentage of revenues that goes into operating the railroad. It is calculated by dividing railway-operating expenses by railway operating revenues.
Operating Rules Manual A publication that contains the following books: Operating Rules, Timetables, Hazardous Material Rules, Restricted Equipment Rules, Train Handling Rules, and On-Track Worker Safety Rules.
Opposing Signal Roadway signals which govern movements in opposite directions on the same track.
OR Rungs between vertical supports attached to the side and end of a freight car.
Order (Demurrage) When an industry orders specific cars for loading.
Order Bill of Lading A negotiable document. Surrender of the properly endorsed original is required upon delivery of property.
Order Board A fixed signal to indicate to approaching trains whether to pick up train orders or not.
Order Notify Service performed by the railroad for a shipper who wants to ensure that payment for the goods being shipped is received prior to delivery. The shipment may only be delivered on order of the shipper. The consignee is notified when the shipment has arrived in order to provide proof of payment in the form of a cashier's check, canceled check or a bond.
Ore Train A unit train containing only carloads of ore.
Origin The location at which a shipment begins.
Origin Agent Railroad employee at agency who accepts freight from shippers.
Origin Audit Specific identifying number assigned to station from which a shipment originates.
Origin Road The railroad which originates a shipment.
Original Tariff The tariff, as originally filed, excluding amendments.
OS and D Over, Short and Damage. Term used to refer to freight claims.
Out of Clear Equipment or lading on any track that does not permit safe movement on connecting or adjacent tracks.
Out-Gate Term applied to indicate a trailer or container has been taken off of railroad property by a drayman.
Outbound Train A train leaving a yard or terminal.
Outturn Weights Term used to indicate that the weight of a shipment will be provided at destination by the shipper or consignee.
Overage An excess of the quantity billed.
Overcharge Train Operations: A situation in which the brake equipment of cars and/or locomotives is charged to a higher pressure than the maximum brake pipe pressure that can normally be achieved in that part of the train. OR Accounting: Sum of charges which exceeds the proper amount according to the applicable rates in effect.
Overcharge Claim A claim which is filed by a patron or on his behalf by an auditing firm when he disagrees with the charges he has paid.
Overhead Traffic Those moves that Watco participates in but for which Watco is neither the originating nor destination carrier.
Overlap The distance the control of one signal extends into the territory which another signal, or signals, governs.
Overreduction A brake pipe service reduction to a pressure lower than that at which the auxiliary reservoir and brake cylinder pressures equalize.
Oversized Load A shipment that exceeds clearance dimensions or weights.
Package Car A car containing several less than carload shipments.
Package Freight Merchandise shipped in less than carload quantities.
Packer A large, motorized device, operated by a driver, used to lift trailers and containers onto or off of flat cars.
Packing List A detailed list of goods shipped.
Paid-In ""Amount"" The original freight charges from origin to original destination as outlined in the bill of lading which was prepaid.
Paired Trailer/Container A prepaid shipment consisting of two trailers/containers shipped to the same city for different consignees. For rating purposes, a special rate is allowed which is cheaper than the normal rate for two individual TOFC/COFC shipments. At destination, the trailers/containers are treated as individual shipments.
Pallet A small portable platform, usually constructed of wood for holding material during storage or transportation.
Paper Rate A published rate under which no traffic moves.
Participating Carrier A transportation line which is a party, under concurrence, to a tariff or contract issued by another transportation line or agency.
Patron See Consignee.
Patron Code A six-digit code unique to a patron's local or billing address.
Pawl A pivoted bar on a car brake wheel adapted to fall into the notches or teeth of a wheel as it rotates in one direction, and to restrain it from backward motion. See Ratchet and Brake Ratchet.
Payment Documents Any papers submitted by the customer with a payment. Used by a bank to identify which bills the customer intended to pay.
Payment Due Date Fifteen days after the freight bill date required by STB regulations, postmark to postmark.
Payment Letter A form letter used in lieu of a phone call to notify a customer of delinquent freight bills.
PD Car Permanent Dunnage Car. A box car equipped with dunnage. OR A type of covered hopper where air pressure is used to unload the contents.
Penalty Application An automatic service application (emergency on Budd cars) of air brakes actuated by a safety control device.
Per Diem Latin phrase meaning for the day.
Per Diem Charge The amount which is paid by one carrier to another carrier for the daily use of its intermodal equipment.
Per Diem Reclaim A method of recouping car hire charges.
Per Diem Rules Rules established by agreement between railroads governing the hire of intermodal equipment.
Perishable Commodities easily spoiled or damaged because of weather or delay in transit, usually describing foodstuffs.
Permanent Dunnage Car See PD Car.
Permanent Magnet A magnet which retains a nearly constant value of magneto-motive force for an indefinite period.
Permeability A term used to express the ability of a substance, such as iron or steel, to carry magnetic lines of force.
Phantom Signal Aspect An aspect displayed by a light signal, different from the aspect intended, caused by a light from an external source being reflected by the optical system of the signal.
Pickup A term descriptive of a car or cars added to a train en route between dispatching and receiving yards or cars added at dispatching yard to train operating over two or more divisions on a continuous work order.
PICL Perpetual Inventory Car Location.
Pig (Slang) Trailvan shipment or trailer.
Piggy Packer Equipment used in the loading of piggyback trailers or containers onto flat cars.
Piggyback A term used to describe the hauling of loaded or empty highway trailers or containers on railroad flat cars.
Pigs Trailers and containers.
Pin-Puller The person who uncouples cars while they are being switched.
Pinnacle A casting which is placed on top of a mast or post.
Piston Travel The amount of piston movement when forced outward as brakes are applied.
Pivot Pin See Knuckle Pin.
Placard Paper forms of various designs used to identify cars requiring special attention (i.e. Dangerous and Explosive).
Placard Boards The boards attached to freight cars to which placards are affixed.
Placarded Car A railcar placarded under requirements of the Department of Transportation regulations.
Placement When the car is actually placed in the industry by the railroad.
Plan Number A number, unique to intermodal traffic, which describes the mode of transportation used to move traffic, either strictly rail, rail-truck or combination of truck/rail/truck.
Plate A size indication found on the side of a car having to do with clearance dimensions. Explanations can be found in found in Equipment Register.
Plug Door A door on refrigerated or box cars which is flush with side of car when closed. To open, a lever mechanism is twisted until the door is disjoined, then the door slides down a track until the doorway is clear.
Plugged Term used to indicate that a track is full.
Pneumatic Dunnage Method of restraining lading by use of paper disposable inflatable dunnage or rubber multiple use bags.
Pneumatic Foot Valve A foot pedal or brake valve, which must be kept in a depressed position while the locomotive is operating. Any release of this device from its depressed position, after a time delay, initiates an emergency air brake application.
Point Detector Rod A circuit controller which is part of the switch operating mechanism and operated by a rod connected to a switch, derail or moveable point frog, to indicate that the point is within a specified distance of the stock rail.
Point of Entry (POE) A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country.
Point of Origin The station at which a shipment is received by a transportation line.
Point-to-Point Rate A rate that is published to apply from a specific origin to a specific destination.
Pole Changer A device by which the direction of current flow in an electrical circuit may be changed.
Pool Cars Specially equipped cars of different ownerships assigned to a specific company or location.
Pools See Equipment Pools.
Port of Entry A port at which foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country.
Positive Plate The grid and active material from which the current flows to the external circuit when the battery is discharging.
Power-Operated Switch A remotely controlled switch. It is operated electrically or electropneumatically. See dual-controlled switch.
Pre-Tested Train A train on which the air brakes have been inspected and tested prior to the addition of the outbound locomotive consist. Following addition of the outbound locomotive consist, an application and release test of the rear is required before departure.
Prepaid A term denoting that transportation charges have been or are to be paid at the origin point of shipment.
Prepaid Charges Amount of transportation and other charges accruing at point of origin or en route.
Prepaid Freight Bill A freight bill rendered by a transportation line at origin to the freight payor, giving a description of the freight, name of consignee, destination, weight, and amount of charges.
Prepaid Shipment A term indicating that freight charges have been, or are to be, collected by originating carrier at point of origin.
Prepay Only Station Station to which freight charges must be prepaid, usually a non-agency station.
Pressure Maintaining A feature of the automatic brake valve, which will maintain brake pipe pressure against brake pipe leakage during a service application.
Primary Cell A device for the direct transformation of chemical energy into electrical energy.
Prior Rights Term used to indicate that members of a craft have priority over jobs held on former railroads acquired by mergers or consolidations.
Prior-Prior Rights See Prior Rights. More than one merger applies.
Private Car A car having other than railroad ownership.
Private Carrier A transportation line not servicing the general public.
Private Rate Rate that has been developed for a particular patron or customer.
Private Siding A side track owned or leased by an individual or firm.
Pro Number Pro is the abbreviation of the word progressive. A pro number is usually applied by the agent on freight bills, waybills, etc. for control purposes as part of the accounting procedure. This is applicable on some properties.
Profile A template for waybilling in AWS. It contains repetitive information such as shipper, consignee, destination and commodity.
Profile Number A unique number that is assigned to a computerized profile template.
Proportional Rate A local tariff rate that can be used in conjunction with other foreign or other local tariff rates to create a combination rate.
Protective Services Services provided by the railroad to protect shipments from heat or cold and accounted for with an accessorial charge.
Public Delivery Track A track subject to use by the general public, with facilities for loading and unloading cars. (Also known as Team Track)
Publishing Agent A person authorized by transportation lines to publish tariffs of rates and rules for their accounts.
Pull Removal of a car from a particular location, usually a spot at an industry.
Pull the Pin (Slang) To uncouple a car or cars by pulling up the cut-lever attached to the coupler.
Push Button A circuit controller operated by pushing a button, to open or close a circuit.
Pusher An extra engine at the rear of a train used to assist a train in climbing a grade.
Qualification Certification of train and engine employees indicating that they are familiar with and may operate on certain sections of the railroad.
Queue A line or list formed by items in a system waiting for service (i.e. tasks to be performed or messages to be transmitted in a message routing system).
Rack Car A freight car having a floor laid over the sills, and equipped with racks at both ends, used primarily for transporting pulpwood. Also refers to an auto rack car (bi-level or tri-level).
Racks Shipping devices used to hold automobile parts during transit. See Auto Rack Car.
Radio Controlled Engine An unmanned engine situated within the train separated by cars from the lead unit, but controlled from it by radio signals.
Rail A length of track, usually 39 feet long.
Rail Bond A metallic connection attached to adjacent rails to ensure electrical conductivity.
Rail Brace A device used at switches, moveable point frogs, etc., in combination with the switch, tie or gauge plates for holding the rail in place.
Rail Freight Car A car designed to carry freight or non-passenger personnel by rail and includes: box car, flat car, gondola car, hopper car, tank car, and occupied caboose.
Rail Inc. The MIS (Management Information System) division of the Association of American Railroads.
Rail Joint A fastening designed to unite abutting ends of rails.
Railroad Error Freight charges that have been accrued because of an error by railroad personnel. Example: Shipment moves over a route other than indicated on the bill of lading.
Railway Labor Act A Federal Act providing for adjustment of disputes between railroads and employees.
Ramp See Circus Ramp.
Ratchet A serrated edge (like that of a saw), sometimes straight and sometimes on a wheel, into which a pawl engages, for producing or (more commonly) restraining motion. See Brake Ratchet and Brake Pawl.
Rate The authorized price for transportation services.
Rate Basing or Rate Breaking Point Points at which rates are made or at which rates are divided.
Rate Factor A rate that is added to another rate or rates in order to construct a through, combination or aggregate rate from origin to destination of a given shipment.
Rate Master A computer database with applicable rates for repetitive movements.
RCAF Rate Increase (Rail Cost Adjustment Factor) Rate increase based on volume of business.
RCCR Rate Increases (Railroad Carrier Cost Recovery) Increases to freight rates published in a tariff to cover higher cost of doing business.
Rear End Valve (AKA Caboose Valve) An air valve, either portable or permanently connected to the brake pipe on a caboose or other rear end car for the purpose of applying air brakes from the rear of the train.
Reasonable Dispatch The normal time required to transport a shipment from origin to destination.
Rebill A process for generating a new, or adjusted, computer billing.
Rebill Balance Due A process for generating a computer balance due freight bill.
Received See Interline Received.
Receiver Display Unit (RDU) A device on an engine that receives and displays information transmitted by an end of train device. See Head of Train Device.
Receiving Track A track used for arriving trains.
Receiving Yard A section of a yard in which one or more receiving tracks are located.
Reciprocal Switching A mutual interchange of inbound and outbound carload freight which is switched to or from a siding or another carrier under a regular switching charge. The charge is usually absorbed by the carrier receiving the line haul.
Reclaim The right to recover car hire as provided in Car Hire Rules.
Reconsignment Change in destination or routing before arrival of shipment at original destination. A change made in the instructions covering a shipment in transit - may be a change in destination, route, name of consignee, name of consignor, party to notify, etc.
Rectifier A device which converts alternating current into uni-directional current by virtue of a characteristic permitting appreciable flow of current in one direction only.
Red Board A fixed signal to stop.
Reefer (Slang) See Refrigerator Car.
Refining in Transit Stopping a shipment of sugar, oil, etc., at a point between its origin and destination for the lading to be refined.
Refrigeration Charge A fixed charge for refrigeration from origin to destination for a portion of the trip.
Refrigerator Car A specially constructed box car, insulated and equipped with ice bunkers or baskets, or a mechanical cooling system and usually adapted for the installation of heating units, used primarily for the movement of commodities that need protection from heat or cold.
Refund A reduction in revenue based on certain conditions. Some types of refunds are: Up-front: Reducing the freight price used to rate the move. After-the-fact: A rebate given after the move has occurred. One-time: An incentive given to encourage shipping.
Refused (Rejected) Freight Freight which the consignee or owner will not accept.
Register (Train) A book or form used at designated stations for registering signals displayed, the time of arrival and departure of trains and such other information as may be prescribed.
Register Station A station at which a train register is located.
Regular Train A train authorized by a timetable schedule.
Regulating Valve (AKA Feed Valve) A valve that reduces main reservoir pressure to a lower pressure for charging the equalizing reservoir and brake pipe.
Relay Train A train with one or more blocks of cars which remain intact through one or more crew change points.
Relay, A.C. A relay designed to respond to alternating current.
Relay, Biased A relay which will operate to its energized position by current of one polarity only, and will return to its de-energized position when current is removed.
Relay, Code Following A relay which will follow or reproduce a code without distortion within practical limits.
Relay, D.C. A relay designed to respond to direct current.
Relay, Flasher A relay so designed that when energized its contacts open and close at pre-determined intervals.
Relay, Interlocking A relay having two independent magnetic circuits with their respective armatures so arranged that the dropping away of either armature prevents the other armature from dropping away to its full stroke.
Relay, Line A relay receiving its operating energy through conductors of which the track rails form no part.
Relay, Magnetic Stick A relay, the armature of which remains at full stroke in its last energized position when its control circuit is opened.
Relay, Neutral A relay which operates in response to a pre-determined change of the current in the controlling circuit, irrespective of the direction of the current.
Relay, Overload A relay which operates to open contacts when the current through its control coil exceeds a pre-determined value.
Relay, Polar A relay which operates in response to a change in the direction of current in its controlling circuit and the armature of which may or may not remain at full stroke when its control circuit is interrupted.
Relay, Power Off A relay so connected to the normal source of power supply that the failure of such source of power supply causes the load to be transferred to another source of supply.
Relay, Quick Drop-Away A relay which, when the controlling circuit is opened or completely shunted will release quicker than an ordinary relay.
Release Patron's notice to the railroad that a car is loaded or unloaded and ready to be moved from his industry. Also a car that can be moved from one status to another (i.e. bad order to OK status).
Release Cock See Release Valve.
Release Form A computer-generated form, advising of a train bulletin number and the number of train messages it must contain. Its address must correspond to the associated train bulletin.
Release Rod A small iron rod generally located at the side of a car for the purpose of operating the air brake release valve.
Release Valve A valve attached to the auxiliary reservoir for reducing the air pressure when the locomotive is detached so as to release the brakes.
Released Value (AKA Limited Liability) A rate subject to limitations respecting the liability of the carrier in case of loss or damage to the shipment.
Reload Term used to designate a car (inbound load) which is unloaded and then reloaded by that same customer for an outbound move.
Remote Unit See Radio Controlled Engine.
Remotely Controlled Railroad Crossing (AKA Diamond) A railroad crossing at grade operated by a control station.
Repair Track A track designated for use to repair cars.
Reparation Amends for a wrong done.
Reparation Claim A request to correct an unjust or unreasonable published rate assessed on a shipment. Reparation claims must have the approval of the STB.
Replacer A portable metal device utilized for the rerailing of derailed equipment.
Reporting Date Date the document is processed into the account.
Reporting Marks The alphabetic initials stenciled on the sides and ends of every freight car to identify the railroad or private car line that owns the car. Reporting marks are assigned by the Association of American Railroads, and in conjunction with the car number, serve to uniquely identify every car in the interchange fleet.
Reporting Station Agency that actually reports the waybill. May differ from station where the shipment terminated.
Reporting the Waybill Processing the coded and rated waybill through data entry or releasing a waybill from suspense.
Rerailer A device connected to the track, used to return a derailed car onto the track.
Reservoir A cylindrical container for the storage of air under pressure. Main reservoirs of large capacity are located in locomotives and under all motor cars having air compressors; auxiliary and emergency reservoirs are located under the cars.
Reshipment Goods re-forwarded under conditions which do not make them subject to the reconsigning rules and charges of the carrier.
Residue The hazardous material remaining in a packaging, including a tank car, after its contents are unloaded but before being cleaned and purged.
Restricted Equipment A shipment requiring specific operating handling procedures for safe movement.
Restricted Rate A rate published from and to specified points which has limited application. Restricted rates are to apply only on shipments originating at one destination for specific points and are not to be used in constructing combinations.
Restricted Speed A speed that will permit stopping within one-half the range of vision. It will also permit stopping short of a train, a car, an obstruction, a stop signal, a derail, or an improperly lined switch. It must permit looking out for broken rail. It will not exceed 15 mph.
Retainer (Retainer Valve) A manually operated valve, found on all freight and some passenger cars, which controls the exhaust of brake cylinder pressure.
Retaining Valve A small manually positioned valve located near the brake wheel for retaining part of the brake cylinder pressure, to aid in retarding the acceleration of a train in descending long grades.
Retarder A mechanical device usually located in a hump yard, used to slow rolling stock to a safe coupling speed, similar to the hand brakes on a bicycle.
Revenue Income from freight charges assessed.
Revenue ton-mile The movement of a ton of freight one mile for revenue.
Revenue Waybill A waybill showing the amount of charges due on a shipment.
Reverse Lever The lever which controls the direction of motion of the locomotive by reversing the traction motor field connections.
Reverse Route Returning a car the same route as shipped.
Ribbon-Rail Term used to describe rail which has been welded together at the joints effecting a smoother ride.
Right of Way In the strictest sense, land or water rights necessary for the roadbed and its accessories. However, it is now loosely used to describe property owned and/or operated over by a railroad.
Ring Master See Yardmaster.
Rip (Slang) Car in need of repair.
Rip Track A track on which cars are placed for repairs.
Riprap Territory A portion of the railroad where the grade is undulating.
Road Haul Movement of cars from one station to another for a revenue rather than for a switching charge.
Road Mate (AKA Mate) A cab-less locomotive slug unit, not equipped with a diesel engine, but equipped with MU capability and traction motors, which receive electrical power from a mother locomotive.
Road Slug A locomotive unit equipped with an operating cab, but not equipped with a diesel engine. This type unit has MU capability and traction motors, which receives electrical power from a mother locomotive.
Roadbed The foundation on which a track and ballast rest.
Roadrailer Truck or trailer with two sets of wheels, one set for use on rail, and one set for the highway.
Roadway See Right of Way.
Roll-By (Slang) Making a check of cars as they pass.
Roller Bearing The general term applied to a group of journal bearings which depend upon the action of a set of rollers to reduce rotational friction.
Roller Bearing Adapter Each location on a truck side frame where support is provided by contact with a roller bearing journal.
Rolling Stock Transportation equipment on wheels.
Rotair Valve A valve used with 24RL equipment for cutting in and cutting out the independent brake valve.
Roundhouse The building used to house engines while they are being serviced or repaired.
Route Noun: The course or direction that a shipment moves. Verb: To designate the course or direction a shipment will move.
Route Locking Electric locking, effective when a train passes a signal displaying an aspect for it to proceed, which prevents the movement of any switch, moveable point frog, or derail in advance of the train within the route entered. It may be so arranged that as a train clears a track section of the route, the locking affecting that section is released.
Rubber Interchange The exchange of trailvan shipment between railroads using a drayman company to move the trailers/containers via highway.
Rule 11 Freight Mandatory Railway Accounting Rule 11 is invoked when traffic is tendered as interline forwarded and "through pricing" does not exist. Rule 11 requires the following be included on the waybill: a shipper/agent code of "R", the name and address of the party responsible for payment of transportation charges, and notation that shipment is a Rule 11 shipment to be re-waybilled by the connecting carrier.
Rule 24 Uniform Freight Classification Tariff (UFC 6000). Freight in excess of full carload (Lead and Follow Cars). Shipment must be by one shipper, from one station, shipped on the same date and listed on one bill of lading. Two cars may use the same rate without having to meet the full weight requirement on the follow car. Will not apply on bulk or livestock shipments.
Rule 29 Uniform Freight Classification Tariff (UFC 6000). Shipment requiring two or more open cars to accommodate long or bulky articles. No series of more than four car minimum weights will apply on all lead cars with 24,000 minimum (unless tariff excepted) on each idler.
Rule 35 Uniform Freight Classification Tariff (UFC 6000). Covers rules and regulations on tank car freight shipments.
Ruling Grade That section of track, which will offer the most resistance to train movement between two specific points.
Rump Rail A side slat on a single-deck stock car made heavier than the usual slats. It is placed about four feet above the floor to resist movement of cattle against the car sides.
Run Through A Switch To go through a switch without lining it for the movement, bending the switch points.
Run-Around The term used to describe the move necessary if a car is to be set-out on a facing point siding. Engine cuts off and runs around train on nearest double-ended siding, couples to rear of train and switches cars into and out of siding as desired. A wye track or balloon track can do the same thing.
Run-In A term used to describe the relative movement of cars in a train to a state of buff or compression.
Run-Out The relative movement of cars in a train to a state of draft or tension.
Runaway Track A track built for the purpose of accepting cars that are out of control (runaways).
Running Gear A general term applied to the truck (and its appliances) of a freight car or locomotive.
Running Release Release of an automatic brake service application while the train is still in motion.
Running Repairs Minor repairs of railway equipment.
Running Track A track designated in the timetable upon which movements may be made subject to prescribed signals and rules, or special instructions. OR A track reserved for movement through a yard.
RWC Number (AKA Profile Number) Repetitive waybill coding number.
Safety Valve A valve arranged to open at a predetermined pressure for which it has been adjusted. It is used to limit maximum pressure in intercoolers, main reservoirs, and control valves.
Sales Territory Directory A publication which lists all geographical locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico served by railroads. It shows which railroad serves the location and which Regional and District Sales Managers are responsible for the customers at a specific location.
Salvage The monies recovered for merchandise that was lost or damaged during transit.
Sand House A facility where locomotives are supplied with sand. OR Rumors or gossip pertaining to the railroad and its personnel.
Sanders Devices operated by air for applying sand to the rail in front of or behind the driving wheels of the engine to maintain traction.
Sawtoothing The shifting of packaged goods that sometimes occurs when the straight stack method of loading is used.
Scale House Structure erected to house weight recording mechanisms used in weighing freight cars.
Scale Test Car A compact car equipped with weights for the testing of track scales.
Scale Ticket A piece of paper pasted over the "Weight Block" of a waybill indicating that the car has been weighed.
Scale Track A track on which a permanent scale is located. Also a storage track for cars needing to be weighed.
Scale, Railroad A device for weighing railroad cars. Weight of the contents is determined by subtracting the light weight of the car from the gross weight and is used to determine the cost of transportation. The three types of scales include: static, weigh-in-motion, and coupled-in-motion.
Schedule That part of a timetable which prescribes direction, number, frequency and times for movement of scheduled trains.
Schnabel Car A specially constructed car, having two separable interlocking units that form the car body. Units may be separated and load interposed between and locked in place to form a complete unit.
SCO (Special Car Order) Rules established by AAR to provide the shortest route-miles return of empty equipment to its owner.
Scrapped A car that has been sold as scrap due to age or damage.
Seals Metal strips, designed for one-time use, applied to the hasp of closed freight car doors. To remove, they must be broken. They are used to indicate whether or not the contents have been tampered with while in transit. They are stamped with a name, initial and/or number for identification.
Secondary Cell Any combination of two metals or metalloids immersed in an electrolyte which in itself will not produce electricity without first having the metallic portion of the element decomposed by the passage of electric current.
Secondary Tracks Any designated track upon which trains or engines may be operated without timetable authority, train orders or block signals.
Section Transportation: One of two or more trains, running on the same schedule, or for which signals are displayed. OR Engineering: A portion of the railroad assigned to a section foreman.
Section Hand (AKA Sectionman) See Trackman.
Sectional Tariff A tariff made in sections, with each section containing different rates between the base points with provisions for the alternate application of the rates.
Securement Devices Devices equipped on rail and intermodal equipment for securement system attachment, such as belt rails for DF-type bar or lumber equipped with clips. Intermodal may use slotted sidewall posts which are also known as logistic posts. Some are permanently equipped with devices such as curtains.
Segment In IMS/VS, the unit of access to a database. For the database system. OR The smallest amount of data that can be transferred via one database call.
Selective Rate Increase Increases published in Tariff Series 9000 referred to as 9000, 9500, or increases that are published within individual tariffs on selected commodities.
Self-Aligning Coupler A coupler which has a taper shank rather than a straight shank to prevent the jackknifing of cars.
Separate Independent Factor Through Rate (SIFTR) Published joint through rates. There must be at least two carriers involved in order to apply this rate.
Separation Occurs when the coupler draft gear or knuckle is broken, due to excessive forces, causing a train to pull apart.
Service Application A brake application of one or more brake pipe reductions made at a service rate. These reductions are controlled by positional changes of the automatic brake valve handle.
Service Brake Reduction A decrease in brake pipe pressure at a rate sufficient to move the control valve to "service" position, but not rapidly enough to move the valve to "emergency" position.
Serving Yard Location where cars are delivered to or received from customers.
Set Out (AKA Set Off) Cars left at designated points by a train.
Shanty Small building erected along right-of-way to provide shelter.
Shift (AKA Tour of Duty, Stint, Trick, Turn) Term applied to the daily work schedule of a facility.
Shift Cars To move cars from one place to another.
Shifter A small industrial switching locomotive.
Shifting See Switching.
Shipment in Bond See In Bond Shipment.
Shipper (AKA Consignor) The person or firm by whom articles are shipped.
Shipper Order Notify See Order Notify.
Shipper's Export Declaration A form required by the Treasury Department and filled out by a shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, destination, etc. of shipments to be exported.
Shipper's Load and Count (AKA Shipper's Load and Tally) A term denoting that the contents of a car were loaded and counted by the shipper and not checked or verified by the railroad.
Shipper's Weight Agreement A contract between the railroad and the customer in which the railroad agrees to accept either the customer's scale weights or uniform weight approved by a weighing and inspection bureau as entered on the bill of lading.
Shipping Order Instructions of shipper to carrier for forwarding of goods. Usually a copy of the bill of lading.
Shipping Paper A shipping order, bill of lading, manifest, or other document serving a similar purpose, that contains the required information (see Hazardous Material Rule 4).
Shop Term applied to structure where building and repairing railroad equipment is performed.
Short Circuit A shunt circuit abnormally applied.
Short Line A transportation line operating over a small territory, usually receiving subsidies from larger railroads.
Short Ton (AKA Net Ton) 2,000 pounds.
Shorts In train service, cars or blocks of cars to be set-out before the final terminal is reached.
Shove (Slang) The process of pushing a cut of cars or to push a train from the rear.
Shrink Wrap To place a tube of film over a unit and apply heat to shrink the film to tightly encompass all the containers in the unit.
Shunt Circuit A low-resistance connection across the source of supply, between it and the operating unit.
Side Bay Caboose A caboose car having side bay windows instead of a cupola. This permits the train crew to look along the side of a train, especially when rounding curves for detection of hot boxes or other trouble.
Side Track A track adjacent to the main track for purposes other than for meeting and passing trains.
Siding An auxiliary track for meeting or passing trains. It is designated in special instructions.
Signal Aspect The appearance of a fixed signal conveying an indication, as viewed from the direction of an approaching train, or the appearance of a cab signal conveying an indication as viewed by an observer in the cab.
Signal Imperfectly Displayed A block or interlocking signal, displaying lights not in conformity with the rules, or the absence of a light where a color light should be, or the absence of a signal at a place where a signal is usually displayed.
Signal Indication The information conveyed by the aspect of a signal.
Signal Mast An upright support from which signals are displayed.
Signaled Siding A siding equipped with block signals that govern train movements on the siding.
Signaled Track A track equipped with block or interlocking signals that govern train movements.
Signboard Information stenciled on side of car pertaining to empty car movement instructions.
Sill The main longitudinal members of a car underframe.
Single Track A main track upon which trains are operated in both directions.
Skew Bridge A bridge which crosses a passageway at other than a right angle.
Slack Lost motion between couplers. OR Amount of free motion in the coupling device between cars. OR Bunching cars in a train so as to relieve the pressure for uncoupling cars.
Slow Board A signal indication to proceed at slow speed.
Slow Speed A speed not exceeding 15 mph.
Slug A locomotive unit equipped with an operating cab, but not equipped with a diesel engine. This type unit has MU capability and traction motors, which receives electrical power from a mother locomotive.
Snakeheads Broken iron rails.
Snapshot (AKA Dynamiter) An undesired emergency brake application.
Solid Track (Slang) Track full of cars.
Spacer Car A car required between a particular shipment and other freight cars.
Span Bolster A beam-like structure with each end resting on a conventional truck bolster and arranged to support a car body through a center plate at or near its mid-point. Span bolsters can also be used with two six-wheel trucks to provide 24-wheel (12 axle) support under extremely heavy cars.
Special Billing Instructions Instructions furnished by the shipper directing the railroad to mail freight bills to a special address or to collect freight charges from a third party.
Special Car Orders (SCO) Instructions pertaining to certain classes of cars that take precedence over the Code of Service Rules and are in effect for specific reasons.
Special Equipment Freight cars designed to carry specific commodities, and which may contain devices to protect and/or aid in handling shipments.
Special Instructions Information contained in timetables and superintendent's bulletins.
Specifically-Designed (Container) Used for specific commodities (i.e. a bulkhead container platform used to transport oversized tires).
Speed Control The procedure for maintaining uniform speed, for reducing speed, and for accelerating. This is NOT the term used to describe stopping procedures.
Speeds Controlled Speed: A speed that will permit stopping within one-half the range of vision. It will also permit stopping short of a train, a car, an obstruction, on-track equipment, or a stop signal. Limited Speed: A speed not exceeding 45 miles per hour. Maximum Authorized Speed: The highest speed permitted for any train on a subdivision or portion of a subdivision. It will be found listed under "Maximum Authorized Speed" in special instructions. Medium Speed: A speed not exceeding 30 miles per hour. Restri
Spiked Switch A switch with its points held in a fixed position by a track spike to prevent the use of a track or throwing of the switch.
SPLC Standard Point Location Code.
Split Service Application The act of making a 6-8 pound initial reduction and following with further reductions, as required.
Spot To place a car in a designated position or specific location usually for loading or unloading, such as at a warehouse door.
Spot for Air To position the cars in the yard so as to utilize a central compressed air supply to charge the brake system.
Spot System A system in which cars and locomotives undergoing repairs are classified and then moved progressively from one spot to another
Spotting The placing of a car at the proper place for loading or for unloading.
Spring Switch A switch equipped to restore the switch points to normal position after having been trailed through.
Spur Track (Commonly Called Spur) A stub track that diverges from main or other tracks which provides access to industrial or commercial areas. It usually dead ends within an industry area.
Staggers Act Congressional law which deregulated the rail industry allowing each railroad to negotiate rates for shipments on an individual basis.
Stanchion Vertical bar used to support one end of a trailer while loaded on a flat car.
Standard Gauge As applied to railway track, the distance of 4 feet 82 inches measured between the heads of the running rails.
Standard Rate A rate established via direct routes from one point to another.
Standard Route The line or lines which maintain standard rates.
Standing Order The actual order of cars in a train from the engine to the last car.
Star Marker A type of flashing light marker used to designate the rear of a train. Manufactured without telemetry capability.
Statement of Difference (S/D) A document issued when a carrier finds an error in the settlement of an interline shipment.
Static Drop A term describing the practice of releasing the hand brakes on standing cars and letting gravity provide the energy to move cars into a track.
Station A place designated in the timetable by name.
Statute of Limitations Law limiting time in which claims or suits may be instituted.
STCC (Standard Transportation Commodity Code) Seven digit code designed to classify all commodities.
Stencil Device used to aid in labeling cars and locomotives with descriptive and required information.
Stock Car A car for the transportation of livestock equipped with slatted sides, single or double deck and sometimes with feed and water troughs.
Stop Credit Process to stop computer tracing for payment of freight billing.
Stop-Off Agent The freight agent actually performing the stop.
Stop-Off Charges Charges by a transportation line for stopping a car in transit.
Stop-Off Location (AKA Stop-Off) A location between origin and destination at which a car stops to complete loading or to partially unload.
Stopping In Transit The holding of a shipment by the carrier on the order of the owner after the transportation movement has begun and before it is completed, generally to complete loading or to partially unload.
Storage A term which refers to an area in a computer where data can be entered, held, and removed. OR A charge assessed against consignors, consignees, or assignees on shipments held in freight warehouses on company property beyond the time allowable in the tariff.
Storage In Transit The storage of freight at a point located between the point of origin and destination which is to be reforwarded at a later date.
Storage Track or Yard A place to store or hold rail cars.
Store Door Delivery Delivery to consignee's receiving platform by motor vehicle.
Straight Bill of Lading A non-negotiable document. Surrender of the original is not ordinarily required upon delivery of property, except when necessary to identify the consignee.
Straight Demurrage The absence of an agreement between a customer and a transportation line. Each time a car or a group of cars is released to and returned by a customer, a separate demurrage bill is prepared and mailed to the customer.
Straight Stack A loading method where packages of like size are stacked one on top of another and side by side.
Stretch An order to the engineer to pull on a cut of cars to see if they are coupled.
Stretch Braking A method of speed control with the train brakes applied and the locomotive developing power. This tends to keep the slack in draft or stretched condition.
Stretch Wrap Method of unitizing which involves placing one or more layers of film around a unit. The film is applied under tension and is sealed by heat or self-adhesion.
String (Slang) Two or more freight cars coupled together. Also a cut.
Stringlining Excessive lateral forces caused by heavy draft loading, resulting in wheels lifting over the low rail or the rail rolling over.
Stub Track A form of side track connected to a running track at one end only and usually protected at the end by some form of bumping post or other solid obstruction.
Subdivision A portion of a division/service lane/business unit designated by timetable.
Superior Train A train having precedence over another train.
Supplement An addendum to a tariff published to amend or cancel a tariff.
Surcharge A charge above the customary charge. Generally applicable to light-density traffic or claimed revenue shortfalls by issuing carriers.
Surface Transportation Board (STB) The Surface Transportation Board was established on January 1, 1996 as a decisionally independent, bipartisan, adjudicatory body organizationally housed within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), with jurisdiction over certain surface transportation economic regulatory matters. The STB adjudicates disputes and regulates interstate surface transportation through various laws pertaining to the different modes of surface transportation. Surface transportation matters under the Board's jurisdiction i
Switch Noun: A device consisting of two movable rails, necessary connections, and operating parts designed to turn a locomotive or car from the track on which it is running to another track. OR Verb: To move cars from one place to another, usually within a defined territory.
Switch Back Track constructed in a series of zigzag curves in mountainous terrain to reduce rate of climb or descent.
Switch Delivery Term applied when a car is interchanged from one railroad to another for direct delivery to patron. The receiving road is paid a switching rate in lieu of a portion of the road haul freight charges since it does not transport the shipment outside of the switching limits.
Switch Engine A locomotive used for switching cars in yards and terminals.
Switch Heater A device used for melting snow or ice in and around movable parts of switches.
Switch List A listing of cars to be sorted or moved.
Switch Lock A fastener, usually a spring padlock, used to secure the switch or derail stand in place.
Switch Order An order to move a car from one place to another within switching limits.
Switch Stand A device by which a switch is thrown, locked, and its position indicated. It consists essentially of a base, spindle, lever and connecting rod, and is usually furnished with a lamp and banner signal.
Switch Target A visual day signal fixed on the spindle of a switch stand, or the circular flaring collar fitted around the switch lamp lens, and painted a distinctive color to indicate the position of the switch.
Switcher A road assignment that spots, pulls, and classifies cars within a terminal or industrial area.
Switching The process of putting cars in a specific order (as in a classification yard), placing cars for loading or retrieving empties (industrial switching), or the process of adding or removing cars from a train at an intermediate point. OR The movement of cars from one point to another within the limits of an individual plant, industrial area, or a rail yard.
Switching Carrier Spots the car at the consignee but does not participate in the road haul and receives only a switching charge for this service.
Switching Limits Boundaries within which switching rules and charges apply.
Switching Movement (Relating to Hazardous Materials) An operation, whether inside or outside of a yard, where rail cars are switched, classified, and assembled. The movement of the cars must not exceed one mile. Exception: The movement of a hazardous materials car more than one mile within the same yard is a switching movement if no public road crossings are crossed.
Switchman See Trainman.
System Bulletin Written special instructions about the movement or safety of trains and employees. System Bulletins are issued by the Director of Operating Practices.
System Notice A posted notice of information and instructions issued by the Director of Operating Practices.
Take Twenty The act of stopping for a meal period.
Tamper A power-driven machine for compacting ballast under ties.
Tangent Track Straight track.
Tank Car A car the body of which consists of a tank for carrying liquids such as oil, molasses, vinegar, acids, compressed gasses and granular solids.
Tank Dome A vertical cylinder attached to the top of a tank car. It permits the tank proper to be filled to full cubical capacity, which would be impossible if there were no allowance for expansion in the dome.
Tap Line (Slang) A short railroad usually owned or controlled by the industries which it serves and "tapping" (connected with) a truck line.
Tare Weight (AKA Light Weight or Tare) The weight of an empty railroad car.
Tariff A publication issued by carriers or their agents, showing rates, fares, charges, classifications, rules, etc. of the carrier.
Tariff Publishing Bureau An independent agency which publishes transportation rates, rules and provisions at the direction of railroads.
Tariff Weights Minimum weights specified by a tariff to qualify for a given rate. Differs from actual scale weights, weight agreement weights, and estimated weights.
TDCC Transportation Data Coordinating Committee which has established EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) standards for the rail industry.
Team Track A track subject to use by the general public, with facilities for loading and unloading cars. (Also known as Public Delivery Track)
Tender The offer of goods for transportation, or the offer to place cars for loading or unloading.
Terminal A facility owned by a railroad on its line for the handling of freight and for the breaking up, making up, forwarding, and servicing of trains. OR An input/output (I/O) device connected to a computer. OR Point where train and engine employees originate and/or terminate their tour of duty. OR A designated area within a metropolitan area where one or more rail yards exist.
Terminal Carrier The transportation line making delivery of a shipment at destination.
Terminal Charge A charge made for services performed at a terminal.
Terminal or Belt Line Railroad A short line railroad operation within and/or around a city and connecting with one or more larger or trunk line railroads.
Terminal Service Center Main office for agency and yard employees. Controls functions of major terminals and outlying rail points for a specified geographic area.
Terrain Characteristics The percent of ascending and descending grades and the degree of curvature over which the train is moving.
Test Weight Car See Scale Test Car.
Thawing Shed Heated facility for thawing commodities (frozen during transit) so they may be unloaded (i.e. coal).
Third Party Neither the shipper nor the consignee, yet the patron who is responsible for payment of freight charges.
Third Party Link One patron's local address is linked to a different patron's billing address.
Third Rail An electric conductor located alongside the running rail from which power is collected by means of a sliding contact shoe attached to the truck of electric equipment.
Third Rail Shoe An insulated metallic sliding contact, mounted on the truck of an electric locomotive for collecting current from an insulated third rail located alongside the running rails. Positive contact between shoe and rail is maintained by gravity, a spring or pneumatic pressure.
Three Step Protection Additional protection that is provided prior to employees fouling equipment. This procedure will require the locomotive engineer to apply the train brakes, place the reverser in neutral position, and open generator field switch.
Threshold/Tier Rates A change in the rate charge once a predetermined number of shipments, cars, or weight has been shipped.
Throttle Modulation Minor adjustments of the throttle for the purpose of controlling tractive effort.
Through Amount Total freight charges added to shipment after reconsignment.
Through Rate A rate applicable from point of origin to destination. A through rate may be either a joint rate or a combination of two or more rates.
Through Train Train operating between principal terminals, usually with few, if any, stops to set out, pickup, or switch cars.
Tie Pieces of lumber laid under rails and to which those rails are attached.
Tie 'Em Down (Slang) Apply hand brakes to cars by tightening maximum amount to keep cars from rolling away.
Tie Down Any device for securing a load to the deck of a car.
Tie On (Slang) Couple cars to a train.
Tie Plate A metal plate providing a bearing surface for the rail on the crosstie.
Tie Up (Slang) The act of stopping work for meal or rest.
Timetable A publication containing instructions relating to the movement of trains or equipment and other essential information.
TOFC (Trailer on Flat Car) Freight loaded in trailers and transported by rail on flat cars. Sometimes called piggyback, pig, or tote.
Tolerance An allowance made for differences in weight due to variations in scales, weather conditions, or the inherent nature of a commodity.
Tool Train (Slang) Wreck train used for clearing up derailments.
Tower Building of sufficient height erected along the right-of-way to permit maximum viewing. May house Yardmaster, Trainmaster or block operator.
Tracer A request to trace a shipment for the purpose of expediting its movement or establishing delivery. OR A request for an answer to a communication.
Tracing Obtaining information concerning a car's location, destination and other billing information.
Track The space between the rails and space of not less than four feet outside each rail.
Track Car Equipment, other than trains, operated on track for inspection or maintenance which may not operate signals.
Track Check An inventory of cars in track standing order.
Track Circuit An electrical circuit which includes the rails and the wheels of a train. Used for controlling signal devices.
Track Skate A metal skid placed on the rail to prevent cars from running out of a particular track.
Track Supervisor Person responsible for trackman and track maintenance and repair.
Trackage Right Right obtained by one railroad to operate its trains over tracks of another railroad.
Trackman A railroad employee in the Engineering Department.
Traction Motor A device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, which turns the locomotive wheels. It is mounted directly on each driving axle between the wheels of a locomotive truck.
Tractive Effort The force exerted by the locomotive for movement of a train. Tractive effort is measured in pounds and in a given throttle position decreases as speed increases.
Tractor Motorized vehicle used to haul trailers or containers on the highway.
Traffic Control Signal System (TCS) A signal system under which opposing and following train movements are authorized and governed by block signals.
Trailer Weatherproof box designed for bulk shipment of freight. It is generally used for over the road shipments.
Trailing End The rear or following end of any movement.
Trailing Movement The movement of a train over the points of a switch which face in the direction in which the train is moving.
Trailing Point Switch A switch, the points of which face away from approaching traffic.
Trailvan See. TOFC and COFC.
Trailvan Site Intermodal ramp.
Train An engine, with or without cars, displaying a marker.
Train Control A safety device on locomotives, which is interconnected to the fixed signal system and provides the engineer with continuous information on the occupancy and/or condition of the track ahead.
Train Coordination A method of establishing working limits on tracks upon which a train holds exclusive authority to move whereby the crew of that train yields that authority to a roadway worker/employee-in-charge.
Train Crew (AKA Switchman) Conductor, Engineer, and Brakeman.
Train Dispatcher The team member responsible for the movement of trains.
Train II Name for the computerized system linking all AAR member railroads with the AAR computer and sharing data.
Train Line The complete line of air brake pipes in a train. These lines include the rigid piping secured under the cars and the flexible connections between cars and the locomotive.
Train Message A mandatory directive, issued by the train dispatcher, in the prescribed form when applicable. It governs the operation of trains.
Train Mile The movement of a train one mile.
Train Movement (Relating to Hazardous Materials) The movement of a hazardous materials car, whether inside or outside of a yard, which exceeds one mile. Exception: The movement of a hazardous materials car more than one mile within the same yard is considered a switching movement, if no public road crossings are crossed.
Train of Superior Class A train given precedence by timetable class, that is, first class, second class or third class.
Train of Superior Direction A train given precedence in the direction specified by the timetable over other trains of the same class. Superior direction may change, by timetable instruction, at specified times of day.
Train of Superior Right A train given precedence by train order. Right is superior to class or direction.
Train Resistance Any combination of physical factors that oppose the movement of a train.
Train Separation The unintentional separating of a train due to a failed or broken draft component, such as a broken knuckle, cross key falling out, high-low couplers, etc. This does not included burst or separated air hoses.
Trainman (AKA Switchman/Brakeman) A train service team member responsible for the safe and efficient switching of railcars and assisting with train operations.
Trainmaster Supervisor who controls train operations within a specific area.
Transfer (Slang) Interchange of car or cars from one railroad to another.
Transit A privilege sometimes granted to shippers which allows for cars to be stopped off during transit for milling or storage. OR Passage through or across a railroad's territory.
Transit Charge Fee charged by carriers for the privilege of transit which accrues to rail carrier granting transit.
Transit Point Station where transit privilege is granted.
Transit Privilege A service granted to a shipment enroute such as milling, compressing, refining, etc. Once in common usage, transit has declined considerably, except for track storage.
Transit Rate A rate restricted in its application to traffic which has been or will be milled, stored, or otherwise specially treated in transit.
Transit Weight Weight in car from country origin granted transit privileges.
Transload Two or more shipments in the same car for different consignees to be stopped en route and transferred to different cars for independent delivery. OR The transfer of lading from one car to another due to a derailment or mechanical failure of the equipment.
UMLER (Universal Machine Language Equipment Register) A computer file, maintained by the Transportation Division of the AAR in Washington, D.C. containing specific details on railroad equipment (specifications manual found in the official Railway Equipment Register).
Unabsorbed Switching The amount in a switching charge the railroad will not absorb because it will cause a loss on the shipment. The excess amount is billed to the customer responsible for the freight charges.
Unapplied Payment Customer remittance for which no computer match is located (i.e., a payment sent with missing or erroneous supporting documentation).
Unassigned Car A car usually with some interior loading devices that is not assigned to a particular industry or commodity.
Unclaimed Freight Freight which has not been called for by the consignee or owner.
Uncoupling Lever (AKA Uncoupling Rod) A rod with a bent handle forming a lever, usually attached to the end sill, by which the lock of the automatic coupler is opened and the cars uncoupled without going between them.
Undesired Emergency (AKA Dynamiter, Kicker, Quick Triple) An emergency air brake application not intentionally initiated by a crew member.
Uniform Demurrage Rules Schedules providing rules and charges for demurrage which are, in general, used throughout the United States, having the approval of, but not prescribed by, the STB.
Uniform Freight Classification A tariff containing a listing of articles (commodities) showing their assigned class rating (a percentage of first class) to be used together with governing rules and regulations in determining freight rates.
Unit Train A train operating generally intact between point of origin and final destination, normally hauling a single bulk commodity, composed of like cars, equipped with high-tensile couplers.
Unitizing A loading method for handling packed goods on pallets, skids, or slip sheets to facilitate mechanical loading.
Units In-Consist Locomotive units, coupled pneumatically, to permit multiple operation of locomotive air brake equipment from a single controlling unit. Units In-Consist may be further defined to include: Dead In-Consist: Units on which the diesel engine is shut down or not operating. Running In-Consist: Units on which the diesel engine is operating. These units may be on-line and effective for normal operation or off-line and ineffective.
Units In-Tow Locomotive units that must be handled next behind the locomotive consist, which are not coupled pneumatically for multiple operation of locomotive air brake equipment.
Up-front Refund A reduction in revenue because the freight price used to rate the move was reduced.
Van Train A train with piggybacks or containers.
Vent Valve A valve, attached to the brake system of a locomotive or car, that responds to an emergency rate of reduction of brake pipe pressure by locally venting the brake pipe at the locomotive and/or car to the atmosphere, thereby serially propagating the emergency application throughout the train.
Ventilated Box Car Similar to an ordinary box car, but arranged for ventilation and suitable for the transportation of produce or other foodstuffs not needing refrigeration.
Via By way of.
Washout Signal An emergency stop signal made by violently swinging both arms in a downward arc by day, and violently swinging a lantern in a wide, low semicircle across the tracks by night.
Watt The unit of power due to a current of one ampere flowing under an electromotive force of one volt with unity power factor.
Waybill A shipping document prepared by a carrier at the point of origin showing the point of origin, destination, route, shipper, consignee, description of shipment, weight, charges and other data necessary to rate, ship and settle. It is forwarded with the shipment by mail, TDCC transmission or EDI transmission to the foreign road agent at the interchange point or mailed to destination.
Waybill Correction A computerized form issued to change the information on a waybill.
Waybill Date The date the waybill was prepared.
Waybill Number A specific number from an assigned series placed on the waybill and used for accounting control.
Waybill Sequence A listing of outstanding items in sequential waybill number order.
Waybill Suspense List A computer record of all incomplete waybills that have been prepared by the current waybilling system.
Waybill, Interfaced A waybill which has rates and charges applied.
Waybill, PPO Prepaid only waybill which is used to prepay reconsignment and/or any additional freight charges due on a prepaid shipment because of increased rates after reconsignment.
Waybill, Suspensed Suspense status indicates the waybill created in AWS has been processed but has some information missing. Suspense codes corresponding with the type of missing information are printed on the bottom left corner of the waybill.
Waycar See Caboose.
Wayside Signal A fixed signal located along the track right-of-way.
Weather Interference Natural conditions which render loading or unloading a car impracticable.
Weigh Car Car used to test scales.
Weighing and Inspection Bureau Bureau acting as agent for railroads to assure compliance with tariff regulations relating to weight, description of commodities, transit operations, etc.
Weight Agreement An agreement between shipper and carrier, usually following a series of weighing tests, under which carrier agrees to accept shipper's goods at certain agreed weights.
Welded Rail Rail, welded in lengths of up to one mile.
Well Car A flat car with a depression or opening in the center which allows the load to extend below normal floor level.
Wharfage Charge made for handling traffic on a wharf or charge made for docking vessels at a wharf.
Wheel Flange The projection edge or rim on the circumference of a car wheel for keeping it on the rail.
Wheel Report A list of cars in a train showing destination, weight, load or empty status, etc. for each, and which the conductor updates as the train picks up and sets out cars en route.
Wheel Stops See Car Stop.
Whistle Stop Station for flag stop only.
White Light An expression used by train crews meaning that the white light on a Defect Detector is lighted, which denotes no defect has been detected in the train. OR Night signal for flagging duties.
White Line Term used to designate that a car can no longer be used safely in transportation service.
White-Hat (AKA White-Shirt) (Slang) Any railroad official.
Wide-Body Locomotive (Dash-8, Dash-9) A new type of locomotive, characterized by an extra wide body, the cab entry door through the center of the locomotive, and a desk-like console for the train crew. Provides higher horsepower and tractive effort than previous models.
Wire Transfer Method of payment whereby a customer's bank wire transfers freight payments to a Watco Lock Box which debits the customer's bank account and credits Watco's bank account.
Wood Check See Switch List.
Work Order Instructions to the switch/train crew used for making an industrial switch.
Work Train A train which is assigned to serve the maintenance-of-way department in track repair and maintenance.
Working Current The electrical value which, when applied to an electromagnetic instrument, will cause the moving member to move to its full energized position to provide maximum front contact pressure.
Wye Track An arrangement of tracks in the form of a "Y", used for turning engines, cars, and trains.

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Yard A system of tracks other than main tracks and sidings. A yard is used for making up trains, for storing cars, and for other purposes.
Yard Clerk Person engaged in clerical work in and around yards and terminals. In some locations, person engaged in checking tracks.
Yard Engine An engine being used in yard service.
Yard Foreman A yard conductor.
Yard Limits A portion of main track designated by special instructions. Yard limits are identified by signs.
Yard Office Building erected within a yard or terminal in which business is conducted.
Yard Slug A cabless slug unit, not equipped with a diesel engine, but equipped with MU capability and traction motors, which receive electrical power from a mother locomotive.
Yardmaster Person responsible for control of trains and engines operating within a yard.

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