The following glossary is arranged alphabetically with each term catalogued by first letter. Select a letter below to begin.
A track worker.
Gantlet (not "gauntlet") track
Overlapping parallel tracks which share a single roadbed and track structure to pass through a narrow obstruction like a tunnel or bridge.
A slot cut through the rail to break the electrical path.
A self propelled car powered by a gasoline engine driving a generator, which supplies current to motors on the axles. Gas electrics were often used for branchline and local passenger service from the 1920s through the 1950s.
The distance between the inside of the heads of track rails. Most railroads in North America and Europe are built to a standard gauge of 4'-8½". Narrow gauge means track with a width less than standard gauge. For example, On3 means O scale trains with 3 scale feet between the rails.
The metal coupling on the end of an air hose.
An open car with a flat bottom.
General Motors designation for its four-axle "general purpose" locomotives. Also referred to as Geep.
Handholds on the sides, ends, and roofs of cars.
The vertical rise or fall of a track per 100 units of distance, expressed as a percentage. A 2" rise in 100" is a 2 percent grade.
Arrangement that allows track to cross a road or highway on the same level.
Synthetic foam rubber ground up and dyed for use as a texture element in scenery.
A low level manual switch stand used to move and lock the switch points to select a route through a turnout.
An additional rail used on the inside of rails to help wheel flange follow the proper route (as in a turnout or crossing), or to keep derailed cars on the track structure (as on a bridge).