The following glossary is arranged alphabetically with each term catalogued by first letter. Select a letter below to begin.
The sequence of bits used to encode the instructions upon which a decoder operates.
A current pickup device for electric locomotives and cars.
The movement of truck trailers on flatcars. Also called trailer-on-flatcar (TOFC).
A loading dock for freight or passengers. A high platform is even with the car floor, while a low platform may be at any height below floor level.
The two connected short rails in a turnout that move to change a trains route.
An entrance to a tunnel or the framing at the ends of a truss bridge.
An area of the layout connected directly to its own booster, electrically isolated from any other boosters or power districts.
Power pack (or supply)
A model railroad control device containing, at the minimum, a transformer and rectifier to reduce 120-volt AC house current to a lower DC voltage for running model trains.
A scale drawing which shows the grade alignment for a section of main track.
A short piece of track electrically separated from the main trackage. It is used to program any CV, including the decoders address. CVs may also be read back to the cab from a decoder on the programming track.
The real, full-sized object after which a scale model is made.
Pull the pin
Operate the uncoupling lever.
A sleeping car or parlor car operated by the Pullman Co.; by extension, any sleeping car.
Pulse width modulation (PWM)
Used to control the speed of a DC motor by applying pulses of a constant voltage of varying width. The wider the pulses, the faster the motor turns. This is the method of motor control used by DCC decoders.
A slang term referring to the special track components, including single or double slip switches used in extremely congested areas.