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L

Ladder Track A track connecting a number of parallel sidings or stubs in a yard or terminal.
Lap Position on the brake valve which maintains existing pressure in the train line (automatic air) or brake cylinder (straight air).
Laplander Passenger jostled into someone else's lap in crowded car.
Lashup Two or more diesel or straight electric locos operating under MU control.
Last Call, Last Terminal, etc Death.
Lay Over Time spent waiting for connection with other train.
Lay-By Passing track, sidetrack.
LCL Less than Carload Lot, any shipment of freight too small to fill a car.
Lead Track Trackage connecting a yard with the main line.
Letters Service letters given to men who resign or are discharged. Applicants for railroad jobs are usually asked to present letters proving previous employment.
Level Crossing [UK] Crossing of two railways, or a railway and road, on the same level, equivalent to US grade crossing.
Lever Jerker Interlocking lever man.
LGB Lehmann Gross Bahn, German Manufacturer of high quality large scale Model railroading equipment.
Library Cupola of caboose. Trainman occupying it was sometimes known as a librarian.
Lift Transportation Collect tickets.
Light Engine Locomotive running without a train.
Light Engine Move Movement of engines from one location to another, as an Extra, to balance out power requirements between terminals, or serve as Emergency Power for a train that died, or serve as pushers returning from a push.
Light Rail Modern transit systems for inner-city people movement, such as the Denver Rapid Transit. Not designed for LCL, freight or interchange use. Can be any gauge, but standard gauge is most popular in the USA.
Lightning Slinger Telegraph operator.
Limit of Shunt Board marking the point beyond which vehicles must not pass during shunting operations.
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 Road A railroad that handles freight over a medium to long distance.
Liner Passenger train.
Link And Pin 1) Old-style type of coupler (now rarely used) was called Lincoln pin. 2) Used to denote old fashioned methods of railroading.
Lizard Scorcher Dining-car chef.
Load Gauge The limiting dimensions of height and width of rolling stock and loads carried to ensure adequate clearance with line side structures.
Load Limit Weight limit established over a specific rout based on the weight or size of the rail, condition of the line, condition of bridges, the weather and many other factors.
Loading Up Loco control transmitting power to the traction motors per engineer's command.
Loads Loaded freight cars.
Local Line Line of track normally used by suburban or stopping passenger trains.
Local Load A truckload of mail in sacks and parcels sent from the storage car direct to a car on a local train, containing mail for towns along the route of the train.
Locomotive Locomotives are units propelled by any form of energy, or a combination of such units operated from a single control station, used in train or yard service.
Locomotive Speed Limiter A modern device used to control train speeds.
Loop Continuous circular connection between up and down lines at terminal station or yard enabling trains to reverse direction without releasing locomotive.
Loose Coupled vehicles of a train loosely coupled together with three link couplings.
Loss of Shunt Failure of a shunt train detection system due to poor electrical contact between the wheel and the rail (see Shunt).
Louse Cage Caboose
Low Arm A restricting signal in the days of the semaphore with the arm down 45 degrees.
Low Irish Stands for medium clear signal.
Low Iron Yard tracks; anything not on the main line.
Lubricating Oil Viscous liquid introduced between moving surfaces to reduce friction.
Lunar White The color of white used on all switches except on main line.
Lunch Hooks Your two hands.
Lung Drawbar or air hose.
Lung Doctor Locomotive engineer who pulls out drawbars.