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T

Tag Reader Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) to identify a specific rail car.
Tail Over Her Back Engine with full head of steam, with plume resembling a squirrel's tail from her safety valve.
Tailring At a signaled crossing, tailring refers to the actuation of the crossing after the train has passed through the crossing (a signaling error).
Take The Rubber Out Of Them Disconnect the air hoses on a train.
Taking Your Minutes Stopping for lunch.
Tallowpot Locomotive fireman, so called from melted tallow used to lubricate valves and shine the engine
Tangent Track Straight track.
Tank Locomotive tender.
Tanker Freight car designed to carry liquids or gases in a tank like container.
Tank Engine A steam locomotive that carries its fuel and water supply in tanks hung over or alongside the boiler, or on a frame extension at the rear, instead of in a tender.
Tare Weight The weight of an empty car.
Tariff A published schedule showing rates, fares, charges, classification of freight, rules, and regulations applying to various kinds of transportation and incidental services.
T-Box A wooden or metal box which contains a telephone that can be used by the train crew to call the dispatcher.
TCS Traffic Control System.
TCU Transportation Communications International Union, represents clerks, carmen, yardmasters, and supervisors.
Teakettle Old locomotive, especially a leaky steam locomotive.
Team Track A spur or siding for loading cars which serves any customer wishing to use. Often has a driveway or other area for vehicles to transfer loads. Name comes from the fact that these tracks were first built for transloading cargo from wagon teams to box cars.
Tease The Brute Follow the engine.
Telemetry The information that an End Of Train device transmits to the engine.
Telltales Any device that serves as a warning. Specifically the row of strips hanging down a short distance in front of a tunnel or low bridge to inform trainmen who are riding car tops that they'd better duck.
Temple Of Knowlege Term for caboose.
Temporary Block Station (TBS) A manned station that is established by Bulletin Order or Form D to control the movement of trains.
Tender A car, attached to a steam locomotive, that carries extra fuel and water for the locomotive.
Terminal Facilities provided by a railroad at a terminus or at any intermediate point on its line for the handling of passengers or freight, and for the breaking up, making up, forwarding and servicing trains, and interchanging with other carriers.
Terminal Load A shipment of mail consigned to a certain R.P.O. terminal office for sorting and reshipment in other sacks.
Terminal Railroad Also called a Switching railroad. These railroads move freight in a limited area between shippers and a terminal where freight is transferred to long haul railroads.
Terminating line haul road The last railroad over which any shipment travels.
Terminating Station The last station on each subdivision to which a train is authorized to occupy the main track.
Terminus 1) The main station at the beginning or end of a mainline.2) The home terminal of a railroad. For example, the terminus of the Southern Pacific was San Francisco, and all mileposts were measured from there. UP's main terminal was Omaha.
The Biscuits Hang High There's a scarcity of food handouts in that locality.
Third Rail A continuous rail placed alongside the running rails to supply electric current for electrically powered trains.
Thirty Telegraphic term for "that's all-no more".
Thousand-Miler Black satin or blue percale shirt worn by railroaders, expected to last 1,000 miles between washings. (The usual basis of a day's work was about 100 miles, so two shirts could easily last from one pay day to the next).
Three-Bagger Train pushed or pulled by three engines.
Three-Step Protection A procedure used for the protection of workers going on, under, or between cars.
(1) Apply the brake.
(2) Center the reverser.
(3) Put the generator field switch in OFF or OPEN position.
Three-Way Point or switch making connections to three alternative tracks.
Throat Entrance tracks to a terminal or yard.
Throttle The speed control of the locomotive.
Throttle God Engineer.
Throttle-Jerker Engineer.
Through freight train An express freight train between major terminals.
Throw Away The Diamonds Term applied to locomotive fireman missing the fire door with a shovel full of coal and spilling some.
Throw it in the hole Apply emergency brakes.
Throw Out The Anchor Done for the day.
Tie A cross member made of wood, steel or concrete placed between the rails to keep the rails at correct gauge and to distribute the weight of the load on the track. Also called "sleeper" in Europe.
Tie 'Em Down Set handbrakes.
Tie On Couple on. Tie 'em together is to couple cars.
Tie Plate The steel shoes in which the rail sits when spiked to a wooden tie.
Tie Up Stop for a meal or for rest.
Tier Pile of mail sacks or parcels occupying the full width at each end of a car.
Tight On Power Power is adequate to protect departures, but some delays may occur due to late arrival and servicing of locomotives.
Timetable The authority for the movement of regular trains subject to the rules. It may contain classified schedules and includes special instructions.
Timkenized Equipped with Timken roller bearings.
Tin Hats Prototype railroad V.I.P.'s.
Tin Lizard Streamlined train.
Tin Plate Commonly only associated with toy trains that do not conform to a scale. The name 'tin plate' originated during the 1800's when many an early model, crude or otherwise, was fashioned out of tin.
Ting-A-Ling Small engine with "tinny" bell.
Tipping Freight car with facility for unloading contents by tilting the body.
Tire Hardened steel wheel rim on which the flange and tread profile is formed. A RR car can have a "flat tire", when brakes lock and the wheel slides. Tires are replaced by chilling the wheel, knocking off the damaged tire and applying a heated replacement.
Tissue Train order. (See Flimsy)
Toad Derail. (See Rabbit)
Toe Tip of switch rail at the end which fits against the stock rail.
Toe Boards Walkway or running boards on the roof of a car.
Towpath That part of railroad embankment lying between end of ties and shoulders of fill.
TOFC Trailer-on-flatcar. An intermodal system for transporting truck trailers on flatcars.
Token 1) Authority for train to enter single line section. Of different forms including wooden staff, electric staff, tablet, key token. 2) Used to show payment of fare such as on a subway system.
Tongue Switch blade or rail.
Tonk Car repairer.
Ton-Mile One ton of freight moved one mile.
Tonnage Hound Trainmaster or other official who insists upon longer or heavier trains than the crew and motive power can handle efficiently.
Tonnage Is Current No trains holding, switching is current, no delays expected to traffic, resources are adequate to protect operations.
Tons of Operative Brake (TOB) The measurement calculated by dividing the gross trailing tonnage of a train (not including the locomotive) by the total number of cars with operative brakes.
Tons per Operative Brake Gross trailing tonnage of the train (not including locomotives) divided by the total number of cars having operative brakes.
Top Dresser Drawer Upper bunk in caboose.
Torpedo Explosive cap fastened to the top of the rail and exploded by the pressure of a rolling wheel to warn engineer of danger ahead. Usually placed in multiples to sound a pattern.
Tower 1) Signal box. 2) A manned control center, usually at a junction for operating an interlocking, or at a yard for controlling train movements. 3) Electric locomotive, so called for its pivoting arrangement. 4) A device such as a pantograph for making contact and drawing power from overhead trolley wires.
Tower Buff Railfan so zealous that he disregards signs such as "Private," "No Admittance" and "Stay Out" on interlocking towers and other railroad structures.
Track Barricade A designated sign or obstruction fastened to a track which prevents access to the track.
Track Bulletin A notice containing information as to track conditions or other conditions, necessary for the safe operation of trains or engines.
Track Car Equipment, not classified as an engine, which is operated on track for inspection or maintenance. It may not shunt track circuits or operate signals and will be governed by rules and special instructions for trains other than passenger trains.
Track Circuit An electrical circuit of which the rails of the track form a part. The track circuit is the basis of signaling systems.
Track Gauge The distance between the inner faces of the track heads.
Track Head The top of the track on which the wheels roll.
Track Permit A form used to authorize occupancy of the main track where designated by special instructions.
Track Side Warning Detector Wayside detectors which are provided at various locations as shown in the timetable which detect such conditions as overheated journals, dragging equipment, excess dimensions, shifted loads, high water and slides.
Track Signal A signaling system that uses the rail for transmitting signals. These signals may be used to warn of an approaching train and lower crossing arms for instance, or also to warn the engineer of a train on the track ahead.
Track Warrant Control (TWC) A method of authorizing the movements of trains or engines or protecting men or machines on a main track within specified limits in territory designated by special instructions or general order.
Track Web The thin section of track between the base and the head.
Trackage Rights An agreement between two railroads according to which, one railroad buys the right to run its trains on the tracks of the other, and usually pays a toll for the privilege. That toll is called a "wheelage" charge. This type of agreement dose not allow the pick up or delivery of freight along those tracks however.
Trackside Along a railroad track or the side of an object closest to the track.
Traction 1.)Eelectrically powered railroads, especially city and interurban trolley lines. 2.) A locomotive's grip on the rails.
Traction Motor The electric motor that drives a locomotive axle. Not a "traction engine", which is a steam-powered agricultural machine.
Tractive Force The amount of force at the driving wheel rims needed to start and move tonnage up various grades.
Trailer 1) A cargo-carrying highway vehicle without automotive power. 2) A coach or other passenger car pulled by any self propelled passenger car, such a an electric interurban car or a DMU.
Trailing Switch One with the points facing in the opposite direction from the flow of traffic.
Trailing Truck A rear locomotive truck with two or four wheels.
Train One or more engines coupled, with or without cars, displaying a marker and authorized to operate on a main track.
Train Approach System Train-detection system that warns of a train approaching a highway crossing, for instance. A signal is typically sent to activate the crossing warning arms (see Strike-in).
Train Brake The combined brakes on locomotive and cars that provide the means of controlling the speed and stopping of the entire train.
Train Line A cable or series of hoses used for connecting air, electrical and/or steam between loco and cars.
Train of Superior Class A train given precedence by time table.
Train of Superior Direction A train given precedence in the direction specified in the time table as between opposing trains of the same class.
Train of Superior Right A train given precedence by train order.
Train Order A written order on a form which gives directions for train movements not on the schedule. Train orders usually come from the dispatcher.
Train Order Signal Fixed signal near the entrance to a river tube, bridge or at stations with moving platforms. Two lunar white mean Proceed without orders according to rules, two red mean Stop, stay and call for orders.
Train Register A book or form used at designated stations for registering time of arrival and departure of trains, and such other information as may be prescribed.
Trainmaster An executive officer who supervises train service operations on one or more divisions or on part of a division. He also supervises the operation of trains at terminals and in yard service. He reports directly to the superintendent.
Trains Blocked On Line Trains stopped between primary terminals and switched to further define the car blocks and to facilitate handling at the destination terminal.
Trains Drug Out Trains moved from origin yard to a siding between terminals to make room in the yard to continue to build trains.
Trains Flagging When a train crew has authority granted by a dispatcher to "flag" past a signal that is in stop indication due to a defect/event.
Trains Held Out The number of trains held on line (out) due to lack of room in the destination yard. When a yard's receiving tracks are occupied, the terminal "holds trains out."
Trains Holding A count of trains being held either for congestion or for a Maintenance of Way curfew. Trains holding also can refer to the HDC Trains Held Report, used to track trains that are not run on schedule due to a critical resource, such as power, crew or track congestion.
Trains Laid Down Trains with no arrival plan for a terminal. The crews have been removed and power has likely been removed.
Trains Processed Number of trains operated through a defined area or terminal during a specified time period.
Trains Slotted Number of trains a terminal can process in a given period of time, usually every 24 hours.
Trains Spacing Time spacing in which a terminal/ subdivision can handle trains, such as one coal train every 30 minutes, one manifest every hour.
Trains Staging Trains holding at a point on line for release to move into a terminal.
Trains Tied Down Trains holding on line for relief crews, Maintenance of Way curfew, slot/spacing into a terminal. Power is usually still on the trains.
Trains Walking When a track defect, such as a broken rail, has been determined by the Engineering Department to be passable at "walking speed."
Trains Yarded Number of trains a terminal has yarded in a 24-hour period.
Tram and Tramway Another term for a railway of limited, dedicated use. For example, a streetcar or industrial line with no car interchange with other railroads. More popular term in Europe.
Tramcar Streetcar electrically operated public service passenger vehicle on rails in the street.
Trampified The way a boomer looked after being out of work a long time. His clothes were "ragged as a barrel of sauerkraut" and he needed a "dime's worth of decency" (shave)
Transformer A device for changing high voltage AC into low voltage AC. In model railroading now called a power supply.
Transition Curve A curve that gradualy increases or decreases. Also called an easement.
Traveling Card 1) Card given by a railroad Brotherhood to a man in search of employment. 2) An empty slip bill.
Traveling Grunt Road foreman of engines, traveling engineer. Sometimes called traveling man.
Trestle A wooden bridge structure of regularly placed bents.
Triangle Additional track laid at a major junction to allow trains to be turned by running the three sides of the triangle rather than reversing in a wye. Found outside major terminal stations where fixed passenger sets need to be turned to equalize flange wear and ensure that cars are facing forwards.
Trick A work shift or hours of duty.
Trim Lead Track used to move cars from the bowl (sorting tracks) to the departure yard, where sorted cars are coupled into an outbound train.
Trimmed Count of cars that are sorted in a hump yard.
Trimmer Engine working in hump yard that goes down into yard and picks out misdirected cars and shoves them to clear. (See yard and hump)
Triple Valve An operating valve for charging the reservoir and applying and releasing the brake.
Trolley Slang for a streetcar which collects power from an overhead line via a troller (wheel or slider). The "trolley" is actually the pole and troller assembly.
Truck A swiveling set of wheels mounted at either end of a rail car. Assembly holding a group of two or more wheelsets together beneath a car. A wheelset is a pair of wheels connected by an axle.
Truck Hunting The rapid oscillation of an empty car truck at high speeds, in which the flanges tend to ride up on the head of the rail.
Trunk A main line or route of a railroad from which other lines branch off.
Tunnel Motor A diesel-electric loco configured for operating in tunnels by having lowered engine air inlets to collect more fresh air.
Turbine A rotary engine consisting of blades or fans attached to a central shaft which are turned by hot, expanding gases.
Turn-Around A train run from a terminal to an intermediate station and returned to that terminal in one work shift. Also called simply a "turn".
Turnout A term for a switch, European in origin. The diverging angle of a turnout is measured in numbers. For example, a no. 6 turnout, (sharp in prototype use, but common on model railroads,) spreads one foot for each six feet of forward travel measured from the frog.
Turntable A rotating steel or wooden bridge, used to turn locomotives or cars, and/or to align them with the tracks in the engine house or roundhouse.
Two-Wheeler Two-wheeled hand truck for transferring baggage and mail around in a station.
Tyre [UK] see Tire.