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Author Topic: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z  (Read 403 times)

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Offline Newportnobby

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Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« on: October 26, 2018, 10:14:33 AM »
Following the suggestion of a fellow member I am thinking of compiling a railway Glossary of terms aimed mostly at beginners. These do not have to be 'expert' terms that only the few recognise such as an 'epicyclic overdrive torque condenser unit' (thank you Fred wedlock :)) but mainly the well known/well trodden ones such as 'DC', 'DCC' 'fiddle yard' etc. A separate portion of the Glossary will be for those acronyms some don't immediately recognise such as 'IIRC' and 'AFAIK' which tend to be used in some posts.
Obviously I will need the help of everyone and, to keep things easy for me, I would request you post them in this thread only and I will collate them into alphabetical order in a Word document I can eventually just cut and paste into the Knowledge Bank.
So......if you think it's a good idea then please fire them off and be prepared to be patient for a list to be published (which, of course, will not be exhaustive). Maybe 3 sections are required...........
Real Railway Terms
Railway Modelling terms
Forumspeak terms

Offline tutenkhamunsleeping

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 10:46:10 AM »
'epicyclic overdrive torque condenser unit' (thank you Fred wedlock)

With transverse thrust in it :thumbsup:

Online The Q

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 11:08:52 AM »
Rule 1, it's your model railway do it how you like.
Rule 0, (from genuine railwaymen)  before you do anything make a cup of tea..

Offline Yet_Another

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 08:10:47 PM »
Maybe 3 sections are required...........
Real Railway Terms
Railway Modelling terms
Forumspeak terms

OK, prompted by a post elsewhere, to make a start. Here's a few pour encourager les autres. I make no claim that any of this is definitive, but I assume that this is intended to be a collaborative venture, rather than combative:

Real Railway Terms

TermMeaning/Explanation
B-B or Bo-Bo(generally of diesels/electrics) having two bogies, each with two axles. The 'o' denotes that the axles are driven independently within each bogie.
C-C or Co-Co(generally of diesels/electrics) having two bogies, each with three axles. The 'o' denotes that the axles are driven independently within each bogie.
Diesel-ElectricIn the loco, the diesel motor drives a generator, which passes electricity to electric motors, which drive the wheels
Diesel-HydraulicIn the loco, the diesel motor drives a pump, which passes hydraulic pressure down pipes to hydraulic motors, which drive the wheels
S&T DeptSignals & Telegraph Department
The Six FootThe space between two parallel tracks


Railway Modelling Terms

TermMeaning/Explanation
AC electricityAlternating Current - what comes out of the mains, or a transformer at a lower voltage. For model railways, generally used to power accessories.
DC electricityDirect Current - what comes out of a battery, or a switch mode power supply. Also output by 'traditional' model railway power controllers. 
Fishplatesee Rail joiner.
IRJInsulating Rail Joiner. A rail joiner made out of plastic rather than metal, used where an electrical break is required.
PVAWhite glue, generally used for woodworking and crafts. It can be diluted with water.
PWMPulse Width Modulation. A way of controlling the amount of DC power that is fed to an electric motor.
Rail joinerSmall folded metal plate which slides onto the end of a rail to join it to the next, while ensuring that the ends are correctly aligned.


Forum/Internet Terms

TermMeaning/Explanation
AFAICTAs far as I can tell
AFAIKAs far as I know
IIRCIf I recall correctly
IMO or IMHOIn my opinion or In my humble opinion
Tony

'...things are not done by those who sit down to count the cost of every thought and act.' - Sir Daniel Gooch of IKB

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 09:12:25 PM »
Excellent, Tony.  :thankyousign:


I make no claim that any of this is definitive, but I assume that this is intended to be a collaborative venture, rather than combative:


Quite right. There's no way I would state my way is the correct way, so it's 'the collective' of the forum to proffer entries and I'll collate them and put forward some myself.

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 09:37:26 PM »
What a great idea, NPN!

I can cope with the real railway terms and most of the model railway terms, but the Forumspeak terms can confuse me.  Here are some more, simplified where this might help a newcomer.  Please feel free to edit!

Permanent way (P Way) the track.  So called to differentiate from the temporary tracks that contractors used when building railways.

'Four foot' the distance between the rails on a standard gauge railway, actually 4' 8 1/2".

'Ten foot' distance between a running line and a siding.

'Facing points' points that change the direction of a train when running forward.  Used with caution on full-sized railways.

'Trailing points' points that change the direction of a train when running backwards.

'Points' a general term for a special piece of track that goes from a single line to two or three lines.  This comprises several parts, each with their own name, the most obvious of which are the switches and common crossing.  Railway modellers often use the terms 'point blades' and 'frog' for these.

Sleeper a length of wood, concrete or metal to which the rails are securely fastened.  This is vital to maintain the correct gauge.  In the USA, these are called ties.

Sleeper a train conveying one or more sleeping cars.

Gauge the distance between the rails.

Is this the sort of thing you have in mind, Mick?

Best wishes.

John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)


The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

I believe that train sets and model railways are fun.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2018, 09:42:32 AM »
What a great idea, NPN!

I can cope with the real railway terms and most of the model railway terms, but the Forumspeak terms can confuse me.

'Points' a general term for a special piece of track that goes from a single line to two or three lines.  This comprises several parts, each with their own name, the most obvious of which are the switches and common crossing.  Railway modellers often use the terms 'point blades' and 'frog' for these.



@Train Waiting
Just the thing, John. A couple of things.
Are there any particular forumspeak terms/acronyms that confuse you?

I would perhaps amend the 'Points' to read.......
'Points' a general term for a special piece of track that goes from a single line to two or three lines.  This comprises several parts, each with their own name, the most obvious of which are the stock rails (the outer fixed rails) switch blades (the moveable rails) and common crossing (the bit between the 2 or 3 exit tracks of the point. The single track part of the point is known as the 'toe' and the multiple exit rails from the point are the 'heel'.  Railway modellers often use the terms 'point blades' and 'frog' for the switch blades and common crossing. Points can also be referred to as 'turnouts' and 'switches'.

Does that read OK or have I confusticated it further?

Offline Bealman

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 09:52:48 AM »
Well you haven't confused me, so that's gotta be a plus  :worried:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline daffy

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 10:44:14 AM »
As a relative beginner I have come across many terms used here that have led me to turn to Google for explanations. Sometimes these forays into the vast expanses of the www have been fruitful, but sometimes they just confuse me further, so your ‘Glossary’ would I feel be a boon to many Mick.

Examples of terms that are regularly used within posts by the cognoscenti that I would like to see succinctly defined for newbies in such a Glossary would be:

- slips, and of course, double slips
- Setrack
- Flexitrack
- Unitrack
- Code 80
- Code 55
- Frog
- Insulfrog
- Electrofrog
- Cobalt
- Tracksetta
- Reverse loop
- Mimic Panel

I accept that many of these terms are soon understood, or at least recognised by a beginner, and some are trade names.

I know it is beyond the scope of the Forum design for such terms to automatically appear within posts as hyperlinks to a Glossary, but an easily accessible Glossary within the Forum headers or margins would be a boon to many, Members and Guests alike.

Great idea Mick, and bravo to you for taking on such a mammoth task. :thumbsup:

Oh, and there’s one acronym that regularly turns up that might need correctly defining for some:

- NPN.  :D
Mike

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 08:27:26 PM »
What a great idea, NPN!

I can cope with the real railway terms and most of the model railway terms, but the Forumspeak terms can confuse me.

'Points' a general term for a special piece of track that goes from a single line to two or three lines.  This comprises several parts, each with their own name, the most obvious of which are the switches and common crossing.  Railway modellers often use the terms 'point blades' and 'frog' for these.



@Train Waiting
Just the thing, John. A couple of things.
Are there any particular forumspeak terms/acronyms that confuse you?

I would perhaps amend the 'Points' to read.......
'Points' a general term for a special piece of track that goes from a single line to two or three lines.  This comprises several parts, each with their own name, the most obvious of which are the stock rails (the outer fixed rails) switch blades (the moveable rails) and common crossing (the bit between the 2 or 3 exit tracks of the point. The single track part of the point is known as the 'toe' and the multiple exit rails from the point are the 'heel'.  Railway modellers often use the terms 'point blades' and 'frog' for the switch blades and common crossing. Points can also be referred to as 'turnouts' and 'switches'.

Does that read OK or have I confusticated it further?



It reads better, Mick; much better.  There is no such thing as good writing; only good editing!  Thank you very much.


John
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)


The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

I believe that train sets and model railways are fun.

Offline Papyrus

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 08:57:42 PM »
Other terms which are familiar to most of us but might baffle a newcomer:

Fiddle yard - The part of a layout outside the scenic area where train formation and storage takes place.

Headshunt - A length of line opposite sidings which allows shunting operations to take place without occupying the main line.

Run-round loop - A length of line at a terminus which enables a locomotive to move from one end of a train to the other to haul the train in the return direction.

I would also add single-slip and double-slip, but trying to describe them is hurting my brain!

Good luck with this, Mick, and thanks!

Cheers,

Chris
"As I always say, it's a funny old world. Do you always say that? Oh good." (Jill Tweedie)

Offline Lankyman

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 09:06:56 PM »
Mick, you have set yourself a gargantuan task with this one and I wish you well. However, can I please draw your attention to Ellis' British Railway Engineering Encyclopedia first pblished by www.lulu.com in 2006.

I have to confess a personal interest in this book as I own a mint copy of the first edition signed by the author Iain Ellis and also his father, John, a dear friend, who had a significant input into the book. I worked with both these gentlemen for a number of years. Sadly John passed away in January of this year. The first edition had over ten thousand entries and I have just checked the lulu.com website and it is now at the third edition.

I am not trying to sell this book but am just using it as an illustration of the size of the task you have taken on. I know it took Iain years to publish the first edition. Remember that this only covers the British Railway scene, I hate to think what a global edition would look like.

Cheers

Ron
Ron

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2018, 09:15:11 PM »
And who's the muggins who woke up at 04.15 this morning with a definition of a fiddle yard in his head? ::) I guess I should have written it down/typed it up then and there. It will come back, I'm sure.
@Lankyman
Ron - there are no doubt all sorts of reference books for the real railway terms and I have no intention of competing. I guess that section will be limited to those bits that people tell me confuses them, bearing in mind my knowledge runs out mid to late 1960s so help will be needed from all age groups.

Thanks to all for responses so far.

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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2018, 09:27:01 PM »
have I confusticated it further?


Fancy you knowing such an old word -
confusticate (v.)
"confound, confuse," 1852, a fantastical mock-Latin American English coinage from confound or confuse, originally in "Negro dialect" passages in works such as "J. Thornton Randolph's" pro-slavery "The Cabin and Parlor" (1852, a response to "Uncle Tom's Cabin"), picked up in London publications by the 1860s. Similar formations include confubuscate, conflabberated, etc., and compare discombobulate. Related: Confusticated; confusticating.


'Lifted' from www.etymonline.com (my italics).

Not that I am casting aspersions or owt  ;)  Seriously, as has been said Mick, you have set yourself some job - I applaud you.  :thumbsup:
David.
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Re: Glossary of Terms - An A to Z
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2018, 09:30:20 PM »
As for the slips!

Diamond crossing: where two lines cross in a flattened 'x' shape, rather like the Scottish Saltire.  Called a 'diamond crossing' because the crossings in the middle of the formation have the shape of a diamond.

A single slip is where a diamond crossing is combined with two points so that a train can not only cross the formation, but can travel between the two lines on one side of it.  For the top side the route would look like a 'V' shape and for the bottom side like an upside-down 'V'.

A double slip includes four points within the formation and allows trains to cross the formation and to travel between the two lines on both sides of it.

Please, please somebody (Chris) edit this to make it better.

I don't think we need to include 'switched diamonds'. Perhaps worth including a scissors crossover which is similar to a double slip, but the points are outwith the formation, allowing parallel movements to take place?
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)


The Table-Top Railway is a train set trying and failing to be a model railway.

I believe that train sets and model railways are fun.

 

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