A GLOSSARY OF TERMS YOU MAY HEAR ALONG THE IRON PIKE
When railroading was new, there were few terms that would pertain to the various movements of a train, so the ingenuity of the men of that time had to come to the rescue. Following is a glossary of some of the terms that were in use before the 1940's.
AIR MONKEY A workman skilled in the repair of air-brakes ALLEY Any track in a switching yard that has no cars on it ARMSTRONG A locomotive that must be stoked by hand; any job that must bo done by hand BEEHIVE Yard Office BEND THE IRON To change the position of a switch BIG HOLE Emergency air-brake application BIG HOOK Largest wrecking crane BINDER Hand brake, usually located on top of car on one end BLAZER An overheated journal box BLEED Drain the air on a cars brake system BLEEDER The valve which drains the brake system of a car BOARD A fixed signal to regulate rail traffic BOOMER A worker that drifts from one job to another BRAIN PLATE The badge worn by trainmen BRASS HAT Railroad official BRASS POUNDER Telegrapher BUG TORCH The lantern carried by trainmen BULL Railroad policeman CAPTAIN Conductor CAR KNOCKER Car Inspector CAR TOAD Car repairman CATWALK The walkway over the tops of cars CLOSED SWITCH When a switch is closed the main line is uninterupted COCK LOFT Caboose cupola CONSIST Freight train makeup
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