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CATEGORY: Railroad Terminology

Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Thursday, February 06, 2020 at 7:21:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER)

The Official Railway Equipment Register is the standard reference for the rail transportation industry. It is published quarterly (January, April, July and October) and provides freight car information for most railroads and private car owners in service on the railways in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The book includes a complete listing of railcar number series, reporting marks, car ownership information, AAR car type code, dimensions (inside and out, width and height)...

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Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, February 04, 2020 at 12:17:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Spur Track (Commonly called a Spur)

Although the use and definition of the term "spur track" varies from railway to railway, and from era to era, I think there is some commonality that allows for a general explanation of what a spur track is, and more importantly, what is it not. The diagram included below offers some insight into my interpretation. As you can see in the diagram...

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Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Monday, February 03, 2020 at 13:12:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Drawbar Horsepower

The total horsepower of a locomotive less the amount of horsepower that it takes to move the locomotive itself. The balance is called the drawbar horsepower which is the power available to pull a train, and takes into account all parasitic losses in the gear train, tire slip, friction in wheel bearings, accessory loads, etc.

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Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, January 05, 2020 at 13:54:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Snowsheds / Snow Sheds

A snowshed is a long structure built over railway tracks to protect the line from snow-slides and avalanches. They are most common in mountainous regions in areas prone to considerable amounts of sliding snow. Showsheds are also used to prevent accumulations of drifting snow from blocking the line in areas where snow removal is...

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Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, January 05, 2020 at 8:26:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Doodlebugs

Doodlebugs were self-propelled rail cars used for light capacity passenger and freight duties on branch lines as an alternative to steam power and coaches. The leading benefit of using a doodlebug was the reduction of operating costs associated with providing passenger and mail services to lightly traveled routes. Some small and regional...

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Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, January 04, 2020 at 11:40:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Code (of Rail)

This is the height of model rail as measured in thousandths of an inch. Therefore, code 83 rail is .083" tall, code 70 rail is .070" tall, and code 55 rail is .055" tall.

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Posted in Railroad Terminology by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, January 04, 2020 at 11:20:00 AST.)

GLOSSARY: Railroadiana

Just about anything that was ever owned or used by a railway and its employees holds some value for collectors. If the collectable is imprinted or stamped with the railway's markings then it retains even more value. And as with most collectables, the rarer the railway marking, the higher the value placed on the item. These railway collectables and...

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