Like all industries, the rail industry has many unique and different terms to describe the intricacies of our activities, operations and equipment. Below is a list of common rail terms with specific meanings.

Airbrake – A braking system activated by change of air pressure.

Bank Locomotive – A locomotive provided at the rear of a train to assist it up a steep grade (bank).

Bogie – An undercarriage that has either four or six wheels pivoted below the end of a railroad car.

Brake Pipe Continuity – The brake pipe coupling hoses are connected and coupling cocks are open between vehicles to ensure changes in air pressure in the brake pipe is transmitted from one end of the train to the other end.

Consist – Listed order of the vehicles arranged to make up a complete train.

Distributed Power – A train operating with power units located at the front and one or more other locations in the train consist. Remote power units may be controlled from the lead locomotive by radio signal or hard wired through the train.

Draw Capacity – The strength of a vehicle (couplers, draftgear, underframe, etc.) used to determine the load that can be hauled behind the vehicle.

Electrically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) – A braking system activated by electrical signals along the length of the train with air supplied by the train pipe.

End-of-Train Marker (EOTM) – A device other than tail lights fitted to the trailing end of the last vehicle of a train.

Fit for Purpose – Able to be used for the required function.

Intermodal – The conveyance of goods using two or more different modes of transport.

Light Locomotive – One or more locomotives not attached to another vehicle.

Loading Cycle – Cycle of operation of a freight train including travelling to a loading location, loading, travelling to destination and unloading.

Loading Outline – The maximum height and width to which rail vehicles can be loaded for a particular line without fouling, as prescribed in the Train Operating Conditions manual.

Locomotive – A rail vehicle (usually diesel or electric) used for pulling train cars.

Propel – To manage airbrake operation of moving rail traffic from a cab that is not in the lead vehicle of a train.

Rake of Vehicles – A number of vehicles that are kept together in a fixed train

Rollingstock – The general term used to describe locomotives, wagons, carriages or other railroad vehicles.

Ruling Grade – The maximum grade on a section of track. Used to determine the motive power required for a train and the load that can be hauled.

TOC Waiver – Train Operating Conditions (TOC) Waiver. – A notice of changes or exceptions to the requirements specified in the published Train Operating Conditions Manual.

Train Consist – A group of vehicles coupled together to form a train.

Train (identification) Number – A train or run number used to provide unique identification of a train.

Wagon – A vehicle used for the transportation of goods.

To find out more about Southern Shorthaul Railroad operations, please make contact online or call the relevant department Director.