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Noquay - Model Railway Inglenook Layout 4mm (OO)

Glossary of Railway & Model Railway Terms


  • Tank Locomotive - A locomotive which carries its fuel and water supplies on its own main frames.
  • Tank - Freight car designed to carry liquids or gases in a tank like container.
  • Tea Kettle - Old locomotive, especially a leaky steam locomotive.
  • Tender - The car attached immediately to a steam locomotive and which carries fuel and water; Also the first locomotive running with tender leading in direction of travel.
  • Terminal - The end of the line (or departure point); The station, switches, associated buildings, towers and other equipment.
  • Terminal Railway - Also called a Switching railway. These railways move freight in a limited area between shippers and a terminal where freight is transferred to long haul railways.
  • Theatre Indicator - A multi-lamp alphanumeric indicator also known as a multi-lamp route indicator.
  • Third Rail - A continuous track placed alongside the running tracks to supply electric current for trains on the running tracks.
  • Three Rail - Current is fed from a center or side conductor rail, return is through the insulated wheels and track.
  • Three-Way - Point or switch making connections to three alternative tracks.
  • Throat - Entrance tracks to a terminal or yard.
  • Tie - USA term for sleeper; 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.
  • Tie Plate - The steel shoes in which the rail sits when spiked to a wooden tie.
  • Timetable - A printed schedule of train movements.
  • Tin Hats - Prototype railway V.I.P.'s.
  • Tin Plate - Commonly only associated with toy trains that do not conform to a scale. The name originated during the 1800's when many an early model, crude or otherwise, was fashioned out of tin.
  • Tipping - Freight car with facility for unloading contents by tilting the body.
  • 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.
  • TOFC - A trailer on a flatcar system of intermodal transport on which truck trailers are carried.
  • Token - Authority for train to enter single line section. Of different forms including wooden staff, electric staff, tablet, key token. Used to show payment of fare such as on a subway system.
  • Tongue - Switch blade or rail.
  • Tower - Signal box. Control center. Electric locomotive; so called for its pivoting arrangement. Also a device such as a Pantograph.for making contact and drawing power from overhead trolley wires.
  • Trackage Rights - An agreement between two railways allowing the use of the others tracks for a fee. This type of agreement dose not allow the pick up or delivery of freight along those tracks however.
  • Trailing Switch - One with the points facing in the opposite direction from the flow of traffic.
  • Trailer Truck - A rear locomotive truck with two or four small wheels.
  • 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.
  • Trainmaster - An employee who coordinates the work of the yardmaster and the roundhouse foreman; he reports directly to the superintendent.
  • Tramway - Light railway or rails for tram-cars.
  • Tramcar - Streetcar electrically operated public service passenger vehicle on rails in the street.
  • Transformer - A device for changing high voltage AC into low voltage AC. In model railways now called a power supply
  • Transition Curve - A curve that gradually increases or decreases. Also called an easement.
  • Trap Point - See Catch Point.
  • Trestle - A wooden bridge structure of regularly placed bents.
  • Trolley - Pole mounted on a roof of electric vehicle with a wheel attached to outer end to pick up electric current from overhead contact wire. Also a self propelled rail car used to transport passengers
  • 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.
  • Trunk - A main line or route of a railway from which other lines branch off.
  • Turbine - A rotary engine consisting of blades or fans attached to a central shaft which are turned by hot, expanding gases.
  • Turnout - A switch; European term for switch. A piece of track that allows a train to go from one track to another. Referred to by number. For example, a no. 6 turnout spreads one foot for each six feet of forward travel measured from the frog.
  • Turntable - A rotating device that enables locomotives to turn completely around, or to spot them for roundhouse stalls.
  • Two-Rail - Current is fed along both rails of the track, the rails and wheels being insulated from one another.
  • Tyre (USA, Tire) - Steel band forming the periphery of a wheel on which the flange and tread profile is formed.