Bogies and Dollies


Railways developed new ways and new words. Some words faded away because technology changed. Railway expressions entered everyday language (a “bogie” is the wheeled undercarriage below a train; a dolly is a vehicle propelled by hand on the track).

Aboard, All Aboard 

Agent

Ash-box

Axle

Barrier, Ticket Barrier

Bed, Engine-bed

Belt-line

Brakeman

Bogie

Boiler, Boiler Room

Steam Boiler

Booking

Booster

Signal Box

Emergency Brake

Branch, Branch-line

Break-down Gang

Coupling Buffer

Baggage Car, Flat Car, Observation Car,
Passenger Car, Refrigerator Car, Stock Car,
Rail Car, Sleeping Car, Track Inspection Car,
Parlour Car, Tank Car, Cattle Car, Dining Car,
Freight Car, Luncheon Car, Mail Car,
Observation Car, Wood Chip Car

Caboose

Carrying Capacity

Chain-coupling

Check-room

Luggage Check

Coal

Signal Code

Cog-rail

Collect, Collect Telegram

Commute, Commuter

Compartment

Concourse

Conductor

Consignment

Corridor

Car Coupler

Coupling

Crew

Crossing

Depot

Derail

Detrain to

Detraining

Diesel Locomotive

Dispatch to

Dolly

Elevated Railway

Emergency Brake

Excess Luggage

Excursion

Express Delivery

Flagman

First-class

Fire Box

Coal Firing

Fireman

Flag a Train

Foreman

Gate-keeper

Rolling Gates, Sliding Gates,
Lifting Gates, Swing Gate

Goods Train

Grade

Gradient

Half-fare

Hand Brake

Hauling

Headlight

Hose

Ice-car 

Behind Time, Running Late

Incoming Train

Initial Station

Insulated Car, Insulated Heated Box Car

Interchange

Interlocking

Interval

Ironwork

Jump a Train

Lamp-man

Lavatory

Level Crossing

On the Level

Lever Switch, Lever-man

Lineman

Full Load, Partial Load

Locomotive

Mail Bag

Main Line

Narrow Guage Railway

Normal Guage Railway

Newspring Car

Night-watchman

Northbound

Rolling Stock

Offload

Piggyback Service, Flat Car

Platform

Pullman Car

Parcel

Rack

Guard Rail

Ramp

Railwayman

Red Cap (Porter)

Return Journey, Return Ticket

Reversing Switch

Right of Way

Seating Capacity

Shackle (a coach onto a train)

Freight Shed, Engine Shed

Shunt Line
(line to garage, siding or branch-line)

Siding (line to garage for servicing)

Signal, Signalman

Smoking Compartment

Southbound

Full Speed

Spurline (sideline)

Getting Up Steam, Keep Up Steam,
Blow Off Steam, At Full Steam

Stoker

Stowing

Suburban Train

Switchboard

Terminal, Terminus

Tie

Track, Sidetrack (on track)

Trolley, Trolley Bus

Troop Train

Tunnel

Uncouple

Valid

Valve

Waiting Room

Steam Whistle

Wicket

Wrecking Crew

Wrecked Train

Railway Yard, Marshalling Yard

The language of railways differs between the United States and Britain. Canada has been influenced by both nations but the influence of the United States is increasing. However, language evolves. For example, the term “railroad” is seldom used in Britain but originated there in the early 19th century. The words “telegram” and “wired” have died out in all three countries.



Telegram Wire
Ticket Office Booking Office
Buy a ticket Booking a ticket
Railroad Track Railway Line
Rails Metals
Depot Station
Switch Points
Streetcar Tramcar
Freight train (car) Goods train (van)
Cars Carriages or Coaches
Conductor Guard
Engineer Driver
Fireman Stoker
Locomotive Engine
Baggage Luggage
“All Aboard” “Seats Please”
Trains meeting Trains crossing
General Freight Agent Goods Manager
Freight Way Bills Goods Invoices
Schedule Timetable
General Superintendent General Manager

Different Kinds of Trains:

Local Train
Express Train
Light Railway
Circle Line
Elevated Railway
Funicular
Mountain Railway
Scenic Railway
Tube Train
Metro Train
Subway Train
Underground Railway
Underground Railroad (escaped slave route)

Sources: Railway Vocabulary English-French, 2nd edition.
(Montreal:  Canadian Pacific Railway Co. Department of Public Relations & Advertising, 1966) from Archives at St. Constant, QC. M. Pennington, Railways and Other Ways (Toronto: Williamson & Co., 1896)

Share