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Railroad Dictionary


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Gage (AKA Gauge) The distance between the heads of rails, measured at a point 5/8 inches below the top of the rail. Standard gage in the United States and Canada measures 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches.
Gage Rod A device for holding track to the correct gage.
Gandy Dancer (Slang) Track laborer.
Gang A group of employees engaged in the maintenance of the railroad. Usually this term is limited to roadway, bridge and building, and signal forces.
Gang Board A pivoted device used for access from one locomotive to another or from a car to a platform.
Gantry Crane A stilted traveling crane supported on a bridge or trestle. Trestle bents are constructed on wheels so the whole structure travels on a track laid on the ground or floor.
Gate A switch.
Gateway A point or location at which freight moving from one area or territory to another is interchanged between carriers. A base point on or near the boundary of a rate or classification territory on which rates are constructed.
Gauge (AKA Gage) The distance between the heads of rails, measured at a point 5/8 inches below the top of the rail. Standard gauge in the United States and Canada measures 4 ft. 8 1/2 inches.
Gauntlet A third set of rails placed in between two other sets of rails to carry wide loads through tunnels.
General Bulletin Written special instructions about the movement or safety of trains and employees. General Bulletins are issued by senior field supervision (a General Manager or Division Superintendent).
General Notice A posted notice of information and instructions issued by senior field supervision (a General Manager or Division Superintendent, etc).
General Order Order (issued by authority and over the signature of the designated official) wihch contains changes in rules, timetable or other instructions.
General Service Car Box, gondola, or flat car with no special equipment and not designed for any specific commodity or shipper.
Geometry Car A car equipped with electro-mechanical sensors used to automatically detect and record track geometry over long distances. The geometrey car may be either self-propelled or pulled by a locomotove.
Get Your Wind [slang] When the brake pressure is restored on a train.
Gladhand Air brake hose coupling.
Go High The act of climbing to the top of box cars to receive or transmit signals or apply hand brakes.
Going in for the Rubber (Slang) Reaching in to couple the air hoses between cars.
Gondola Car A car without a top covering which has straight sides and ends, the floor or bottom of which is level or approximately level. Used for freight in bulk. Types: High side, low side, drop end, drop bottom, general purpose and convertible.
Government Bill of Lading A special shipping document which is used in making shipment for the U.S. Government.
Grab Iron Steel bar attached to cars and engines as a hand hold.
Grade The rate of rise or fall of track elevation.
Grade Crossing A crossing at the same level, either between tracks of different railways or between railway tracks and public crossings.
Gradient (False) The difference between the brake pipe pressure at the controlling unit and at the opposite end of the train.
Gradient (True) The difference between the brake pipe pressure at the controlling unit and at the opposite end of the train, when the brake system is fully charged to the highest pressure that can be sustained at a given regulating valve setting under given leakage and temperature conditions.
Graduated Release A feature available on some passenger equipment, which allows the pressure in all of the brake cylinders of a train to be reduced in steps. See Brake Release.
Grain Door A temporary partition placed across the door of a box car to prevent loss of grain.
Graveyard Shift Third shift.
Grease Monkey An employee who is responsible for greasing frogs, switches and interlocking track equipment. Also a car oiler.
Gross Ton 2,240 pounds.
Gross Ton Mile The movement of a ton of transportation equipment and contents one mile.
Gross Weight The weight of an article together with the weight of its container and the material used for packing. OR As applied to a carload, the weight of a car together with the weight of its entire contents.
Grounded or Grounding Term used to indicate that a trailer or container has been removed from a flat car.
Group Rate See Blanket Rate.
Gum Shoe A railroad detective.
Gun A torpedo placed on a rail, which will act as a signal warning when it is detonated by a train crossing over it.
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