Acronym List

AARAssociation of American Railroads
ABS: Absolute Block System Signal
AUTO: Automotive Train (from Train Board page)
CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute
COFC: Container on Flat Car
CSAO: Conrail Shared Assets Operations
DIT: Dead In Tow
E: East
EETH: Empty Ethanol Train (from Train Board page)
ENG: Engine
EOT: End of Train Device (The end of train device is hooked into the brake system. It can be managed by the engineer, where the FRED can not.)
FRED:  Flashing Rear End Device (A FRED is a blinking red light run off a battery that is in an EOT device. If you hear a whirling noise, it's the turbine driven generator that keeps the battery charged. The turbine is driven through the air being passed through the train line hose.)
GFD: Ground Fault Detector
HBD: Hot Box Detector
INTM: Intermodal Train (from Train Board page)
JBSJuniata Back Shops
MANF: Manifest Train (from Train Board page)
MOW: Maintenance of Way
MP: Milepost
MPH: Miles per Hour
N: North
NEC: North East Corridor
NS: Norfolk Southern
OLS: Operation Lifesaver
OOS: Out of Service
OSS: Operations & Service Support (oversees industry switching current demurrage records, crew work orders, and car movement reporting)
PSI: Pounds per Square Inch
PT: Pittsburgh Line (mainline that runs through Horseshoe Curve)
PTC: Positive Train Control
S: South
SIPSignal Interruption Point
T&E: Train and Engine 
TOFCTrailer on Flat Car
TOL: Track Occupancy Light
TRK: Track
TWC: Track Warrant Control
W: West
XO: Crossover
YD: Yard

Glossary of Common Terms

A End of Car
The opposite end from which the hand brake is mounted. The term is commonly used with 'L' or 'R' to designate left or right side. Used to specify placement, report damage, etc. [CSX]

An indicator that displays in MPH per minute the rate of increase/decrease of speed. (NS)

AC Locomotive
Alternating Current (AC) locomotives are equipped with AC traction motors and are not affected by maximum continuous current ratings or short time operating ratings. AC traction motors are considered 1.5x standard for both power and dynamic brake.

Feature of the independent brake valve to charge the actuating pipe from the main reservoir and prevent or release a locomotive brake application from a brake pipe reduction.

Air Brake
A system of compressed air devices, controlled manually, electronically or pneumatically, that makes the car or locomotive slow down or stop.

Air Flow
An instrument that indicates the volume of the air in cubic feet per minute (CFM) flowing through the automatic brake valve into the brake pipe.

Air Problems
Any issues associated with the train line or air brake system, including leaking gasket, frozen or blocked train line, stuck triple valve. (UP)

American Association of Railroads
The central coordinating and research agency of the North American rail industry. It deals with matters of common concern to member roads; operations, hardware standardization, regulatory matters research, safety, forecasts, finance, etc. It is dedicated to the standardization of processes and progress of the rail transportation industry. [CSX]

Alerter Safety Control
A safety control system that senses the activity of the Engineer. As the Engineer goes about normal activities, any such changes will reset the control and start a timing circuit. If, during the timing period, no additional activity is detected, an audible and/or visual alarm occurs. If activity still doesn’t occur for another period, approximately 6 seconds, a penalty brake application is initiated.

Alignment Control Coupler
Specially equipped couplers, installed on most locomotives that only allow the coupler in buff to move laterally within certain limits. This equipment minimizes rail turnover, wheel climb and jackknifing.

Angle Bar
Short pieces of steel used to join track sections to other sections or track structures. An angle bar is placed on each side of the sections being joined. Two holes are drilled into each end of the angle bar and also through both track sections. Four bolts with locking washers are fastened through the holes to join the sections. Angle bars also are used to make temporary repairs to a broken section of rail until it can be replaced.

The intended movement of one or more brake system components is restricted by reduced clearance, by obstruction, or by increased friction.

A length of track of defined limits, the use of which by trains is governed by block signals, cab signals, or both. [49 CFR 236.708]

Bond, rail joint
A metallic connection attached to adjoining rails to insure electrical conductivity. [49 CFR 236.711]

Brake Indicator
A device that indicates the brake application range and indicates whether the brakes are applied and released.

Brake Pipe
The system of piping (including branch pipes, angle cocks, cut out cocks, dirt collectors, hoses, and hose couplings) used for connecting locomotives and all railroad cars for the passage of compressed air. [NS]
A pipe running from the engineman's brake valve through the train, used for the transmission of air under pressure to charge and actuate the automatic brake equipment and charge the reservoirs of the electro-pneumatic brake equipment on each vehicle of the train. [49 CFR 236.712]

Brake Pipe Pressure
The air pressure contained in the brake pipe.

Bridge, Movable
That section of a structure bridging a navigable waterway so designed that it may be displaced to permit passage of traffic on the waterway. [49 CFR 236.713]

Train made up of a single "bulk" commodity and car type. Bulk commodities include coal, grain, soda ash and ore. [UP]

The compartment of a locomotive from which the propelling power and power brakes of the train are manually controlled. [49 CFR 236.714]

Car Set Out
Bad order in a train that has a mechanical defect and must be "set out" on line for repairs by mechanical road truck. (UP)

Calendar Day Inspection
The Federally required inspection a locomotive must undergo each day it is in service. The results of the locomotive inspection must be recorded in LCDI system.

Controlling Locomotive
Locomotive from which the Engineer exercises control over the train.

Cycle or Unit Train
A train that except for the changing of locomotive power and the removal or replacement of defective equipment remains coupled as a consist and continuously operates from location A to location B and returns to location A.

DC Locomotive
DC locomotives are equipped with DC traction motors and are affected by maximum continuous current ratings or short time operating ratings. [NS]

Dead Locomotive
A locomotive that does not have any traction device supplying tractive power. [NS]

Movement of a crew from one point to another or to a train by vehicle transportation or by train. [UP]

Distributed Power
A locomotive set capable of remote-control operation in conjunction with locomotive units at the train's head end. DPUs are placed in the middle or at the rear of heavy trains (such as coal, grain, soda ash and even manifest), to help climb steep grades. (UP)
As a guideline, mid-DP power must be within the first 2/3 of the train, not exceeding 8500 feet from the head end. The 8500 feet rule has to do with the radio telemetry between the units. This guideline has been tested and is considered the optimal placement to control draft forces in the train. [NS]

Dragging Equipment Detector
Electronic trackside detection system that identifies unusual conditions, such as brake rigging down, lading down or dragging alongside car, and chains or straps on flat cars along the ground. [UP]

End of Train Device
A device that (a) provides an emergency brake application command to an emergency air valve at the rear of a train and sends an acknowledging message to the Head-Of- Train Device and (b) determines the rear car brake pipe pressure and transmits that information to a device located in the cab of the locomotive controlling the train. The emergency brake application command is initiated from a manually operated switch in the controlling locomotive on the front of the train. A two-way End-Of-Train Device is composed of 2 devices: a Head-Of-Train Device (HOTD) and an End-Of-Train Device (EOTD).

End-of-Train Device Enroute Failure
A loss of communication between the HOTD and EOTD will be considered an enroute failure only if the loss of communication is for a period greater than 16 minutes and 30 seconds. NOTE: The display to an Engineer of a message that there is a communication failure indicates that communication has been lost for 16 minutes and 30 seconds or more.

Flange Squeal
Squeal is presumably caused by the lateral sticking and slipping of wheels across top of the railroad track. It results in vibrations in the wheel that increase until a stable amplitude is reached.

Any condition, which restricts the intended movement of one or more brake system components because the component is snagged, entangled, or twisted. [NS]

Heavy metal flangeways that connect track to switches, diamonds, cross-overs and other track structures. Frogs guide wheels from one track structure to another. (UP)

Full Service Application
A brake pipe reduction made only to the point at which the auxiliary reservoir and brake cylinder pressures equalize. Any further reduction in the brake pipe pressure, except an emergency application, will not affect the amount of pressure in the brake cylinder. Therefore, air is being wasted from the brake pipe (over reduction). [NS]

Hot Box
Overheating of the axle hub due to bearing failure. Metal-on-metal friction generates heat and eventually will melt a 6-inch-diameter steel axle. (UP)

Hot Rail
Any section of track over which a train movement is imminent. The closer or faster the approaching train, the "hotter" the rail.

Hot Wheels
Overheating of a rail car's wheels due to sticking brakes and brake shoes rubbing against the wheel tread. They can result in thermal cracking if severe. (UP)

Interlocking, automatic
An arrangement of signals, with or without other signal appliances, which functions through the exercise of inherent powers as distinguished from those whose functions are controlled manually, and which are so interconnected by means of electric circuits that their movements must succeed each other in proper sequence, train movements over all routes being governed by signal indication. [49 CFR 236.750]

Key Train 
A "key train" is any train as described as:
1. One or more loaded tank cars containing materials that require the phrase "Poison-Inhalation Hazard" or "Inhalation Hazard" on the shipping papers OR
2. 20 or more carloads or intermodal portable tanks of hazardous materials OR
3. one or more loads of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) on high level radioactive waste

Light Locomotive
A locomotive or a consist of locomotives not attached to any piece of equipment or attached only to a caboose. [NS]

Loaded Bulk Commodity Unit Train
A train made up entirely of loads of coal, grain, ore, potash, molten sulfur, soda ash, phosphate rock, oil, taconite or other bulk commodities. [NS]

Train made up of mixed rail cars (boxcars, tank cars, piggyback cars, etc.). (UP)

Pneumatic Control Switch (PCS)
An air-operated switch, activated by an emergency or penalty brake application, that drops the engine speed to idle on EMD locomotives or throttle notch 1 on GE locomotives. [NS]

Power Short
Not enough power coming into the terminal to protect the scheduled outbound departures. (UP)

Pressure Maintaining Feature
A system designed to overcome brake pipe leakage both in the RELEASE and SERVICE positions of the automatic brake valve. This allows a constant brake application to be held as long as needed. [NS]

Pull Apart
When two sections of rail separate (pull apart) at a point where they are joined. Rail shrinks in extremely cold weather. When the shrinkage pressure gets too severe, rail will pull apart at its weakest point, usually at a joint. (UP)

One or more locomotives added to a train to assist movement. [NS]

Qualified Person (QP)
A person who has received required training and has been determined to have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the required function for which the person is assigned responsibility.

Crew used to bring a train into a terminal when the original crew has insufficient time to complete the trip and a second crew is necessary. (UP)

Reduction of the Brake Pipe
A decrease in brake pipe pressure at a rate and of an amount sufficient to cause a train brake application to be initiated or increased. [NS]

Regulating Valve
The valve that reduces air pressure from the locomotive’s main reservoir to the desired pressure in the brake pipe. The regulating valve will automatically maintain that pressure when the automatic brake valve is in the RELEASE position. [NS]

Relay Power
Changing out a train's locomotives to correct a situation, such as bad order engines/wrong type-class of units for service.

Retaining Valve
A manually operated valve used on cars to exhaust brake cylinder pressure completely or to maintain a predetermined pressure. [NS]

Road Power: Head end of an engine 

Roll-by Inspection
An inspection performed while equipment is moving at a speed not exceeding 10 MPH. [NS]

Sailboat Fuel (Slang)
Empty intermodal flat cars (delivering "wind") 

Service Application
When brake pipe pressure exhausts at a service rate to apply the train brakes. [NS]

Service Reduction
A decrease in brake pipe pressure, usually from 5 PSI to 25 PSI, at a rate which will move the operating valve to the service position but not at a rate which will move the operating valve to the emergency position. [NS]

Slack Action
Movement of part of a coupled train at a different speed than another part of the same train. [NS]

A locomotive with traction motors but no diesel engine and incapable of propelling itself. The locomotive receives electrical power through a power cable from an adjacent, specially equipped locomotive. Slugs are used where low speeds and high tractive effort are needed. [NS]

Solid Block of Cars 
Two or more cars coupled together that:
• are added to or removed from a train as a single unit
• are charged or have not been off air for more than 4 hours [NS]

Speed, Medium
A speed not exceeding 40 miles per hour.

Speed, Restricted
A speed that will permit stopping within one-half the range of vision, but not exceeding 20 miles per hour. [49 CFR 236.812]

Speed, Slow
A speed not exceeding 20 miles per hour.

Short, usually dead-end section of track used to access a facility or loading/unloading ramp. It also can be used to temporarily store equipment.

TOL (Track Occupancy Light) Issue
Dispatcher display is showing something in a block that's not actually there. Usually happens when it's rainy or there is a bad isolator somewhere.

Trackage Rights
The purchase, for a fee, of the right for one railroad to run on tracks owned by another. (UP)

Tractive Effort
The force exerted by a locomotive on the track to move a train. Tractive effort is measured in pounds and decreases as speed increases. [NS]

Transfer Train Movement
A movement of an engine and one or more cars between a point of origin and a point of final destination not exceeding 20 miles. Such trains may pickup or set out while en route to destination. [NS]

Unattended Equipment
Means equipment left standing and unmanned in such a manner that the brake system of the cars and/or locomotives cannot be readily controlled. [NS]

Unit Train
A train operating generally intact between point of origin and final destination, normally hauling a single bulk commodity, composed of like cars, equipped with high-tensile couplers. [CSX]

Units In-Tow
Locomotive units that must be handled next behind the locomotive consist, which are not coupled pneumatically for multiple operation of locomotive air brake equipment. [CSX]

Van (Slang) / Van Train
An intermodal Train / A train with piggybacks or containers. [CSX]

Vent Valve
A valve, attached to the brake system of a locomotive or car, that responds to an emergency rate of reduction of brake pipe pressure by locally venting the brake pipe at the locomotive and/or car to the atmosphere, thereby serially propagating the emergency application throughout the train. [CSX]

When a flood or a flash flood washes away ballast and roadway under track. [UP]

Wayside Signal
A fixed signal located along the track right-of-way. [CSX]

Wheel Flange
The projection edge or rim on the circumference of a car wheel for keeping it on the rail. [CSX]

Work Train
A train which is assigned to serve the maintenance-of-way department in track repair and maintenance. [CSX]

A system of tracks other than main tracks and sidings. A yard is used for making up trains, for storing cars, and for other purposes. [CSX]

Yard Air
A source of compressed air other than from a locomotive. [NS]

Yard Air Supply
A system of piping and fittings that supplies air at convenient locations to charge and to test cars without a locomotive. [NS]

Yard Limits
A portion of main track designated by special instructions. Yard limits are identified by signs. [CSX]

Person responsible for control of trains and engines operating within a yard. [CSX]