Railroading Glossary
The following glossary is arranged alphabetically with each term catalogued by first letter. Select a letter below to begin.
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Oakland mole
Oakland (Calif.) rail and ferry terminal.
Official Guide
The Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United State, Porto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba, a monthly compilation of all the passenger train schedules for North and Central America---and essentially a directory of the railroad companies.
On the advertised
At the same time as that shown in the public timetable-on time.
On the ground
Derailed.
Open-section
Sleeping-car configuration with two facing seats that are folded together to form a lower berth, and an upper berth that is folded away during the day. Curtains separate the section from the central aisle.
Open-top car
Freight car with or without sides, but with no roof.
Operating contract
Operation of a minor road in return for a payment to the major road for the service rendered. The minor company continues to exist and to retain ownership of its property.
Operating employees
Railroad employees who run trains, such as conductors and engineers.
Operating ratio
Operating expenses as a percentage of revenue. A railroad with an operating ratio of 80 or lower is doing nicely; a railroad that has an operating ratio over 100 is in trouble or soon will be.
Operating rod
Ina track switch, the bar connected to a manually operated switch stand or mechanically powered switch machine that moves the free ends of the points one way or another, allowing trains to take either the through route or the diverging route.
Outfit car
Car equipped with facilities for feeding and housing construction and maintenance employees in the field. Most often created from obsolete rolling stock originally built for other functions. Also known as a camp car.
Overhead trackage rights
Arrangement by which one railroad (the tenant) may operates its trains over the tracks of another railroad (the owner), but may not directly serve the owner's customers.
Overhead traffic
Freight received from one railroad to be moved by a second railroad for delivery to a third, for example, double-stack containers received by I&M Rail Link at Kansas City to be forwarded to Chicago, Ill. for delivery to CSX Transportation. Also called bridge traffic.
OWR&N
Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Company.
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