Re: ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology

Paul Hillman

Wonder what they were called when they were stub-type? (No points) Stub-switches or stub-turnouts.
Paul Hillman

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 12:49 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] ADMIN: Freight Car Terminology


Tony Thompson wrote:  " Read the professional literature on track more closely and you will find that "turnout" refers to the movable part of the device, and that "switch" refers to the entire trackwork. "

Uh, no. That's backwards.  Admittedly, the AREMA definition of "Switch - a track structure used to divert rolling stock from one track to another." could be a bit ambiguous, but "Turnout - an arrangement of a switch and a frog with closure rails,  by means of which rolling stock may be diverted from one track to another." should be clear.

Formal engineering usage is consistent that the switch is the portion with points and stock rails, including the associated rods, plates, braces, heel blocks and fasteners.  In informal usage, switch can be a synonym for turnout. (An example of synecdoche?)

One major exception is that the ties for a turnout are called switch ties.

I have over 30 years professional and managerial experience in the Engineering Dept. of major railroads.

Jack Mullen

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