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Glossary of Railroad Terms
beginning with letter S
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Santa Fe Tweet Definition of Santa Fe Like Definition of Santa Fe on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. The capital city of the state of New Mexico
shoe Tweet Definition of shoe Like Definition of shoe on Facebook
  1. A protective covering for the foot, with a bottom part composed of thick leather or plastic sole and often a thicker heel, and a softer upper part made of leather or synthetic material. Shoes generally do not extend above the ankle, as opposed to boot, boots, which do.
    • Get your shoes on now, or you'll be late for school.
      1. A piece of metal designed to be attached to a horse's foot as a means of protection; a horseshoe.
    • Throw the from behind the line, and try to get it to land circling (a ringer) or touching the far stake.
      1. Something resembling a shoe by function, like a brake shoe.
    • Remember to turn the rotors when replacing the brake shoes, or they will wear out unevenly.
verb (shoes, shoeing, shod)
  1. To equip an object with a protection against wear.
    • The billiard cue stick was shod in silver.
      1. To put horseshoes on a horse.
shunt Tweet Definition of shunt Like Definition of shunt on Facebook
  1. A switch on a railway
  2. A connection used as an alternative path between parts of an electric circuit
  3. A passage between body channels constructed surgically as a bypass
  1. (informal) A minor collision
  1. To turn away or aside
  2. To move a train from one track to another, or to move carriages etc from one train to another
  3. To divert electric current by providing an alternative path
  4. To divert the flow of a body fluid using surgery
  5. (informal) To have a minor collision, especially in a motor car
siding Tweet Definition of siding Like Definition of siding on Facebook
  1. The material which covers and protects the sides of a house or other building.
Ugh. If there's one thing I can't stand it's cheesy vinyl siding.
  1. (rail transport) A second, relatively short length of track just to the side of a railroad track, joined to the main track by switches at one or both ends, used either for unloading freight, or to allow two trains on a same track to meet (opposite directions) or pass (same direction).
  1. (present participle of, side)
Whenever he hears an argument, he can't help with one party or the other.
signalman Tweet Definition of signalman Like Definition of signalman on Facebook
noun (signalmen)
  1. Somebody employed to operate the signals and points of a railway.
  2. A member of the armed forces responsible for signalling.
sleeper Tweet Definition of sleeper Like Definition of sleeper on Facebook
  1. (countable) Someone who sleeps.
  2. (countable) A saboteur or terrorist who lives unobtrusively in a community until activated by a prearranged signal; may be part of a sleeper cell.
  3. (countable) A railroad sleeping car.
  4. (countable)(context, rail transport, UK) A horizontal wooden or concrete structural member that supports and ties together railway lines.
    1. Something that achieves unexpected success after an interval of time.
    2. (countable) A goby-like bottom-feeding freshwater fish of the family Odontobutidae. Also "sleeper goby."
    3. (clothing) A type of pajamas, pajama for a person, especially a child, that covers its whole body, including their feet.
    Aaron, Devin, Ryan H., Cody, Ryan O., Wade, Lisa and Laura looked so comfy in their sleepers.
    1. A structural beam in a floor running perpendicular to both the joist, joists beneath and floorboard, floorboards above.
sleeping car Tweet Definition of sleeping car Like Definition of sleeping car on Facebook
  1. A railroad car with sleeping facilities for passengers travelling overnight.
spot Tweet Definition of spot Like Definition of spot on Facebook
  1. A stain or disfigure, disfiguring mark.
I have tried everything, and I can"t get this out.
  1. A pimple or pustule.
That morning, I saw that a had come up on my chin.
  1. A round or irregular patch on the surface of a thing having a different color, texture etc. and generally round in shape.
The leopard is noted for the spots of color in its fur.
  1. A small amount or quantity.
Would you like to come round on Sunday for a of lunch?
  1. A particular location or area.
I like to eat lunch in a pleasant outside.
  1. A bright lamp; a spotlight.
  2. A brief advertisement or program segment on television.
Did you see the on the news about the shoelace factory?
verb (spot, t, ing)
  1. (transitive) To see, find; to pick out, notice, locate or identify.
Try to the differences between these two entries.
  1. (finance) To loan a small amount of money to someone.
I"ll you ten dollars for lunch.
  1. To stain; to leave a spot.
Hard water will if it is left on a surface.
  1. (rfv-sense) To remove, or attempt to remove, a stain.
I spotted the carpet where the child dropped spaghetti.
  1. (context, gymnastics, dance, weightlifting) To support or assist a maneuver, or to be prepared to assist if safety dictates.
I can"t do a back handspring unless somebody spots me.
  1. (dance) To keep the head and eyes pointing in a single direction while turning.
Most figure skaters do not their turns like dancers do.
spread Tweet Definition of spread Like Definition of spread on Facebook
  1. The act of spreading or something that has been spread.
  2. An expanse of land.
  3. A piece of material used as a cover (such as a bedspread).
  4. A large meal, especially one laid out on a table.
  5. Any form of food designed to be spread onto a slice of bread etc.
  6. An item in a newspaper or magazine that occupies more than one column or page.
  7. A numerical difference.
verb (spreads, spreading, spread)
  1. (transitive) To put one"s legs apart.
  2. (transitive) To divide something in a homogeneous way.
  3. (transitive) To scatter.
  4. (transitive) To put butter or jam onto bread.
  5. (transitive) To expand.
Missionaries spread their religion's teachings.
  1. (intransitive) To expand.
The disease had spread into remote villages.
spur Tweet Definition of spur Like Definition of spur on Facebook
  1. A rigid implement, often roughly y-shaped, that is fixed to one's heel for purpose of prodding a horse. Often worn by, and emblematic of, the cowboy or the knight.
  2. (slang) Fan or member of Tottenham Hotspur F.C
  • 1598: Lives he, good uncle? Thrice within this hour I saw him down; thrice up again, and fighting; From helmet to the spur all blood he was. — William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV, Scene VI, line 4.
  • 1786: Two sorts of spurs seem to have been in use about the time of the Conquest, one called a pryck, having only a single point like the gaffle of a fighting cock; the other consisting of a number of points of considerable length, radiating from and revolving on a center, thence named the rouelle or wheel spur. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 22.
  • See also
  • rowel
  • pryck, prick
  • External links
  • Wikipedia article on w:spur, spur.
    1. Anything that inspires or motivates, as a spur does to a horse.
  • Quotations
  • 1601: But, worthy Hector, She is a theme of honour and renown, A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds... — William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene II, line 198.
    1. An appendage or spike pointing rearward, near the foot, for instance that of a rooster.
    2. Any protruding part connected at one end, for instance a highway that extends from another highway into a city.
    3. Roots. (As in genealogical?). Spurs are symbolic of knighthood, so perhaps spurs in this context is an allusion to the hereditary aspect of knighthood. Any insights would be appreciated.
  • Quotations
  • 1609: I do note That grief and patience, rooted in them both, Mingle their spurs together. — William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act IV, Scene II, line 57.
  • verb (spur, r, ed)
    1. To prod (esp. a horse) in the side or flank, with the intent to urge motion or haste, to gig.
    • 1592: Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head! Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood; Amaze the welkin with your broken staves! — William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act V, Scene III, line 339.
      1. To urge or encourage to action, or to a more vigorous pursuit of an object; to incite; to stimulate; to instigate; to impel; to drive.
  • 1599: My desire (More sharp than filed steel) did spur me forth... — William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene IV, line 4.
    1. To put spurs on; as, a spurred boot.
    station Tweet Definition of station Like Definition of station on Facebook
    1. A place where a vehicle (especially a train) may stop.
    The next is Esperanza.
    1. A place where one stands or stays in order to perform a task.
    From my at the front door, I greeted every visitor.
    1. Area of a restaurant allocated to one waiter or waitress.
    2. A military base.
    She had a boyfriend at the .
    1. A place used for broadcasting radio or television.
    I used to work at a radio .
    1. A broadcasting entity.
    I used to listen to that radio .
    1. (Australia & NZ) A very large sheep or cattle farm
    There was movement at the , for the word had passed around, that the colt from old Regret had got away (A. B. Patterson, poet)
    verb (transitive)
    1. To put in place to perform a task.
    The host stationed me at the front door to greet visitors.
    1. To put in place to perform military duty.
    They stationed me overseas just as fighting broke out.
    stationmaster Tweet Definition of stationmaster Like Definition of stationmaster on Facebook
    1. The person in charge of a railroad station, usually an employee of a particular railroad by which the station is owned, but sometimes an employee of a separate corporation, such as one owning a station used by two or more railroads.
    steam locomotive Tweet Definition of steam locomotive Like Definition of steam locomotive on Facebook
    1. A locomotive, usually for use on a railway that is powered by steam.
    stock Tweet Definition of stock Like Definition of stock on Facebook
    1. A store of goods ready for sale; inventory.
    We have a stock of televisions on hand.
    1. A supply of anything ready for use.
    Lay in a stock of wood for the winter season.
    1. Any of the several species of cruciferous flowers in the genus Matthiola.
    2. Farm animals (short form of livestock)
    3. (also rolling stock) Railroad cars.
    4. (finance) The capital raised by a company through the issue of shares. The total of shares held by an individual shareholder.
    5. The part of a rifle or shotgun that rests against the shooter's shoulder.
    6. (nautical) A bar going through an anchor, perpendicular to the flukes.
    7. The axle into which the rudder is attached (rudder stock); it transfers the movement of the helm to the rudder.
    8. (uncountable) Broth made from meat or vegetables, used as a basis for stew or soup.
    9. The type of paper used in printing.
    The books were printed on a heavier this year.
    1. A wide necktie popular in the eighteenth century, often seen today as a part of formal wear for horse riding competitions.
    1. To have on hand for sale.
    The store stocks all kinds of dried vegetables.
    1. Normally available for purchase.
    stock items
    stock sizes
    1. Straightforward, plain, very basic
    That band is quite stock
    He gave me a stock answer
    string Tweet Definition of string Like Definition of string on Facebook
    1. (countable) A long, thin and flexible structure made from threads twisted together.
    2. (uncountable) Such a structure considered as a substance.
    3. (countable) Any long, thin and flexible object.
    a violin
    1. (countable) A cohesive substance taking the form of a string.
    The of spittle dangling from his chin was most unattractive
    1. (countable) A series of items or events.
    a of successes
    1. (countable) (computer science) A sequence of characters stored consecutively in memory and capable of being processed as a single entity.
    2. (music, countable, usually in plural) A stringed instrument or the person playing that instrument.
    verb (strings, stringing, strung)
    1. (transitive) To put (items) on a string.
    You can string these beads on to this cord to make a colorful necklace
    1. (transitive) To put strings on (something).
    It is difficult to string a tennis racket properly
    switch Tweet Definition of switch Like Definition of switch on Facebook
    1. A device to turn electric current turn on, on and turn off, off or direct its flow.
    2. (context, railroading, US) A movable section of railroad track which allows the train to be directed down one of two destination tracks; point.
    3. A thin rod used as a whip.
    4. (computer science) A CLI, command line notation allowing specification of optional behavior.
    5. (Telephony) A system of specialized relays, computer hardware, or other equipment which allows the interconnection of a calling party's telephone line with any called party's line.
    verb (switch, es)
    1. (transitive) To exchange.
    I want to this red dress for a green one.
    1. (transitive) To change (something) to the specified state using a switch.
    Switch the light on.
    1. (transitive) To hit with a switch (rod).
    2. (intransitive) To change places, tasks, etc.
    I want to to a different seat.
    1. (slang) (intransitive) To get angry suddenly; to quickly or unreasonably become enraged.
    switchback Tweet Definition of switchback Like Definition of switchback on Facebook
    1. a zigzag path or road on a steep hill
    2. a hairpin bend
    3. (British) (dated?) a roller coaster

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