What is a train?
A: A train is a form of transport consisting of a series of connected vehicles that generally runs along a rail track to transport cargo or passengers.
The word "train" comes from the Old French trahiner, derived from the Latin trahere meaning what?
A: "To pull" or "to draw".
In the United States what does the term “consist" mean?
A: It is used to describe the group of rail vehicles which make up a train.
Motive power for a train is provided by a what?
A: By a separate locomotive or individual motors in a self-propelled multiple unit.
Although historically steam propulsion dominated, the most common types of locomotive are what?
A: Diesel and electric, the latter supplied by overhead wires or additional rails.
Train tracks usually consist of what?
A: Two running rails, sometimes supplemented by additional rails such as electric conducting rails and rack rails.
A passenger train includes passenger-carrying vehicles and can often be very what?
A: Long and fast.
One notable and growing long-distance train category is what?
A: High-speed rail.
In order to achieve much faster operation at speeds of over 500 km/h (310 mph), innovative maglev
technology has been the subject of what?
A: Research for many years.
The term "light rail" is sometimes used to refer to what?
A: A modern tram system, but it may also mean an intermediate form between a tram and a train, similar to a heavy rail rapid transit system.
In most countries, the distinction between a tramway and a railway is precise and defined in what?
A: In law.
What are some special kinds of trains running on corresponding purpose-built "railways"?
A: Monorails, high-speed railways, maglev, atmospheric railways, rubber-tired underground, funicular and cog railways.
A passenger train consists of what?
A: One or more locomotives and (usually) several coaches.
Alternatively, a train may consist entirely of passenger-carrying coaches, some or all of which are what?
A: Powered; this is known as a "multiple unit".
In many parts of the world, particularly the Far East and
Europe, high-speed rail is used extensively for what?
A: Passenger travel.
Trains can also have mixed consist, with both what?
A: Passenger accommodation and freight vehicles.
These mixed trains are most likely to be used for services that run when?
In the United Kingdom, a train hauled using two locomotives is known as what?
A: A "double-headed" train.
In Canada and the United States it is quite common for a long freight train to be headed by how many locomotives?
A: Three or more.
A train with a locomotive attached at both ends is described as what?
A: "Top and tailed", this practice typically being used when there are no reversing facilities available.
Many loaded trains in the United States are assembled using one or more locomotives in the middle or at the rear of the train, which are then operated how?
A: Remotely from the lead cab.
This is referred to as what?
A: "DP" or "Distributed Power."
In the United Kingdom, the interchangeable terms set and unit are used to refer to what?
A: A group of permanently or semi-permanently coupled vehicles, such as those of a multiple unit.
What term is used when referring to a train made up of a variety of vehicles, or of several sets/units?
A: The term “formation" is used.
When referring to motive power, consist refers to what?
A: The group of locomotives powering the train.
Similarly, the term trainset refers to what?
A: A group of rolling stock that is permanently or semi-permanently coupled together to form a unified set of equipment (the term is most often applied to passenger train configurations).
What are the three types of locomotive?
A: Electric, diesel and steam.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 1948 operating rules define a train as what?
A: "An engine or more than one engine coupled, with or without cars, displaying markers."
What is a bogie?
A: A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley.
In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying what?
A: Wheels, attached to a vehicle.
How many bogies are usually fitted to each carriage, wagon or locomotive?
A: Two, one at each end.
An alternate configuration often is used in articulated vehicles, which places the bogies where?
A: Under the connection between the carriages or wagons.
Most bogies have how many axles?
A: Two, as this is the simplest design.
Some cars designed for extremely heavy loads have been built with up to how many axles per bogie?
Heavy-duty cars may have more than two bogies using span bolsters to do what?
A: To equalize the load and connect the bogies to the cars.
The first trains were rope-hauled, gravity powered or what?
A: Pulled by horses, but from the early 19th century almost all trains were powered by steam locomotives.
From the 1910s onwards, steam locomotives began to be replaced with what?
A: Less labor-intensive (and cleaner) diesel and electric locomotives.
These new forms of propulsion were far more what than steam power?
A: Complex and expensive.
At about the same time, self-propelled multiple unit vehicles (both diesel and electric) became much more widely used in what?
A: In passenger service.
Dieselization of locomotives in day-to-day use was completed in most countries by when?
A: By the 1970s.
Steam locomotives are still used in what?
A: Heritage railways which are operated in many countries for the leisure and enthusiast market.
Electric traction offers a lower what?
A: Cost per mile of train operation but at a higher initial cost, which can only be justified on high traffic lines.
Even though the cost per mile of construction is much higher, why is electric traction more viable during operation?
A: Because diesel import costs are substantially higher.
Electric trains receive their current via what?
A: Overhead lines or through a third rail electric system.