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Railway Dictionary

This page is an A-Z of railway terms

(Some are my own, others are from the dictionary)


Commutator: The commutator is the slotted copper segments at the end of the armature on an electric motor, which transfers the current from the brushes to the coils wound on the armature (definition courtesy of Hornby)


Fishplates: The small pieces of metal that are use to connect one piece of track to another. They also allow power to be transferred between rails.


Frog: In most points this is the black triangular section of a point which is isolated to stop the power crossing to the wrong track and shorting the circuit out.


Gauge: Gauge is the name given to the distance between the rails. "00" gauge which this site mainly deals with (although most is compatible with HO) scale is 1:76.


Loading Gauge: Loading gauge designates the space required either side and above the track that needs to be clear, so that either the locomotive and its carriages can pass without hitting anything.


Points: Also called turnouts. These are used to allow trains to move from one track to another.


Tender: A wagon that runs behind a locomotive for the purpose of carrying fuel and water.


Transformer: In terms of model railway. An electrical device that affects the transfer of electricity from one circuit to another with a change in voltage, current, phase, or other electric characteristic.


Wheel base: The distance between axels or the centre of a bogie, which ever is present.


Locomotive Class: The two/three digit number that is unique to a particular train model. The numbers after the class number denote the production number.


This page is a work in progress






New Modellers Shop - A Model Railway Shop - Stocking model railway wagons, coaches, carriages, electric diesel and steam locomotives, power and control equiptment, point motors, train packs, scenery, signals switches, and much much more. Supplying model products along with reviews and advice. Railway Pictures - Railway photograph gallery covering all areas of railway traction, buildings, and trackwork. Extensive photo library, which is being added to weekly. Upload and share your own images to the site using its inbuilt upload features.

Hornby Model Shop

R8312 - E-Link Computer Controlled Model Railway

Hornby E-Link
Computer Control


Hornby Model Railway Train Sets - Hornby Mixed Freight Train Set - R1126

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Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack A - R8221

Hornby Extension Track Pack A


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack B - R8222

Hornby Extension Track Pack B


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack C - R8223

Hornby Extension Track Pack C


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack D - R8224

Hornby Extension Track Pack D


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack E - R8225

Hornby Extension Track Pack E


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack F - R8226

Hornby Extension Track Pack F


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