car - an enclosed car used for general service
and especially for lading which must be protected
Bulk transfer - the transfer of bulk products, such
as plastic pellets or liquid sweeteners, from one
mode of transportation to another. Bulk transfer permits
off-rail shippers and receivers of varied commodities to
combine rail"s long-haul efficiencies with truck"s convenient
Capitalized costs - expenditures that have future benefit
and thus are recorded as assets.
Car utilization - ways to measure railcar productivity.
Among the measures are how much freight a car hauled and
how many trips it made in a specified period of time.
Carload - a shipment of not fewer than five tons of one
Class I railroad - a railroad having operating revenues
of more than $256.4 million annually.
Conductor - the individual responsible for the safe and
proper management of the train.
Connecting carrier - a railroad with a physical connection
Container - a large, weatherproof box designed for shipping
freight in bulk by rail, truck or steamship.
Cycle time - the length of time consumed by a freight car
from one loading to the next.
Distribution center - the centrally located warehouse
where goods shipped long distances by rail are loaded
onto trucks for short-haul delivery to receivers, or
vice versa. Also called a reload center, it combines
the economies of rail with the flexibility of truck pickup
Double-stack containers - containers that can be stacked
atop one another on a flatcar.
End-of-train device (EOT) - a telemetry device, required
by federal law, that is installed at the rear of a train
to relay information to the locomotive engineer.
Engineer - the individual responsible for the movement
of the train.
Flatcar - an open car without sides or roof.
Gondola - a freight car with sides but without a roof.
Grade crossing - the point at which a roadway intersects
a rail line.
Gross ton-mile - the movement of the combined weight of
cars and their contents a distance of one mile.
Haulage rights - rights obtained by one railroad to
have its trains operated by another railroad over that
Hopper - an open-top car with pockets, or hoppers,
opening on the underside of the car for unloading bulk
Hump yard - a regional gathering point where freight is
classified and forwarded to final destinations. The three
components are a receiving yard, a classification yard
in which railcars are pushed over a hump to various
classification tracks and a forwarding yard.
Intermodal service - freight moving via at least two
different modes of transport. Intermodal service
generally involves the shipment of containers and
trailers by rail, truck, barge, or ship.
Lading - freight or cargo making up a shipment.
Less-than-truckload (LTL) - the quantity of freight
that"s less than that required for application of a
Line capacity - the maximum number of trains that can
operate safely and reliably over a given segment of
track during a given period of time.
Line-haul service - the movement over the tracks of a
carrier from one city to another, not including the
Main line - primary rail line over which trains operate
between terminals. It excludes sidings, and yard and
Multilevel car - a long flatcar designed with one or
more deck levels in addition to the car"s main deck;
used to haul new automobiles and trucks.
Net ton-mile - the movement of a ton of freight one mile.
Operating ratio - the percentage of revenues that goes
into operating the railroad. It is calculated by dividing
railway operating expenses by railway operating revenues.
Return on equity - net income divided by average
Revenue ton-mile - the movement of a ton of freight
one mile for revenue.
Right-of-way - the property owned by a railroad over
which tracks have been laid.
Subsidiary - a company owned by another company that
controls a majority of its stock.
Switching - movement of freight cars between two nearby
locations or trains. Switching is a term typically
associated with activities that occur in a railcar
classification yard or terminal.
Terminal - a railroad facility used for handling
freight and the receiving, classifying, assembling
and dispatching of trains.
Through freight train - an express freight train
between major terminals.
Total return to stockholders - stock-price change
plus reinvested dividends expressed as a percentage
of the purchase price of the stock.
Trackage rights - rights obtained by one railroad to
operate its trains over another railroad"s tracks.
Trailer - a cargo-carrying highway vehicle without
Unit train - a freight train that moves carloads of a
single product between two points. By unloading on
arrival and returning promptly for another load, such
trains can cut costs because they eliminate intermediate
stops in yards and reduce cycle times.
Welded rail - the standard unit of track structure
providing safer, seamless service.
Yard - a system of tracks branching from a common
track. Yards are used for switching, making up trains
and storing cars.