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  • [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    German-English dictionary of railway or technical terms - appendices

    Includes railway modelling words and terms

    Author: John Oxlade, Salfords, Surrey, United Kingdom (email: )


    Notes:
    • The letter ß is a German double s, as in Straße, which can also be written Strasse
    • There is an alternative way to write any of the German 'umlauted' letters if you don't have access to umlauts (say on a keyboard), and you may find words written both ways in different places: ä = ae, ö = oe, ü = ue

    The German-English dictionary of railway terms is in two sections:

    The main dictionary:The appendices:
    Select German words beginning with the letter:
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Groups of terms related to:
    Bahnanlagen, Points (am. Switches), Rail or Track, Signalling, Locomotive wheel/axle layout

    Bahnanlagen

    The term "Bahnanlagen" has no direct English language equivalent. Essentially, it is the word used to describe articles in the railway environment. It is easier to list specific examples:
    Abfahrtsbahnsteig
    Departure platform
    Abgangsbahnhof
    Departure station
    Ablaufanlage (Rangierbahnhof mit ~)
    Gravity hump yard, gravity sorting yard
    Ablaufberg ('Eselsruecken')
    Hump, incline, summit in a gravity yard
    Ablaufbetrieb (Rangierbahnhof mit ~)
    Gravity classification yard, gravity marshalling yard
    Abstellbahnhof
    Holding sidings
    Abstellgleis
    Holding siding
    Abzweigbahnhof
    Junction station
    Abzweigstelle, Abzweigung
    Fork, junction, branching off, branching
    Abzweigstelle (Gebaeude)
    Junction signal box
    Ankunftsbahnsteig
    Arrival platform
    Ausbesserungsgleise
    Maintenance sidings, repair sidings
    Aussenbahnsteig
    Side-boarding plarform
    Ausweichstelle
    Passing point, turnout
    Ausziehgleis
    Turnout track
    Autoverladerampe
    Road vehicle loading ramp
    Bahnbetriebswerk
    Engine shed, motive power depot, running shed
    Bahngelaende
    railway territory
    Bahnhofshalle
    Station concourse
    Bahnlinie, Bahnstrecke
    Railway line
    Bahnsteig
    Platform
    Bahnsteiggleis
    Platform line, station track
    Bahnsteigkante
    Platform edge
    Bekohlungsanlage
    Coaling plant
    Bekohlungsgleis
    Coaling track, coaling road
    Beladeeinrichtung
    Loading installation
    Besandungsanlage
    Sand store
    Besandungsgleis
    Sand track
    Bestimmungsbahnhof
    Destination station, receiving station
    Blockstelle (Gebaeude)
    Block post
    Bw (Abkuerzung fuer Bahnbetriebswerk)
    Engine shed, motive power depot, running shed
    Drehscheibe
    Turntable
    Durchgangsbahnhof
    Through station
    Eisenbahnknoten(punkt)
    Railway centre, railway junction
    Empfangsgebaeude
    Passenger building
    Endbahnhof
    Terminal station, terminus, railhead
    Entladeanlage
    Unloading installation
    Entladerampe
    Unloading platform
    Eselsruecken
    Hump, incline, summit in a gravity yard
    Gepaeckbahnsteig
    Luggage platform
    Gleisdreieck
    Y-track, wye-track, reversing triangle
    Gleiswaage
    Freight car scales, wagon weighbridge
    Gueterbahnhof
    Freight station, goods yard
    Hauptbahnhof
    Central station, main station
    Hauptlinie, Hauptstrecke, Hauptbahn
    Line of route, main line, trunk line
    Inselbahnsteig
    Island platform
    Kehrschleife
    Terminal loop, spiral mountain route
    Kopfbahnhof
    Terminus
    Kopfbahnhof (Umfahrungsgleis eines ~s)
    Direct connection
    Kopframpe
    End-loading platform
    Laderampe
    Loading platform, loading ramp
    Leerwagengleis
    empties siding
    Lokabstellanlage
    Traction relay
    Lokschuppen
    Engine shed, locomotive depot, roundhouse
    Mittelbahnsteig
    Centre platform
    Privatgleisanschluß
    Industry track, private siding
    Rangierbahnhof
    Classification yard, marshalling yard
    Reinigungsgleis
    Train cleaning / washing track / siding
    Spurwechselbahnhof
    Change-of-gauge station
    Ueberdachter ..., ueberdeckter ...
    Covered ...
    Ueberholungssleis
    Siding with direct access and exit
    Umladebahnhof
    Transhipment station
    Umspuranlage
    Axle-gauge changeover point
    Umsteigebahnhof
    Interchange station, connecting station
    Verbindungsgleis
    Connecting line / track, junction line / track
    Verladerampe
    Loading platform, loading ramp
    Viehverladerampe
    Livestock loading platform, cattle-loading ramp, cattle dock
    Wagenwaschanlage
    Train washing sidings, train washing tracks
    Warteraum
    Waiting room
    Wechselbahnhof
    Locomotive changing point
    Zufahrtgleis
    Approach track, entry line, arrival line

    Terms related to Points (am. Switches):

    Abzweigender Strang
    Diverging route
    Backenschiene
    Stock rail
    Dreiwegeweiche mit versetzten Zungenspitzen
    Tandem turnout
    Federzungen, Weiche mit ~
    Points with flexible tongues
    Fluegelschiene
    Wing rail
    Gelenkzungen, Weiche mit ~
    Rigid points
    Gerader Strang
    Through route
    Gleitstuhl
    Slide chair, slide plate
    Herzstueck
    Frog, am. Crossing
    The frog permits the wheel flanges of cars taking one route to pass through the rail head of the other. Switches are numbered according to the angle of their frogs. A no. 6 switch (used only on slow-speed industrial trackage) has a frog which separates the rails 1 foot for every 6 feet of travel. A no. 20 switch (good for about 40 mph) seperates the rails 1 foot for every 20 feet of travel. The lower the frog number, the sharper the curve, and the less speed at which the diverging route may be taken. Of course, the overall length of the turnout is also governed by the number of the frog. Basically, the above explanation is also valid for model railroading switches. Note that German Railways classification is different: American class >1 to 6< is equivalent to German class >1 to 12< etc. Not to mention the design and shape of the frog and the radius of diverging route.
    Kreuzungsweiche, doppelte ~ mit innenliegenden Zungen, DKW
    Diamond crossing with double slips on straight tracks, am. double slips.
    This switch type is the Standardbauart.
    Kreuzungsweiche (einfache / doppelte ~) mit aussenliegenden Zungen
    Diamond crossing with (single / double) outside slip roads.
    This switch type is called Bauart Baeseler.
    Kreuzungsweiche, einfache ~ mit innenliegenden Zungen, EKW
    Diamond crossing with single slip on straight tracks, am. single slip
    Leitschiene
    Guard rail, check rail
    Linksweiche
    Left-hand turnout
    Radlenker
    Guard rail, check rail
    Radlenker, Abstand des ~s, Rillenweite
    Flangeway
    Rechtsweiche
    Right-hand turnout
    Rillenweite zwischen Zungen- und Backenschiene
    switch flangeway
    Schutzweiche
    Catch points, derailing points
    Umstellhebel, Weichenhebel
    Switch reversing lever
    Weiche
    Points, am. Switch
    turnout: the total assembly of trackwork involved in 'turning out' one line from another by means of a pair of switches, a crossing and a reverse curve running in the direction of the second line, with or without an intermediate section of straight line. Strictly not synonymous with points, but often so used.
    Weichenlaterne
    Switchpoint lamp, switchpoint light
    Weichenneigung, Weichenwinkel
    Switch number, no. of turnout
    Weichenstellung
    Switch stand
    Weichenverbindung, doppelt gekreuzte ~
    Double cross-over, scissors crossing
    Weichenzunge
    Tongue rail, blade
    Zugstange
    Stretcher
    Zunge
    Point
    Zungenwurzel
    Heel (of blade)
    Zwischenschiene
    Closure rail

    Terms related to Rail or Track:

    Ausziehstoß
    Chamfered joint, feathered joint
    Bahndamm
    Embankment
    Betonschwelle
    Concrete sleeper
    Bettung
    Ballast
    Bettungsquerschnitt
    Ballast profile
    Dehnungsfuge
    Expansion gap, joint clearance
    Doppelschwelle
    Twin sleeper
    Dreischienengleis
    Mixed-gauge track with three rails
    Gleisoberbau
    Superstructure, track bed structure
    Gleissperre
    (Movable) scotch block
    Wood blocks, fixed in frames and pivoted at one end, the other end, when in use projecting across a rail to prevent vehicle running down an incline, or on to another track.
    Gleisunterbau
    Substructure, track infrastructure
    Hemmschuh
    Drag shoe, stop block
    Hoehe ueber SO (Schienenoberkante)
    Height above rail level
    Holzschwelle
    Timber sleeper
    Kapspur (1067 mm)
    Cape gauge (3' 6'')
    Klemmplatte
    Rail clip
    Kurvenueberhoehung, Gleis mit ~
    Canted track, superelevated track
    Lasche
    Fish-plate, joint bar, rail splice
    Leitschiene
    Check rail, guard rail
    Rillenschiene
    Channel rail, grooved rail
    Schienen, durchgehend geschweisste ~
    Continuous welded rails, CWR
    Schienenkopf
    Rail head
    Schienenschleifzug
    Rail grinder
    Schienensteg
    Rail web
    Schienenstoss
    Rail joint
    - Gleichstoss
    - Opposite rail joints, square rail joints
    - Wechselstoss
    - Staggered rail joints
    Schienenstrom-Verbinder
    Rail bond
    Schienenwanderung
    Rail creep
    The tendency of rails to move very slowly out of position in the traffic direction
    Schotter
    Ballast
    Schwellenabstand
    Sleeper spacing
    Spann-Nagel
    Rail spike, track spike

    Terms related to Signalling:

    Abdruecksignal
    Humping signal, back-up signal, backing signal
    Abfahrauftrag
    Departure light signal
    Achtungssignal
    Warning signal
    Ausfahrsignal
    Exit signal
    Blinklichtsignal
    Flashing-light signal
    Blocksignal
    Block signal
    Bremsprobesignal
    Brake test signal
    Deckungssignal
    Protective signal
    Einfahrsignal
    Entry signal, home signal
    Ersatzsignal
    Subsidiary signal
    Fahrtrichtungsanzeiger
    Route-indicating signal
    Fahrtstellung, Signal in ~
    Line-clear signal
    Fluegelsignal
    Semaphore signal
    Formsignal
    Semaphore signal
    Fuehrerstandssignal
    Cab signal
    Geschwindigkeitsanzeiger
    Speed-restriction board
    Geschwindigkeitsbeschraenkung auf ...
    Speed-restriction down to ...
    Gleiswechselanzeiger
    Wrong-line signal
    Grenzzeichen
    Shunting limit signal, stabling limit signal
    Grundstellung
    Normal position
    Gruppen(ausfahr)signal
    Junction signal
    Haltstellung, Signal in ~
    Signal at danger, stop signal, closed position
    Hauptsignal
    Mandatory signal
    Kennlicht
    Marker light
    Langsamfahrsignal
    Slow flag, working-site signal
    Lichtsignal
    Light signal
    Pfeiftafel
    Wistle board
    Rangierhaltsignal
    Calling-on signal
    Rangierhalttafel
    Limit-of-shunt signal
    Rangiersignal
    Shunting signal
    Selbstblocksignal
    Automatic block signal
    Signalkennzeichen
    Signal type plate
    Signalbegriff
    Signal aspect
    Signalbild
    Signal aspect, indication or position of a signal
    Signalbruecke
    Signal bridge, signal gantry
    Signalbuch
    Signal code, signal regulations
    Signalmast
    Signal post
    Signalwiederholer
    Signal repeater
    Vorankündigungstafel
    Outer distant board
    Vorsignal
    Caution signal, distant signal
    Warnstellung (Signal in ~)
    Signal at/on danger
    Weichensignal
    Points signal, signal point indicator
    Zugdeckungssignal
    Train-protecting signal
    Zugschlusssignal
    Tail light, rear light
    Zugspitzensignal
    Head light
    Zwergsignal
    Dwarf signal, ground signal


    How Germany (and most European countries) describe locomotive axle layouts

    This system will appear unusual to people from America and England (amongst others), because essentially, it counts axles, rather than wheels. This is best shown by example.

    Let's take: 2'C1'h4v, which could be used to describe a Bavarian S3/6

    All numbers and letters describe the locomotive's layout starting from the front and working towards the rear. Wheels first, then whether superheated or not, number of cylinders, then whether compound expansion or not:...

    2'
    Indicates 2 un-powered axles, not wheels. The addition of the ' indicates the wheels are free to move. i.e. in a bogie/truck, not rigidly mounted to the locomotive's frame

    C
    Indicates 3 powered axles, rigidly mounted - there's no ' after the letter

    1'
    A single axle trailing bogie/truck

    h
    h = Heißdampf - superheated steam locomotive. n would be for Naßdampf - non-superheated

    4
    4 cylinders

    v
    Verbund - compound rather than simple expansion

    t
    Tenderlok - a tank loco. A locomotive with a towed tender is a Schlepptenderlok.
    It's easier to think of the t as standing for tank loco, even though it doesn't.

    o
    Individual drive to each axle. See Notes below.


    Some more examples:...
    2'D2'h3
    3-cylinder, superheated, 4-8-4

    2'Bn2v
    2-cylinder compound, Naßdampf (non-superheated), 4-4-0.
    As no mention is made of any axles after the B, there aren't any, but it doesn't specifically say so.

    B'Bn4vt
    4-cylinder compound, non-superheated Mallet, 0-4-4-0 tank loco. The front B (with the ' ) is articulated, the rear B (without the ' ) is rigid - a Mallet

    Notes:

    • The system does not indicate the origins or intended use of the locomotive, merely it's mechanical design.
    • The same system is used to identify diesel and electric locomotives, this is the main use of the o.
      i.e. Co'Co' is used to identify a locomotive with two 3-axle (6-wheel) bogies/trucks, each axle being powered individually.
      This was also how the unique 19 1001 V-drive steam locomotive was classified - 1'Do1'. The indication for the number of cylinders, superheating etc. was ignored.

    [ last updated 31st Dec 2003 ]