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SCLS Live Steam Railroading Glossary

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Beginning With: "G"
G.M. General manager. G.Y.M. is general yardmaster
GALLOPER Locomotive, the iron horse
GALLOPING GOOSE A shaky section car
GALVANIZER Car inspector
GANDY DANCER Track laborer. Name may have originated from the gander-like tremulations of a man tamping ties, or from the old Gandy Manufacturing Company of Chicago, which made tamping bars, claw bars, picks, and shovels
GANGWAY Space between the rear cab post of a locomotive and her tender
GARDEN See yard
GAS HOUSE Yard office
GATE Switch
GAY CAT Tramp held in contempt by fellow vagrants because he is willing to work if a job comes along
GENERAL Yardmaster, abbreviated Y.M.
GET THE ROCKING CHAIR Retire on a pension
GET YOUR HEAD CUT IN Boomer slang for "wise up"
GIRL or OLD GIRL Affectionate term for steam engine. The locomotive, like the sailing ship, is often called "she" instead of "it"
GLASS CARS Passenger cars
GLIM Switchman's or trainman's lantern
GLIMMER Locomotive headlight
GLORY String of empty cars. Also death, especially by accident
GLORY HUNTER Reckless, fast-running engineer
GLORY ROAD Sentimental term for railroad
GO HIGH Same as deckorate
GO-TO-HELL SIGNAL Signal given with violent motion of hand or lantern
GOAT Yard engine. (See yard)
GOAT FEEDER Yard fireman
GODS OF IRON Huge, powerful locomotives
GON Gondola, or steel-sided, flat-bottom coal car
GOO-GOO EYE Locomotive with two firedoors
GOOSE To make an emergency stop
GOOSE HER Reverse a locomotive that is under headway
GRAB IRON Steel bar attached to cars and engines as a hand bold
GRABBER Conductor of a passenger train. (He grabs tickets)
GRAMOPHONE Obsolete term for telephone
GRASS WAGON Tourist car. (Tourists like scenery)
GRASSHOPPER Old type of locomotive with vertical boiler and cylinders
GRAVE-DIGGER Section man
GRAVEYARD Siding occupied by obsolete and disused engines and cars; scrap pile
GRAVEYARD WATCH 12.01 A.M. to 8 A.M., or any midnight shift, so called because that shift includes the quietest hours of the day
GREASE THE PIG Oil the engine. (See hog)
GREASY SPOON Railroad eating house. Bill of fare is colloquially known as switch list, fork is hook, butter is grease pot, hotcakes are blind gaskets, and beans are torpedoes
GREEN EYE Clear signal. (At the time Cy Warman wrote his celebrated poem, "I Hope the Lights Are White," the clear signal was white and green meant caution. This was changed years ago because of the fact that when a red or green signal lens broke or fell out it exposed a white, thus giving a clear board to engineers even though the signal itself was set to stop or go slow)
GREENBACKS Frogs for rerailing engines or cars
GREENBALL FREIGHT Fruit or vegetables
GREETINGS FROM THE DS Train orders from the dispatcher
GRIEVER Spokesman on grievance committee; Brotherhood or Union representative at an official investigation
GRIND Shay-geared engine
GROUNDHOG Brakeman, yardmaster, or switch engine
GRUNT Locomotive engineer. Traveling grunt is road foreman of engines (hogs). Grunt may also be a lineman's ground helper; grunting is working as a lineman's helper
GUN Torpedo, part of trainman's equipment; it is placed on the track as a signal to the engineer. Also the injector on the locomotive that forces water from tank to boiler. To gun means to control air-brake system from rear of train
GUNBOAT Large steel car
GUT Air hose. Guts is drawbar
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