Data Definitions
Term Definition
Name/Number The railroad's designation for the locomotive. Numbers, in place of names, became widespread right after the war.
Type The wheel arrangement. 4x4x0 indicated 4 wheels forward (on a truck), 4 central drive wheels, and no wheels under the cab. This system of designations did not originate until the 1880's.
Date The date built or first placed in use on that road. Most sources do not indicate which date they used. The intent is to show the age of the locomotive.
Builder The company that built the locomotive. Most names are as found in the Annual Reports and may not be the exact name the builder was using at the time. Builders had frequent name changes that were not reflected in their customers' documents.
Weight The weight, in tons, of the locomotive alone.
Cylinders The first number is the diameter of the cylinder, the second is the length of the stroke.
Driver Diam The diameter of the drive wheels.
Rail The flat bar (also called flange or strap), U-rail, or T-rail on which the train rode. Weight is in pounds per yard. The mileage given is the road's TOTAL length -- main line, sidings (where known) and branches.
Spikes The "nails" that held the rail to the ties.
Chairs U-shaped iron pieces that held the rail. Where chairs were used, the spikes were driven through holes in the chair. Some roads used them on every fourth tie; some used them only at the ends -- where two rails were joined.
End plates/Fish plates Horizontal plates bolted to the sides of rails to join two rails together. Some roads used plates, some used chairs, some used nothing.
Ties/Sills The wooden cross pieces on which the rail rested. Ties were about twice the gauge in length (ie 10 feet) and about 9 inches high and wide. Ties were about 2 feet from the center of one to the center of the next one.
Gauge The distance between rails -- usually 4 feet 8 inches or 5 feet.
Locomotives or Cars The number of Locomotives or Cars owned by the railroad when the war began. Leases and rentals are included in the second number and are included on the detail pages, where known. Locomotives named are all those owned or leased