accept a train (v)To tell a signalman to let the train enter the section
attention (n)A single beat bell signal to see if another signalman is ready
automatic brake (n)A brake that applies itself if a broken coupling divides the train
banking engine (n)An engine coupled to the rear of a train to help it over a hill
bell, belling (v)A signalman sending bell code block signals to other signalmen
bell code (n)A set of sequences of bell beats and pauses - block signaling code
block indicator (n)A device that indicates whether a block is occupied or clear
block instrument (n)A device containing the signal keys, bells, and block indicators for one track section
block post (n)A place where trains are stopped when the track is not clear ahead
block system (n)Dividing a railroad into sections, with each allowing only one train at a time
blocking back (ph)A bell signal stating that the station is blocked and no train can come toward it
bogie (n)A set of wheels on a pivoted frame, to make train cars better follow the track (U.S. truck) 1
brake van (n)A special car that has brakes (pre-continuous brakes) - a caboose
brakesman (n)The person who operates the manual brakes (pre-continuous brakes)
buckeye coupling (n)A coupling that works like clasped hands, common on US railways and UK passenger trains 2
buffer (n)A bumper designed to reduce impact
caution (a)The yellow aspect of a distant signal, saying the next signal is red
clear (signal) (a)The green or go aspect of a signal
clear (track)(a)A section of track with no train on it
coach (n)A passenger car
color light signal (n)A track signal that indicates aspects by changing color
consist (n)A document listing the vehicles of a train and their contents
continuous brake (n)A system that works brakes on all cars at the same time
#-coupled engine (n)An engine with # wheels linked together and to the driving cylinders with rods (# is a number)
coupling (n)A device that couples railway vehicles together to form a train
crossing gate (n)A gate that closes across either the road or the railroad.
crossover (n)A number of sets of points used to switch a train on a different track
danger (a)The red or stop aspect of a signal
detonator (n)An explosive device clipped to a rail that warns a train driver that something is wrong ahead
distant signal (n)The signal that tells the engine driver the next signal is red
down (a)Denoting a track or train with a direction of motion away from London
engine driver (n)The person who operates the engine (a better term than the American term "engineer")
engineer (n)A person who designs tracks, train equipment or signals (not an engine driver)
entering section (n)A bell signal that a train is actually entering a section
express train (n)A fast train - priority over all except mail and military trains
fireman (n)The person who keeps the fire of a steam locomotive going
flyover (n)A bridge built to take a track or road over other traffic
gas lighting (n)Using flammable gas to operate lights (pre-electric lighting)
guard (n)The person who does the business of the train (U.S. conductor)
guard's van (n)The car where the guard does the business of the train (U.S. caboose)
goods train (n)A freight train - has low priority
home signal (n)The signal that admits a train from a section into station limits
is line clear? (ph)A bell signal asking if the line is clear (same as offering a train)
interlockA system in a signal box to prevent signalmen from making dangerous point and/or signal settings
level crossing (n)A railroad crossing - where a road crosses a railroad
lever (n)A signal box control a signalman uses to operate points or signals
lever collar (n)A device intended to prevent a signalman from pulling a lever
light engine (n)A small, light-duty engine, or an engine running without a train
line (n)One set of rails forming one track
line clear (n)A bell signal saying that there is no train in the section
local train (n)A stopping train - stops at many stations and has low priority
loop, passing loop (n)A siding or passing track where slow trains wait for faster trains to pass
mail train (n)A fast train carrying mail - priority over all except military trains
martial (v)To make up a train by coupling up cars in a specified order
martialed order (v)The order the cars are placed in a train
military train (n)In wartime, a troop or supplies train that has highest priority
nearside (a, n)On the left side - the side away from oncoming traffic
occupied (a)The state of a section of track with a train on it
off (a)The green or go aspect of a signal
offer a train (v)To tell a signalman that a train wants to enter a section
offside (a, n)On the right side - the side close to oncoming traffic
on (a)The red or stop aspect of a signal, or the caution of a distant signal
out of section (n)A bell signal stating that a train has left the section
overbridge (n)A bridge that passes over the track in question
piece box (n)A lunch box
pilot engine (n)The engine out in front when multiple engines are used
points (n)A railway switch (turnout)
priority (n)The right of a train to make lower priority trains wait until they pass
pull off (v)To pull a signal box lever to change a signal to green or go
put on (v)To push the signal levers back to set the signals to danger and caution
railway (n)A railroad
section (n)A length of track between block posts that can have only one train in it
semaphore (n)A track signal that indicates aspects by the position of a moving arm
shunt (v)1. To switch a low speed train onto a siding to let a high speed train pass
2. To switch cars in a shunting yard to make up new trains
shunting yard (n)A set of sidings where rail cars are marshalled into new trains
siding (n)A passing loop (see loop)
signal (n)A trackside device track that tells train drivers to stop, slow, or go
signal box (n)A building, usually high, where the signalman works
signalman (n)The person who operates the points (switches) and the signals
sleeper (n)A railroad tie - holds the rails a specific distance apart
starting signal (n)The signal that admits a train from station limits to a section
station limits (n)Track for trains in stations or block posts - not sections
stopping train (n)A train that stops at many stations and has low priority
tank engine (n)An engine that holds all of the supplies to run it without a tender
tender (n)A train car that carries all of the supplies the locomotive needs
tender engine (n)An engine that needs a tender car to carry its coal and water
track circuit (n)A device that detects the presence of a train on a track section
train engine (n)The engine closest to the train when more than one engine is used
train on line (n)A bell signal stating that a train is actually in a section
train pipe (n)The pipes and hoses connecting the train together to work the brakes
Train Register (n)A book kept by signalmen to record times of events of each train
train stop (n)A device that applies the brakes if a train passes a caution signal.
trap points (n)Special switches that keep runaway cars from entering the main line
underbridge (n)A bridge that takes the track in question over something else
up (a)Denoting a track or a train with a direction of motion toward London
vacuum brake (n)A system where vacuum on the train pipe releases the brakes
wagon (n)A freight car, especially a boxcar

1 Probably named for a coal mining wagon made to turn in tight spaces

2 So named because they were originally made in Ohio, the "Buckeye State"