The period of training required to achieve journeyperson status in a skilled occupation. Traditionally, 90% of apprenticeship training is provided in the workplace. The remainder involves classroom instruction on theory, which is usually given at a local community college.
Automatic Train Control Systems (ATC)
A trackside system working in conjunction with equipment installed on the locomotive, arranged so that its operation will automatically result in the application of the air brakes to stop or control a trains’ speed at designated restrictions, should the engineer not respond.
When operating under a speed restriction, an application of brakes when the speed of the train exceeds the predetermined rate and which will continue until the speed is reduced to that rate. ATC usually works in conjunction with cab signals.
The system for automatically controlling train movement, enforcing train safety and directing train operations. ATC must include automatic train protection (ATP), and may include automatic train operation (ATO) and automatic train supervision (ATS) or both. This definition is commonly used to describe technology applied to a rail transit system.
Automatic Train Operation (ATO)
A system by which speed and other control signals from the wayside are automatically received and translated into train response with appropriate feed-back to assure operating safety.
The subsystem within the automatic train control (ATC) system that performs any or all of the functions of speed regulation, programmed stopping, door control, performance level regulation or other functions otherwise assigned to the train operator. This definition is commonly used to describe such technology applied to a rail transit system.
Automatic Train Protection (ATP)
The subsystem within the automatic train control (ATC) system that maintains fail-safe protection against collisions, excessive speed and other hazardous conditions through a combination of train detection, train separation and interlockings. Most commonly used to describe such technology as applied to rail transit system.
Average Length of Haul
The average distance in miles one ton is carried. Computed by dividing total ton-miles by tons of freight.
Automatic Vehicle Identification Tags.
BELTPACK® is a computer-based locomotive remote control system that allows control of locomotives by ground-based employees via radio link using a portable operator control unit (OCU). The technology enables two operators to operate a switching assignment safely, by use of an onboard computer.
The movement of a car a distance of one mile. An empty car mile is a mile run by a freight car without a load; a loaded car mile is a mile run by a freight car with a load.
A shipment of not less than 10,000 pounds of one commodity from one consignor to one consignee. An originated carload is one that is loaded and begins its journey on a particular railway; a carried carload is any carload that travels on a particular railroad; and a terminated carload is a carload that ends its journey and is unloaded on a particular railroad.
Class I Railway
A railway company with gross revenues of $250,000,000 a year from Canadian rail service. Source: Canadian Transportation Agency.
Local and regional passenger train operations between a central city and its suburbs, and sometimes another central city. It may be either locomotive hauled or self-propelled, and is characterized by multi-trip tickets, specific stations-to-station fares, rail-way employment practices and usually only one or two stations in the central business district.
A short-haul passenger train operating on track that is part of the general railroad system of transportation, within an urban, suburban or metropolitan area. It includes a passenger train provided by government.
Railway conductors coordinate and supervise the activities of passenger and freight crew members, except for railway locomotive engineers, to ensure that trains operate according to schedules, orders and operating rules.
A charge made from transportation of freight; published in tariff form by the carriers and filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency.
The number of kilometres run by all trains between terminals or stations for the transportation of company or revenue freight; also kilometres run by trains made up of empty freight train cars and by trains consisting of a locomotive and a caboose running light in connection with such service. Freight trains hauling passenger cars are classified as freight trains.
Front Line Supervisor
Supervisors of railway transport operations supervise, coordinate and schedule the activities of workers who operate trains, drive locomotives in railway yards and perform other duties related to railway operations. They also train staff in job duties, safety procedures and company policy.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The gross domestic product is the value of goods and services produced in a country.
A gross tonne-kilometre is the movement of a tonne of rail equipment and Intermodal equipment (including freight) over one kilometre of track. This covers all movements over the carrier’s tracks except switching operations, including operations by other carriers.
Heavy Duty Mechanic
A heavy duty mechanic adjusts, repairs and/or replaces worn and damaged mechanical, hydraulic and electrical parts on tractors, shovels, graders, trucks, loaders and other heavy equipment. The mechanic must have the ability to diagnose electrical, mechanical and hydraulic troubles and make repairs according to the manufacturers’ specifications.
High Speed Rail (HSR)
Generally, passenger trains that operate at speeds of 110 mph or greater. Trains that operate at speeds of 125 mph or greater on a dedicated right-of-way are called "very high-speed".
A freight car, either open or covered, designed for handling bulk commodities such as coal or grain. Hopper cars have floor sheets that slope from the car sides and ends to form a series of pockets or hoppers which can discharge the bulk lading by gravity through hopper doors operated from outside the car.
Term for an overheated wheel bearing (the grease "box" overheating).
Hot Box Detector
Hot bearing detector, usually infrared, that’s placed at intervals on mainline track. System is activated (gated) by a track-mounted wheel sensor.
A railroad classification yard in which the classification or sorting of cars is accomplished by pushing them over a summit, known as a hump, beyond which they run by gravity.
Insulated Rail Joints
A joint in which electrical insulation is provided between adjoining rails.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
A broad range of diverse technologies, known collectively as intelligent transportation systems (ITS), holds the answer to many of our transportation problems. ITS is comprised of a number of technologies, including information processing, communications, control and electronics.
Intercity Rail Services
Passenger service between major cities i.e. VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Intermodal operations involve more than one mode of transport to complete the movement of shipments. Goods are carried in a highway trailer or freight container, which is transferred between a rail car and some other mode, usually a truck or ship.
Refers to all training provided to employees by rail companies regardless of the training method or source.
A tradesperson who has completed an apprenticeship program and mastered specific skills, or who has qualified through an examination for a Certificate of Qualification.
The condition of a track in regard to uniformity in direction over short distances on tangents, or uniformity in variation in direction over short distances on curves.
Shifting the track laterally to conform to established alignment. Maintenance lining is ordinarily done during repairs; general lining is done to make the track conform throughout to predetermined alignment.
Railway locomotive engineers transport passengers or freight on railways. They operate communication systems to communicate with train crews and railway traffic controllers to ensure that trains operate safely and meet their schedules.
Involves placing a remote-controlled locomotive in the middle of the train.
"Less-than-load" shippers consolidate small shipments with similar destinations in order to provide a more economical shipping alternative.
Route miles of track systems carrying main tracks.
This activity concerns all repair and maintenance related to the fixed plant of the rail-way, including track and roadway, buildings, signals, communication and power facilities, terminals and fuel stations.
Mechanical Supervisors manage the day-to-day operation of the Locomotive and Rail Car shops to ensure maintenance and repair work is performed safely and efficiently.
A term relating to the self-propelling equipment of a railway, usually taken to mean locomotives.
Is a national public education program sponsored by the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada and works in co-operation with safety councils or leagues, railway companies, unions, police, public and community groups.
A car equipped to carry passengers, baggage etc. in passenger train service.
Kilometres run by passenger cars, including both loaded and empty car-kilometres.
The total number of miles traveled by passengers on transit vehicles, determined by multiplying the number of unlinked passenger trips times the average length of their trips.
A term denoting the transportation of one passenger for a distance of one mile.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Refers to protective clothing and other devices designed to protect an individual while in potentially hazardous areas or performing potentially hazardous operations. Examples of PPE include gloves, hard hat, steel toed boots, safety glasses.
Piggyback is a term used to describe the transportation of loaded or empty highway trailers on rail cars.
Railway Car Technician / Car Mechanic
Railway car men/women inspect and repair railway cars.
Rail Traffic Controller
Rail traffic controllers (RTCs) are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the railway within an assigned operating territory. RTCs are also responsible for ensuring train delays are minimized in their operating territory through the application of effective planning, scheduling and queuing techniques. The RTC is also responsible for cost effective movement of trains and other on-track railroad equipment to optimize physical (trains) and human resource (crews) assets.
Red Seal Trades
The Red Seal allows qualified trades people to practice the trade in any province of territory in Canada without having to write further examinations.
As defined by the Railway Association of Canada, a non-Class 1, linehaul, freight rail-road that operates at least 350 miles of track and/or has annual operating revenues of at least $40 million.
Revenue Ton Miles
The movement of a ton of freight (2,000 pounds) over one mile for revenue.
A strip of land of various widths upon which a rail track is built.
Transportation equipment on wheels, especially locomotives and freight cars.
The railway running trades workers include engineers, conductors and trainmen.
Safety Management Systems (SMS)
A safety management system is a businesslike approach to safety. It is a systematic, explicit and comprehensive process for managing safety risks. As with all management systems, a safety management system provides for goal setting, planning and measuring performance. A safety management system is woven into the fabric of an organization. It becomes part of the culture and the way people do their jobs.
Skilled technicians who maintain, repair and rebuild locomotives, cars and other equipment. They work in yards, terminals and engine houses, as well as in car and locomotive repair facilities. Much shop work is done outdoors in all kinds of weather.
Traditionally, the six principal shop trades are: car repairers, machinists, electricians, boilermakers, blacksmiths and sheet-metal workers.
Short Line Railway
A railway that may originate or terminate freight traffic on its track, participate in division of revenue, and is usually less than 100 miles in length.
Signals and Communication Maintainer
Signals and Communication Maintainers install, maintain, test, replace and repair electrical, electronic and mechanical signals and communications equipment including power sources, circuits, switching equipment and transmission facilities for voice, data and video. They troubleshoot all kinds of signals and communications equipment in order to analyze and isolate malfunctions.
This term refers to occupations where the normal course to a fully trained journeyperson is a four-year apprenticeship of formal and informal training.
Switch (Point) Machines
A machine used to throw track switches. There are both automatic and manual switch machines.
Switching service consists of moving cars from one track to another track or to different positions on the same track. It includes the moving of cars in the industrial switching tracks or interchange tracks and the general movement of cars within terminals or at junctions.
A railcar, the body being a tank for transporting liquids, consisting of a shell and heads together with connections welded directly to it. The head of a tank is one of the end closures. Tank cars may be pressure or non-pressure, and are often equipped with special equipment to enhance their usefulness for handling specific commodities. For pressure class tank cars, the tank includes the man-way nozzle as well.
A railway facility used for handling of passengers or freight and the receiving, classifying, assembling and dispatching of trains.
The movement of one tonne, over a distance of one kilometre.
Track Maintainers inspect tracks for defects and replace or repair such things as worn or broken rails, switch ties, spikes and rail anchors.
Railway track maintenance workers lay, maintain and repair tracks.
The Trainmaster manages the day-to-day operation of their assigned territory, customers and staff. This role is critical to ensuring the on-time performance of trains
Train Switching Locomotive-Kilometres
Kilometres allocated to train locomotives for performing train switching. The time actually taken up in such service is converted into kilometres at a rate of 9.6 kilometres per hour.
Is an online information resource for the Canadian railway industry. It provides information on railways and rail-related subjects in Canada.
The main line of a transportation system. A transportation line operating over an extensive territory.
The document covering a shipment and showing the forwarding and receiving stations, the name of consignor and consignee, the car initials and number, the routing, the description and weight of the commodity, instructions for special services, the rate, total charges, advances and waybill reference for previous services and the amount prepaid.
Wheel Impact Detector
A new type of inspection technology that detects, through the use of strain gauges or accelerometers in the track, potential defects in wheels, such as tread defects and the damaging impact of wheel defects on the track itself.
Yard Switching Kilometres
Yard switching kilometres are measured as time spent in yard switching (including train transfer), converted to kilometres at a rate of 9.6 kilometres per hour.
The railway employee designated as being in charge of all operations in a yard.
Railway yard workers regulate traffic and couple, uncouple and switch train cars.