[syn: railroad track, railroad, railway]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Railroad \Rail"road`\ (r[=a]l"r[=o]d`), Railway \Rail"way`\
1. A road or way consisting of one or more parallel series of
iron or steel rails, patterned and adjusted to be tracks
for the wheels of vehicles, and suitably supported on a
bed or substructure.
Note: The modern railroad is a development and adaptation of
the older tramway.
2. The road, track, etc., with all the lands, buildings,
rolling stock, franchises, etc., pertaining to them and
constituting one property; as, a certain railroad has been
put into the hands of a receiver.
Note: Railway is the commoner word in England; railroad the
commoner word in the United States.
Note: In the following and similar phrases railroad and
railway are used interchangeably:
Atmospheric railway, Elevated railway, etc. See under
Atmospheric, Elevated, etc.
Cable railway. See Cable road, under Cable.
Ferry railway, a submerged track on which an elevated
platform runs, for carrying a train of cars across a water
Gravity railway, a railway, in a hilly country, on which
the cars run by gravity down gentle slopes for long
distances after having been hauled up steep inclines to an
elevated point by stationary engines.
Railway brake, a brake used in stopping railway cars or
Railway car, a large, heavy vehicle with flanged wheels
fitted for running on a railway. [U.S.]
Railway carriage, a railway passenger car. [Eng.]
Railway scale, a platform scale bearing a track which forms
part of the line of a railway, for weighing loaded cars.
Railway slide. See Transfer table, under Transfer.
Railway spine (Med.), an abnormal condition due to severe
concussion of the spinal cord, such as occurs in railroad
accidents. It is characterized by ataxia and other
disturbances of muscular function, sensory disorders, pain
in the back, impairment of general health, and cerebral
disturbance, -- the symptoms often not developing till
some months after the injury.
Underground railroad Underground railway.
(a) A railroad or railway running through a tunnel, as
beneath the streets of a city.
(b) Formerly, a system of cooperation among certain active
antislavery people in the United States prior to 1866,
by which fugitive slaves were secretly helped to reach
Note: [In the latter sense railroad, and not railway, was
usually used.] "Their house was a principal entrep[^o]t
of the underground railroad." --W. D. Howells.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: line that is the commercial organization responsible for
operating a system of transportation for trains that pull
passengers or freight [syn: railway, railroad,
railroad line, railway line, railway system]
2: a line of track providing a runway for wheels; "he walked
along the railroad track" [syn: railroad track, railroad,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
45 Moby Thesaurus words for "railway":
L, branch, cable railway, cog railway, el, electric railway,
elevated, elevated railway, embankment, feeder, feeder line,
gravity-operated railway, horse railway, junction, light railroad,
line, main line, metro, monorail, rack railway,
rack-and-pinion railway, rail, rail line, railroad, roadbed,
roadway, sidetrack, siding, street railway, streetcar line, subway,
switchback, terminal, terminus, track, train, tram, tramline,
trestle, trolley line, trunk, trunk line, tube, turnout,
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
RAILWAY. A road made with iron rails or other suitable materials.
2. Railways are to be constructed and used as directed by the
legislative acts creating them.
3. In general, a railroad company may take lands for the purpose of
making a road when authorized by the charter, by paying a just value for the
same. 8 S. & M. 649.
4. For most purposes a railroad is a public highway, but it may be the
subject of private property, and it has been held that it may be sold as
such, unless the sale be forbidden by the legislature; not the franchise,
but the land constituting the road. 5 Iredell, 297. In. general, however,
the public can only have a right of way for it is not essential that the
public should enjoy the land itself, namely, its treasures, minerals, and
the like, as these would add nothing to the convenience of the public.
5. Railroad companies, like all other principals, are liable for the
acts of their agents, while in their employ, but they can not be made
responsible for accidents which could not be avoided. 2 Iredell, 234; 2