Train and Railway operations boast their own terms and expressions, with which customers are frequently unfamiliar. We always try to go the extra mile to convey a clear and objective message of everyday life, giving a simpler explanation for each word and situation in a way that everyone can understand. However, if you are of a curious nature or are interested in discovering more about the railway, you can find out more about railway jargon in this glossary:

Buffer Stop

This is an iron or concrete structure used to prevent trains from hitting the platform at  terminals.


This is caused by the increase in the ambient temperature, leading to an expansion of the track which becomes deformed along its entire length, leaving it unusable. This defect is corrected by putting the rails back in place or replacing them completely.


Name given to any and all situations where a train collides with something.

Control Car

Railway vehicle capable of graphically recording the operational status of the permanent way.


Name given to any breakages suffered by the train during the journey.


Name given to the railway accident in which the train jumps the tracks.


Rail vehicle used to tow passenger or freight cars on rails.


When the pantograph gets stuck in the overhead line

Freight or Non-Passenger Train

Also called the W train in Rio, it is the train that does not carry passengers.

Gangway Connection

Name given to passage (accordion) between cars.


The gauge is the distance measured between the interior faces of two parallel tracks or rails in a railroad.


Structure that allows people who are standing or circulating inside the trains to hold on to.


Interval or distance between trains.

IDX (Information Delivery Systems)

System that automatically generates audible and visual warnings at stations, according to the movement of trains, and provides speed of information for the customer in the field, standardization, traceability and convergence.


Worker who carries out the round.

Level / Railroad Crossing

Railroad crossing with a road on the same level. Often abbreviated to RXR.

Overhead Connectors

Cable that joins the aerial network cables.

Overhead Network

System responsible for transmitting electrical energy through overhead cables necessary to power electric trains.


Device mounted on top of the train for capturing the electrical current supplied by the overhead network of cables.

Railway Land

Land where the railway and other railway facilities are located, including the additions necessary for its expansion.

Railway Network

Infrastructure made up of rails, sleepers, rail links and track ballast, allowing trains to move on a reliable surface.

Railway siding

A line adjacent to the main line, or another diversion, intended for crossings, overtakings and train formations.

Railway Sleepers or Ties

Responsible for taking the weight of the train, supporting the rails and allowing them to be fixed firmly to the ground.

Rolling Stock

Name given to the set of all railway equipment that travels on the permanent way.


This is an activity on the railway to check any occurrences that may put the circulation of trains at risk.

Single Track

When there is a single line connecting the crossing yards and trains run on it in both directions. At the crossing yard, there is an additional line parallel to the main line so that two trains can cross.


A set of pieces placed at the intersection between two lines, allowing for the transfer of trains from one line to the other.

Thermal Expansion

Technical name given to the expansion of the tracks due to high temperatures. In such cases, the trains may need to reduce speed or the journey, in some extreme cases, may be interrupted.

Train Headcode / Reporting Mark

Identification of the train through letters and numbers, indicating information such as the line it travels, direction of circulation, etc. Trains that circulate in an downline direction (away from Central do Brasil) will have an odd prefix. Those that circulate in an upline direction (Central do Brasil) will have an even prefix.

Train Scheduling

Program that contains the timetables, instructions and specifications to operate trains on the branches, including special instructions.


Device located under the train, where the wheelsets, suspension, engines and brake system are fixed.


It is the act of joining two four-car trains together to form a composition.


Made up of an axle and two wheels fixed to the truck, making contact with the rails.