Glossary of Bashers slang

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The following list was originally published by Gary Carter on the now defunct website and is still publicly available on the Internet Archive. The list below has been slightly modified and some new entries added.

Slang Term Definition
Ada Old female passenger (usually accompanied by "Bert").
ADEX Shorthand for advertised day excursion.
Air Brake Brakes are held off by the use of compressed air. Standard braking system in use on today's railways see also "vacuum brake".
Air Conditioned Modern coaching stock is all air conditioned, thus requiring the locomotive to be able to supply electric train heat (ETH). Often shortened to "Aircons". See also "coffins".
All Shacks Slow passenger train, stopping at every station en-route. Interchangeable with "All Lampposts".
APT Advanced passenger train. Revolutionary experimental tilting train developed by BR during the 1970's. The prototype was powered by gas turbine, and the production series were to be electric. The project ended as a dismal failure when the tilting mechanism was proven to be unreliable. This was graphically demonstrated on demonstration runs for journalists in the early 80's in one of the first production trains. The project was then cancelled and part of one production APT survives at Crewe heritage centre.
ASLEF Associated society of locomotive engineers and firemen (drivers union).
AWS Automatic warning system. This is the standard method of reinforcing signals to drivers in their cabs. It was introduced in the 1950's and works as follows:- If a signal is green a bell sounds, if it is red, yellow, or double yellow a warning horn sounds. The driver must then acknowledge the horn or the brakes will be automatically applied. In the case of the recent major accidents, at Southall the AWS was non-operational and for reasons best known to themselves the train operator decided to run without its protection - in the period we are dealing with on this site (pre-1985), this would not have been allowed to happen. Either the locomotive would have been replaced or in certain circumstances a second driver would have been provided. As to Paddington - the AWS was functioning correctly, but the driver simply cancelled the horn and then did not apply the brakes.
Baby Deltic Nickname applied to Class 23 locomotives, as they used a Napier engine in common with the Deltics.
Bag(pipe) Nickname given to Class 33/1 locomotives, due to the array of brake/control pipe positioned on the cab front, to aid in coupling up to Southern Region MU stock. These locomotive often worked in "push-pull" mode with 4-TC units (unpowered rakes of 4 coaches with a driving trailer at each end).
Baglet Derogatory name applied to females of all ages.
Bail Out Often shortened to "Bail". Term for leaving the train, frequently in a hurry. For example "we bailed out at Crewe".
Ballast Leap The act of alighting or boarding a train whilst said train is not adjacent to a platform. One well-known 40 basher did a "Ballast Leap" at Carstairs South, onto 40034 which was working a Preston - Edinburgh Christmas relief.
Ballast Train Train conveying ballast (stones), which is used to secure track and sleepers. Included here as often it was a case of:- question - "where is 40040?" answer - "on a ballast train"
Bananas (Sometimes extended to "Flying Bananas"). Derogatory name applied to HST (High Speed Trains) on account of a) their original livery and b) the fact that everyone hated them.
Bang Road When engineering work, or emergencies forced the use of the "wrong line" i.e.: the one on the right not left. This is a railwayman's term as if the signalman is not on the ball a "bang" is what you will get!
Banker Term used to describe locomotive (s) provided to assist trains up steep inclines - by pushing from the rear. Normally named after the particular incline in question e.g.: "Lickey Bankers". In the pre-1985 period very few passenger trains were "booked" to receive banking assistance, they being mainly used on freight trains. However, if an underpowered locomotive was provided the banker(s) would assist if required. On occasion the train engine might fail in which case the bankers would pull as opposed to push the train. For example the Lickey Bankers (2xClass 37) would appear at Birmingham New Street from time to time, dragging a failed locomotive and its train.
Bash Travel around rail network for haulage reasons, done by "basher".
Basher Person "bashing" for haulage reasons
Bay Platform Normally, but not always short, terminating platform alongside main (through) platform. In the main used only by DMU's, thus loco hauled departures from bay platforms were quite rateable.
Beast Rare locomotive - see "big", "monster".
Beeching Doctor Beeching, chairman of British Railways in the early 1960's. Appointed by the Tory government of the time with a brief to make the railways pay their way. His plans were twofold - a) close unprofitable parts of the network and b) invest heavily in the remainder. Needless to say the government were quite keen on the first part - but never really came up with the investment that was needed for the strategy to work. He produced two infamous reports concerned with network reduction - "Beeching 1" and "Beeching 2". The former was largely implemented, the latter was not. Had both reports been implemented in full there would be no railways at all in Cornwall, or in Wales save for the Paddington-Cardiff line and none in Scotland above Glasgow or Edinburgh. The name Beeching is hated with a passion by all railway enthusiasts although the real culprits were the government (as usual).
Beer Move When festering between trains, the occasional pint was sampled. These days bashing is often a thinly disguised beer move in itself.
Bellowers Term used to describe bashers or more specifically those that "bellow" - enjoy themselves loudly and occasionally to the detriment of other passengers. Usually but not always involving much waving of arms (see "flailing").
Bert n' Ada Term used to describe an elderly couple, not really derogatory.
BCK Brake Composite Corridor Coach
Beattock Famous steep incline on Carlisle-Glasgow line. Bankers retained (2xClass 20's) but only for use on freight (unless there was a failure). Diesel haulage over Beattock was fairly rare and runs with Class 40's were particularly prized.
BFK Brake First Corridor Coach
BG BR Bogie Brake Van, gangwayed - was usually found at the head or tail or expresses, used for carrying parcels, bicycles, pets, desperate bashers etc.
Bible All line timetable - indispensable bashing aid.
Big Rare engine (on passenger train) - see also "beast", "monster"
Blind To go to "cover" a train without any knowledge of what was working it. Sometimes you "scored", but on the other hand you were frequently "bowled". Very common then, with limited amounts of "gen". Modern bashers have the luxury of mobile phones, laptops etc and never go blind for anything. On the other hand there are so few loco hauled trains now that everyone knows everything!
Blocks, To The Stay on train until the terminus station was reached. Used most often in reference to Kings Cross - "I am going to the blocks with this".
Blow(n) Up Engine failure, sometimes shortened to "gone up". This was always an interesting situation, as a failure meant that a replacement engine would be found ASAP, frequently this would be whatever happens to be on the nearest freight train - 2xClass 20's, Class 37, Class 40 etc. etc. In the main these days failure simply means that the train is cancelled.
Boat Train Train specifically timed to connect with a ferry departure. In the pre 1985 era BR still owned "Sealink" and thus made every effort to connect with ferries. As the Holyhead-Dun Laoghire service was so erratic, partly due to the weather, this meant boat trains waiting at Holyhead for hours for the ferry.
Bogie Framework that supports wheels on most forms of rolling stock - locomotives, coaches etc.
Boggo Slang term for a DMU
Boiler When BR decided to replace steam with diesel and electric in 1955 they faced the problem of the heating of the train. Steam locomotives had simply used their boilers to supply steam and thus heat the train. There were 2 choices a) replace all the coaching stock heaters with electric or b) fit boilers to the diesels. In the short term BR chose the latter, although in the long run all trains became electrically heated (steam heat finally faded out in 1987). The interim situation was that some engines had boilers, some electric heat, and some no heat. Some coaches could accept only steam heat, some only electric and others both. You couldn't have made it more complex if you had tried!
Bonehead Derogatory term meaning idiot - applied to other bashers - see also "withered".
Booked Term indicating that this is the planned, pre-ordained state of affairs. Can be applied to locomotives e.g.: "booked for a duff" or a working "booked to wait in the loop for 5 minutes", or indeed crew "booked for a Saltley man".
Bowled (Caught And) Term that indicates that the locomotive on the train that you had gone for was NOT what you wanted. For example, waiting at Taunton for 1A09 (16.10 Penzance-Paddington) having been assured it was a "Western", when around the corner rolls a Class 50 - "bowled!". See also duff gen
BR British Railways, Or British Rail as it was more commonly known. Formed in 1948 by the nationalization of the previous 4 railway companies - London Midland & Scottish, London & North Eastern, Great Western and Southern. BR was subdivided into regions that closely resembled the old four companies (plus Scotland as a separate region) until the mid 1980's. From that point on BR was divided into business sectors - Inter City, Freight etc. BR was broken up and privatised between 1995 and 1997. From a bashers point of view, BR were heavily criticized for being bureaucratic and engineering led, it was however infinitely preferable to what was to follow it.
BREL British Railways Engineering Limited, the heavy engineering side of BR. Responsible for construction and heavy repair of locomotives and other rolling stock. The principal locations for the "works" being Ashford, Crewe, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster, Eastleigh, Horwich, St Rollox, Stratford, Swindon, Wolverton & York. Many of the locomotives that are referred to on this site were built by BREL, almost all the coaching stock was also built by BREL. Rolling stock was also maintained by these "works". BREL was broken up and sold off during the late 1980's, with some works closing e.g.: Swindon, and as virtually no new trains were ordered in the run up to privatisation, the engineering base shrunk dramatically. Now that the railways are re-equipping their fleets, most trains are being imported. This is the first time ever that the UK has had to import railway equipment in any quantity.
Brush Major suppliers of electrical equipment, based at Loughborough, that also constructed diesel locomotives: Class 31 and Class 47. Now part of Hawker Siddeley.
BRUTE British Railways Universal Trolley Equipment. These are the wire cage trolleys that used to lie around on platforms. Bashers would often sit on BRUTE's in the absence of anywhere else to sit.
BTH British Thomson Houston. Long closed locomotive manufacturer that built the Class 15's.
BTP British Transport Police - "evening all"
Bubble Car Slang for single car DMU - as featured on the "Rochdale Cowboy" and other memorable charters - 12 pints of real ale and then a 3 hour journey without a toilet - makes my eyes water to remember it!
Buckeye Type of automatic coupling used on modern rolling stock.
Buffet Railway catering on and off the train. Most trains used to have a buffet which would serve the legendary BR sandwiches and tea. The former certainly lived down to their reputation whilst the tea was ok. In Scotland however a bacon buttie could be bought on the train and these were superb (particularly when on the 08.15 Inverness-Glasgow behind 40142, the buffet being the front coach). As far as buffets on stations were concerned, the best ones were (and still are) privately run e.g.: Stalybridge. Bashers would spend many hours in buffets "covering" the various trains and drinking vast quantities of tea. Dundee was a particularly memorable spot for this.
Bunk Slang term for wandering around locomotive depot's without permission. More appropriate to trainspotters than bashers. Very common in the 1970's when depot's had reputations as to how hard they were to "bunk" e.g.: Thornaby - easy, Tinsley - very hard, Gateshead - impossible, Stewarts Lane - ok but very dangerous due to third rail. The HSE would have forty fits at what went on in those days.
Butterfly (n) and (v) The Butterfly valve was a small orange valve situated at cant-rail height on Mk1 and Mk2 coaches. Its official purpose was to vent the braking system to the atmosphere when conducting a "brake test". However, because this valve could be reached by leaning out of the drop-down window in the carriage door, it could be opened by any unscrupulous individuals on the train whilst it was in motion. Whilst "Butterflying" was not condoned, it was sometimes practiced in the hope that the locomotive would be "failed" by the driver, and that a (more rateable) replacement would be found.
Cab (v) Slang term for having a look around the cab of a locomotive.
Cab Ride Slang term for riding with the driver on a locomotive. Despite the fact that this would get the driver into big trouble, many cab rides were to be had, in fact on some days bashers spent more time in the cab than on the train! A subtle variation on this was riding in the "back cab" i.e.: not the end with the driver, this was normally simply to get from A to B normally in the dead of night.
CAPE'd Cancelled train, normally as a result of severe delay.
Catch Points Additional set of points that guards a dangerous junction. As a back up to signals, AWS and various other safety measures, catch points will be set so as to prevent a high-speed collision, a train will be diverted into a short siding and derail relatively safely. The removal of catch points was another contributory factor to the Paddington crash.
Catenary Term used to describe the overhead power lines on railways, usually carrying 25,000 volts a.c.
Caught And Bowled See Bowled
CCT Covered Carriage Truck - A small van used for carrying parcels and mail.
Central Wales Line The line from Craven Arms to Llanelli, through beautiful countryside. The entire service has been operated by DMU's since the 1960's and locomotive haulage was rare, although not totally unknown.
Chair, In The Slang for sitting in the drivers seat. Sometimes used in connection with cab ride e.g. "I sat in the chair".
Chartex Chartered excursion. An excursion train chartered for private use only. This could present a challenge to the determined basher, as if the Chartex had an interesting engine on it then it had to be had, private or not!
Check Rail Additional third rail used on tight corners to assist in preventing derailments.
Choppers Slang term for Class 20 locomotives. These almost always ran in multiple making the term "pair of choppers" one of the most frequently heard. I sometimes wonder if anyone was offended as they assumed we were talking about women's anatomy.
Clag Slang for the filthy black diesel exhaust given off by diesel locomotives. This could be particularly spectacular on old, run down engines such as Westerns (and 40082).
Claytons Term used to describe Class 17 locomotives.
Clown Derogatory term used to describe a fellow basher who doesn't really know what he is doing.
Coast, The Shorthand description of the North Wales coast line. A mecca for Class 40 bashers pre-1985, and still containing a few loco-hauled trains to this day (although not for much longer).
Coffin Slang description for air-conditioned stock.
Colour-Light Signal Modern 3 or 4 aspect signals, almost totally replaced semaphore signals.
Compartment/Compo Six or eight seat closed compartment, as found on Mark 1 and early Mark 2 coaches. Bashers generally preferred "compos" as they could "bellow" in private without disturbing anyone. Compartments were especially prized on overnight trains as they would allow a reasonable chance of sleep - especially with the bulbs removed and the blinds down.
Conductor Name given to additional driver who is supervising the original driver on either the locomotive or the route. For example, a Gloucester driver arrives at Birmingham driving a Western, which due to a locomotive shortage is required to work forward to Leeds. The driver does not "know" the route nor does the relief driver (Sheffield) "know" the locomotive. Result - Gloucester man goes to Leeds being conducted on the route by the Sheffield driver (this actually happened!).
Control Almost mythical all seeing officialdom held in awe by both other railwaymen and bashers. Control offices were located at strategic points throughout the network e.g.: Birmingham, Crewe, Preston, York etc. Their job was to make decisions, including most importantly what engines worked what trains. For example Birmingham control would allocate engines to trains originating or changing engines in the Birmingham area. Thus knowledge of what control had decided was a huge advantage to the basher. Also, control would occasionally make blatantly bashing friendly decisions - see fixed .
Copypit Steep incline and tunnel on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border near Burnley. Only passenger train to use this route being the Bradford-Blackpool. Complete riot occurred here on a memorable railtour - see memories.
Cornish Riviera Express The Western Region's crack express service - 11.30 Paddington-Penzance (1B45) and 11.00 Penzance-Paddington (1A19). Non-stop between Paddington and Exeter in both directions, the "rivo" was THE train and enjoyed "Western" haulage until well into 1976.
Crank Affectionate name for all railway enthusiasts, particularly older eccentrics (that's us now!)
Crankex A railtour - a special charter train for railway enthusiasts - cranks.
Crompton Parkinson Electrical company that supplied traction motors to several famous diesel types.
Cromptons Term used to describe Class 33 locomotives, as they had Crompton Parkinson traction motors. Also used to describe Class 45's (more usually known as peaks) - this was mainly used by Birmingham bashers, who in turn picked it up from Saltley drivers.
Come Back Passenger The act of a train crew returning to their signing-on point "on the cushions" or seated inside a passenger train, whilst not actually being in charge of said working. e.g. "The Saltley Men are booked to come back passenger on 1S23."
Dainton Steep incline or "bank" in south Devon between Newton Abbott and Totnes.
Dance Halls Slang name for Class 84 electric locomotives on account of the fact that they were full of fresh air (I believe Mr. Rollason was the only one to use this term, but that's good enough for me).
Dead Slang reference to a locomotive that was not working.
Dead Connection Normal connections were between trains where it would be logical to have a connection, bashers however were interested in making connections that were often totally illogical. For example returning whence they came - obviously as far as BR were concerned these were not connections at all. Dead connection refers to needing to catch a train from a station that is due to depart at exactly the same time as the one you are on should arrive i.e.: the waiting time being nil - thus "dead". If there was waiting time this would be referred to as "plus" and if the train should miss the one back then it was referred to as "minus". For example the FO Birmingham-Holyhead (1D82) was due into Holyhead at 01.43 and should therefore miss the 01.25 Holyhead-Birmingham (1G00) by 18 minutes - "minus 18". Going for these dead and even minus connections required either nerves of steel or a lot of luck (or both) see "men of steel".
Declassified First class accommodation made available to passengers with second class tickets. Bashers would scan a train as it rolled in with practiced eyes for the tell tale white stickers for their extra comfort.
Deltics Class 55 Diesel locomotives, when built (1961) the most powerful in the world.
DEMU Diesel Electric Multiple Unit
Desert Slang for the section of line between Reading and Taunton, so called because there was very little there.
Desperate Bash that involved huge distances for little gain or truly brave connections with the alternative being a "move to oblivion".
Desperate Grip Extremely keen conductor guard/TTI - when travelling with "dubious" validity to be avoided at all costs.
Detonator Explosive charge laid on track, used in foggy conditions to warn drivers of signals etc. Traditionally, detonators are laid on the track when lines are being closed, locos making last runs etc.
Diagrams Term used to describe the logistical planning on the railway. For example locomotives are allocated to work trains in sequences, as are sets of rolling stock and train crew. These are all referred to as diagrams. Knowledge of this information (as far as locomotives were) concerned) was indispensable to the basher. For example the locomotive that worked the 07.52 Leeds-Llandudno was "diagrammed" to work the 13.42 Llandudno-York. Safe in this knowledge the basher knew that they did not need to cover the inbound Leeds working as they could have it on the way back. That is unless the engine was "swapped" or failed. See "caught and bowled".
Diesel Primary method of propulsion on modern railways. Diesel engine provides power, for electric transmission (or until 1977 hydraulic transmission) - see below.
Diesel Electric Diesel locomotive where the engine drives a generator that provides electrical power which in turn powers "traction motors". All mainline diesels on BR have been exclusively Diesel-Electric since 1977.
Diesel Hydraulic Alternative to Diesel Electric configuration. Diesel engine drives flywheel in hydraulic torque converter, which in turn drives hydraulic final drive, connections being via carden shafts. BR (Western Region) decided to use Diesel Hydraulics, based on experience in West Germany, where the technology was developed. The first mainline Diesel Hydraulic entered service in 1958 and the last was withdrawn in 1977. The types involved being Class 14, Class 22, Class 35 (Hymek), Class 41/2/3 (Warship) and Class 52 (Western).
DMU Diesel Multiple Unit - Railcars made up into sets of usually 2, 3 or 4cars (occasionally only 1). Used on secondary passenger services; suburban, semi fasts and branch lines. Original DMU's were introduced from 1955 onwards and a handful still remain in service. Their replacements are updated and modernised DMU's with names such as "sprinter" or "pacer". As far as bashers are concerned all DMU's, original and modern are uninteresting and will only use them to get from A to B (see "positioning move").
Doss Sleep. See "Overdoss".
Double Headed Term used to describe train hauled by two locomotives. This could occur for one of three reasons. Firstly, two low powered engines could be required to work a heavy train, most noticeably 2 x class 20's, or 2x class 25's. Secondly, there could be a spare engine being returned to its home depot, piloting the train engine. Finally, the train engine could be failed and requiring assistance. Technically, if the train engine was a complete failure then it would be called "dead" and the replacement would be said to be hauling the train on its own.
Down Railway term for direction of travel away from London. For example one would travel down to Birmingham from London. The reverse direction would be "up". The Midland Railway used the terms "Up" and "Down" to denote directions towards, or away from, Derby.
Dragging Term used when a diesel locomotive "dragged" a non-operational electric locomotive, either due to diversion or the catenary being non-working. This was particularly interesting at Preston in the early hours of Sunday morning when a line of Class 40's would appear from Springs Branch to drag the overnight Scotland-London Euston trains, normally as far as Crewe, but sometimes to Birmingham.
Dreadful! When bashers were having a good day they would get "wound up" and start saying things were "absolutely dreadful", or "Hellfire". This would on occasion be accompanied by much waving of the right arm (you had to see it really!).
Drop On Term used to describe a locomotive backing onto its train. Also used in describing a basher who had had something rateable without setting out to get it i.e.: "you dropped on that".
Drop The Handle Railway slang for the emergency brake application that occurs should the driver release the DSD.
DSD Drivers Safety Device, commonly referred to as the "dead mans handle".
Dual-Braked A locomotive or train that is equipped with both vacuum and air brakes.
Dual Heated A locomotive or train that is equipped with both steam and electric heating.
Dubious (Piece) A ticket that might (or might not) be acceptable, should the need arise to present it - desperate grips to be avoided. See also "Frogshit"
Dud Term used to describe a locomotive that a basher has travelled behind before - i.e.: not "required".
Duff Nickname for Class 47 locomotives. The workhorse of BR for over 30 years, most bashers regarded duffs as a necessary evil and whilst rare ones would attract interest, the majority were very common on passenger trains and therefore were not well regarded. See "Spoon"
Duff Gen Where information (gen) as to what engines were working what trains had been discovered this was very useful. However, sometimes this information turned out to be wrong, i.e.: "duff gen". This may well lead to a "caught and bowled" situation.
Eastern Region Area of BR based on old LNER. London-Berwick, East Anglia, Sheffield, Leeds, East Coast.
ECS Empty coaching stock. Train making its way from the carriage sidings to the starting point of the service, or vice versa. Occasionally, the carriage sidings and the station could be some way apart - like London and Manchester! Sometimes, required engines were working ECS trains, and sometimes these trains had one or two "passengers".
ED's Electro-Diesels. Southern region electric locomotives (Class 73 and 74) that had auxiliary diesel engines. These engines were only supposed to be used on short distances and were not very powerful - even in multiple. On very rare occasions ED's have worked passenger trains on diesel power over long distances - e.g.: 2x Class 73 came all the way to Birmingham from Brighton, a distance of almost 100 miles on diesel power. The train was very, very, late!
English Electric Manufacturer of several important locomotive classes - Class 20, Class 37, Class 40, Class 50 and Class 55. Also built the Lightning jet fighter aircraft.
EMU Electric multiple unit. Electric powered version of DMU.
ETH (Also shortened to EH) Electric train heat. Modern form of heating train, which replaced the previous steam heating method. Both systems ran alongside for over 20 years until about 1987, when electric heat was finally made standard across the whole network. All modern trains are electric heated and many are also air-conditioned. Locomotives were either equipped with ETH (common on passenger trains), Steam Heat (common but only on certain services) or no heat at all (rare, in some cases very rare). A handful of locomotives had both ETH and steam heat (dual heat) and thus could work anything.
Express Fast train, normally passenger (Class 1 in BR coding), or express parcels (Class 3 in BR coding), or even express freight.
Failed Term used to describe a broken down locomotive. A failure was always a nuisance to normal passengers, but of great interest for bashers. What would be the replacement engine? In those days a failure of a passenger train was given very high priority by control, and the nearest engine (s) would be used to get the train moving again. This inevitably resulted in a) freight trains being dumped in the middle of nowhere and b) some highly inappropriate motive power on passenger trains e.g.: 2xclass 20's, 37's, 40's, 56's etc etc. Whether the rescuing engine would simply drag the train to the next station and thereby be replaced itself, or would continue forward to the train destination was always interesting. For example a class 46 working 1E54 failed at Derby, and in the goods loop was 37242 (GD NB - rock solid!), on a freight. The 37 was duly commandeered and the train proceeded only 15 minutes late - it even came back on 1V97 the same evening. If the same thing happened today the chances are the train would be cancelled (and the return working!)
Farce Shambolic situation, massive delays, engine failures, wrong kind of snow etc (note: but no replacement bus service)
Fast (adj) For some reason, moves involving modes of transport other than a locomotive-hauled train, often attracted the adjective "fast" in front of them when describing the move to others. e.g. "I did 1P51 to Blackpool North, then a fast car back to Preston to avoid an overnight fester." or "A fast unit to Cheltenham makes 1S19 with a plus six." Often these modes of transport were anything but fast!
Fester Long wait at a station for next train. Sometimes a basher would fester for many hours awaiting a required engine. There are cases of a whole day being spent at Perth (on an all-line rover!).
Fill-In Move Having "festered" and "covered" various trains, some bashers would make a "move" to prevent rigour mortis setting in.
Finished Emotional state of basher as in "I am absolutely finished", usually after a particularly "hellfire" or "dreadful" event.
First Class The expensive accommodation on the train.
Fireman On steam locomotives a fireman was required. When diesels were introduced this job became the "secondman".
Fitted Freight Many freight trains traditionally ran with braking only from the locomotive and brake van, this was referred to as unfitted or loose-coupled. However some freights ran with braking on all vehicles, these were referred to as fully fitted. When train braking was available on some vehicles only, the train was said to be partially fitted.
Fix (ed) Locomotive working a train specifically to suit the requirements of bashers, arranged by "control".eg: 86233 & 47474 allocated to Birmingham-York ADEX, subsequently "fixed" for 84001 and 40069 (47474 now on ballast train)
FK BR corridor first coach, offering first class accommodation with corridors and compartments.
Flail Highly dangerous practice of waving arm out of the window (see also "bellow")
Flap Uncertain of his next move a basher loses control when a crisis occurs.
Flying Bananas Highly derogatory nick name applied to HST's when first introduced mainly due to their bright yellow paint scheme.
Flying Scotsman Whilst the locomotive is world famous, what is not so well known is that the name also refers to a train that ran Kings Cross-Edinburgh, departing at 10.00 from each end, and calling only at Newcastle. These services were almost always hauled by Deltic locomotives.
Flower Pot Nick name for class 03 diesel shunter on account of their odd shaped exhaust.
FO BR open first coach, offering first class accommodation in open saloon configuration.
FO Friday's Only; trains that ran only on a Friday. These would often produce something interesting, as that additional demand on motive power resource would sometimes mean that the bottom of the barrel would be scraped.
Fodder Food (usually fried and from a takeaway)
Footex Charter train run in connection with football matches (see also "hoolex"). It may seem quaint today but back then the railways actually went out of their way to move thousands of football fans by rail, frequently getting rolling stock damaged in the process. For example, in 1978 the FA cup semi-final at Sheffield was between Manchester United and Liverpool. At Sheffield Victoria that afternoon were lined up the stock for no less than 12 footex's, 6 each for each team, all load 12 coaches and every one hauled by a class 40. Thus the railways had found from their spare resources 144 coaches and 12 locomotives, plus drivers, guards etc etc.
Forty Class 40 diesel locomotive. Also known as "type 4" or "tat" or by younger bashers as "bucket"
Fossil Old basher (see also "old fool")
Freight General name for the movement of goods by rail, covering everything from coal to milk.
Freightliner BR's containerised freight service introduced in the 1960's featuring air-brakes and a maximum speed of 75mph. Freightliner trains in the north-west frequently produced a Class 40.
Frog/Frogshit Illegally re-used tickets (tut tut!)
Fudge Lying about what you had seen or what you had had. Pointless really, as bashing was totally individual.
Full & Standing Official terminology for a very well loaded train. Bashers would simply say "wedged".
Fully-Fitted Freight a freight train with brakes on every vehicle.
Gauge The distance between the rails, in the UK this is 4' 8 1/2" - standard gauge.
Gen Information concerning what locomotives were working. Highly prized as it would allow bashers to "be in position." When gen turned out to be incorrect it was referred to as "duff gen", or "dud gen".
Gen Sheet List of locos known/believed to be working. Gen sheets were compiled from bashers' observations and were hidden at locations on some major stations. The "Manchester Gen Sheet" was hidden in a disused drainpipe at the East end of Manchester Victoria. On arrival at said station, you would go and check the Gen Sheet, and add any additional gen for the benefit of others.
Generals As in General Electric, a nick name for Class 84's.
Generators Name given to the first 20 Class 47's due to their unique electrical equipment.
Goldie Traveling ticket inspector (TTI), named due to the gold braid on their hats - see also "desperate grip"
Goyle Nickname for class 31 locomotives, also known as "ped"
Great Eastern London Liverpool Street to East Anglia.
Gricer Railway enthusiast (see also "crank")
Grid (irons) Nickname for class 56 locomotives.
Grip Ticket inspection normally followed by a hole being punched in ticket - "gripped".
Gronk Nick name for class 08 shunter see also "jocko"
Guard The name given to the member of staff carried on the train for safety reasons. Have been renamed several times in recent years - not really sure what they are called now. Not even carried on some services any more.
GUV General Utility Vehicle, BR bogie van. Used for carrying parcels or Newspapers.
GWR Great Western Railway.
Haulage Basher Person who travelled around the rail network solely because of the locomotive the front of the train. Not to confused with a trainspotter.
Headcode Until 1976 trains carried a 4-digit alpha-numeric code on the front describing in detail what sort of train it was, what its destination was, and the individual identity of the train. Although after 1976 the trains no longer displayed the code, to this day the codes are still in use as a shorthand way of describing train identity. This subject is worthy of a website in itself. The Southern Region used their own system of 2-digit headcodes.
Headshunt Short section of track used for shunting.
Hellfire! One of many words used to describe an unusual or interesting event, ranks above dreadful.
Hook On/Off Attaching or detaching locomotives.
Hoover Nick name for class 50 locomotives.
Hoppers Wagons used for carrying minerals, frequently coal. In many cases made up into Merry Go Round (MGR) trains.
Hot Box Railway term for a hot wheel bearing, on a locomotive or coach/wagon.
House, The Waiting room where bashers would "fester" awaiting something interesting to happen (or not!). Most famous being platform 6a/7a at Birmingham New St.
HST High Speed Train, official BR term for what the general public would understand as Inter City 125. True bashers consider these to be high speed DMU's and thereby of no interest.
Hymek Class 35 diesel locomotive.
In Position The act of being in the right place, in anticipation of a desirable working. e.g. "I was in position for 1P79 when it produced."
Insects Derogatory term used by older bashers to describe the hordes of younger enthusiasts that discovered bashing in the mid 1980's.
Inter City BR brand name for expresses since the 1960's it became a business unit in the 1980's in the long run up to privatisation.
Inspector Loco inspectors traditionally oversaw drivers, many wearing their traditional trilby hats!
Irish Mail Euston-Holyhead overnight mail and passenger train.
Jocko Nick name for class 08 shunter see also "gronk"
Junk Term used to describe non required or non interesting motive power. Used by most bashers to describe ETH 47's etc. However, on one memorable occasion it was used to describe a pair of split headcode, NB, Class 40's working a Holyhead-Crewe relief train! (not by me I hasten to add).
Kettle Diesel enthusiasts name for steam locomotive.
Large Rare loco (see also "big", beast", "monster")
Leap Term to describe leaving a train at a station e.g.: "we leapt at Crewe". See also "bailed (out)".
Lawn, The Name given to area of station forecourt at Paddington station.
Lickey Incline Steepest part of the mainline railways in the UK, starting from Bromsgrove and climbing for three miles at 1 in 37 to Blackwell. In the diesel era almost all passenger trains climbed the "bank" without assistance from "bankers". The only passenger train booked for assistance being 1S19 - Bristol-Glasgow overnight. However, the bankers did assist other trains that were underpowered or failures.
Light engine A locomotive traveling on its own without a train.
Limited, The Shortened name for "The Cornish Riviera Express Limited" - the principal service between Paddington and the west of England - known by bashers as "the Rivo".
Line In The Book Merchant A basher who has no interest in the locomotives, but is simply collecting engines for haulage - see also "zero interest".
Little ED's/Little Edwards Nick name for Class 73 locomotives, sometimes simply "ED's"
Livery Term used to describe railway colour schemes. In 1974-1985 the livery was standardised on all BR stock. Locomotives were blue, with yellow ends, hauled coaching stock was blue and grey. Multiple units and parcels stock was painted blue. Since 1985 there has been an explosion of colour schemes on the railway, with just about every combination of colours featured by some sector or company. Yellow ends are still compulsory however.
London Midland Region (LMR) Largest region of BR, based on the old LMS company area minus Scotland.
Loop (n) Track used to pass a faster train round a slower one, e.g.: the freight train goes in the loop whilst the express passes on the main line.
Loop(ed) (v) The act of diverting a train into a loop to allow a following train to pass. e.g. "We were looped at Thornton Junction for the following HST".
Loose-coupled A freight train without any train brakes i.e.: Class 9.
Mail Train Train that conveys the Royal Mail. These trains were always interesting as the invariably ran at night, and often had unusual motive power. As they linked the main GPO sorting centres they frequently traversed some unlikely routes. Most had some passenger accommodation so mail trains were well used by bashers. Some notable mail workings were the 0445 Aberdeen - Elgin Mail and the "York Mail"
Main Man Experienced basher. If you rose above the rank of a "Main Man', you became a "Top Man".
Manchester Pullman The last Pullman service to run on UK railways. Manchester to London Euston, normally hauled by a Class 86, but at the very end a Class 84 was fixed to work this service. The coaches were unique on BR at the time as they were vacuum braked, electric heat (preventing the use of Class 87s), and had inward opening doors. As the service was all first class, plus a Pullman supplement and was nominally non-stop, this presented a challenge that the determined basher had to tackle.....
MAS Multiple Aspect Signalling, modern colour light signals, can be 2, 3 or 4 aspect. .
Maybach German manufacturer of diesel engines. Unlike most British diesel engines, Maybachs were fast running, turbo-charged engines. Producing a very distinctive sound, Maybachs were used in Western region diesel-hydraulics. Class 35 had an MD870 V-16, Class 42 had 2xMD650 - V12 and Class 52 had 2xMD655 - V12.
Men, Set Of Term to describe driver and secondman combination, e.g.: "a set of Saltley men".
Men Of Steel Term used by bashers who were brave with connections. The men of steel went for dead and even minus connections. Sometimes this worked other times not. The most famous men of steel move being the Birmingham-Holyhead to the Holyhead Birmingham overnight, which was minus 18!!!!!
Merrymakers BR advertising term for excursions in the 1970's.
Metro-Cammell Train manufacturer in Birmingham, mainly known for DMU's, but also built the Blue Pullman.
Metrovick Shortened name for Metopolitan Vickers, the company that built the short lived Class 28, these locos were usually called "metrovicks".
MGR Merry Go Round train, name given to coal hopper trains, which never actually stopped moving, loading/unloading at walking pace. Locomotives had special slow speed control (SSC) fitted to enable them to work MGR trains, these were mainly Class 47's and 56's, but some Scottish Class 20's also had SSC.
Middle Road Term used to describe through tracks in a station where they are not adjacent to the platforms - used for passing non-stop trains through, frequently at high-speed. (See "Ballast Leap")
Midland Shortened name for the London Midland Region (LMR). More traditionally used to refer to the route from St. Pancras to Carlisle via Derby and the Settle to Carlisle line.
Midnight, The The overnight Paddington-Penzance service has always been referred to as the midnight, even though it has not departed at that time for many years. Traditionally, it left London at 23.45.
Mileage Man A basher who's main interest was getting as many miles as possible behind a particular type of locomotive e.g.: westerns, class 40's, Deltics.
Minus A connection that is supposed to be missed eg: Minus 5, indicates you will arrive 5 minutes after the train you want to catch is supposed to leave, see "men of steel".
Mixed Traffic Loco A locomotive that is equally capable of pulling both passenger and freight trains. Most modern diesels would be quite at home on either, but the Class 47 has to be the ultimate mixed traffic type.
Monster Term to describe a very rare (on passenger trains) locomotive. In the scale of measurement, monster rates above "big".
Move Term to describe travelling - either a single journey or a whole series. For example "what was your move?, might bring the response - 'M02 to Crewe for 'D41 to Chester with 40141, back on 'A78.
Moves Book Bashers wrote it all down..
Move To Oblivion A move that might well end with the basher concerned missing his last train back and consequently spending the night on a bench in a bus stop (or blagging his way into a back cab on a freight train simply to get back)
MPD Motive power depot, or simply "shed".
Multiple, In Two or more locomotives working together on a train being driven by a single driver (see "pair").
MU Multiple Unit, diesel or electric.
My Lords! Exclamation made when things were going very well, either rateable traction or route or both. Used very heavily by wizzo (western) bashers. (see also "bellowing")
NB No boiler. Many locomotives had a steam generator (boiler) to supply train heat. When this was removed or made inoperable (isolated), the locomotive could not supply train heat, and was thus freight only (in theory). During the months May-September, BR would allow NB engines on some passenger trains - no overnights and no air conditioned stock being the rules. Like all rules these were broken all the time. Bashers will remember the summer months as "NB season". NB locomotives also worked in the winter but were much much rarer, and produced cold passengers!
Ned See "insect"
New Term to describe a locomotive that the basher had not yet travelled behind, see also "required, "scored"
New Line Not been this way before (some bashers were heavily into "new lines", and tried to travel every single bit of the network)
NG Not gripped as in "1A84 was NG to New St"
Normals People who travel on trains who are not bashers (how strange?)
North British Locomotive manufacturer from Glasgow, that built Class 21/22/43. Went bust not long afterwards!
Nose First Refers to class 20 locomotive that had a driving cab at one end only. These locomotives were almost always used in pairs, with the cabs at the two ends. The two "noses" being coupled together. On very rare occasions a class 20 might work singly, and then there was a possibility of "nose first" which resembles a steam locomotive with the driver at the rear of the engine.
Notch Up Term to describe increasing the power on a diesel or electric locomotive.
NV Ticket is Not Valid, in which case best to hope the train is "NG"
NRM National railway museum at York
NUR National union of railwaymen.
One Engine In Steam Official term for a section of line (usually a branch line) where only one train was allowed at any one time. This method of train control was usually achieved by a "token"; only a train in physical possession of that "token" could proceed onto the section of line in question.
Off Term to describe a signal that is clear to proceed i.e.: not red.
Off The Road Term to describe a derailment.
Old Electric Class 81 to 85 locomotives, see also "roarer".
On a signal at danger (stop) i.e.: red.
One Man Operation (OMO) A train crewed by a single man
On The Ballast Basher speak for the highly dubious practice of alighting from trains when not adjacent to platforms e.g.: in middle roads. See "Ballast Leap"
Out of Position The act of not being in the right place to take advantage of gen surrounding anticipated workings. e.g. "I over-dossed, which left me out of position."
Outrageous Extremely rare working
Over-doss Oops, I wanted to get off 2 hours ago! 14-day All-Line Rovers, with the associated lack of sleep, could make this occurrence a serious possibility, leaving you badly "out of position".
Overhead Wires The electricity cables for powering electric locomotives - 25,000 volts AC. See also centenary.
Overnight A "move" (or series of "moves") that involves travelling all night. Very popular with bashers a) due to the interesting services and engines that could be had, b) for positioning for the following morning and c) when on rovers far from home, there being no point trying to go home. Frequently, overnights involved very little sleep due to overcrowded and/or overheated trains, or having to stay awake to "bail out" in the middle of nowhere to complete the "move". After 7 consecutive overnights on a Scottish rover, bashers would be a) almost zombie like due to lack of sleep and b) best approached from upwind! Overnights were frequently referred to as "rancid" or even "desperate".
Pair Two locomotives in "multiple" or "tandem".
Papers Short for newspapers. All newspapers were until 1985 delivered by rail. In the main these were trains did not carry passenger accommodation, but some did. The most famous being those out of London Victoria to Kent, where bashers could enjoy the only Class 71 passenger turns (later Class 73).
Parcels Train that carries parcels traffic, Class 3 and 4 in BR speak.
Parspec Party special, a chartered train. A privately hired train, not for public use. When required locomotives where on parspec's the basher would a) negotiate with the organisers or b) exercise their infamous stroll-on skills.
Path Term to describe the planned timing and route of a train. Each train is timed along a section of line at a precise moment. There is a gap before/after other services. This is referred to as "the path". If a train is late it may well lose its path, and then have to be slotted in on ad-hoc basis. In practical terms, this means that once a train is late it is highly likely to get later. See also "looped".
Pay-trains Trains where tickets are issued by the guard.
Peaks Class 44/45/46 locomotives. Comes originally from the Class 44's (which were named after peaks in the Pennines) and later encompassed the 45s and 46s.
Peg Signal, both semaphore type and MAS.
Pick Up Only A train that is advertised to pick-up passengers but not set down at a particular station - this was always ignored by bashers. Opposite of "Set Down Only"
Piece A valid ticket (but not necessarily for the train the basher is actually on). See also "dubious" and "frogshit".
Pilot 1.) An additional locomotive added to the train locomotive, sometimes for a short distance only. 2.) A second person in the cab of a locomotive whose job is to guide the driver through a section of track where single line working is in operation ("pilotman") or when the driver does not "know the road" due to diversions or "traction knowledge".
Plastic Term to describe preserved locomotives, also anything that is "non-real" e.g.: "plastic pub" indicates a town centre beer hall full of 16 year olds.
Playing to the crowds A driver might, upon seeing a large crowd of bashers, and with some encouragement, use the power handle to cause his locomotive to make lots of sparks and noise, much to the delight of the massed ensemble. (See "Bellowing" etc.)
Plus The opposite of minus, where a connection is supposed to be made e.g.: Plus 5 indicates that you have 5 minutes between arriving and departing: in theory.
Postal, The The express mail service that ran on main lines from London e.g.: Euston-Glasgow, or Paddington-Penzance. These trains had the highest priority and were always given a clear path wherever possible. The great train robbery took place on the Glasgow-Euston "West Coast Postal".
Power Box Modern signal box.
Power Handle Control in the cab that increases power i.e.: throttle.
Preserved A withdrawn locomotive that has not been scrapped but has been restored by enthusiasts either to museum or running standard. Whilst there are many steam locomotives preserved, there are also many diesel and electric locomotives preserved too.
Push-Pull Term to describe a reversible train, either with a locomotive at both ends, or a locomotive at one end and a driving coach at the other (the locomotive thus pushing and pulling). The service between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley was worked as a "Push-Pull" operation for many years; originally with a Class 27 at each end, and later with a Class 47/7 at one end, and a DBSO (Driving Brake Second Open) at the other.
Pullman Luxury train service, largely withdrawn in the steam era, with a handful of routes surviving into the modern era.
Pull The Cord Term to describe the application of the emergency brake by a passenger (or a very "desperate" basher" who wishes to "bail out" somewhere the train is not supposed to stop).
Permanent Way Term to describe the physical railway - rails, sleepers and ballast.
Produced What worked a particular train eg: "The Newcastle-Yarmouth Produced" this indicates that the expected working occurred, this might need to be clarified, specifically "The Newcastle-Yarmouth produced a 37"
PWS Permanent Way Slack - A temporary speed restriction due to repairs to the permanent way.
Rail Rover Type of ticket that gave unlimited travel in an area. Used by bashers all the time, examples being "midland railtourer", "north west rambler", "Scottish rover" etc etc.
Railtour A private charter run specifically for railway enthusiasts - featuring either rare routes or locomotives or frequently both
Rake Term for a number of coaches in a train formation.
Rake-in To have, or partake in; e.g. "Let's rake in the Brunch Muffins".
Rat Nickname for a Class 25 locomotive.
Recovery Time Allowance made in the timing of a train for delays enroute - as shown in the working timetable.
Ref Reference book, with a listing of locomotives.
Relief An additional service run to reduce overcrowding on the normal "service" train. These relief's were usually detailed in "special traffic notices" published a week in advance, or on occasion would be run at very short notice - like half an hour! - In this case these would be termed "control relief's" and were a case of whatever engine and stock can be found - very interesting for bashers!
Required A locomotive that the basher has not yet travelled behind- see also "new". Can also refer to a route that the basher has never been on before ("Required Line")
Reject Decline to travel on as in "I rejected 1M10 as it was a duff"
Require Needed, locomotive that a basher has not yet travelled behind, see also "line in the book"
Right Away Departure signalled by Guard/station staff using flag, whistle, light etc
Riot/Riotous Bashers enjoying themselves, usually after some "beer moves" have been made.
Rivo Nickname for the Cornish Riviera Express Limited, Paddington-Penzance and return. Name used by wizzo (western bashers).
Road Term to describe a route or path. As in "we learnt the road to Sheffield", or "the train has the road".
Roadshow Large group of bashers, typically on a summer Saturday in the East Midlands, Sheffield or North Wales areas.
Roarer Class 81-85 electric locomotives, on account of their noise, see also "old electric"
Route Availability Term used to describe which routes a locomotive could work over. Depending upon bridges, tunnels etc. routes had maximum weight restrictions and locomotives were classified accordingly. For example - Class 47's were not allowed on the Shrewsbury-Aberystwyth line (good news as passenger trains were hauled by Class 24's and later Class 25's, and in more recent times by Class 37's).
Route Knowledge The requirement for a train crew to know (in great detail) the route over which a train is travelling. This is in addition to "Traction Knowledge". Unless a train crew possess both for the train in question, the crew must be relieved, or a "pilot" be provided.
Rover Shorthand for "railrover".
Running Round Manoeuvre to put locomotive on opposite end of train, when train is reversing direction.
Saltley Locomotive shed close to Birmingham New Street. This location often provided diesel motive power for many of the services that started, or underwent loco changes here. Because of its central location, "Saltley Men" had a wide range of route and traction knowledge, and thus had a legendary reputation of being able to work almost any train, anywhere. Indeed, it was said that when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, there was a set of Saltley Men already there, waiting to "come back passenger!"
Scenario Current or projected state of affairs. When many locomotives were working various trains, bashers would discuss the various potential outcomes i.e.: what loco would end up on what train, as things frequently did not go to plan.
Scottish Region Region of BR above Carlisle on the west coast and above Berwick on the east coast. Scotland was always a favourite destination with bashers, as almost every train was loco-hauled with many Class 24/5/6/7 workings, plus Class 40's and on rare occasions Class 20's or 37's. The 37's became much more commonplace in the 1980's when they ousted the type 2 workings.
Score Required or New locomotive - see "line in the book"
Sirocco (Also known as "The Whirlpool"). Term given to the various services in the Preston area, many of which changed engines there. When an engine had worked one of these services, it got sucked into an unpredictable whirlpool of workings. For example the engine off 07.53 Manchester-Glasgow, which came off at Preston, could work the 09.00 Euston-Blackpool, or perhaps the Glasgow-Blackpool, or maybe a Crewe-Barrow, or a Glasgow to either Liverpool or back to Manchester. There were many trains that changed from diesel to electric or vice versa at Preston, and although nearly all diagrams were Class 47's, this rarely worked out with many Class 40's and even Class 25's deputising (despite a lot or air-conditioned stock).
Second Class What most BR accommodation was classified as. Renamed standard class during the 1980's.
Second man Or drivers assistant. The job title given to steam locomotive firemen when diesels were introduced. Whilst second men were not exactly worked hard (as they were when firemen), secondman was a useful apprenticeship, an opportunity to learn the job at first hand. The main job of a second man was to operate the train heating boiler on locomotives so equipped. As a result, if a train was booked for a steam heat engine, it would have a secondman, except in the summer months when heating was often switched off. Class 20 locomotive travelling "nose first" were supposed to have a Second Man in attendance, due to the restricted visibility when driving.
Semaphore Signal Traditional mechanical signaling system, commonplace on secondary routes in the 1970's and 80's and even today is still in use at some locations. Shrewsbury for example is almost all semaphore signals. Whilst this system is undoubtedly obsolete and more costly to maintain than modern MAS, it has much less to go wrong, and there are some that believe it has a greater fail safe value than MAS.
Seminar (Shot/Phot) Photograph of a group of bashers, usually (but not always) with a suitably dreadful locomotive working as a backdrop.
Set Down Only A train that called only to set down passengers. This would not prevent determined bashers getting on however.
Shed Nick name for Motive Power Depot (MPD). Also nickname for Class 66 locomotives.
Sheep Bashers who cannot read a timetable and therefore latch onto a "roadshow"
Single Manned When a driver was not accompanied by a secondman he was said to be single manned, which in practical terms meant that at least in the winter the train had to have an ETH locomotive (at least in theory!)
Siphons Nick name for Class 37 locomotives, apparently because someone once made up a rhyme that went "a type 3 is a siphon g". A siphon G was a GWR van (go figure as the Americans would say).
Skinheads Nick name given to Class 24, Class 26 and the original Class 31's.
Sleepers Term used to describe the wooden, concrete or metal beams that support the rails. Also refers to sleeping car trains.
Slim (Jims) Nick name for Class 33's, 33201-33212, which were a modified narrower version, for working on the Hastings line.
SO Saturdays only, train ran only on a Saturday.
Spare A locomotive, stock or train crew were frequently classified as "spare" i.e.: not allocated to work a service. Whilst this was clearly inefficient and is not practiced on the modern railway, it did mean that when something went wrong, there were resources available to take action. For example, a spare locomotive could be summoned to rescue a failed train. Or if a train was heavily delayed a "control relief" could be run using a spare rake of stock and locomotive.
Special A train that was not in the working timetable, and had been programmed via a special traffic notice. Examples being ADEX's, PARSPEX's etc .etc.
Special Traffic Notice Weekly set of publications detailing all the variations from the working timetable. Issued by area, for example the LMR issued W1 (western lines southern section), W2 (western lines northern section) & M (Midland lines). These STN's were heavily prized by bashers as they would details additional trains (specials), diversions, dragging, retimed trains, etc etc. As a further piece of information, modified locomotive diagrams were also issued in conjunction with the STN's. For example, on a bank holiday Monday the 01.20 Manchester-Cleethorpes mail was cancelled, and its locomotive diagram which was LO (Longsight) no. 1 diagram - Class 40 XB, was rediagrammed to work an ADEX from Manchester-Llandudno. Those that were around at the time were fully in the know!.
Splitter, The Nickname of the Euston-Liverpool/Manchester overnight which was split in two portions at Stafford. This was a very useful train allowing the bashers to arrive in Manchester early on a Saturday morning ready to cover the various Class 40 hauled trains. It featured an 04.30 arrival at Piccadilly, which was followed by the stock being connected to the shore supply of electric heat and then the roasting commenced! After 2 hours in a rancid Mark 1 compo, the bashers would detrain and stagger into the "El Bongo" cafe for a very greasy breakfast. Of all the things on this website, this cafe is about the only thing still in existence!
Spoon Nickname for Class 47, see also "duff"
Stagger Slow moving train, sometimes as a prelude to "blowing up". Can be exacerbated by "Butterflying".
Steam Heat Original heating system, inherited from steam locomotives. To supply steam to heat the train, diesels were fitted with a steam generator or "boiler". See also "NB"
Storm The opposite of "stagger" - a particularly fast run e.g.: "we stormed through Totnes"
Stretcher Window On some Mark 1 compartments a fully inward opening window was provided, supposedly for the movement of stretchers on/off the train. Whilst no-one ever saw one of these windows being used for this purpose, they were often not locked and therefore made superb bellowing positions - about ten people could bellow/flail via one window - it was rather dangerous however!
Sulzer Diesel engine manufacturer. Many locomotives had a Sulzer engine e.g.: Class 24/5/6/7, Class 33, Class 44/5/6 and Class 47.
SX Saturdays excepted, train ran Mondays to Fridays only.
Tandem, In Two (or more) locomotives hauling a train, with each locomotive being controlled by its own driver. The other system being "in multiple" where one driver controls both locomotives.
Thrash Name given to the smoke and noise generated by a locomotive under power. Some types of locomotive were renowned for their thrash, good examples being anything with a Maybach engine, Class 40's, Class 37's, and of course Deltics. Thrash was best enjoyed by having the window next to the engine wide open (being very careful not to put your head out too far!) see also "bellow"
Timetable Bashing involved constructing a series of "moves" to get the required engines. It goes without saying that a very thorough knowledge of timetables was essential. Every basher would have a copy of the all-line timetable (bible) in their bag, and what's more have whole sections of it in their head!
Tommy Nickname for Class 76 locomotives. These 1500V DC locos worked the Manchester - Sheffield route via Woodhead, and gained their nickname after the prototype was loaned to the Dutch Railways. 26000 was named "Tommy" by Dutch railwaymen whilst in the Netherlands, after the British soldiers who were stationed there during World War II.
Top Man The ultimate accolade, from the ranks of the "main men" steps forward the "top man".
Traction Knowledge The requirement for a train crew to be certified as being able to operate a particular class of locomotive. If an unusual locomotive worked in on a service to be relieved by said crew, if they did not "sign" (have the traction knowledge of) that class of loco, then either a pilot would be provided, or the locomotive might have to be replaced with a less exotic model.
Tractor Nickname for Class 37
Trainspotter Harmless be-anoraked person who enjoys writing down train numbers. Whilst it is fashionable to take the p**s out of these people, bashers all started as trainspotters before deciding it was just too easy and no challenge. Their public image is a disgrace to all stand up comedians, and poor journalism everywhere. Can be useful in obtaining "Word of Mouth Gen".
Tram Nickname for HST, IC125
TTI Traveling ticket inspector. A roving member of BR staff whose job it was to inspect tickets, either in place of, or as well as the guard. Sometimes referred to as "Goldie's"
Turn Next booked working, see also "diagram"
UFN Until further notice
Up Railway term used to describe trains travelling towards London.
Vacuum Brake Old type of braking system, inherited from steam era, still in widespread use in the 1970's despite being made obsolete by the air brake.
Veg Someone new to bashing with very little haulage in their moves book. See Insect.
Vacuum Only Locomotive equipped with vacuum brakes but no air brakes. The obvious implication being that the locomotive could not work air braked stock. (Both the above usually shortened to "vac" or "vacs" when applied to rolling stock).
View Observe the arrival, passage or departure of a train e.g.: "I viewed the 11.18"
Warships Class 42 and Class 43 diesel locomotives.
Wedged Bashers term for a very full train with no spare seats.
Western Region Area of BR based on old GWR, Paddington to West of England and South Wales.
Westerns Class 52 diesel locomotives, also known as "wizzos", or "thousands"
Wheel Arrangement Railway locomotives carry their wheels in sets on bogies at each end of the body. These sets of wheels are described thus: Bo-Bo: Two powered axles on each bogie, Co-Co: three powered axles on each bogie. These being by far the most popular, there were some variations however. For example class 40's and 44/5/6 had the wheel arrangement 1-Co-Co-1, meaning 1 non powered wheel set, followed by three powered on each bogie. As a further complication, diesel hydraulic locomotives had the wheel sets on each bogie locked together as unit (making slipping almost impossible). This was denoted by the removal of the "o", e.g.: Bo-Bo became B-B, Co-Co became C-C.

Wizzo || Nick name for Class 52 locomotives.

Withered Heap good natured abuse on another basher, frequently as a result of him making a stupid move and missing required or otherwise rateable locomotive working.
Working Timetable (WTT) The non-published internal BR timetable, which contained much more information than was ever released to the public. All trains (passenger, ECS, parcels, freight etc), intermediate junctions etc, passing times, loadings etc. Working timetables were highly sought after as they had lots of useful information for bashers.
York Mail Overnight Shrewsbury-York mail and passenger train. Three different locomotives used in each direction. Shrewsbury-Crewe (always a 47), Crewe-Stockport (electric), and Stockport-York (frequent Class 40, even a Deltic occasionally). A very useful train, featuring 40 haulage over the Pennines and also good positioning move for the East Coast.
Zero Interest Basher who is mechanically collecting different engines to travel behind, without appearing to enjoy it. See also "line in the book".
Zontar Originally featuring in a 1966 movie, Zontar was re-incarnated by in a series of videos on Youtube. The revitalized alien is now an avid basher, with a penchant for Deltics, and his movies are highly recommended. "Zontar Starts the Deltic Scrapline" is a must!