Abbreviations and Glossary of Terms - AComrails Logo

Abbreviations and Glossary of Terms


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AAR wheel arrangement
The AAR wheel arrangement system is a method of classifying locomotive wheel arrangements that was developed by the Association of American Railroads. It is similar to the European UIC classification, and it is widely used in North America to describe diesel and electric locomotives. It is not used for steam locomotives; instead, the Whyte notation is used. This system counts axles instead of wheels. Letters refer to powered axles, and numbers to unpowered axles. "A" refers to one powered axle, "B" to two powered axles in a row, "C" to three powered axles in a row, and "D" to four powered axles in a row. "1" refers to one idler axle, and "2" to two idler axles in a row. A dash ("-") separates trucks, or wheel assemblies. A plus sign ("+") refers to articulation.

Examples are: A1A-A1A, B-1, B-A1A, D-D, 2-D+D-2.

Air Brake
This is the most common type of train brake. It was used on both the South Australian and Commonwealth Railways.
Air Suspension
The bogie of a vehicle is fitted with rubber air cushions or bags. Compressed air is fed into the bags under the control of a valve to ensure the correct pressure is maintained.
See Australian Locomotive and Railway Carriage Company.
Alice, The
Inaugrated on 21st November 1983, The Alice was promoted as an all first class journey between Sydney and Alice Springs. No economy seating was provided on the train. Poor patronage lead to the service being terminated on 2 November 1987
See Australian National.
See Australian National Railway Commission.
A.R.H.S. (SteamRanger)
Australian Railway Historical Society. In South Australia they operate train services under the name SteamRanger.
See Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Articulated Vehicle
Two adjacent railway vehicles are mounted on one bogie. It has the benefit of reducing the number of bogies required for a train and hence the weight and maintenance requirements.
See Australia Southern Railway.
AustralAsia Railway Corporation
The AustralAsia Railway Corporation is a statutory body established under the AustralAsia Railway Corporation Act 1996 and supported by South Australia through complementary legislation. The Corporation was established in 1997 by the Northern Territory and South Australian Governments to manage the awarding of a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer back (BOOT) concession and to enter into contractual arrangements with the successful consortium for the construction of the rail line from Alice Springs to Darwin.
Australian Locomotive & Railway Carriage Company
(Murraylander) The Australian Loco & Railway Carriage Company was formed in 1999 by Steve Moritz, Bob Butrims and Bruce Roberts to take over the operational assests of the Murraylander. A joint veture company was formed on a 50/50 basis by Aust Locomotive & Railway Carriage Co. and the Victorian Railway Co (trading as West Coast Railway) to operate the Murraylander and various other charters. They are also a rollingstock provider specialising in the hire of power vans, crew cars and passenger carriages for use on the standard gauge systems.
Australian National (A.N.)
This was the operating business name of the "Australian National Railway Commission", which was owned by the Commonwealth of Australia.
Australian National Railway Commission (A.N.R.C.)
This railway organisation was owned by the Commonwealth of Australia. Its operations extended from Kalgoorlie to Alice Springs and to the boarders with Victoria and New South Wales, as well as all railways in the state of Tasmania. It was formed in 1975 from the former Commonwealth, South Australian (non-suburban) and Tasmanian railways. It traded under the name Australian National.

Australian National Railways took over the operation of the country passenger and goods services in South Australia as from 1st March 1978. In 1997 the freight business was sold to Australia Southern Railroad and the passeger business to Great Southern Railroad.

Asia Pacific Transport Consortium
In 2000, the AustralAsia Rail Corporation awarded the contract to build and operate the Adelaide to Darwin railway line as a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer back project to the the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium, which consists of: Kellogg Brown & Root, John Holland Group, Carillion, Macmahon Holdings & Australian Railroad Group. The Asia Pacific Transport Consortium contracted FreightLink to implement the project and to operate the railway. The Asia Pacific Transport Consortium leases some assets on the Darwin - Alice Springs section from the AustralAsia Rail Corporation, and subleases of the Alice Springs - Tarcoola, South Australia railway from the Australian Government through the AustralAsia Rail Corporation.
Australian Rail Track Corporation (A.R.T.C.)
The interstate rail corridors operated by Australian National were transferred to the Australian Rail Track Corporation as part of the 1997 sale. The Australian Rail Track Corporation, which is owned by the Commonwealth of Australia, commenced full operation on 1 July 1998.

Since formation it has negotiated various agreements gaining it access to the main rail corridors from Perth to Brisbane.

Australia Southern Railroad (A.S.R.)
The freight business of Australian National was sold to the Australia Southern Railroad, a consortium consisting of Genesee and Wyoming Inc, and Clyde Engineering and Transfield, on 28 August 1997. They took over operation from 8 November 1997.
The circular shaft connecting two wheels.
The axlebox attaches the axle end to the bogie frame. The axle rotates within the axlebox allowing the wheel to turn.
Axle Load
The weight that is applied by one axle, on a carriage or engine, to the track. Generally axle load refers to the maximum weight permitted on a single axle.

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