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|Glossary C - Glossary - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club|
Cab Control : A means of wiring a layout to enable track sections to be switched between two or more speed controllers.
Calling-on Signal : Used to indicate that a driver may move passed a stop signal at danger to a predetermined location, or the adjacent signalbox from where he would receive further instructions.
Can Motor : A round-cross section motor with a circular field magnet.
Cant : The amount that one running rail is raised above the other on curves to improve stability. Usually expressed in inches. Sometimes known as "Super-elevation".
Cant Deficiency : Expressed in inches, it is a measure of the extra cant that would have to be added to the rails around a particular curve at a particular running speed to completely cancel out the lateral cornering force.
CCT : Covered Carriage Truck. A small van used to carry parcels usually attached to passenger trains.
Capacitor Discharge Unit (CDU) : An electrical devise for solenoid point motors. Giving a very short but intense burst of power to the motor when switched.
Cardan Shaft : A power-transmitting shaft which has a universal joint at each end.
Catch Handle : The small spring-loaded locking-lever or `catch' at the end of a points or signal operating lever. The catch must be raised before it is possible to move the lever proper.
Catch Handle Locking : A system of interlocking in a lever frame, where the mechanism is activated by raising the catch handle rather than moving the lever proper.
Catch Point : A single trailing point blade set into an ascending track to derail wagons which have come uncoupled and are running back down the hill. This prevents runaway collisions.
Catenary : That part of the overhead wiring on electric railways, which hangs between the supporting masts and from which the dropper wires are hung.
CDU : Capacitor discharge unit. Used to store power so that several point motors may be fired simultaneously.
Centre third : A system of current collection using a central third rail. Now virtually obsolete.
Cess : The area alongside and below the level of a railway track into which rain water is drained.
Chair : A metal casting which is bolted to a sleeper and grips the rail to hold it in place.
Chauldron Wagon : A primitive coal wagon used in the early days of railways with a capacity of 36 bushels.
Check Rail : This is the length of rail which holds the inside of the wheel to stop the other wheel from going down the wrong side of the frog on your turnouts.
Circuit : The path of an electrical current.
Circuit Breaker : A switch that automatically protects the Digital Command Control system and all the decoders on the layout in the event of a current overload.
Clearing Point : A position 440 yards in advance of the outermost home signal of station limits, and to which position the line must be clear before a train can be accepted into the block section in rear.
Clerestory : Raised centre section of a carriage roof, usually with ventilation and glazing, to admit extra light into the centre of the coach. Particularly used in the days of oil lighting, it was discontinued in the early years of this century in view of the increased cost and complexity of construction and maintenance.
Closure rail : The piece of fixed rail between the points and the "frog" of a turnout (point).
Co-Acting Signals : Signals in which the indication is duplicated in two different positions on the same post.
Command Control : A way of controlling model trains by sending electronic signals through the rails or by wireless link, either radio or infrared. Each locomotive has a decoder or receiver that responds only to the messages specifically directed to it. Engines can be controlled independently anywhere on a layout.
Command Station : The "brains" of the DCC system. It receives information from the cab, forms the appropriate DCC "packet," and transmits this information in an NMRA DCC-compliant signal to the track via the booster.
Common Return : A method of wiring a layout in which all the return connections from the track are looped together by a single common wire.
Composite : Carriage with seating for passengers of different classes.
Compound Engine : To maximise efficiency on steam locomotives, some were designed to use steam at high pressure in one or more cylinders. Exhaust steam from those cylinders then drove other low-pressure cylinders before finally being exhausted to atmosphere.
Configuration Variable (CV) : In DCC, number programmed into a decoder that controls its behavior. These numbers remain stored until they are reprogrammed. An address is an example of a configuration variable.
Contact Wire : That part of the overhead wiring in railway electrification to which the pantograph of the moving vehicle makes contact.
Continuous Brakes : Brakes that are connected to adjacent vehicles in a train to form one continuous braking system controlled from the locomotive, thus providing an adequate braking force no matter the length of the train. Continuous brakes are arranged so that if vehicles become accidentally detached from the locomotive the brakes are automatically applied. Brake application devices are also available to the guard and in passenger vehicles for emergency use, but only the driver can release the brakes.
Corridor Coach : A railway coach with an inter-connecting passageway between compartments.
Corridor Connection : A narrow flexible section at the end of a coach designed to be secured to a similar section on another coach, thus providing a passageway between coaches.
Corridor Tender : A tender incorporating a passageway through it and a corridor connection to the coaches to which it might be attached.
Crossing : One rail crossing another on the same level.
Crossing Angle : The acute angle that one rail makes relative to the other at a crossing.
Crossover : A pair of turnouts arranged in such a manner as to allow a train to cross from one line to another.
Cutting : A large trench with sloping walls and railway tracks at the bottom.
CV : See Configuration variable
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