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"W" Iron

A framework roughly the shape of a "W", attached to the underside of a sole-bar of a railway vehicle, and serving the same purpose as a horn block.


Wagon

A railway goods vehicle which has no roof.


Wagon Tippler

A mechanical device which is able to lift up a whole wagon and tip out its contents.


Wagon Turntable

A short-length turntable consisting of a round plate on which two tracks at right angles to each other are located. These devices are used for manoeuvring individual wagons between tracks which are at too obtuse an angle to each other to be connected with points.

Waist (panel)

The area of a carriage body about half-way up the body-side; specifically the narrow panels below the windows on a traditionally panelled coach.


Walschaerts Valve-Gear

A steam-engine valve-gear used extensively on outside-cylindered locomotives. One component of motion is taken from an eccentric or return crank secured to one of the driving axles at approximately 90 to the main crank. From this a rod (eccentric rod) transfers movement to one end of a centre-pivoted link (radius link) which is thus oscillated. Movement is then taken from a die block which is free to slide within the radius link via a rod (radius rod) to one end of a lever (combination lever). The combination lever combines the movement of the radius rod with that of the cross head via a union link connected to the other end of the combination lever. The combined movement is transferred to the valve spindle via a third connection on the combination lever near the end connected to the radius rod. Reversal is carried out by moving the radius rod so the die block takes up a new position at the other end of the slide.


Washout Plugs

Boilers were fitted with plugs to enable internal inspections to be carried out and the scale formed to be washed out. Most washout plugs will be around the firebox, with just a few near the smoke-box end of the boiler barrel. Larger holes, known as mud-holes, were often provided around the bottom corners of fireboxes and the top front corners.


Water Column

Water columnA device consisting of a vertical tube from which a flexible hose hangs. The device is used for filling the water tanks of locomotives.

Water Crane

A water column on top of which an additional hinged horizontal pipe is attached.


Water Gauge

Fitted to the boiler in a locomotives cab the water gauge shows the level of water in the boiler. The gauge is usually a strong glass tube, which lead to sayings such a `half a glass' when referring to boiler water level. It is often surrounded by a protective cage to prevent it being knocked, and also to prevent broken glass being sprayed around the cab if it should break.


Water Legs

Downward extensions to the boiler around the firebox.


Water Scoop

To save having to stop to take on more water, many steam locomotives were fitted with water scoops which could pick up water with out stopping from long troughs laid along the track between the rails.


Water Tower

An elevated water-storage tank.


Water Troughs

Longitudinal troughs of water laid between the rails of a train track, for the purpose of a locomotive picking up water without stopping.


Webb Compound

A steam locomotive compound system in which two outside high- pressure cylinders exhaust into a single inside low-pressure cylinder.


Weight Shaft

A component of the Stephenson valve-gear attached to the reversing crank in such a way that it counterbalances the weight of the eccentric rods and expansion links.


Well Tank

Some steam locomotive carry their water supply in a tank set between the locomotive frames. As this greatly restricts the tank size, many locomotives with well tanks also had small side tanks.


Well Wagon

A goods wagon in which the portion between the two axles or bogies is lowered so as to provide room within the loading- gauge for a high load.


Westinghouse Brake

A compressed-air powered automatic continuous-braking system for trains, now used almost exclusively (see also vacuum brake).


Westinghouse Pump

A steam-operated air compressor used on steam locomotives whenever compressed air is required. These pumps are often seen secured to some part of a locomotive boiler, and have the appearance of one or more pairs of end-to-end cylinders with one of the pair incorporating cooling fins.


Wheel Arrangement

There are various ways to describe a locomotives wheel arrangement, the most common used for steam locomotives is the Whyte System which consists of three digits, the first specifying the number of wheels before the driving wheels, then the driving wheels, followed by any trailing wheels. This may also be followed by a T to indicate a side tank engine, ST to indicate a saddle tank, PT for pannier tank or WT for well tank.

e.g. The Atlantic Class 4-4-2


Wheel Drop

A short length of track which can be mechanically lowered down from the tracks at either end of it. Thus a pair of wheels of a vehicle which are positioned over the wheel drop can be removed from the vehicle.


Wheelbase

The distance between the centres of the first and last axles of a vehicle.


Wheel-Set

The combination of two wheels and the axle to which the wheels are attached.


Whistle

Steam locomotives were usually fitted with a whistle, typically mounted on top of the firebox.


White Metal Modelling

So what is white metal and why is it so good for modelling especially unusual subjects. Well after the cost of material and labour the moulding process is relatively cheap. Therefore short runs of kits can be produced and of a variety of different subjects can be kitted. more...


Whyte System

See: Wheel Arrangements.


Working Time Table

A time table used by railway operators, which includes the times of all regularly-run trains (not just passenger trains).

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z