Cab
Usually a handheld piece of equipment with necessary controls to send speed, direction, and other information to the locomotive. Frequently referred to as “throttle”. On the prototype, the part of the locomotive that houses the crew.

Cab Bus
Used to connect handheld and stationary cabs to a command station. Wireless cabs are indirectly connected to a cab bus via their companion wireless base.

Cab Control
A method of independent control of two or more trains in which the throttle for each train is connected to the sections of track or “blocks” in which that train will run. A block is an electrically insulated section of track. Only one engine or set of engines can be independently controlled in each block.

Cab Forward
An articulated steam locomotive peculiar to the Southern Pacific, built with the cab in front for visibility in tunnels and snowsheds.

Cab Unit
A diesel locomotive built with a full width body. Sometimes called a “covered wagon”.

Caboose
The car that carries the crew of a freight train. It is almost always at the rear of the train.

Camelback
A type of steam locomotive with the cab astride the boiler.

Can Motor
A round-cross section motor with a circular field magnet.

Catenary
A structure built above railroad tracks to carry overhead wire for electric locomotives.

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.

Class I, Class II, Class III Railroads
The seven major U.S. railroads with average operating revenues in excess of $250 million or more are known as Class I; railroads with revenue of between $20 and $250 million are Class II; less than $20 million earns a Class III rating.

Classification Lights
Lights on the front of the locomotive that indicate the type of train. White lights show that the train is an extra; green indicates that another section of the train is following.

Clearance
The space that is required for rolling stock to pass an object or other equipment. Vertical clearance is the space between a car roof and an overhead object or structure.

Clearance Point
The location near a turnout frog where equipment on one track may safely pass equipment on the adjacent track.

Climax
A type of geared steam locomotive used primarily by logging railroads. The two cylinders drive a jackshaft parallel with the axles. Power is transmitted to each truck through bevel gears and a driveshaft; rods couple the axles on each truck.

Closure Rails
The rails connecting the points and the frog of a turnout.

Coaling Station
A structure for storing coal and transferring it into locomotive tenders.

Code
Height of model rail as measured by thousandths of an inch.

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 Rail Wiring
A wiring system wherein one rail is electrically continuous. A single wire connected to it serves as a common return for two or more cabs.

Consist
Cars which make up a train; also a list of those cars.

Control Bus
A cable connecting the command station to its boosters.

Cookie Cutter
A type of table construction in which the plywood tabletop is cut alongside the track and then elevated above the level of the rest of the layout (or dropped below).

Coupler
The device that fastens cars and locomotives together.

Covered Wagon
A diesel cab unit, A or B, as opposed to a hood unit.

Cowl Unit
A diesel unit that looks like a cab unit but differs structurally in that the carbody is merely a full-width hood rather than a structural part of the locomotive.

Crossing
A track arrangement that permits two tracks to cross but does not allow trains to move from one track to the other.

Crossover
Two turnouts laid frog to-frog to allow trains to move from one track to another parallel track.

CTC
Centralized Traffic Control, remote control of turnouts and signals by a dispatcher or control operator.

Cut
Roadbed dug into the surrounding terrain to maintain a relatively even grade.

Cut and Fill
A right of way construction method that removes earth or stone above grade and uses it to fill in gaps below grade.

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