Most Bizarre Railway Neologism

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Inversnecky

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In another thread, someone made reference to the “PTI” (Platform Train Interface).

What other contrived or bizarre jargon abound in the modern rail industry?
 
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PupCuff

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I personally find 'transboardment bridges' an entertaining one, it is of course their official name but it's always struck me as an unnecessarily complicated term - though admittedly shorter than 'train-to-train evacuation bridge'.

There's probably a load more we use on an everyday basis that non-railway types would find amusing but they just become standard vocabulary after a while.
 

RHolmes

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Toilet Spatula is one of my favourites

The device used for snapping off the lock cover of jammed toilet doors, allowing access to the internal mechanism that can then be forced open from the exterior, rather than a device for flipping or spreading anything in the ‘bowl’ :lol:
 

xotGD

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The departures board has turned in to a PIS (passenger information screen)

And I can't cope with ETH (electric train heat) turning into ETS (electric train supply)
 

Tio Terry

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I think PIS is now CIS (Customer Information System) isn't it?

There's also FATCOWS (Fixed, Automatic, Track Circuit Operated, Warning Systems).
 

zwk500

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My Favourite is TRUST - Trains Running Under System TOPS (there's a couple of variations on exactly what it stands for). The strange bit being that TOPS is itself an acronym (Total Operations Processing System). So you have acronym-ception
 

Merle Haggard

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In B.R. days, it seemed that acronym creation was the opportunity for otherwise unsatisfied creativity by the managers concerned.
For instance, we had the two (indistinguishable, to me at least) depot systems; LOVERS and RAVERS
LOcal VEhicle Record System and RAil VEhicle Record System.

And, as an example of the redundant Acronym Syndrome mentioned above, the step plates (of Cl 321 ???) that had the inscription 'Built by BREL Ltd'
 

Mag_seven

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There was a BR reorganisation called "Organising for Quality". The acronym "OFQ" was pronounced in a certain way by some.
 
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Bletchleyite

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To be fair you get that because a three letter acronym tends to be easier to pronounce than a two-letter one. "PI number" is quite a mouthful ("pee eye number"), whereas "PIN number" flows nicely. Yes, you could just say "PIN" but then you've got confusion with a pointy thing used to hold paper to a notice board. Or you could pronounce it "pie number" but then people think you mean 3.141 etc or your order from Greggs.
 

ashkeba

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To be fair you get that because a three letter acronym tends to be easier to pronounce than a two-letter one. "PI number" is quite a mouthful ("pee eye number"), whereas "PIN number" flows nicely. Yes, you could just say "PIN" but then you've got confusion with a pointy thing used to hold paper to a notice board. Or you could pronounce it "pie number" but then people think you mean 3.141 etc or your order from Greggs.
PIN code. That one need not suffer RAS syndrome
 

43096

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In B.R. days, it seemed that acronym creation was the opportunity for otherwise unsatisfied creativity by the managers concerned.
For instance, we had the two (indistinguishable, to me at least) depot systems; LOVERS and RAVERS
LOcal VEhicle Record System and RAil VEhicle Record System.
BR was very good at acronyms. BRUTE - British Rail Universal Trolley Equipment - was another one.

Back under the Midland Mainline franchise, performance collapsed to the extent that the MD was removed and David Franks came in as MD and Tim Shoveller as Ops Director. They came up with a recovery plan called Project SPEED (Service Performance Enhancements to Eliminate Delay), which was very successful.
 

Galvanize

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I think PIS is now CIS (Customer Information System) isn't it?

There's also FATCOWS (Fixed, Automatic, Track Circuit Operated, Warning Systems).
To my understanding...Station Screens or Automated Announcements are referred to as a CIS...customer information system...but screens and Automated Announcements onboard trains are still known as a Passenger Information System or PIS. It’s sometimes referred to as a Passenger Information Display System...with the acronym “PIDS” on certain TOCs.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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Train fares under BR could have been half the price if it wasn't for "acronyms" and pencils and paper having their own numbers and codes. Ridiculous looking back at it.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Are the various acronyms / neologisms used on the railway genuinely useful, or, like in many other trades and industries, just a means of effectively excluding anyone not well versed in the jargon and terminology?
 

pdeaves

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the step plates (of Cl 321 ???) that had the inscription 'Built by BREL Ltd'
To be fair, by that stage the company was simply 'BREL' with the letters not standing for anything (officially; I mean we all know/knew where they came from in the first place).

In the general case I am always suspicious where the first word after an acronym starts with the same letter as the end of the acronym.
 

Taunton

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Back in olden times when messages were sent by telegram, charged by the word, and also extremely slow to send by morse code, there were an extensive range of code words used for all sorts.

The old GWR named all their internal user engineering wagon types after fish, for some reason (maybe Grierson, longstanding Chief Civil Engineer, was a fisherman), so you had to know your Catfish from your Dogfish - the former was a 20 ton ballast hopper, the latter a larger 25 tonner. Universally used in messages, these names were also painted on the sides of the wagon.
 

zwk500

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Are the various acronyms / neologisms used on the railway genuinely useful, or, like in many other trades and industries, just a means of effectively excluding anyone not well versed in the jargon and terminology?
They are useful, but as with many things on the railways there's either too many ways of referring to the same thing or too many things referred to by the same acronym, so they're not as useful as they should be.
 

TheEdge

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Are the various acronyms / neologisms used on the railway genuinely useful, or, like in many other trades and industries, just a means of effectively excluding anyone not well versed in the jargon and terminology?

I feel like people are deliberately hating on acronyms despite being useful.

PIS/CIS - massively shortens the names, differentiates between two different systems.
CCF - "Control Centre of the Future", or just CCF, the train locator.

PTI, the one that opened this thread? What else would you call it?

No one feel like complaining about GWR, GEML, WCML, AWS and TPWS? Those are all acronyms hiding their full title from those that know?
 

Mcr Warrior

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Best part of 200 different 'CCF' acronyms in use (albeit not all on the railway, of course, although many could be).

For example...

Call Control Function;

Common Connector Framework;

Combined Computer Facility;

Central Co-ordinating Facility;

Correct Classification Factor;

Claim Coverage Form;

as well as...

Colombian Coffee Federation. ;)
 
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Dr Hoo

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This is absolutely nothing new.

From the very dawn of the railways the 'track' was given the cumbersome name of 'permanent way', which spawned a lot of ambiguous abbreviations such as PWS (Permanent Way Slack [= Temporary Speed Restriction] and Permanent Way Supervisor).
 

hexagon789

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My personal favourite is BRUTE

In another thread, someone made reference to the “PTI” (Platform Train Interface).

What other contrived or bizarre jargon abound in the modern rail industry?
Doesn't at least one TOC now refer to the DSD/DVD as the DWD?
 

Western 52

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In the 1980s Royal Mail bought BRUTEs from BR for use in some parcel offices. I remember a sign on a door saying "BRUTES must not pass this point ". Hard to explain to new staff!. Incidentally, the Post Office had hundreds of its own acronyms so the railways were not alone!
 
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