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Engineer or Driver?


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#1 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 04:47 PM

In railroad jargon, is the operator of the locomotive(s) in a consist more properly called an engineer or driver?

 

Or does it really matter?

 

I've seen both terms used here on AU.      :)


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#2 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:07 PM

In US they are referred to as Locomotive engineer, on other side of pond in Great Britain they are referred to as Driver. 

in other european languages (not all) they are referred to as Machinist.


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#3 MikefromCrete

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:08 PM

In the United States and Canada, the correct term is engineer.  In the United Kingdom and European countries, as well as parts of the former British Commonwealth, the term is driver. 



#4 Acela150

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:11 PM

A driver is behind the wheel of a car or truck.
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#5 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:15 PM

But if you believe the news, they're conductors.  ;)


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#6 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:31 PM

Thanks everyone!


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#7 BCL

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:40 PM

The traditional operation of a steam locomotive was split between the engineer at the controls and a fireman tending to the operation of the boiler. At least that’s the nomenclature that became the current engineer description.
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#8 cpotisch

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:53 PM

But if you believe the news, they're conductors.  ;)

 

That always drives me insane. It probably shouldn't, but it really does.  :wacko:


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#9 railiner

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:59 PM

Other forms of transport that employ engineer's, are the maritime one, and formerly, air transport.  There are various classes of 'engineer' aboard a ship, from Chief down to assistant, none of which have any operational control of the movement of the ship.  They just control the engine and other machinery.

Airliner's used to have flight engineer's, aka 'second officer', but modern airliner's automation have made their jobs obsolete.  They were a skilled in flight mechanical technician.


Edited by railiner, 07 October 2018 - 06:01 PM.

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#10 greatcats

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 06:03 PM

Dont ever call a locomotive engineer a motorman. That is for subways!
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#11 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 06:33 PM

Dont ever call a locomotive engineer a motorman. That is for subways!

Yup, knew that!       :P


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#12 me_little_me

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 07:24 PM

A driver is behind the wheel of a car or truck.

And a rider is someone who owns a motorcycle - to round out the terms. :giggle:


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#13 the_traveler

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 07:33 PM

But if you believe the news, they're conductors.  ;)

 
That always drives me insane. It probably shouldn't, but it really does.  :wacko:
But the media says the CONDUCTOR was DRIVING the train! :wacko: So I am confused - is (s) he a Conductor or driver?:huh:
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#14 AutoTrDvr

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:53 PM

Other forms of transport that employ engineer's, are the maritime one, and formerly, air transport.  There are various classes of 'engineer' aboard a ship, from Chief down to assistant, none of which have any operational control of the movement of the ship.  They just control the engine and other machinery.

Airliner's used to have flight engineer's, aka 'second officer', but modern airliner's automation have made their jobs obsolete.  They were a skilled in flight mechanical technician.

 

And, in many of the marine contexts, the "Chief Engineer" has the same service rank as the "Captain..."   (O-6).....

 

And, in the context of "firefighting" the "engineer" is the person who drives the truck and operates the pumps. Remember "Mike Stoker" from the "Emergency!" show? 

 

1bd9345c5a9f68efbe702b4ac283b6dc.jpg

 

He was, actually, a real LA County FIrefighter who just happened to have s SAG card. They hired him as they needed to have someone to drive all the engines/trucks in the show, which he did. After the show, he rose to the level of Captain until his retirement from the LA County FD.


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#15 railiner

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:25 PM

Dont ever call a locomotive engineer a motorman. That is for subways!

In this "politically correct" era, "Motormen" are now "Train Operator's",   and on Amtrak, "Trainmen" are now "Assistant Conductor's".... ;)


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#16 caravanman

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 02:28 AM

As different countries speak different languages, so the job titles are different.

 

In the UK, a conductor is (or was) called the guard. Seen as rather secondary to the driver. Now that guards check tickets and collect fares on some trains, I think the conductor term is more in use here too.

 

Historicaly, the driver or fireman's job in case of an accident that obstructed the opposite running lines was to go forward and stop any traffic, and the guard was to do the same walking back to the rear instead.

 

In India, the loco drivers are called pilots...

 

Nothing wrong with updating job titles, I don't think many men who work in a laundry would like to be called a washerwoman...?

 

Ed.


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#17 cirdan

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 03:18 AM

But if you believe the news, they're conductors.  ;)

 

and trains are pulled by cabooses.



#18 cirdan

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 03:28 AM

In French, a locomotive engineer is a machinist. Dutch has a similar word. In German he or she is a Lokomotivführer or a  Lokführer -  locomotive leader.

 

In French a motorman is called a wattman (for metros, trolleys, light rails and similar) , but the term is not much used these days. In Germany you would say Wagenführer for a trolley or light rail car, and Zugführer for a metro or sometimes also for any type of  train..

 

Many of thes terms are a bit old fashioned and stuffy.Precise usage is no longer in fashion and words get used incorrectly.



#19 ehbowen

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:17 AM

A driver is behind the wheel of a car or truck.

 

Or mounted beside the frame on one of the driven axles, connected to the piston and crosshead by the side rods... :giggle:


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#20 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:41 AM

A driver is behind the wheel of a car or truck.

 
Or mounted beside the frame on one of the driven axles, connected to the piston and crosshead by the side rods... :giggle:
Or in a golfers bag. ;)
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