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 Been thinking...are Trains male or female?
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Posted - 2009 April 02 :  11:44:03 PM  Show Profile
I was wondering just now about whether trains are "male" or "female." If you think about it, boats and ships are traditionally "female" and named accordingly -- because of the cost of keeping them in paint and make-up. Same idea applies to many airplanes. But what about trains?

Here is my initial thoughts on the matter. Given the enormous amounts of time and money we spend dressing up our trains is suggestive of trains being female. Also along this thought is the fact that many MRR spouses, aka "train widows", pretty much consider our rails as acceptable mistresses -- again female is suggested.

The counterpoint lies in the fact that most of the pricey and time consuming efforts for train modifications involve age and weathering details, which suggest a male orientation. After all, I think it is fair to say that most females are not interested in getting age and weathering details at the plastic surgeons. Call it a hunch, if you will...

Anyway, what is the word?


(This will teach me to put the cap back on the paint thinner...)
Rick Jackomis

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Posted - 2009 April 02 :  11:49:52 PM  Show Profile
I've looked , they're smoothies , like Smurfs . The exception is O scale 3 rail , they're definitely males .

Richie Dost Photos

Edited by - up1950s on 2009 April 02 11:52:00 PM

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Posted - 2009 April 03 :  12:10:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit eric220's Homepage
If memory serves, tradition would be that the entire locomotive, car, or train would be referred to in the feminine. Any part (drive rod, prime mover, headlamp, axel, etc.) would be masculine.


Modeling a transcontinental PRR

Country: USA | Posts: 360 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2009 April 03 :  12:27:58 AM  Show Profile
Depends on a language. In Polish:
locomotive (a generic term) is feminine
however a "steamer" (as in "steam loco") is masculine
wagon (box car or passenger car) is masculine
train is also masculine


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Posted - 2009 April 03 :  12:51:50 AM  Show Profile
Steamer has a johnson bar - male
It's stacked - female

Richie Dost Photos

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Posted - 2009 April 03 :  01:54:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit Zug's Homepage
.... couplers... not even going to touch that one...


author of ZugDCC - Simply the best software for Lenz ExpressNet *

Country: Canada | Posts: 1033 Go to Top of Page

Kodiak Island Modeler

Posted - 2009 April 03 :  04:32:06 AM  Show Profile
Rick, I think you need a vacation. LOL

Country: USA | Posts: 1206 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2009 April 03 :  05:36:02 AM  Show Profile
A steam locomotive was called "she" by the older railroaders such as my great grandfather.Shes firing good.

However,my Grandfather's generation had more colorful and some times unprintable names for them.Engine.This engine is firing poorly.

Summerset Ry.

Country: USA | Posts: 7537 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2009 April 03 :  05:46:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Steve4's Homepage depends, do you have a tunnel on your layout ?

steve w.

certified raving and ranting lunatic

Country: Niue | Posts: 1280 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2009 April 03 :  06:07:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit Anton's Homepage
EMD's are male they just keep working, GE's are female they have nerves brakedowns all the time and can't handle the work load.

NS man! Love those high hoods!!

Country: USA | Posts: 105 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2009 April 03 :  07:02:31 AM  Show Profile
The old engineer in the movie "Emperor Of The North" said, and I quote, "She's old Shack-- she can't take it, she ought to be in the shop."

That pretty much seals the deal in my opinion.

Country: USA | Posts: 1773 Go to Top of Page

Fred Moehrle

Posted - 2009 April 03 :  07:19:02 AM  Show Profile
How about caboose's?

Modern loco's!?! We don't need no modern Loco's.
We need Alco's!

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Posted - 2009 April 03 :  07:37:27 AM  Show Profile
The fact is, it's hard to tell unless you're a veterinarian.

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Steve Wagner

Posted - 2009 April 03 :  08:10:53 AM  Show Profile
The genders of railroad-related terms in German pretty much parallel the Polish ones Peteski listed, except that "steam loco (or locomotive)" is feminine. In addition, "rail" (the actual steel thing) is feminine but "track" (as in "The train will arrive on Track One") is neuter. And "railroad" or "railway" is feminine.

Edited by - Steve Wagner on 2009 April 03 08:35:36 AM

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Posted - 2009 April 03 :  08:12:22 AM  Show Profile
Engines are like female's you have to know how to sweet talk them to get the best out of them Wenedll

wendell camp

Country: USA | Posts: 69 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2009 April 03 :  08:12:54 AM  Show Profile
I think its up to who is doing the refering.
She said ,"Look at that Big Boy go"
and he replied " She's all steamed up"


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