four foot

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From the 4 feetinch (1435 mm) distance between the rails on a standard gauge railway.

Noun[edit]

four foot (uncountable)

  1. (rail transport, colloquial) the space between the rails on a standard gauge railway line.
    • 1877, William Edward Langdon, The Application of Electricity to Railway Working, Page 230
      When placed in the four foot it should be so arranged that a loose carraige coupling shall not strike the box, as such a blow might possibly break it.
    • 1882, George P. Neele, Atlantic and American Notes, M'Corquodale & co., limited, Page 54
      Cattle are of course liable to stray on the line at these level crossings, but to prevent this, barriers are placed on each side of the crossing, and a deep trench is made in the four-foot and six-foot spaces, [...]
    • 1922, J. Thomas Lee, William Hepworth, Railway Permanent Way: Dimensional Theory and Practice, C. Sever, Page 224
      In this case, the third crossing i.e., where one turnout crosses the other, is in the four foot of the main
    • 1943, C. L. Heeler and Ronald Albert Hamnett, British Railway Track: Design, Construction and Maintenance, Permanent Way Institution
      Page 19
      The reason for this is, that as in these cases there are obstructions in the four foot which might become foul of wheels of stock [...]
      Page 48
      For ‘ E ’ and ‘ F ’ switches the key jaw is provided on the inside of the four-foot in the 1.P. and 2.P. chairs, as in these chairs there is not room between the switch and stock rails [...]
    • 2007 September 5, Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Rail Accident Report 33/2007: Fatal collision between a Super Voyager train and a car on the line at Copmanthorpe 25 September 2006, Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Department for Transport, Page 8 [1]
      The car came to rest with its front wheels in the four foot of the nearest railway line, the down Leeds line.

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

four foot (uncountable)

  1. (curling): Alternative form of 4-foot

See also[edit]