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foot +‎ plate


  • (file)


footplate (plural footplates)

  1. (rail transport) The metal plate which forms the base platform of a steam locomotive and supports the boiler and the driver's cab, particularly in the United Kingdom.
    • 1960 October, P. Ransome-Wallis, “Modern motive power of the German Federal Railway: Part Two”, in Trains Illustrated, page 611:
      All the same, nearly eight hours on the footplate covering a distance of 320 miles, with an ambient temperature of up to 103° for much of the time, proved an ordeal which I would not lightly undertake again.
    • 1961 March, Balmore, “Driving and firing modern French steam locomotives”, in Trains Illustrated, page 148:
      After a while we left the engine, but not before André had examined the 4-6-4 very carefully, with hammer and torch, both outside and underneath. And that was the end of my footplate work on this particular weekend.
    • 2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 42:
      This uncoupling done, Gimbert opened the regulator as Nightall climbed back onto the footplate, in order to pull the one burning wagon away from the rest of the bomb-laden train.
  2. The engineer's cab in any kind of train.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage, published 2007, page 845:
      Kit had fallen into conversation with a footplate man who was deadheading back out to Samarkand, where he lived with his wife and children.
  3. (anatomy) The flat portion at the base of the stapes; pedicel.
    • 2008, Michael Valente, Holly Hosford-Dunn, Ross J. Roeser, Audiology Treatment, page 218:
      The footplate of the stapes develops and ossifies in conjunction with the otic capsule and thus takes its origin from the otic placode in the embryo.
  4. The part of a roller skate that attaches to the boot.
  5. (construction) A timber in a wood frame that distributes a concentrated load.
  6. (auto parts) A platform on which the driver's foot rests but which, unlike a pedal, has no effect.

Derived terms[edit]


footplate (third-person singular simple present footplates, present participle footplating, simple past and past participle footplated)

  1. (rail transport) To travel (or work) on the footplate of a locomotive.
    • 1979 August, Michael Harris, “A line for all reasons: the North Yorkshire Moors Railway”, in Railway World, page 415:
      Hard work is required from men and machines as I was to experience later when footplating Lambton No 5 on five bogies battling its way up Newtondale.