track pan

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track pan (plural track pans)

  1. (rail transport, US) a long trough placed between the rails in a railroad track, which enabled a steam locomotive to replenish its water supply without stopping by lowering a scoop.
    • 1945, Locomotive Engineers Journal - Volume 79:
      TWENTY-NINE track pan water stations, located at strategic points on the Main Line and on the Michigan Central, play an important part in keeping New York Central Railroad's traffic speeding without the delay caused by locomotives stopping.
    • 1979, The Train Dispatcher - Volumes 61-62, page 49:
      In 1870 at Montrose, N.Y., the New York Central made the first installation of a track pan and scoop to permit locomotives to take water on the fly. Since these installations invariably were in tiny communities, and since they permitted locomotives literally to “jerk water”
    • 2016, Kevin EuDaly, Mike Schafer, Steve Jessup, The Complete Book of North American Railroading, page 335:
      Towns with track pans no longer had as many trains stop there, and they became derisively known as “jerkwater” towns, where the trains would jerk water and just keep on going.