One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American British A railway worker responsible for a train's brakes or for other duties such as those of a guard.
- ‘A comfortably cushioned seat is also provided for the head-end brakeman in the rear of the fireman's seat.’
- ‘The first brakemen hired by the new company were drifters (a.k.a. boomers) off the railroads.’
- ‘While going downhill, each coach has a special ‘Chatelier’ brake, operated by a ‘brakesman’ based on the whistle codes from the driver.’
- ‘It focuses on the engineers, conductors, firemen, and brakemen who operated the trains and the unions that represented them, the ‘Big Four’ railroad brotherhoods, in the last decades of the nineteenth century.’
- ‘It was the junior brakeman's ‘duties’ to stock up the van with coke for the stove and to wash the floor to the satisfaction of his conductor.’
- ‘Regularly each year, 10,000 brakemen would die.’
- ‘The fireman and brakeman were blown out of the cab, and both died a few days later.’
- ‘At one time, he said, the yard employed a large number of brakemen, who rode along on each of the freight cars to control the speed as the cars rolled downhill.’
- ‘No one boarded the train while we 4 passengers, the conductor, engineer, and brakeman held a 10-minute conversation on the platform.’
- ‘However, if cars, trucks and buses can slowly but safely maneuver downtown during festivals, Metro's trains ought to be able to get through, even if they have to be preceded by a lantern-waving brakeman on foot.’
- ‘The brakeman would still have been on the engine for a safety lookout as well as his train-related duties.’
- ‘Most of the remaining workers held unskilled positions such as brakemen or firemen.’
- ‘Many jobs were no more nor less dangerous than thousands of posts in other walks of life, but for shunters, goods guards and brakesmen, permanent way staff and platelayers the story was different.’
- ‘Until then, brakemen stopped trains by manually applying brakes in each car.’
- ‘Wages were $1.00 a day for track labourers while train crews earned from $1.25 to $2.50, as follows: Enginemen, $1.75 to $2.50 per day; brakemen, $1.25 per day and conductors $1.70-1.80.’
- ‘Aside from the two conductors and two tail-end brakemen riding in the cabooses there was an engineer and fireman on each of the four steam locomotives and a head-end brakeman on the assist engines.’
- ‘After the Civil War, they comprised a sizable proportion of the work force of firemen and brakemen on southern railroads, and they fully occupied service positions on dining and sleeping cars as well as in baggage handling.’
- ‘The conductor and brakeman in the caboose were forgotten about!’
- ‘Windows all across (with wipers) will justify a middle seat for the brakeman, but there's a sandbox there too for the flues.’
- ‘No room for brakeman was needed since he rode in a compartment atop the tender.’
2A person in charge of brakes, especially in a bobsleigh.
- ‘Smith, a veteran of one Europa Cup and world cup season (with a best of 8th place in Cortina in 2003) is the brakeman in the team and is confident he can put the brakes on Britain's rivals this season.’
- ‘With an eye toward the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, he wants to become a bobsledding brakeman - for Greece.’
- ‘The 32-year-old Chicago, Ill. native was also the brakeman on this year's two-man bobsled team in which he paired with driver Todd Hays.’
- ‘He was the brakeman for the USA world bobsledding team that won the four-man national bobsledding championship at Lake Placid.’
- ‘A Reserve environmental engineer officer, he is the brakeman for the top-ranked four-man sled team in the world.’
- ‘She made the team as a brakeman, a person who helps push the sled and then, on the way down the hill, helps balance it to keep it from hitting the walls.’
- ‘Will Valerie Fleming, a former sprinter and javelin thrower and current brakeman for bobsled driver (and former pro soccer player) Shauna Rohbock, get her Olympic medal on the track at Cesana Pariol?’
- ‘Her position in the two-man team is piloting the bobsleigh, in the front, while her sister acts as the brakeman.’
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