Definition of footplate in English:



  • 1The platform for the crew in the cab of a locomotive.

    • ‘Prince Philip stepped up to the footplate of Mallard, the world's fastest steam locomotive, before moving into The Works, where pupils from Poppleton Road School in York were enjoying a storytelling session.’
    • ‘From tomorrow until February 20, Thomas is taking a break from his branch line to visit the Museum, where young people will be able to stand on the footplate of the ‘Really Useful Engine’ and meet some of his friends from the Island of Sodor.’
    • ‘As train fans queued for the chance of a photograph on the footplate of the locomotive Yorkshire Post readers helped keep in this country, Mr Higton recalled his training in the Doncaster railway works which built Flying Scotsman in 1923.’
    • ‘‘He travelled in style on the footplate,’ said John.’
    • ‘The ‘Cab It’ event, which takes place this weekend, will see rare access offered to the cabs and footplates of 15 former BR locomotives and engines.’
    • ‘That shot from the footplate supposedly heading eastwards was quite definitely taken travelling in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘The royal train will be travelling under steam on the Settle-Carlisle railway line and there are strong rumours that he will don overalls and take to the footplate, driving a steam train over Ribblehead Viaduct.’
    • ‘The pair were standing on the footplate of his locomotive.’
    • ‘When due for shopping, they can give an exciting ride, far from appreciated on the footplate.’
    • ‘We also see Bar Convent schoolgirls fulfilling every schoolboy's dream by standing on a locomotive's footplate.’
    • ‘Former fireman Alan Richardson rode 3,000 miles on the footplate of the Flying Scotsman during its triumphant American tour in 1969 when it hauled a train from Boston to Houston.’
    • ‘IN 1969 notices went up in rail depots across the nation asking for volunteers to work on the footplate of steam locomotive Flying Scotsman during a forthcoming promotional visit to the US.’
    • ‘Prince Charles will arrive in Pickering on the footplate of a steam locomotive on Monday, October 2, only five days after his brother, Andrew, visits Helmsley.’
    • ‘And it's around 40 years since he rode on the footplate as a fireman when the line was part of the national rail network.’
    • ‘It is strongly rumoured that he will take to the footplate and drive the steam train for part of the way along the route, which will stop at Kirkby Stephen and Appleby Stations.’
    • ‘It was kept in the signal box at Barnoldswick Junction, handed up to the fireman on the footplate as the train passed and handed back when it returned.’
    • ‘The youngster was hauled out from between the platform and the train by bystanders after falling from a footplate during yesterday's busy rush hour.’
    • ‘Rail buffs could take a step back in time to Swindon's golden rail era age and get spliced on the footplate of a vintage locomotive at Steam.’
    • ‘He stood on the footplate at the rear of the train and held on for seven miles as the train reached speeds of 60 mph.’
    • ‘You simply stepped onto the footplate at the rear which was only about a foot from the ground.’
    1. 1.1[as modifier]Denoting railway staff responsible for operating trains, as opposed to other employees.
      • ‘Since British Railways withdrew steam in 1968, the number of footplate crews qualified to drive steam locomotives on the main line has dropped dramatically, and the few left are approaching retirement age.’
      • ‘They might weigh up to ninety tons, but footplate staff always referred to their warm and trembling steam locomotives (each marked by its individual, if not always tractable, character) as ‘she’.’
      • ‘Next in importance after Ashford in east Kent were the running depots (engine sheds) of the two rival lines, where a number of engines were based, cleaned and maintained, and where the majority of the footplate crews were based.’
      • ‘The most appealing of these grades is indisputably the footplate workers, with signallers running second.’
      • ‘He started acting as a footplate inspector on Flying Scotsman in 1967 and recalls how he couldn't resist ‘having a go on the shovel.’’