Definition of railroad in English:



North American
  • 1A track or set of tracks made of steel rails along which passenger and freight trains run; a railway.

    as modifier ‘a railroad line’
    • ‘This table features five flippers, each of which are required to fuel a locomotive that runs along a railroad and through tunnels.’
    • ‘She's in a warehouse district, so in addition to the trucking garage where she meets Juan, there are railroad tracks full of freight cars.’
    • ‘Imagine how hard it would be to ship freight on the railroads if it took 10 days to open and close a switch.’
    • ‘He moved from family to family, placement to placement, and finally ran away to ‘tramp’ across the country in railroad freight cars.’
    • ‘It is likely that the active railroad line along which the grass was found served as the vector to bring the species to Bath County.’
    • ‘The Austin plan will use existing railroad tracks already in place throughout the city.’
    • ‘The original depot was the first building seen by railroad passengers as they entered town.’
    • ‘Civilian trains with passengers and loads move along the railroads.’
    • ‘Their most successful product, at 2.5 million pounds sold so far, is rail curve grease for railroads.’
    • ‘Two ski trails will have to bridge an active freight railroad that cuts through the property.’
    • ‘Amtrak said it deployed additional police and canine units at stations, aboard trains and along the railroad.’
    • ‘A true railfan like me would love to own a house in a beautiful city on a main line passenger railroad just feet from the action down the center of his street.’
    • ‘One old-timer was remembering the days when there was no US 101, but a network of railroad lines, with trains covering the county.’
    • ‘When the economy boomed, a handful of men made great fortunes in railroads, steel and finance.’
    • ‘There also developed a series of smaller cities along the railroad line, which helped create a rich class in the cities as well.’
    • ‘And then, when the river was nearly sucked dry, they lined it with railroad tracks and freight yards and dumped industrial waste into its bed.’
    • ‘The era was dominated by men such as Vanderbilt in railroads, Carnegie in steel, and the oil titan John D. Rockefeller, who created Standard Oil.’
    • ‘I had a little trouble finding the place, until I noticed the railroad tracks that run along Lake Dora.’
    • ‘In the 1800s, planting a hardy and attractive tree called salt cedar along newly laid railroad tracks in the vast American West seemed a good idea.’
    • ‘Tonight, many are saying our passenger rail lines, railroads, subways and commuter lines are at risk.’
    1. 1.1 A set of tracks for other vehicles.
  • 2A system of railroad tracks with the trains, organization, and personnel required for its working.

    in names ‘the Union Pacific Railroad’
    • ‘After all, when the railroad nixed such a system nearly two decades ago, it seemed like a profitable idea.’
    • ‘At a time when passenger railroads were adopting the new diesel-electric locomotive, the BA & P could not afford the capital investment.’
    • ‘When most of the railroads turned over the operation of their passenger trains to Amtrak back in 1971, The Southern, and Rio Grande refused.’
    • ‘They shut down a commuter railroad in order to promote the sale of automobiles.’
    • ‘The relationship between Amtrak and the freight railroads was established by law back when Amtrak was set up.’
    • ‘New concerns tonight that our nation's railroads and subways could be vulnerable to terrorist attack.’
    • ‘Created in 1971 in response to the demise of passenger trains run by private railroads, Amtrak has never shown a profit.’
    • ‘The tourist railroad uses a trailer as its ticket office and base of operations.’
    • ‘He won the proxy fight and brought innovative Alfred Perlman in to run the railroad.’
    • ‘The nation's passenger railroad is supposed to be a for-profit corporation, but Amtrak's never made money.’
    • ‘Besides visiting my parents, Michael and I also visited one tourist railroad while in Florida.’
    • ‘The passenger trains travel over lines owned by railroads that only ship freight.’
    • ‘Vranich says there are companies in America and abroad with the capacity to run a more efficient passenger railroad.’
    • ‘Union Pacific Railroad is the only class one railroad to provide rail freight service to the city.’
    • ‘Union Pacific, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is the nation's largest railroad.’
    • ‘Though primarily a freight railroad, the C&O long boasted a proud and superbly operated passenger service.’
    • ‘And so when we went into the process of selling the government's freight railroad, Conrail, it took us three years.’
    • ‘The regional and local railroads act as a gathering system for the class I carriers who facilitate the long-distance haulage required for many agricultural products.’
    • ‘Moreover, Warrington strongly believes in the importance of passenger railroads to the nation's future.’
    • ‘It was America's first railroad operating regular passenger and freight service.’


  • 1informal with object Rush or coerce (someone) into doing something.

    ‘she hesitated, unwilling to be railroaded into a decision’
    • ‘Jason didn't like being railroaded into anything, but he did feel sorry for Janice.’
    • ‘My mother railroaded me into netball and hockey but I didn't know the rules, and I tripped over a lot.’
    • ‘Her success seems to have railroaded her husband into a supporting role.’
    • ‘Instead of giving the player real choices, the game gives players the appearance of choice, but really just railroads them down the same path as everyone else.’
    • ‘Speaking after the London meeting, he denied he was trying to railroad families into accepting compensation rather than taking the lawsuit option.’
    • ‘Club coaches said they had been railroaded into taking late night slots and wanted the Friday night session to be an hour earlier.’
    • ‘Their policies are attempting to railroad people into urban settlements by objecting to planning applications in rural areas.’
    • ‘She had been railroaded into the job, under the supervision of a widely reviled manager, because no one inside the company would take it.’
    • ‘We won't be railroaded into a decision, you know.’
    • ‘We felt railroaded into it, and we're seething.’
    • ‘‘I sometimes feel I'm getting railroaded into a poor deal,’ he explains.’
    • ‘The operators were railroaded into agreeing to the move, and no one bothered to ask the people who actually pay to use the deckchairs: The tourists who go to the beach to relax.’
    • ‘They took no notice of the opposition and just railroaded people into this.’
    • ‘We have a young parliament, and we hardly need to be railroaded into a supposedly ‘voluntary’ scheme.’
    • ‘Zack was reluctant and frowning, but I exercised fatherly priviledge and basically railroaded him into the trip.’
    • ‘I was railroaded into a way of making music I wouldn't have gone for.’
    • ‘Instead of taking the lead in tackling the problem, once again they are being railroaded into joining a ‘global coalition’.’
    • ‘But neither she nor her three sisters, who are 12, 19 and 23, were railroaded into sport.’
    • ‘Customers often allow themselves to be railroaded into making bad decisions by a salesperson's use of false dilemma.’
    • ‘From early on, therefore, the developing countries worried they would be railroaded into a last-minute deal.’
    coerce, force, compel, pressure, pressurize, badger, hustle, pester, hound, harass, nag, harry, urge, goad, prod, spur
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cause (a measure) to be passed or approved quickly by applying pressure.
      ‘the Bill had been railroaded through the House’
      • ‘For that reason, they're too important to be railroaded through Congress.’
      • ‘He claimed the developer was railroading the development of the site and the manager's enforcement order was being ignored.’
      • ‘In this kind of climate, political decisions that should be the subject of public debate, such as extra powers for the police, can be railroaded through because dissent is not allowed.’
      • ‘At the same time, the new voting system will be instrumental in preventing the speaker from railroading contentious bills in a unilateral manner.’
      • ‘They feel the plans were railroaded through the district council and they have addressed their concerns to the Local Government Ombudsman.’
      • ‘He is a member of the major opposition Nationalist Party, which railroaded the nuclear power project while still Taiwan's ruling party.’
      • ‘There is never any harm in debating such issues, but this is not about debate, it is about railroading things through,’ he said.’
      • ‘Much of this legislation, cynically titled the USA Patriot Act, was railroaded through Congress within six weeks of the terrorist attacks of that fateful September morning.’
      • ‘‘It was the best decision,’ Amien later replied when asked by journalist about the compromise he railroaded through.’
      • ‘The fact is that the decision was railroaded through after normal business and residents were given minimal notice of the street closure.’
      • ‘The Conservatives railroaded through their market-led reforms, imposing the number-crunchers on hospitals to find out, for the first time, what healthcare really cost.’
      • ‘This was railroaded through so fast most local governments didn't even know about it.’
      • ‘The Stennis compromise - no compromise in his mind - was being railroaded through.’
      • ‘What are the contentious issues in those suggestions and are you worried the regulations may be railroaded through?’
      • ‘This whole process has been railroaded through and we are seeking a fair and reasonable industrial solution in the interests of the public and firefighters.’
      • ‘What he has failed to grasp is that because he stole all the past elections, he has invalidated any laws that he has railroaded through his parliament.’
      • ‘The government wants to railroad Agenda for Change through.’
      • ‘Another chilling measure was railroaded through federal parliament this week without any noticeable media coverage.’
      • ‘They planned to railroad it through with less than ten weeks from announcement to agreement.’
      • ‘He said: ‘Ten people who don't know the town will decide the future of that site. The way things get railroaded through district is unbelievable.’’
      pressurize, pressure, lean on, press, goad, prod, bulldoze, browbeat, brainwash, dragoon, strong-arm
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American Send (someone) to prison without a fair trial.
      ‘they know I was railroaded and falsely accused’
      • ‘It's also clear to me that he's been railroaded.’
      • ‘The kinds of things endured by the characters in this film would have been minor irritants to the man, who was railroaded and falsely convicted of a murder because of his race.’
      • ‘He presided over a criminal courtroom where, as in most such courtrooms in Los Angeles, defendants were railroaded by false testimony by cops.’
      • ‘The country had plenty of experience with its rulers using puppet prosecutors and judges to railroad so-called enemies of the state into prison or worse.’
      • ‘I knew he was innocent, and I had a unique perspective, where I saw the way in which he had gotten railroaded and convicted.’
      • ‘If somebody tries to railroad me, I'm going at them.’
      • ‘Editors may be more skeptical of authority today, but they do not all believe the Harlem boys were railroaded by a frenzied press and a zealous prosecution.’
      • ‘When good men were railroaded without a shred of due process, who was speaking up?’
      • ‘He was railroaded into a Mexican prison.’
      • ‘This might have been a convenient time for Specter to mention his real concern that the only person arrested in this grandest of grand larcenies was an innocent man being railroaded because of his race.’
      • ‘It is a testament to the jury that they refused to be part of the attempt to railroad innocent men to jail.’
      • ‘The former member of the Black Panther Party and a radio journalist was railroaded to prison 18 years ago on charges that he murdered a Philadelphia policeman.’
      • ‘Thomas, who did not testify, contended that he fled because he feared he would be railroaded - or shot - by police after he was identified as a suspect.’
      • ‘They set about to swiftly close the case and make an example of the alleged perpetrators, who were quickly railroaded to prison.’
      • ‘The novel is about an innocent white man on death row, railroaded because officials needed to prove that the death penalty isn't racially biased.’
      • ‘Criminal cops ride roughshod over prosecutors and juries and railroad people into prison or worse.’
      • ‘In the end, while one can reasonably argue that Arnold got what he deserved, the indications are that Jesse was railroaded and ended up serving time for a crime he did not commit.’
      • ‘Prosecutors and court judges routinely promoted and rewarded police misconduct, as hundreds of innocent persons were railroaded and tossed into prison.’
      • ‘It details conditions where suspects - who are overwhelmingly poor and minority - lack adequate access to counsel and are frequently railroaded to death row with little or no substantiating evidence.’
      • ‘I have since viewed the two documentaries and am convinced these poor kids were railroaded.’
  • 2usually as noun railroadingNorth American no object Travel or work on the railways.

    ‘the very early days of railroading’
    • ‘As you might imagine, the weather in the Cascade Mountains is often not favorable for railroading.’
    • ‘He enjoys railroading so much he even works on manufacturing real railcars for Gunderson in Portland.’
    • ‘Wrinn began reading Trains at age 6, and the magazine helped spark a lifelong interest in railroading.’
    • ‘I have had an interest in railroading, and in railway signal systems, since I was about ten years old.’
    • ‘It is a reminder, too, that the story of the C&O is about more than railroads and railroading.’
    • ‘Rail fans can enjoy sitting trackside, watching modern railroading and enjoying the historic connection with the Great Northern Railroad.’
    • ‘In one its few concessions to 20th century railroading, the WW & F had decided to allow the use of power tamping equipment.’
    • ‘The two small branches offer the look and feel of small time railroading.’
    • ‘Sunday, May 1, 1960, is a date that will not be soon forgotten in the annals of Canadian steam railroading.’
    • ‘Some friends and I had a recent discussion about today's railroading and how working conditions had improved for train crews.’
    • ‘Rather, the museum places railroading in the context of the community and focuses on the daily lives of the railroad's workers and families.’
    • ‘This will be one grand spectacular day of steam railroading!’
    • ‘Both Conductors were interesting people, retired and loved railroading.’
    • ‘Fergy was quite entertaining, quipping about railroading in general and about some of the sights we would be passing.’
    • ‘It comes highly recommended if you are into such museums and are curious about the history of passenger railroading in this part of the country.’
    • ‘Something was going on with railroading, something I had not encountered in my own research on the pre-World War II era.’
    • ‘How skillfully the timetable must be worked out, and how unwaveringly its edicts must be carried through, adds up to the fine art of railroading.’
    • ‘However, the MOT's founders still ended up with arguably the most representative and thorough visual history of American railroading anywhere.’
    • ‘It was the last big wreck of the steam era on the C.P.R., occurring shortly before I began railroading.’
    • ‘His Irish ancestors had emigrated to the United States in the early 19th century and made fortunes in logging and railroading.’