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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Two ski trails will have to bridge an active freight railroad that cuts through the property.’
    • ‘There also developed a series of smaller cities along the railroad line, which helped create a rich class in the cities as well.’
    • ‘Imagine how hard it would be to ship freight on the railroads if it took 10 days to open and close a switch.’
    • ‘Civilian trains with passengers and loads move along the railroads.’
    • ‘This table features five flippers, each of which are required to fuel a locomotive that runs along a railroad and through tunnels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When the economy boomed, a handful of men made great fortunes in railroads, steel and finance.’
    • ‘One old-timer was remembering the days when there was no US 101, but a network of railroad lines, with trains covering the county.’
    • ‘Their most successful product, at 2.5 million pounds sold so far, is rail curve grease for railroads.’
    • ‘I had a little trouble finding the place, until I noticed the railroad tracks that run along Lake Dora.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The original depot was the first building seen by railroad passengers as they entered town.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He moved from family to family, placement to placement, and finally ran away to ‘tramp’ across the country in railroad freight cars.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tonight, many are saying our passenger rail lines, railroads, subways and commuter lines are at risk.’
    • ‘The Austin plan will use existing railroad tracks already in place throughout the city.’
    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’
    • ‘He won the proxy fight and brought innovative Alfred Perlman in to run the railroad.’
    • ‘The passenger trains travel over lines owned by railroads that only ship freight.’
    • ‘They shut down a commuter railroad in order to promote the sale of automobiles.’
    • ‘After all, when the railroad nixed such a system nearly two decades ago, it seemed like a profitable idea.’
    • ‘Though primarily a freight railroad, the C&O long boasted a proud and superbly operated passenger service.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And so when we went into the process of selling the government's freight railroad, Conrail, it took us three years.’
    • ‘Besides visiting my parents, Michael and I also visited one tourist railroad while in Florida.’
    • ‘The relationship between Amtrak and the freight railroads was established by law back when Amtrak was set up.’
    • ‘Union Pacific, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is the nation's largest railroad.’
    • ‘The tourist railroad uses a trailer as its ticket office and base of operations.’
    • ‘Vranich says there are companies in America and abroad with the capacity to run a more efficient passenger railroad.’
    • ‘Moreover, Warrington strongly believes in the importance of passenger railroads to the nation's future.’
    • ‘The nation's passenger railroad is supposed to be a for-profit corporation, but Amtrak's never made money.’
    • ‘It was America's first railroad operating regular passenger and freight service.’
    • ‘New concerns tonight that our nation's railroads and subways could be vulnerable to terrorist attack.’
    • ‘When most of the railroads turned over the operation of their passenger trains to Amtrak back in 1971, The Southern, and Rio Grande refused.’
    • ‘Union Pacific Railroad is the only class one railroad to provide rail freight service to the city.’
    • ‘At a time when passenger railroads were adopting the new diesel-electric locomotive, the BA & P could not afford the capital investment.’
    • ‘Created in 1971 in response to the demise of passenger trains run by private railroads, Amtrak has never shown a profit.’


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

    ‘she hesitated, unwilling to be railroaded into a decision’
    • ‘Customers often allow themselves to be railroaded into making bad decisions by a salesperson's use of false dilemma.’
    • ‘But neither she nor her three sisters, who are 12, 19 and 23, were railroaded into sport.’
    • ‘We have a young parliament, and we hardly need to be railroaded into a supposedly ‘voluntary’ scheme.’
    • ‘‘I sometimes feel I'm getting railroaded into a poor deal,’ he explains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead of taking the lead in tackling the problem, once again they are being railroaded into joining a ‘global coalition’.’
    • ‘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 felt railroaded into it, and we're seething.’
    • ‘Speaking after the London meeting, he denied he was trying to railroad families into accepting compensation rather than taking the lawsuit option.’
    • ‘Jason didn't like being railroaded into anything, but he did feel sorry for Janice.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Club coaches said they had been railroaded into taking late night slots and wanted the Friday night session to be an hour earlier.’
    • ‘My mother railroaded me into netball and hockey but I didn't know the rules, and I tripped over a lot.’
    • ‘We won't be railroaded into a decision, you know.’
    • ‘Their policies are attempting to railroad people into urban settlements by objecting to planning applications in rural areas.’
    • ‘From early on, therefore, the developing countries worried they would be railroaded into a last-minute deal.’
    • ‘Her success seems to have railroaded her husband into a supporting role.’
    • ‘They took no notice of the opposition and just railroaded people into this.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fact is that the decision was railroaded through after normal business and residents were given minimal notice of the street closure.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This was railroaded through so fast most local governments didn't even know about it.’
      • ‘‘It was the best decision,’ Amien later replied when asked by journalist about the compromise he railroaded through.’
      • ‘The Stennis compromise - no compromise in his mind - was being railroaded through.’
      • ‘He claimed the developer was railroading the development of the site and the manager's enforcement order was being ignored.’
      • ‘What are the contentious issues in those suggestions and are you worried the regulations may be railroaded through?’
      • ‘He is a member of the major opposition Nationalist Party, which railroaded the nuclear power project while still Taiwan's ruling party.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They feel the plans were railroaded through the district council and they have addressed their concerns to the Local Government Ombudsman.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another chilling measure was railroaded through federal parliament this week without any noticeable media coverage.’
      • ‘There is never any harm in debating such issues, but this is not about debate, it is about railroading things through,’ he said.’
      • ‘They planned to railroad it through with less than ten weeks from announcement to agreement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘The government wants to railroad Agenda for Change through.’
      • ‘At the same time, the new voting system will be instrumental in preventing the speaker from railroading contentious bills in a unilateral manner.’
      • ‘For that reason, they're too important to be railroaded through Congress.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a testament to the jury that they refused to be part of the attempt to railroad innocent men to jail.’
      • ‘When good men were railroaded without a shred of due process, who was speaking up?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have since viewed the two documentaries and am convinced these poor kids were railroaded.’
      • ‘It's also clear to me that he's been railroaded.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Prosecutors and court judges routinely promoted and rewarded police misconduct, as hundreds of innocent persons were railroaded and tossed into prison.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘He was railroaded into a Mexican prison.’
  • 2usually as noun railroadingNorth American no object Travel or work on the railways.

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