One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A section of railway line used as a site for repairs to coaches and other rolling stock.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Galveston Daily News. Probably originally from rip + track, although the first element may instead show a shortened form of repair. The spelling RIP Track in quot. 2001 probably reflects the supposition that the first element shows an acronym from the initial letters of repair in place, but this almost certainly shows a later rationalization of an existing term.
rip track/ˈrɪp trak/
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