Railroad Trivia Challenge

January 2003

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The top players will win a 1 year subscription

 7+RAILROADER Magazine

All Railroading, All The Time.

Win a subscription to  7+RAILROADER Magazine

from the publishers of
Grand Scales Quarterly

All Railroading, All The Time.


Trivia Challenge #4
Choose the best answer.

20 Questions,
Average Score;
13 Correct

Instructions:  Choose the best answer for each question.  The correct answers are marked but hidden.  To see an answer, use your cursor to "highlight" the answer. Hold your mouse button down as you drag the pointer across the answers, the white letters will be revealed. 

Example:  (correct) hidden text in parenthesis. Hold the mouse button down and drag the pointer across the hidden text.

1. The first of the famous "Big Boy" locomotive series were built in what year?

1941 correct


2. They said it couldn't be built.  The "Oversea Railroad" refers to which North American railroad (destroyed 1935 by a hurricane and converted to automobile use)?

National of Mexico
Western Pacific
Louisiana & Arkansas
Florida East Coast  correct


3. The financier/founder of this famous tourist railway made his fortune in meat packing. Name his railway.

Mount Washington Cog Railway  correct
Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway
Pilatusbahn Incline Railroad
Pikes Peak Cog Railway


4. A nickname for this New York Central railcar was ________ ?

Galloping Goose
Bee-Liners correct


5. What's a cornfield meet?

An excessively jarring coupling
Meeting trains at a track siding
Side tracked train
Head on train collision away from a station


6. What is a "Kingpin"?

Railroad executive.
Government railroad inspector
Knuckle coupler pin
Truck swivel pin mechanism 


7. What is a "Brass Hat?

Railroad executive. correct
Government railroad inspector
Knuckle coupler pin
Truck swivel mechanism


8. The absence of a number plate on a signal mast generally indicates ___________ .

The signal is an absolute signal. correct
A railfan has stolen a souvenir.
Trains may stop, then proceed at restricted speed.
It's a repeater of a signal nearby that has a number plate.


9. A triple valve is part of what system?

Brake system correct
Rail system
Signal system
Drive system


10. Prior to 1883, each town in the US set its own time of day. To end the confusion, the railroads introduced ______________ .

Standard Time correct
Regulated Clocks
Pocket Watches
Daylight Savings Time


11. A "Hot Box" refers to what?

An overheated wheel bearing correct
Section of grate where clinkers form
A hot burning coal fire
Potbelly stove in the caboose


12. The UK term is "regulator", what is it called in the US?

Brake stand
Johnson bar
Throttle  correct


13. "Doubling a hill" refers to _______________.

Using a pair of  locomotives to climb a hill
Extra engineer for night/mountain runs
Splitting the train and making 2 trips correct
Attacking the hill at a higher (2X) speed


14. This original "Golden Spike" railroad never changed its name and is still going strong.

Union Pacific correct
Southern Pacific
Central Pacific
Chicago & Northwestern


15. T.J. McBride patented _________ in 1891.

the sleeper car
the automatic air brake
the vista-dome car  correct
the mail transfer hook


16. The function of the steam engine superheater is to  ___________ .

increase steam pressure.
increase steam temperature. correct
increase steam pressure and temperature.
insure dry steam  correct


17. "Brains", a nick-name for the ____________ .

Conductor  correct
Station agent


18. Frequent visitors to discoverlivesteam.com will recognize this recently restored engine from the New South Wales Government Railways.

0-6-2 Class N2
Henschel 0-6-0T
GWR 2-4-2 mixed traffic engine
Beyer-Peacock Z19 0-6-0 


19. The "Capital Cities Route" was the nickname of what railroad?

Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac correct
Spokane, Portland,& Seattle 


20. First US locomotive boiler explosion (1831) occurred when the fireman _____ .

flooded the hot boiler with cold water
allowed the boiler to run dry
sat on the hissing safety valve 
loosened a stuck valve with a hammer


This test has 20 Questions, Average Score 13 Correct


How well did you do?
Most often missed questions

  • If you scored less than 7 correct answers, sorry. Have you ever considered stamp collecting or golf as a hobby?

  • If you scored 7 or 8 correct answers, you are interested in railroading but don't know enough about it yet. Keep visiting our site. I think you're going to love this hobby.

  • If your score was in the 8-10 correct range, you're a beginner railfan. Your railroad knowledge is way above the average non-railfan. I hope you stay with railroading. We sure have fun.

  • A score of 10-12 correct. Not bad, but you're going to need to study more before the next trivia contest.

  • If your score was 13-14 correct, Good job. Your score puts you with the majority of rail fans that take our test. It's a very difficult test and you really have to be good to get this score.

  • Between 15-16 correct. You are a railfan with Above Average Railroading knowledge. Nice Job!

  • If your score was between 17-19 correct, GREAT JOB! You really know your railroad trivia. You are among the very best!

  • If you scored 20 correct. Perfect! You would have won a free subscription to 7+RAILROADER Magazine.


Be sure to take our next Trivia Challenge, Winter 2004!


Most often missed:

Question 15 (only 9.5% got that right)

Question 8 (only 37% got this one right)

Easiest Questions:

Question 11 and 14 (90% got them right)




Railroad Trivia Challenge Rules

The questions.

The questions have been carefully researched.  In all cases, the source material that was used to write the questions will be the final word. This contest is just for fun. If you think you have a correct answer, and I think it was wrong,  you will be asked to write the next contest and grade them all yourself.

The answers.

Select the best answer for each question.

Who can play?

Anyone can play but to be eligible for prizes you must...

  • ...not have won something from us in the past 120 days.
  • ...be at least 18 years of age.
  • ...not submit more that one entry per household or email address.
  • ...not share answers with others (cheat).
  • ...live in my house.

Winners chosen.

The winner(s) will be the entrants with the best score(s).  In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected at random.


For Magazine Subscriptions. 

Domestic postage will be paid by the publisher.  International postage may be the responsibility of the winner.  Check with us for details trivia@discoverlivesteam.com

All other prizes

Prizes will be shipped direct from the sponsor.  Shipping will be via common carrier, UPS, FedX etc. FOB: the continental US.  Normal shipping costs are the responsibility of the sponsor.  Additional off shore shipping and export arrangements are the responsibly of the winners.  A cash prize in place of the standard prize my be arranged if agreeable to all parties. 

Good Luck




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