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Variety of rolling stock in rail yard

The term rolling stock in rail transport industry originally referred to any vehicles that move on a railway. It has since expanded to include the wheeled vehicles used by businesses on roadways.[1][2][3] It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches, and wagons.[4][5][6][7]



Note that stock in the term is business related and used in a sense of inventory. Rolling stock is considered to be a liquid asset, or close to it, since the value of the vehicle can be readily estimated and then shipped to the buyer without much cost or delay.[8][9]

The term contrasts with fixed stock (infrastructure), which is a collective term for the track, signals, stations, other buildings, electric wires, etc., necessary to operate a railway.

Code namesEdit

In Great Britain, types of rolling stock were given code names, often of animals. For example, "Toad" was used as a code name for the Great Western Railway goods brake van,[10] while British Railways wagons used for track maintenance were named after fish, such as "Dogfish" for a ballast hopper.[11] These codes were telegraphese, somewhat analogous to the SMS language of today.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "rolling stock". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ Illinois Department of Revenue. "RUT-7: Rolling Stock Certification" (PDF). Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Michigan's Rolling Stock Exemption". TaxRates. Avalara. Retrieved January 27, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Yaxham Light Railway rolling stock page". 
  5. ^ "Definition of "rolling stock" from the Oxford English Dictionary accessed 5 February 2007 (subscription service)". 
  6. ^ "Definition of "rolling stock" from the Concise Oxford Dictionary". 
  7. ^ "Definition from the American Heritage Dictionary". Archived from the original on 2009-02-22. 
  8. ^ Finger, Matthias; Bert, Nadia; Kupfer, David, eds. (2014). "Rail infrastructure and rolling stock: investments, asset renewal and regulation" (PDF). European University Institute, Florence School of Regulation. pp. 8–9. 
  9. ^ Wijnia, Y.; de Croon, J.; Liyanage, J.P. (2014). "36: Application of a Unified Reference Model Across Asset Types: Comparative Cases". In Lee, Jay; Ni, Jun; Sarangapani, Jagnathan; Mathew, Joseph. Engineering Asset Management 2011: Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress on Engineering Asset Management. London: Springer. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-1-4471-4993-4. ISSN 2195-4356. LCCN 2013934026 – via Google Books. 
  10. ^ "Code Names for Great Western Carriage Stock and Vans". 
  11. ^ "Fishkinds and TOPS". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. 

External linksEdit