How British is the word 'bogie'?

How British is the term ‘bogie’ for a wheel truck? You can take a look at these pictures to get an idea of what I mean: … =en&tab=wi


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Hello, Mr.Torsten,

I’m The French, I think bogie it’s so English, because the mains inventions about the train come from England.

Like we say in France, the English invented it and we perfectionned it (TGV), it’s a French joke.

Have a nice day - Danke für ihre arbeit. :slight_smile:

Hello Mr Portuguese French ;-). Thanks a lot for your answer. I wonder what our Americans friends also use the term ‘bogie’. By the way, what do you call it in French and Portuguese?


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I tell you the little story.

I was born in Portugal a little town in the countryside next the big city of Porto, around thirty-five kilometers.

When I was two years old, I came in France (in Paris) with my Parents, because in 1972 the Portugal was in bad situation after the revolution, there is no much work for my family.

And now I am a thirty-nine years old, with the Portuguese nationality, and I moved to Normandie, because the life in Paris it’s too expensive and too speed.

Do you understand why I call myself the French-Portuguese?

I have one question for you:

I found you site with chance on the web, and I made a lot of exercises but sometimes I have the sensation that my level is “block”.

I try to read the times on the web, but it’s a litle difficult to understand all the words.

I learn alone with old PC (because I have learnt German and Spanish in School), but I need English now for found a big job, have you one idea for help me to increase my level.

Sorry, for my mistakes, and my long story.

Danke mein Hern.
:slight_smile: :smiley:

Americans typically refer to these as handcars, or sometimes as pump cars.

I’m not aware of the term bogie being used for these in AmE, so I’d say it’s primarily a British term.

Indeed it is Skrej. All we boys had a home-made bogie. It was constructed from two pieces of timber of the same dimensions, and one longer one. It was in the shape of a letter I. Under the tow shorter lengths were steel bars or tubing, to which four pram wheels were attached. The front part of the eye had the two pieces of timber joined vertically by a large nut and bolt, but not fully screwed home. To each end of the front short timber was a line or rope, and this was the means of steering the “missile.”
Happy days.


Hi Skrej,

What do you call these in American English? … =en&tab=wi[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Must be British because it’s used extensively in India. If you want to know if a word is British, check if it’s used in India. If it is, it is a British word. Many words that are almost extinct in England are still in wide use here In India.

Torsten, you have to understand that trains are not a common experience for Americans, so a typical American may not know if there is a term for some sort of railroad vehicle or other, because most of us hardly ever see trains.

I think I can safely say that “bogie” is not the term for that kind of vehicle. I have seen various ordinary cars and SUVs fitted with railroad chassis or axles for use by the railroads, but after searching I’ve been unsuccessful at finding a name for them. My guess is that there’s no special name for them. They’re probably called something like “a vehicle with a railroad chassis”, and the workers probably call them “the truck”, “the Chevy” or whatever they find descriptive.

Hi Torsten,

Honestly, I have no idea what that’s called. Trains aren’t a particular area of interest or expertise for me, and it looks like something you’d have to be familiar with trains to know about.

The only reason I know about the handcar is that it’s fairly iconic in movies.

The only usage I’ve heard of for ‘bogie’ in AmE is military jargon for targets shown on a radar screen, especially airborne targets.

I love those things! I’ve always thought that it would have to be a blast to hook one up to your vehicle and zip on down the tracks.

I’m pretty sure that those conversions are just retrofitted to any standard vehicle (truck, at least) frame. I haven’t gotten a real close look at one up close, but it seems to possibly just mount to the frame or even just bolt onto the lug nuts. Nothing more than just railroad type wheels that act as a guide to keep the vehicle aligned on the tracks, and the regular tires of the vehicle provide the power and momentum.

Some are a little bit more sophisticated to have (presumably hydraulic) an automatic raising/lowering of the RR wheels with a switch from inside the cab nowadays, but I think some of the older models actually required a person to manually lower those RR wheels.

(This was back in the days when you had to manually get out of the cab and engage your 4-wheel drive…)

Regardless, I think it’d be a great way to travel. Get on the track, engage your cruise control, and you could go for miles hands free, no steering needed. As long as you paid attention to RR crossings and oncoming trains, no worries. 8) Oh, and the occasional livestock/wildlife lounging on the tracks…

I’ve always had a secret dream of driving around in one of those too.

I think those old handcars have been replaced by regular SUVs. Now if a train needs help, a truck just pulls up next to it either on the road or on the terrain nearby.

Apparently, these do have a name. They’re called hi-rail or hy-rail trucks.

From what I’ve read, the term ‘hi/hy-rail’ is used for the adapting apparatus, as even the diggers, trimmers, sprayers, ballast spreaders, and other utility vehicles are called the same. I’ve only personally seen the pickups adapted.

Here’s a good close up of one in action.