- a locomotive for switching rolling stock in a yard.
Origin of switch engine
An Americanism dating back to 1865–70
Also called switcher, switching locomotive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for switch engine
She heard the bell of a switch-engine in the distant railway-yard.The Cottage of Delight
Will N. Harben
Have you sent the switch-engine to the woods for Rondeau and his men?The Valley of the Giants
Peter B. Kyne
Edison happened along and said to the local operator, "Come out here, Bill, on this switch-engine and we'll fix things!"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14
He had been offered a job in the local interchange yard, firing a switch-engine.Our Railroads To-Morrow
It was up to me to make a quick play; for he was just ripe to go buttin' around those tracks and run afoul of a switch-engine.Shorty McCabe