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switch engine

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noun Railroads.
  1. a locomotive for switching rolling stock in a yard.
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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

Historical Examples

  • 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?

  • Edison happened along and said to the local operator, "Come out here, Bill, on this switch-engine and we'll fix things!"

  • He had been offered a job in the local interchange yard, firing a switch-engine.

    Our Railroads To-Morrow

    Edward Hungerford

  • 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

    Sewell Ford