- a locomotive sent on ahead of a railroad train to see that the way is clear and the track safe.
Origin of pilot engine
First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pilot engine
The coming of the pilot-engine heightens the intensity of watching, for now soon the king will come.Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation
S. D. Gordon
- a locomotive that leads one or more other locomotives at the head of a train of coaches or wagons