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pilot (locomotive)

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Definition: A locomotive pilot is a guard at the front of the locomotive that extends from the body of the locomotive down to just above the rails. The pilot is designed to push aside large objects on the rails so that they don't get under the wheels of the locomotive and derail it. For diesel locomotives the pilot is usually a solid plate. On steam locomotives the pilot is often a grate assembly commonly referred to as a "cowcatcher."
Also Known As: cowcatcher
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