According to Dictionary.com the word nautical means:

of or relating to sailors, ships, or navigation

Is there a single word that might mean something similar to "of or relating to train operators, trains, or railroads"?


  1. I want a nautical themed room.

  2. I want a [train] themed room.

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    Railroad Themed Restaurants gregariousrailfan.com/Restaurants.html
    – user66974
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 9:22
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    Yeah, "railroad" would be the usual adjective in the US.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 12:36
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    Say: "I want a train-themed room"
    – minseong
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 21:52
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    Your example sentence conflicts with the comparison to the adjective "nautical". "I want a __ themed room" sounds most natural with a noun or adverb, not an adjective. (For example, I think "I want a nautically themed room" sounds better than "I want a nautical themed room.")
    – herisson
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 23:15
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    @LSpice Nouns can function as adjectives. "Have you read this train book?" "No. I was watching the game at the football stadium." Commented May 12, 2017 at 8:42

8 Answers 8


The best fit is locomotive.

As an adjective (from dictionary.com):

of or relating to locomotives.

Where as a noun:

a self-propelled, vehicular engine, powered by steam, a diesel, or electricity, for pulling or, sometimes, pushing a train or individual railroad cars.

'Locomotive' can have a broader meaning relating to other forms of transport though so it may not always be specific enough.

  • 2
    Yes, this is the best answer. Technically it's not exactly the meaning as an adjective, but in use, it definitely fits the bill for what you asked for. Commented May 11, 2017 at 17:41
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    locomotive is the adjective to locomotion, ie. movement.
    – adjan
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:23
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    "Locomotive" in this sense is no more an adjective than "train" is.
    – herisson
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 23:16
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    I disagree. Locomotives are a specific aspect of railways, so a locomotive-themed room isn't the same thing as a railway-themed room. It's like answering "What's an adjective that can be used to describe things from the USA?" with "Californian". Commented May 12, 2017 at 8:31
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    @DavidRicherby: Yes, locomotive was originally an adjective, but what I'm saying is it doesn't behave much like an adjective when used as a synonym for "train". It can be used attributively, and that's basically all. You can't use it as a predicate adjective (for example, we can't say "The theme is locomotive", although we can say "The theme is nautical") and it isn't gradable ("*very locomotive" to mean "very related to trains" is completely impossible, whereas "very nautical" is tolerable).
    – herisson
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 15:39

You might try ferroequinological.

From Merriam-Webster:


: railfan

Origin and Etymology of ferroequinologist

ferroequino- “iron horse ” (from ferro- + equino-, from Latin equinus equine + -logy + -ist

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    It's cute, but unfortunately it wouldn't be widely understood.
    – Morgoth
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:54
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    @sgroves I wouldn't subscribe to that. Sometimes you just want to use fancy words on purpose, e.g. to ironically make trivial things sound more sophisticated.
    – Ian
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 6:20
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    Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur :-)
    – Mawg
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 8:43
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    Wiktionary labels the base noun '(humorous, nonstandard)' and only adds the agent noun as a derived form. Commented May 12, 2017 at 11:10
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    Maybe just ferroequine without the last -log(o)- part which seems to indicate a theory or wisdom (logos) of these iron horses. The word is Latin, but the logos part is Greek. If we swap the words (horse iron) and pass to Greek, there is Hipposideros. However, that is a genus of bat and not railroad-related. Commented May 13, 2017 at 14:19

Train. Rail. Railway. I want a train-themed room. I want a rail-themed room. I want a railway-themed room.

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    Hello, Debra. While these may be the best options available, two have been offered already, one with the reference desired in an ELU 'answer'. Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:53
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    - What is related to trains? - Trains! Commented May 12, 2017 at 0:51
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    @EdwinAshworth Have those answers been deleted? The only options suggested in answers visible at the time I'm writing this, are "locomotive" (wrong because it's more specific than "train"), "ferroequinologist" (ludicrously obscure), "gricer" (British-only and not widely understood even there). The words DebraH has suggested have been mentioned in comments to the question but that is not where answers should be posted. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing an answer that mentions things only seen so far in comments. Commented May 12, 2017 at 8:35
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    @EdwinAshworth - Please don't confuse comments with answers. There is nothing wrong with turning someone's comment into a proper answer. However, DebraH: good answers on ELU have some explanation as to why they're right. Links to examples of usage in real life (as per Josh's comment on railroad) help make a better answer, as do other examples (as per David Richerby's answer talking about a "football book").
    – AndyT
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 9:22
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    For the sake of personal experience as person who goes trainspotting and went to train-themed conventions is the US since childhood with my father and his friend. This and @DavidRicherby answer are the most accurate and natural sounding to a US-based railfan. I cannot recall anyone using an overarching word to describe all-thing-trains other than train or railroad. (occasionally railway).
    – RomaH
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:12

I'm not aware of any direct equivalent of "nautical" for railways. However, in the context of "A _____-themed room", there is nothing wrong with using a noun. "A train/railway/railroad-themed room" is the natural way of expressing the concept you're looking for. In general, when you need an adjective, a noun will do just fine: there's nothing wrong with talking about, say, "a football book" and the same goes for train/railway/railroad.


In the UK at least, a person who is fascinated by railways is called a Gricer. So you could ask for a gricer room.

However, the word isn't particularly common elsewhere, so you may not be understood.

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    The word "Gricer" isn't common or understood by everyone in the UK either. I've never heard of it. (Early 30s, lived all my life in the South East).
    – AndyT
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 14:59
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    Yup. Normally refer to them as anoraks :-)
    – Mawg
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 8:44
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    @AndyT It's an older term, probably quite common in the 1950s. But, linked definition notwithstanding, I think it refers specifically to a trainspotter rather than a general railway enthusiast. Commented May 12, 2017 at 9:42
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    This is about as appropriate as 'boataholic' as a synonym for 'nautical'. Commented May 12, 2017 at 10:44
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    I'm a Brit in his mid-40s. I was very keen on railways as a child, my dad was very keen on railways, I currently takes his railway-mad son to them on regular occasions, I've lived in various places from Lancashire, Yorkshire, across the Midlands and down to the South East, and I'm fascinated by the English language and interesting words. And I've never heard this word in my life. Your chances of being understood start at zero and go down. How can it be worse than zero? Because "gricer" is most likely to be misheard as "greaser", which relates to bikers.
    – Graham
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:05

In USA, I've heard railroadiana <web reference> "For many collectors [of railroad related stuff], going to railroadiana shows is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the hobby."

I want this room to be my railroadiana room.

  • Never heard that coinage either, but 435K Google hits for 'railroadiana'
    – smci
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 22:57

Word meaning "of or relating to train operators, trains, or railroads"

In the UK or the US:

  1. (Railways) the entire equipment, rolling stock, buildings, property, and system of tracks used in such a transport system –TFD, railway

In the US:

  1. A system of railroad track, together with the land, stations, rolling stock, and other related property under one management. –TFD, railroad

I want a [railroad/railway] themed room.


Nautical is an adjective derived from the Greek word for boat. So the problem is there is no Greek word for train to draw from. locomotive, as a Latin-derived term, makes some sense here. The effort at ferroequinos above is similarly motivated, modern English loves to use Greek or Latin to make adjectives.

So I think you may need to make up a new word to capture the whole complex. Is there a king or God or inventor whose name could be turned into an adjective, someone people would naturally associate with trains? I order to make a new word stick it has to make some natural sense to people.


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