I use the term RAIL as an acronym for my favorite method of dealing with any requirement for a 99% available, cheap, fairly low-cycle middle-secure web server farm or other distributed application. It stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Linux boxes.

The edges of a surfboard are called rails. The shape
of the rails affects the manoeuverability of the
surfboard. Square rails with sharp edges
make the board more "edgy". Rounded rails make the
surfboard more stable. Other parts of surfboards are
fins, the deck, the nose, and the tail. The shapes
of these components all affect how the surfboard
moves through the water, how easily it is to catch a wave, and the size and shapes of waves they are
most suited to riding. Common accessories used
with surfboards are legropes (also known as leashes),
and wax.

Slang term used to describe a line of cocaine.

Rail refers to a freestyle skateboarding stance, that involves standing on the board while it is sideways. Your feet are supported by the wheels and deck. The primo grind is done a la rail. Many beginners get hurt while trying to go from regular or goofy to rail, and back. Serious pros can do 360s and walking style footwork involving rail stance.


Automotive Term

A rail is a kind of dragster. This particular type is built on a long pipe frame, and only has body panels around the cockpit. Rails are very narrow and only have a minimum capacity for steering. They are designed only for massive acceleration, (and nothing more).

Rail is also skateboarding and snowboarding slang for any type of handrail or other such grindable object that has no conceivable flat top. If said object has a flat top, it is referred to as a ledge

Rail is a method of travel relying on a motorised engine dragging multiple carriages along parallel metal strips (the rails). It is one of the most versatile and useful forms of transportation, but is ludicrously expensive to both build and operate-very few people can make a profit on the railway, at least not without serious cost-cutting, which usually results in decreased safety and a poor service.

The most popular uses for rail transport are freight (goods) and passenger travel.

The birth of rail
Before the railway we know and love was put into operation there were several methods before it. One of the most popular was laying parallel flat wooden pieces on the ground and running chariot wheels along them, allowing for increased speeds.

In early 1800s Britain, the idea was developed further, the wooden slats were changed into metal rails and the horse and chariot replaced with engines and carriages. The invention of rail travel could be said to have helped along the Industrial Revolution and helped to have make the British Empire as powerful as it was. It allowed goods to be transferred from place to place at what was at that point in time insanely fast speeds and with a minimum of fuss. To kickstart all this, in 1829, Stephenson demonstrated his Rocket, which was basically the forerunner of all steam locomotives, if not all locomotives full stop.

Steam trains worked like this: coal was burnt, which heated water above it. The steam which was produced went into pistons, which pushed the wheels around. The fastest steam powered train ever built ran at around 100mph.

Rail travel began to have an effect on Britain-cities which were once days or weeks apart could be reached quicker than ever, and populations began to increase in cities. The first railway built was the Stockton and Darlington Railway, opened in 1825, and in 1830 the Liverpool and Manchester opened. In 1846, noted industrialist Isambard Kingdom Brunel opened the Great Western Railway, connecting Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington. By 1851, Britain had 6,800 miles of railway track laid.

Meanwhile, other countries such as France and Germany were building rail systems of their own. It is widely believed that if it were not for the railway, America would have simply been unable to become the world power it is now.

Rise and fall
In the early 1900s, rail was still as popular as it had always been. However, for the first half of the 20th century the once proud UK rail system went into decline after years of underfunding by the British government, who had taken over the running of the railway earlier. In 1951 British Railways Board chairman Dr Beeching started axing underperforming railway lines across the country. While he modernised the railway a lot from what it was before, he is still credited with destroying the network for good.

In the Sixties, Japan opened its famous Shinkansen line, running at 160mph all over Japan and setting the new standard in rail travel. Even after this feat, the French TGV set a record of 200mph, and became the fastest train in operation.

In the early 1990s, the Conservative British government privatised the railway and seperated it from one company to about 30. Almost immediately, standards slipped and the British rail system started to be regarded as a great failure, where late trains abounded and the service just got worse. If Beeching killed the railway, the Tories burned the corpse.

In 1999 the Paddington Rail Disaster shook the nation and prompted renewed calls for the renationalisation of the railway. The Labour government seems to be unwilling to do this and as of now is ruling it out, although the tracks themselves are now maintained by a non-profit body (Network Rail) rather than outside contractors.

Despite all of these setbacks, development continues apace. In 2004 the worlds first maglev railway, driven solely by electromagnets, was opened in China, although the government almost immediately shelved plans for a national network after balking at the cost.

Sources: Me myself and I, the BBC's History site

Lines that supply various voltages for an electronic circuit are referred to as rails. Typically, each rail is designed to provide a specific voltage at currents ranging up to a maximum number of amperes (milliamps, et cetera).

Every modern electronic system will include a ground rail -- this is the "0 volts" point from which all other voltages in the system are based. A system will almost always include a +5 volt rail and/or a +3.3 volt rail, as these voltages are commonly used for logic -- although lower voltages such as 1.8v are also becoming common for newer logic gates. It may also have a +12 or +15 volt rail to drive speakers, motors, et cetera; and one or more negative rails (-5 or -12 volts are common), also often used for speakers when rail to rail operation is desired. In addition, there may be one or more rails specifically designed to handle high current loads, or rails for analog circuitry that should be shielded from digital noise (including a separate analog ground line).

Often you will see the main positive voltage rail for a system designated as "Vcc" or "Vdd". This has to do with the labeling of BJT and FET transistors: "Vcc" would connect to a BJT collector, and "Vdd" to a FET drain. Older datasheets may also use "Vee" and "Vss" to represent the negative rails, being connected to a BJT emitter and FET source, respectively. Nowadays, "Vcc" is still commonly used for the positive power rail and "GND" for the ground line, although you will sometimes see "Vdd"/"Vss" in datasheets for components such as operational amplifiers.

Rail (rAl), n. [OE. reil, re&yogh;el, AS. hrægel, hrægl, a garment; akin to OHG. hregil, OFries. hreil.]

An outer cloak or covering; a neckerchief for women. Fairholt.


© Webster 1913

Rail, v. i. [Etymol. uncertain.]

To flow forth; to roll out; to course. [Obs.]

Streams of tears from her fair eyes forth railing.


© Webster 1913

Rail, n. [Akin to LG. & Sw. regel bar, bolt, G. riegel a rail, bar, or bolt, OHG. rigil, rigel, bar, bolt, and possibly to E. row a line.]


A bar of timber or metal, usually horizontal or nearly so, extending from one post or support to another, as in fences, balustrades, staircases, etc.

2. (Arch.)

A horizontal piece in a frame or paneling. See Illust. of Style.

3. (Railroad)

A bar of steel or iron, forming part of the track on which the wheels roll. It is usually shaped with reference to vertical strength, and is held in place by chairs, splices, etc.

4. (Naut.)


The stout, narrow plank that forms the top of the bulwarks.


The light, fencelike structures of wood or metal at the break of the deck, and elsewhere where such protection is needed.

Rail fence. See under Fence. --
Rail guard.
(a) A device attached to the front of a locomotive on each side for clearing the rail of obstructions.
(b) A guard rail. See under Guard. --
Rail joint (Railroad), a splice connecting the adjacent ends of rails, in distinction from a chair, which is merely a seat. The two devices are sometimes united. Among several hundred varieties, the fish joint is standard. See Fish joint, under Fish. --
Rail train (Iron & Steel Manuf.), a train of rolls in a rolling mill, for making rails for railroads from blooms or billets.


© Webster 1913

Rail, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Railed (rAld); p. pr. & vb. n. Railing.]


To inclose with rails or a railing.

It ought to be fenced in and railed.


To range in a line. [Obs.]

They were brought to London all railed in ropes, like a team of horses in a cart.


© Webster 1913

Rail, n. [F. rale, fr. raler to have a rattling in the throat; of German origin, and akin to E. rattle. See Rattle, v.] (Zoöl.)

Any one of numerous species of limicoline birds of the family Rallidæ, especially those of the genus Rallus, and of closely allied genera. They are prized as game birds.

⇒ The common European water rail (Rallus aquaticus) is called also bilcock, skitty coot, and brook runner. The best known American species are the clapper rail, or salt-marsh hen (Rallus longirostris, var. crepitans); the king, or red-breasted, rail (R. elegans) (called also fresh-water marsh-hen); the lesser clapper, or Virginia, rail (R. Virginianus); and the Carolina, or sora, rail (Porzana Carolina). See Sora.

Land rail (Zoöl.), the corncrake.


© Webster 1913

Rail, v. i. [F. railler; cf. Sp. rallar to grate, scrape, molest; perhaps fr. (assumed) LL. radiculare, fr. L. radere to scrape, grate. Cf. Rally to banter, Rase.]

To use insolent and reproachful language; to utter reproaches; to scoff; -- followed by at or against, formerly by on. Shak.

And rail at arts he did not understand.

Lesbia forever on me rails.


© Webster 1913

Rail (rAl), v. t.


To rail at. [Obs.] Feltham.


To move or influence by railing. [R.]

Rail the seal from off my bond.


© Webster 1913

Rail, n.

A railroad as a means of transportation; as, to go by rail; a place not accesible by rail.


© Webster 1913

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