1chiefly British The platform for the crew in the cab of a locomotive.
- IN 1969 notices went up in rail depots across the nation asking for volunteers to work on the footplate of steam locomotive Flying Scotsman during a forthcoming promotional visit to the US.
- Rail buffs could take a step back in time to Swindon's golden rail era age and get spliced on the footplate of a vintage locomotive at Steam.
- As train fans queued for the chance of a photograph on the footplate of the locomotive Yorkshire Post readers helped keep in this country, Mr Higton recalled his training in the Doncaster railway works which built Flying Scotsman in 1923.
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting railroad staff responsible for operating trains, as opposed to other employees.
- They might weigh up to ninety tons, but footplate staff always referred to their warm and trembling steam locomotives (each marked by its individual, if not always tractable, character) as ‘she’.
- He started acting as a footplate inspector on Flying Scotsman in 1967 and recalls how he couldn't resist ‘having a go on the shovel.’
- The most appealing of these grades is indisputably the footplate workers, with signallers running second.
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