cowcatcher

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cowcatcher

US and Canadian a metal frame on the front of a locomotive to clear the track of animals or other obstructions
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"The town proper, the historic gold rush Whitehorse," he wrote in a report that detailed his travels, "is on the dusty river flat, an intriguing mixture of unpaved roads, wooden sidewalks, false fronts, fine new government building, stem wheeled behemoths of the river rotting on the beach and the log station of the White Pass & Yukon Railway that suggests wood burning engines with cowcatchers." There were now 5,000 residents, many employed by the government departments that relocated to Whitehorse when it replaced Dawson City as the territorial capital.
This design can be likened in appearance and function to the cowcatchers placed on locomotives.
As a kid I loved Casey Jones (steamin' and a rollin') and it was a real treat to see the vintage 19th century engines with giant smoke stacks and cowcatchers.