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Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons. Rolling stock is considered to be a liquid asset, or close to it, since the value of the vehicle can be readily estimated and then shipped to the buyer without much cost or delay. However, the term is sometimes used to refer only to non-powered vehicles; specifically, excluding locomotives which may be referred to as running stock or motive power.

The term contrasts with fixed stock (infrastructure), which is a collective term for the track, signals, stations, other buildings, electric wires, etc, necessary to operate a railway.

Code names

In Great Britainmarker, types of rolling stock were given code names, often of animals, such as "Toad" for a Great Western Railway goods brake van. These codes were telegraphese and were analogous to the SMS language of today. British Railways wagons used for track maintenance were named after fish, e.g. "Dogfish" for a ballast hopper.

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