Naming pages

Pages should be named in sentence case, which is mainly for technical reasons. So use "Steam locomotive" rather than "Steam Locomotive". This is done because of the way MediaWiki software was developed around wikitext, and how titles should make wikitext links easy to use when linking ordinary text. So if "diesel locomotive" is in an article and you want to link to an article called "Diesel Locomotive" you would have to do this:
[[Diesel Locomotive|diesel locomotive]]
. Instead if the article were called "Diesel locomotive" you would only have to add
around the text "diesel locomotive":
[[diesel locomotive]]
. This is possible because MediaWiki automatically capitalizes the first letter of all titles.
  • Electric locomotive (correct)

Proper nouns should be capitalized as they would be in plain text:

  • Richard Trevithick (correct)
  • American Locomotive Company (correct)


Avoid it. The vast majority of articles should be singular nouns. In some rare cases a present participle (or a gerund) is used because that is the most common description of the subject.

  • Locomotive (correct)
  • Piston (correct)
  • Wheel (correct)
  • Streamlining (correct)

Note that it makes no difference whether the object is only ever used in pairs; use the singular for linking and searching optimization.


Only disambiguated articles should contain parentheses; that is an article where its title is shared with other articles. There are two reasons for this:

  • Ease of use. Linking to, and finding, articles with parentheses may be more difficult.
  • Technical. MediaWiki makes it possible to use the pipe
    to remove parenthesized words from links, e.g.
    [[Diesel Engine (disambiguation)]]
    can be shortened easily with
    [[Diesel Engine (disambiguation)|]]
    to produce Diesel Engine.

Special characters

Avoid using special characters in titles. If unavoidable, contact an admin and explain why you think this is so. Seriously avoid uses characters such as these
" # $ * + < > = @ [ ] \ / ^ ` { } | ~
because they are interpreted by browsers for different things. The
symbol is used to find headings (and other things) in articles; the
character is used to form a subpage (a subordinate page); double quotes
cause errors in scripting languages, such as JavaScript, which are part of MediaWiki software. So use single quotes
, or omit them altogether, instead. Other special characters may even be removed by MediaWiki when creating the article.


When naming images (before) you upload to the Wiki, please make the name humanly readable. For example, "IMG001.jpg" doesn't help anybody. A good practice is to name it after the exact object the photograph illustrates, e.g. naming a photo of a locomotive after its railroad (railway), model designation and number — in no particular order.

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