train printer

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train printer An obsolete type of impact line printer in which the type font was etched or engraved upon metal slugs that were pushed around a guide track. It was introduced by IBM in 1965 to supersede the chain printer. The track guided the slugs around a loop, one section of which ran parallel to the line to be printed. The use of slugs in a track enabled greater accuracy of print to be achieved and also yielded flexibility of character repertoire. Heavily used characters could be easily replaced and special symbols substituted for other characters. Speeds of up to 3000 lpm were achieved.

Train printers dominated the high-speed printer market up to 1982, when the band printer offered superior performance at lower cost and nonimpact printers with superior print quality and versatility became financially viable.