It's not a widely used term either way, these days. The big V-shaped ones are largely a thing of the past - you'll still seem them on restored steam engines, mostly because they're traditional and nostalgic.
Modern diesel locomotives have a flatter, less pronounced wedge shape.
Unless you work on the railroad or are a train enthusiast, most people probably wouldn't even know what you're talking about. I'd forgotten that's what the things were called until I did some research.
According to Webster, 'pilot' was the preferred term for railroad workers.
Student or Learner