In a previous thread about jargon people hate (http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=1579
), I mentioned that Railroading was a problematic term, because, despite the fact that there's are some good potential definitions for what Railroading means, the term is used so commonly that it usually has a very local definition to the user. I also said that most of these definitions are actually subsets of the good definition.
The universal definition would be something like:
The GM uses authority in such a way as the player is prevented from engaging in his preferred creative agenda.
Immediately somebody said that railroading should include in the definition that it's control of plot or scenes or something. But that's agenda specific, and a local definition. Basically the person in question is saying, "I like to have control of elements XYZ, and when I don't have control, that's railroading." Well, it is railroading, but what it misses is that railroading can be control of other things for other players.
For instance, for certain gamism CAs, some players want the GM to control the "plot" and such, and just want a level playing field. For such a player, railroading can be things like lowering the HP total of the monsters in order to allow the players to win. Or raising them if the GM wants to engineer a defeat for some purpose (no, not neccessarily plot, the GM could be punishing the players for something, or setting up a harder challenge for later or whatever).
So the player in the example rightly says he was railroaded into a defeat. The problem is not that he's wrong, but that he'll say that a player complaining about scene outcome control isn't talking about railroading. That is, they'll disagree as to what the definition is, because they have different creative agendas, each contending that it's the GM controling the elements they're concerned about that defines railroading.
Thus you see debates about railroading go on endlessly, because what's really going on is that the player in question is just trying to reinforce what he thinks is important about playing. So, as a jargon term used all over gaming without a consistent definition, the term is often more trouble than it's worth.