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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 7 (December 15, 1926)

Subsidiary Requirements

Subsidiary Requirements.

Exchange Sidings.—These are provided at yards where trains are required to enter to pick up and set down wagons with the least possible delay. For really rapid operation three roads are required for these purposes.

1. For the train itself.

2. For concentrating the wagons to be picked up.

3. For shunting the wagons that are taken from the train.

With these facilities an exchange can be made in five minutes. Such sidings have not yet become necessary here, as the long-distance trains are not frequent enough to permit of the holding over of sufficient “long distance” traffic to make good train loading for these trains, therefore, the present through trains are continually changing their loads, an action which necessitates remarshalling at numerous points. As the traffic grows, however, the need for exchange sidings will undoubtedly arise, as they effect a considerable economy in goods train operation generally. Exchange sidings are also used for changing over engines and crews at the end of a division, and—in the case of through trains between two separate railway companies—for the changing of engines, crews, and brake vans, examining trains, checking wagons, etc.

Loco Depots and “run-round” Roads.—Most marshalling yards are situated at the end of a locomotive division. It is therefore necessary to provide a locomotive depot at a convenient point in the yard. Its position is most important in view of the present day costs per engine hour. Every possible facility should be given to permit of the immediate release of engines arriving with trains so that they can proceed to the depot, or to the departure roads, without delay. The latter applies especially to engines working short trips, or transferring wagons from one yard to another. Furthermore, ready access to departure roads from the locomotive depot or arrival roads is essential in order to prevent delays to engines after being turned over to the Traffic Branch, or when moving from the reception sidings to the departure sidings. To facilitate movements “run-round” roads are provided where possible, these roads being kept for engine purposes only.

The recognition of the necessity for getting the utmost out of the locomotive has led many railways to go to the expense of providing “fly over” or “burrowing” junctions solely for the purpose of preventing delays. It can be readily understood that, if there is some doubt as to the possibility of an engine getting to the depot to turn and return within a certain time to take up the running of another train, either the timetable has to be altered or another engine used.

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Any alterations to the timetable have such farreaching effects that it is usually preferable to obtain another engine. Result—increased operating costs!

No better example could be given of the necessity for close co-operation between the yard designing engineer and the operating officer than this case of providing unimpeded movement for train engines in the yard. The greatest wastage in locomotive working takes place at terminal yards, and any reasonable expenditure to reduce this wastage is justified.

Wagon Repair Depots.—The most suitable position for a wagon repair depot is obviously where all concentration of wagons takes place. It is not necessary to have this depot in the yard itself, but it should be adjacent. In any case it is advisable to place it well away from running roads or sidings where wagons are liable to be moving. One or two roads in the marshalling yards are assigned to crippled wagons and they are taken from there to the repair depot as required.

Type of exchange yard constructed by the British Army in France during the war to facilitate exchange of traffic between the British and French railway authorities. (Note the triangle to enable engines to turn as they pass from one train to another)

Type of exchange yard constructed by the British Army in France during the war to facilitate exchange of traffic between the British and French railway authorities. (Note the triangle to enable engines to turn as they pass from one train to another)

Weighbridge Road.—This is usually a road set apart from the siding groups in order that the weighbridge and necessary buildings are not too near running roads or sidings. Sometimes capstans are used so that weighing can take place at any time without interfering with the work of the yard engines. In some gravity yards there is no weighbridge siding, the wagons being weighed as they pass over the main shunting lead to the marshalling yard. With a modern weighbridge it is quite a simple matter to weigh the wagons on the move.

Brake Van Road.—Brake vans are collected on this road from the arriving trains. Here they are inspected, have lamps trimmed, etc., and are otherwise made ready for placing on outgoing trains. One of the outside marshalling roads can be conveniently used for this purpose. A deadend road is not recommended.

Refrigerator Car Service.—The necessity for special roads for this work arises only in countries where extensive icing of freight cars takes place. These sidings are necessarily alongside the apparatus for icing or inspecting refrigerator cars or wagons. With the use of the latest motor lorries with self-raising platforms, icing can be done alongside in the ordinary way—a much more convenient arrangement than having to push wagons past the icing stage or platform. The sidings do not usually form part of the main yard but are placed in the most convenient position as circumstances warrant.

Transhipping Sidings.—The large yards, where concentration of wagons from various directions takes place, are usually taken advantage of for page 44 transhipping purposes whether there is a local goods shed or not. The re-adjustment of loads which have moved during transit can also be conveniently carried out in the transhipment shed.

Wagons for transhipment are collected on certain roads in the marshalling yard and taken to separate sidings adjacent to the transhipping sheds. The sheds and the sidings should be placed in such a position as to ensure easy access by the yard shunting engine. Wagons should be pushed direct into the siding, that is to say, running-round or slip shunting should be eliminated.

Wagon Cleaning Sidings.—These sidings usually apply to stock wagons, and in countries where the government takes stringent methods to prevent cattle disease, a most elaborate system for cleaning wagons is essential. These sidings, by reason of their nature, are set well away from the main body of the yard.